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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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Just a Dip At Twilight: 1938

Just a Dip At Twilight: 1938

A homemade swimming pool for steelworkers' children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photograph by Arthur Rothstein, July, 1938. View full size.


No Bikini

I don't see a bikini anywhere in the picture, left or right. The lady on the right is wearing a swimsuit whose style was quite normal for that period. Notice the lower half ends of a kind of loose skirt around the thighs.

Actual bikinis first started showing up on the French Riviera in the mid fifties. But two-piece bathing suits were already around even then.

Like making love in a canoe

Is there anything beer can't do?


Look at the girl on the far right. Is that a bikini, or is it my imagination? There were no bikinis in 1938, before WWII. At least that's what I was told.

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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