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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Beached: 1905

Beached: 1905

Sunny Shores circa 1905. "A couple of mermaids." Daring to flash some knee! 8x10 dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Wow !

Can you imagine swimming in one of those things ? It'd be like having your own personal undertow.

Curious

I'd like to switch places with one of them just so I could see what wearing an outfit like that on the beach was like. But just for a little while. I wouldn't want to stay in 1905!

California

From the shadows and the mountains I say it's Venice. Any takers?

This suit will never dry!

I find it amusing that they are both trying to wring the water out of their heavy woolen swimsuits. The one girl is using the sand absorbing moisture trick. Next trick will be getting the sticky sand off her clothes and skin. Just watching them makes me feel itchy and sticky. I often wonder if it was even worth it getting into the water with a get up like this!

Waterlogged

Can you imagine how heavy those suits would be once you got into the water and they were soaking wet? They were made of wool back then.. no spandex for these girls.

I would imagine they could be quite dangerous (from the weight of your waterlogged bathing suit) if you went out to far, or were pulled out too far by the undertow.

Santa Monica?

Sure looks like it.

Wet and woolly

Can't you just feel those damp stocking sagging and flapping against your damp and horripilated skin?

GGW 1905

You know, you flash that knee and the photo could be around for a hundred years. And there isn't even a T-shirt!

In olden days, a glimpse of stocking

was looked upon as something shocking. Now, heaven knows, anything goes.

Times have changed in the past 100 years. Today, a string bikini would be the fare and these two would be aghast at what goes on on the same beach. 1905 was the year my parents were born, so one of these could be Grandma.

Almost ready for the water.

"As soon as I get my gloves and scarf on, I am sooo going swimming!"

Seaside Siblings

They're almost definitely sisters, perhaps twins. The girl on the left bears a slight resemblance to Fergie (the Duchess, not the Pea).

 
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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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