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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Jersey Shore: 1908

Jersey Shore: 1908

Atlantic City, New Jersey, circa 1908. "Hotel Traymore, bathers on the shore." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Time Traveler Alert!

The man directly behind "Freud" -- The Captain looking for Tennille.

My grandpa on the beach

"Freud" looks exactly like my paternal grandfather, who always dressed with a wing collar. The daytime collar was smaller than the nighttime collar. As time went by my grandmother had a lot of trouble trying to find the right size or at least what Grandpa said was the right size.

Doncha wonder

when the first shirt came off on the jersey shore?

Safety razor

Oh wow, I didn't realize that Gillette safety razor design went back so far. I have one of those razors in my medicine cabinet, although I haven't used it in a while. The last time I tried using it it sliced me up good compared to the latest plastic stuff. I guess safety is a comparative term.

Clothing Optional?

My eyes must be deceiving me. If this man is as naked as he looks, I believe he would be causing more of a commotion than what is evident.

[Eyes deceptive. Bad, bad eyes! - Dave]

Ahh

There's nothing I enjoyed more as a boy than being serenaded by a barbershop quartet as I dug a hole in the wet Jersey sand. Thanks Dave-for the memories.

Inevitable fat comment

Not an obese person in sight. Imagine a similar cross section today.

Analysis

Sigmund Freud pauses for a pose whilst studying the peculiar humans reasons for returning to the sea. Standing directly behind Siggy is William Asher, inventor of the beach blanket.

M-B

The Marlborough-Blenheim hotel is also in this photo. It's the structure with the beautiful dome and chimneys to the left of the Traymore. It was once the largest reinforced concrete building in the world.

Great Day for the Beach

It must be, or there wouldn't be such a big crowd.

Compared to today, it's odd how many of the people are wearing street clothes -- jacket and tie with starched Edwardian collars and brimmed hats for the men and ankle length full-cut dresses for women. Bathing attire for men seems to be a T-shirt or tank top with tight fitting shorts (which would be acceptable even in most restaurants in Atlantic City today!) Women seem to just have a shorter skirt for bathing -- must have been very clumsy in the surf line.

However, the lifeguards are well equipped. Note the teenage boy in horizontally striped tank top on the left, leaning on a surf boat, lapstrake planked, with thole pins for the oars instead of metal locks. This type of boat, rare today, is the ancestor of the powered "Jersey skiff" used in racing. I think the rowing surfboat version seen in this photo was called the Sea Bright Skiff (after the northern NJ beach town of Sea Bright.)

Where's the rest of me?

Right behind the kid with the dog I see two legs and feet in wingtips sticking out of the sand, but no apparent torso or head. An early Sopranos reference?

POOF!

No Snooki!

Razor's edge!

The Gillette Razor sign in the background would fall over from the number of mega blades we have today!

Unrecorded Tolkien

Hobbit throws stick for dog.

 
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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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