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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 • PROTECT HER FROM TUBERCULOSIS

Dorothy Parker: 1938

Dorothy Parker: 1938

August 4, 1938. Washington, D.C. "Miss Dorothy Parker has been selected as Miss Washington and will compete for the title of Miss America at the Atlantic City beauty pageant to be held during Labor Day week. 18 Years old, she weighs 112 pounds and is 5 feet, 4 inches in height. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Albert Parker of Washington." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Flippers 1938 style!

Those are not shoes! They are flippers or frog feet 1938 style. Better for walking on the Sea bottom. Really impresses the fish.

In Her Prime

The other Dorothy wasn't bad looking. Plus she was witty, liked a good martini (maybe too much in terms of volume as well as frequency), and wasn't particularly bound by conventional morality. Get around the too much booze part and she'd probably be fun to hang around with. At least the Algonquin Round Table thought so (and they didn't mind the boozing).

That Other Dorothy

Men often make passes
At swimsuited lasses.

Miss Columbia Heights

Washington Post, Aug 3, 1938

Dorothy Parker Captures City Beauty Crown

"Miss Washington of 1938" Wins From Field of 17 Contestants.

While the steamship Potomac steamed down the river on a moonlight cruise last night, Dorothy Parker, the former "Miss Columbia Heights," was named Miss Washington 1938 and won her chance to compete in the national beauty contest in Atlantic City.

Miss Parker won from a final field of 17 girls selected in preliminary eliminations. She lives at 1228 Shepherd street northwest.

Judges of the contest were Lyle O'Rourke, president of the Junior Board of Commerce and drama critics from Washington newspapers. A holiday crowd watched as the girls paraded in bathing suits and then in evening gowns.

Others in the contest were Nadine Petrey, Betty Crown, Dale Simmons, Jeanette Tucker, Elizabeth McDonald, Betty Wax, Toni Mann, Betty Jean Smalley, Gere Dell Sale, Louise Emmerich, Beatrice Evert, Sylvia Berger, Dorothy Boston and Tempa Marshall.

Not as nice as...

That other Miss Washington, Marjorie Joesting. Not even close. http://www.shorpy.com/node/4282

A different Dot

Indeed, I, too was expecting another Dorothy Parker -- "What fresh hell is this?" But this one's definitely a lot easier on the eyes.

Fashion notes

She still has the marks on her legs from her knee stockings. It could have been a more professional photo op!

Jilted

The 1938 Miss America crown went to tap dancer Marilyn Meseke of Marion, Ohio.

Semantics

With pictures like this, the term 'VIEW FULL SIZE' takes on a new and much more fascinating meaning. Charming photo.

Whew...

That is a divine example of feminine pulchritude.

Zoom?

Can you zoom on the guys on the high board? They appear VERY INTERESTED.

High Heels

Nothing like climbing a ladder while wearing high heels. I'm surprised the lifeguard didn't blow his whistle at her....or something like that!

You got me, Dave!

I was expecting the Algonquin and what do we get but yet another lovely girl. Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

Love the Shoes

Yup, she's all decked out to keep her head above water.

 
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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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