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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Palm Beach: 1904

Palm Beach: 1904

Florida circa 1904. "Surf bathing at Palm Beach." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Aw, Gee Whiz!

The guy in the foreground seems to be saying to himself, "Uncle Gomez told me there'd be sharks! Two hours freezing my butt and chasing my whig in the wind and no sharks! Now I gotta buy a new whig! Rats!"

[The next morning, Millard Fillmore washed up a mile away. - Dave]

Sensory recall

I love how I can look at a moment in time captured more than 100 years ago and almost instantly imagine what that particular day felt like -- the wind, slightly overcast skys, salty air, and the sound of the surf. It's kind of comforting to get a sense of the permanence of things.


For when "Help! I'm drowning!" just isn't enough?

Seems many (most?) of our subject here are donning them but I'd never really noticed them before.

[Those are locker keys. - Dave]

Bring Back the Wool Suit

Really, I think they're an improvement over today's more revealing styles, considering that generally the skimpier the suit the more likely the person who is wearing it should not be. No such eyesores with these streamlined wool models!

Marine biologist

The sea was very angry that day, my friends!

So Vane

Anyone have a guess as to why there is a windmill on the pier?

Swim costume drag

The folks "holding desperately to the rope" appear all to be women. Long wool swimming costumes when wet were heavy. As you can see from the woman walking to the left of those on the rope, you can see the amount of drag she's contending with. Even a good swimmer would have a few problems staying afloat without the somewhat heavy surf.

I suspect, though, that they may be enjoying a sort of body-surfing, or as close as those heavy costumes might allow.

The Newport of the South

This picture was taken during the short winter tourist season (January to mid-March) at the Breakers Hotel Beach.

Everyone in this photo would have been fabulously wealthy.

The Breakers stood at the other end of the trolley line (posted yesterday.)

Water Wings Anyone?

I am assuming that the people holding desperately to the rope are not the swimming type. I don't know that I would stick myself in the ocean if I couldn't swim.


Who's that short, stocky, slow-witted bald man in the foreground? No doubt looking for his blanket and clothes.

Uh huh

I didn't know they did Elvis wigs back then.

Let's Change The Subject

I think Dave wanted to forget snow as quickly as possible.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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