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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Taking the Waters: 1900

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Taking the Waters: 1900

Ypsilanti, Michigan, circa 1900. "Two men in corridor of Mineral Bath House." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Steamy

I burst out laughing when I saw this shot - it looks **exactly** like what I've seen in a gay sauna. Guys at the doors, waiting for interested dudes to play with.

Where

According to a 1892 business directory: 22 to 30 North Huron (just north of Michigan Avenue and west of the Huron River), in beautiful downtown Ypsi.

Location

I grew up in Ypsi and remember reading about the "healing waters." Has anyone found out where this was located?

It all makes sense

Now I understand how Ypsilanti's Water Tower came to be!

Real men don't wear jockstraps

Because they haven't been invented yet?

Come Hither

This reminds me of San Francisco in the late 70s.

Some history on the water

"Ypsilanti has already come to be the center of attraction for the halt, the lame and the blind, the palsied and paralylics."

http://ypsigleanings.aadl.org/ypsigleanings/13079

Overlook Spa

"Come bathe with us ... forever!"

Ballad for the Baths

"If you are sad, with sickness worn,
And have the headache every morn,
Just come and drink a healing horn,
Of Ypsilanti water.”

—- from a Ballad for Ypsilanti Mineral Spring Water

The agony of the feet

The shoes in these old photos always look like torture devices. Looking at the gnarled bare feet of these poor gentlemen, I think we can confirm the torture-footwear theory.

Well, hello

Reminds me of the Riis Park Bathhouse.

Faint praise

As the Ypsilanti Quarter Club sang when the spa opened in 1884:

It's true, it has a woeful smell
But if your stomach don't rebel
It's just the thing to make you well
And praise up Ypsilanti!

We're not inverts!

We're here in this all male bath house for the minerals. Really!

Won't you come and play with us?

Does this picture remind anyone else of the two creepy girls in the hallway from "The Shining"?

Somehow

I can see a set for something by Laurel and Hardy or maybe an early Mack Sennett extravaganza with Chaplin.

 
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