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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

Beach Picnic: 1941

Beach Picnic: 1941

January 1941. Sarasota, Florida. "Guest of Sarasota trailer park with his family, picnicking at the beach." Photograph by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

 

Earliest known photo

Of Sir Elton John!

Maturity 2

Well, the dad in the photo just spent the prime days of youth (late teens to early twenties) in the Great Depression. His thoughtful, distant gaze is no doubt imagining World War II raging across the ocean his family is frolicking beside.

[The often-overlooked Mexican Campaign? - Dave]

Suits Him

I have a photo of my dad in the early 30's, about that boy's age, wearing the same kind of bathing suit. Always seemed like a weird style to me.

Finally

The first appearance of beach blankets on Shorpy!

Back then

the farthest my family could travel to the beach was to the Irish Riviera, a.k.a. Rockaway Beach, Queens.

Maturity

It may just be current-generational predjudice, but photos of that era and earlier reveal an earlier maturity for the adults of the time. The dad in the photo can't be more than 35, but compare his photo to men of his age today. Advanced juveniles; and our society seems to show it.

Re: Sands of Time

When this picture was taken, I was four and also sat on my father's lap at the beach (though in the summer in the Northeast) in the company of my two older sisters. Only I and the youngest girl survive.

Sands of Time

The little girl holding the soft drink would now be in her mid-70s.

 
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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