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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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The Boys of Summer: 1923

The Boys of Summer: 1923

Washington, D.C., 1923. "Opening of Potomac bathing beach." Everyone say "yaaaay!" National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


Where is the beach

My father grew up in SW Washington in the early 1920s and spoke of going swimming in the Potomac. I always assumed he meant the channel between Hains Point and the SW waterfront. Is this picture of that "beach"? There is sand.

[The Tidal Basin had two municipal bathing beaches. Follow the link in the comment below. - Dave]

Segregated Beach?

Noting the absence of any person of color, the question has to be asked.

[And has already been asked. Dangling modifier notwithstanding. - Dave]

Re: See if you can find

The kid in the front row on the right looks a bit husky.


What a great photo... Whenever I see children, of any era, it makes me wonder about their future and what their lives were like. They all look so happy here!

Pardon the ignorance but what are the little medals they are wearing around their necks? Name tags?

[Claim tags for the bathhouse lockers. These are rented swimsuits. - Dave]

Good try

The kid on the left in the front row gave it his best but missed the photographer completely.

See if you can find

even one overweight kid in the picture.

Holy Mackerel

What a gaggle of boys.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | 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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