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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 • THERE'S NO MEDICINE FOR REGRET, 1945

Sitting Pretty: 1922

Sitting Pretty: 1922

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Lulu McGrath." It must have been either luck or amazing foresight that led this girl's parents to name their baby daughter Lulu -- it's hard to imagine her as a Betty or Nancy or anything else. Or it could be that when you're a Lulu, you just grow into the name. In any case, Miss McGrath's brief claim to fame was her appearance in an underwater documentary, "Wonders of the Sea." She was also a runner-up in the first Miss America pageant, in 1921. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Don't hit me with your swagger stick

Miss McGrath is the height of 1922 flapper fashion with her wide-brimmed hat and swagger stick.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bodie-bailey/3483002664/

Lulu McGrath

Washington Post, Dec 14, 1922

Capital Girl in Sea Film

J.E. Williamson, who perfected submarine motion photography in 1913, when he made the first film showing underwater life and fauna in the "sea gardens" at Nassau, New Providence, has returned from the Bahamas with a new film, and by invitation, exhibited it yesterday at the Smithsonian Institution.

The picture, which is called "Wonders of the Sea," has as its feminine star, Miss Lulu McGrath, of 306 Second street southeast. The film which includes "slow motion" underwater photography for the first time, will be shown Friday evening at the National Press Club.


Washington Post, Apr 17, 1970

Lulu McGrath Young, Ex-Actress, Dancer

Lulu McGrath Young, 66, former actress, dancer, and winner in the first Miss America beauty pageant, died yesterday at the Kensington Gardens Sanitarium in Kensington after a long illness.

Mrs. Young's home was at 306 5th st. SE. Wife of the late Washington attorney Horace Chapman Young, she had lived at the nursing home for the past year.

A contest in the first Miss America pageant in 1921, Mrs. Young received the first runner-up award and went on to appear in the revues of the Ziegfield Follies and Earl Carroll Vanities.

She performed in a leading role in the play "The Good Little Devil" at the National Theater here and also started in the first underwater picture made in the Bahamas Islands. Mrs. Young pursued her stage career until about 1925, when she was married. Her husband died in 1945.

During World War II she was active in the American Women's Hospital Corps and was chairman of several benefit parties held to purchase vehicles for the British-American Ambulance Corps.

She had been an invalid for more than four years following an accidental fall. Mrs. Young is survived by two cousins.

Don't Bring Lulu

A '20s tune by Billy Rose.

You can bring Pearl, she's a darn nice girl,
but don't bring Lulu.
You can bring Rose with the turned up nose,
but don't bring Lulu.
Lulu always wants to do,
what we boys don't want her to,

When she struts her stuff around,
London bridge is falling down,
You can bring cake or Porterhouse steak,
but don't bring Lulu.
Lulu gets blue and she goes cuckoo like the clock on the shelf,
She's the kind of smartie who breaks up every party,

Hullabalooloo, don't bring Lulu, I'll bring her myself.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Permanent waves still had a long way to go. (As well as permanent wave machines!)

Cute Kid

I'm sure she had more beaux than she could shake her stick at.

1904-1970

This lovely (even with that awful hairstyle, she's obviously lovely, and confident in herself!) passed away in 1970. Looks like she was a bit player on Broadway, too.

"Gripping story of adventure!"

From the St. Petersburg Independent

Meow

Kitty in the window!

Oh Great....

Another 20's era lovely I get to be madly jealous that I am NOT. Well, maybe I was. Who knows?

 
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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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