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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Under the Boardwalk: 1906

Under the Boardwalk: 1906

1906. "The Beach, Atlantic City." Detroit Publishing glass neg. View full size.

 

I can almost see my grandmother there!

What a great photo in full size. I see the exact bathing "dress" that my grandmother wore in one photo I have. Socks covered with sand sitting in the sand next to her brother. And there are also several tintypes of her and her friends. This photo gives me a more exact date of my photos. Thanks.

Parasols

Ladies of this era believed if you had tan skin you were a servant or worked outside a lot. The rich wanted their skin lily white to show that they never worked outside. It was a status sign. Freckles were practically a crime!

Bowlers

A guy can look pretty snappy in a bowler, if it's worn right. If hats were to come back, my vote would be for bowlers.

Young’s Ocean Pier

The Stratford Restaurant was at Kentucky and the Boardwalk. The pier is Central Pier. Back then it was known as Young’s Ocean Pier.

In a Mirror

The backward signs way off to the right read: "Ye Dairy Farm," "Henry the Fourth Havana Cigars" and "Haight & Freese Co. Stock Brokers," if anyone is interested.

154 mb of breathtaking beauty

Thanks a lot for linking to the high res image! I'm a stickler for high resolution, high quality images, but they're incredibly difficult to find, even more so when it comes to old photography.

My Library of Congress searches only yield low res results; is there any way to find more photos like the one you linked to?

[To download the reference tiff you need to query the Number field of the Catalog Search page of the LOC database with the filename of the image, minus its one-letter suffix (usually a "u" or an "a"; also do not include the "jpg" file extension). So for this photo (whose filename is 4a06303a.jpg, which you can find by right-clicking on the image) you would enter 4a06303 in the yellow "Searching Numbers" field at the bottom of the Query page and click Search. Then click on the image thumbnail. Then look for the link that says "Highest resolution TIFF." As for your finding only low-res results: Most of the Detroit Publishing online images are low-resolution only. Finding the high-res ones basically means looking at every image in the collection, or looking at many images to find a few high-res ones. On an average Shorpy workday I might go through around 2,000 images in the various collections, which are constantly being added to. - Dave]

Thanks Dave!

I'm having a great time "walking around" in the super high res image.

The two ladies aren't even looking at the lady talking to the two men. However, they are casting a tsk-tsk look to someone out of view. I don't think it would take much for these two to disapprove of anything.

Integrated crowd

There is a black family in their best clothes in the foreground. And the sign in the background definitely says "Jim Key" -- the talking horse -- is appearing on the Boardwalk! Oh, for a time machine.

Where it is

Does anyone know what cross street this is near? Is the pier in this photo in the same location as the recently redesigned mall/pier?

Meet my son

I think the two men talking to the single woman are father and son. The man with the mustache has a ring on his left hand and the other seems to be ill at ease. The woman in black is probably the mother of the two women.The woman talking to the men is not young, but is middle aged. She may have recognized the man and son and her mother and sister did not. Her sister wants her to come back under the umbrella before she tans. Shall I go on?

Chatting Her Up

I notice that two parasol-carrying ladies, one of them middle-aged, seem to be impatiently waiting for their female companion, who has stopped to chat with two young men. Is the younger waiting female jealous? Is the older one disapproving of such immodest public intercourse?

Wearing clothes on the beach

People went to the beach to get a view of the ocean and enjoy the breezes. Some people went to the beach to go into the water. Nobody went to the beach to bake their skin. Lots of people did not own a bathing suit, but would rent one when they wanted to go in the water. However if you were visiting Atlantic City, you might just want to take a pleasant stroll along the beach - and that is what people are doing. The ladies are using parasols to keep the sun off their faces and preserve their complexions.

Parasols

From what I understand, it was not at all fashionable for a woman to have tanned skin. Even to the point that when they did, they would be thought of as being part black.

Super size me!

Any chance at seeing a much higher resolution scan. I want to get in my time machine and dig deep into the photo.

[Click here to download the full-res reference image. (154 mb; nine times the size of the Shorpy image.) - Dave]

Beach shades

With half an acre of hat why did the women need parasols?

And why go to the beach when you're wearing more cloth than the sails on a ship of the line?

The future's so bright

Except for the aforementioned "Cool Cat" I cannot see anyone else wearing sunglasses. Looking at the Shadows and lack of cloud cover it was apparently a bright sunny day, and a similar view today would have 99% of the people wearing sunglasses. Were sunglasses not popular in the early 1900's, possibly signifying blindness, or did people not recognise that dark glasses can protect your eyes over long periods of exposure to bright light?

Wonderful!

I love this photo. What do you suppose the donkey cart was doing on the beach?

[Photo op prop. - Dave]

Proto-beatnik

And look at that cool cat near the far left, rockin' the shades, cap and stance

Casual dress

Compared to our modern day where jeans, shorts, t-shirts and halter tops as well as very skimpy swim suits are common sights at the beach, it's amazing seeing all the shirts, ties and jackets and long gowns worn back then. There seems to be no difference between formal wear and casual beach side wear in 1906. And one has to wonder how the women endured the summer heat under all those layers of clothes.

Signs

Get you tintype photo right on the beach! The juxtaposition of the beach wear and the dress clothes on the beach is quite amazing. Also a sign that says Jim Key on the pier. The Beautiful and Intelligent horse?

Lots more detail I'll have to study!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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