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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 • TAKE A KODAK, c. 1930s

Catching Some Rays: 1904

Catching Some Rays: 1904

Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1904. "On the beach." Someone pass the Coppertone, please. 8x10 dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Deciphering the sign

I'm trying to make out the sign in the bgd on the left:
Tyn Tipes?
Bay Facing Suites?
Ray Tracing...??

Any ideas?

[From the Dept. of Affectedly Cute Spelling: "Tyn Tipes in Bayething Cuyts," i.e. it is a portrait studio. - Dave]

Itchy and scratchy

Ugh. Just the thought of swimming in those get-ups and lounging in the heat in all that clothing makes me itchy and scratchy. I remember taking swimming lessons as a little kid and having to jump off the diving board into the heated diving pool with my clothes on and then take them off while treading water. That was bad enough.

One question though. How hot DID it get back then?

Googoo Gaga

Take a look at the woman holding the umbrella. At first glance she seems just to be smiling, but she is actually doting on the baby in the center of the group. I kind of like that the photographer captured such a tiny detail but it's these Easter Eggs that I so much enjoy finding.

Not Just Chairs

They appear to be like old-fashioned porch-swings - the chair is completely off the ground (has no 'legs') and is suspended from ropes attached to the same cross-beam that supports the awnings. Seems to be three of them per section.

Like a previous poster offered: I want one!

Sand on your shoes

I like those integrated chairs and sunshades. How to go to the beach and keep your shoes off the sand!

Weekend Project

The people look uncomfortable but the articulated rope-n-wood beach chairs look relaxing. It looks like the back lowers to various degrees and the footrest rises as well. Imagine lying back, tuning out the noise and swaying with the breeze. If I had the skills and building plans, I'd put make one for my backyard.

Isn't she Sandy?

A few months ago, a Shorpian pointed out that nobody seemed to sit on beach towels "back in the day." Seems to hold true here as well.

One bottle will do.

That should be enough to cover the exposed skin on everyone here.

Newsprint sunshades

The ladies are resourceful, but I wonder where are all the ubiquitous hats? You would think the beach would be the place for women to show off the latest paper flower topped summer hat fashions.

The jig's up

An undercover Keystone cop frisking a young suspect.

Timing

Not today, Josephine!

110 in the Shade

Jeez, looks completely miserable.

Outrageous Behavior

I do believe one of the ladies to the right is flashing her ankles. Whatever next?

Great-Grandma

Used to regale us with tales of her family's visits to Atlantic City. The choosing of a beach-dress. The fun she and her sister would have making their head-bags. What a time it was!

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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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