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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Splash: 1906

Splash: 1906

New Jersey circa 1906. "Bathers, Atlantic City." At right is the Hotel Traymore. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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I hadn't realised T-shirts were that old, especially the one on the boy at the front with 'Gold' on it, it could have been bought today.

Pardon me, Miss.

If you could go back into that photo and ask one question, what would it be? For me, I'd go up to some of the women and say "Why are you wearing a dress on the beach"? Was it prudery, or perhaps they knew about the dangers of the sun and were trying to prevent skin damage. I believe back then, a suntan didn't have the status of today. The "lower" class who worked in the fields had the tans. The beach was more a place for the well to do to be seen, despite the dangers of the sun. Of course, Hollywood would eventually change the image of a suntan from low class to sexy status symbol.

Un dimanche après-midi

A few of those women with parasols thought it was A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

(I wonder if that kid is smoking a Helmar Cigarette.)

The tyranny of monochrome

I do not believe for ten minutes that that the people of 100+ years ago went around dressed in lots of black. I suspect the midi-dress style beach clothes were navy, and that what we see as black parasols and black stockings may have been red sometimes.

But there is no mistaking that horizontal stripes were the fashion trend of 1906 beachwear.

Not one vertical stripe, floral, or plaid in the bunch.


At 2:01 in this trailer for the movie "Atlantic City" you can see the demolition of the Hotel Traymore.

The building in the background

was still there in 1977.

Quite the Fit Lot

It would be interesting to see a photo, perhaps taken from the same vantage point, today. I would like to compare the body shapes of 1906 with those of today.

You lookin at me?

The "foot as hand" guy at left looks like he's saying "Heyyy ... I got yer photograph RIGHT HERE."

Another funny thing about this picture is the guy on the sand walking along fully dressed in a business suit and shoes.

Every Picture Tells a Story

In this instance, a story of thinly veiled aggression interspersed with good-natured fun.

Women without hose!

I've been carefully studying all these 100 year old Jersey shore photos and have been so amazed at how all the women are wearing black hose. It must have been so uncomfortable! In this photo, on the far left (our right) are two women with bare legs. Had they just taken their wet & sandy stockings off?

Amazing beach architecture

Astonishing architecture!

Those towers and balconies are fascinating. never seen anything like them. I can just imagine what's there today. Plate glass windows and boxy bland motel schlock.

WHY, why, why does America have such a devotion to tearing down every building once it gets to be 75 years old?

[The Atlantic City hotels were razed because they went bankrupt (blame the invention of the jet airplane) or burned down. Below, the Hotel Traymore circa 1930. Demolished 1972. - Dave]

Click to enlarge.

Interesting experiment

I think it would be interesting to take a picture like this on a beach today and compare the differences in the people's reaction to the camera man. There is an awkwardness from the beach goers here that lends itself to the idea of photography being a relatively new technology; or at least the camera as a candid time capsule. I imagine the reaction, or lack of would be quite different. I particularly love the little kid in the lower right that is either "shooting" the camera or mimicking the camera man. Many people seem to be stopping conversation to look over as the picture is being taken, as if they were just rudely interrupted. If anything else, I'm sure the beach attire would be quite a comparison.

Barnham Attraction

Hurry! Hurry! Step up and see boy with foot for hand!

[P.T. Barnham, I'd like you to meet Walter Matthou. - Dave]

Grumpy Not-So-Old Man?

That guy with the all black suit and dark curly hair in the lower left corner could be a young Walter Matthou!


Second kid from the left in the front was a future cast member of Dawn of the Dead. He even positioned his arm perfectly to overlap with the leg and foot of the gent behind him. Creepy.

Ninja alert

Plus la change...

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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