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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 • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Lady in the Water: 1947

Lady in the Water: 1947

A model floating in the water at Weeki Wachee Spring, Florida. The image by fashion photographer Toni Frissell was published in Harper's Bazaar in December 1947. Mug | Weeki Wachee Mermaids | View full size.

 

Robert Montgomery

Would have gotten a real kick out of this photo! I was immediately reminded of the noir movie "The Lady In The Lake' that he did where the camera was used as his vision of the surroundings. You only actually saw him if he went to a mirror and looked at his reflection. Neatly done. I know this is way past the point of inclusion, but thought I'd share my thoughts anyway.

Breathless

Love love love the mermaids! I remember watching them on the Walt Disney tv show on Sunday nights. I was always so intrigued by how long they could swim without taking a hit of air from the strategically placed underwater breathing tubes.

Happy to see that they still swim on! Will have to go see them next time we're in Florida.

Band poster

The Dead Weather has a new set of concert posters out, one of which incorporates this photo.

Another album cover!

Mermaids of the Springs these daze.

Hi my name is Mermaid Karri. And I've been swimming at Weeki for a little more than 4½ years. The best job I'll ever have. I love the history and the people how are so amazed by what us girls do seven days a week. For me its a passion that I'll never forget. And hope to swim in that spring forever. I will like to share so of my photos with you and hope you can enjoy them as much as I do. So enjoy and leave a comment if you like.

Siren of the Springs,
Mermaid Karri

King Neptune’s Court

I am working at Weeki Wachee restoring some of the props.
I would like to restore King Neptune’s court to the original colors, and looking for a color photo. The photo would probable be from the 50s and 60s. If anyone have a photo of the King, can you please email a copy to me?

Thank you,

Evie

[We'd need your e-mail address. Have you looked on eBay for Weeki Wachee postcards? - Dave]

Lady in the water !

A great picture !

I've been trying to find this for years!

I saw this photo maybe 10 or 15 years ago in a Smithsonian magazine, and cut it out and put it on my wall. It got crinkled over the years through the move to college and various apartments, and though I tried a few times to find the issue it came from or the photographer's name, or really anything else about it, I never could. Thank you so much for posting it!

Tethered

Re the "Tethered" book cover, I e-mailed the author, Amy MacKinnon. Her reply:

Toni Frissell was a consummate artist. I chose that photo because it captures perfectly the spirit of my book. The brilliant art director at Random House infused it with color and the blending of two forms was the result. I believe I was gifted with the most gorgeous cover ever.

Best,
Amy

Bruce Mozert

This picture reminded me of the underwater photography of Bruce Mozert.

Tethered

I thought the image in this book cover looked familiar! I wonder if the cover designer is a Shorpy reader?

Floating

This is by far one of my fave photos on the site. Just a perfect shot thru and thru.

Hair

Very interesting to see how the hair holds up very well in the water. They did a good job with the hair. It is so beautiful.

Blue Note Link

The other link for the album cover wasn't working for me. Try this one:

http://www.bluenote.com/ArtistMain.aspx?ArtistId=907925

Weeki Wachee Mermaids

Nice profile of present-day Weeki Wachee Mermaids in Sunday's (1/6/08) New York Times. Some of today's mermaids look like they would float nicely, too.

Goober Pea

Trying to be true to the mores of the times, here.

Water = buoyancy i.e. lack of gravity. So, as a woman I can say with all assurance… yes they float.

Trying to be true to the moron of the times, here

Thanks for the anatomy lesson, though I think you actually "bosom," if you know what I mean. (I think she only had one chest, unless there's something under her garment that you could see but I couldn't.) Besides your x-ray vision, what really intrigues me is how you managed to reduce the whole person into just her breasts - "she" is "pert?" Hey, no arguing she's a beautiful woman, but she is a woman and not a pair of gravity-defying tits.

Proper terminology

Given that they're in the water, I believe the correct word is "bosuns."

Trying to be true to the mores of the times, here.

It is interesting how pert she appears, if you know what I mean. In a standard gravity when lying on the back, her bosums would sink into her chest, yet here they appear to float upwards and not in an unappealing manner.

["Bosums," eh? - Dave]

Floating

Haunting. I'll probably by the print.

There is a photo of actress Kate Winslet that was also taken underwater that might have been inspired by this. She's wearing a similar dress, but is completely submerged.

Another album cover...

In addition to serving as the cover of the Blue Note Bill Evans/Jim Hall Undercurrent album, this photo now appears on the CD cover of Osvaldo Golijov's Oceana recording on the Deutsche Grammophon label...

how was it done?

if this was done thru a glass wall looking into the springs, how did they get to be so sharp, with no refractions, etc?

please please tell me, i have to know. (!!!)

:D

Amazing Photo

Really hypnotic!

Like that broad in Titanic, only face-up

Eerie and beautiful. Being fully clothed, and black and white, makes it fascinating

floating lady

a friend just sent this link to me ....... odd as we were just discussing how we would like to be buried ( a fellow blogger passed away this week - so i apologize in advance for the morbidity)....... i said that i wanted to be sunk in one of those caves underwater in the springs down in florida ....... my friend thought this was quite odd.......but i remember visiting silver springs as a kid.......and riding the glass bottomed boats ....... and seeing the beautiful silvered caves ........ the light slicing through the water....... splinters of fish darting ........ i found it to be a soothing image - eternally floating...... i truly love this shot - beyond breathtaking. the image penetrates the soul. evocative.

Weeki Wachee still exists

Weeki Wachee still exists and is a very surreal experience in Americana. I suggest a visit if you ever have the time to head a couple hours north of Tampa, FL.

What a fantastic photo.

What a fantastic photo.
It's perfect for framing!

[Yes. Sofa size! - Dave]

Weeki Wachee mermaids

Some vintage postcard views of the mermaid show through the windows in the underground theater. Weeki Wachee Springs is a tourist attraction in Florida.

Great pic

How did they do this one Dave?
It is a beautiful shot

[My first thought was underwater camera, then I remembered visiting Weeki Wachee as a kid. They had an underground theater with a glass wall looking into the springs. The main attraction was the Mermaid Show. This picture was taken at Weeki Wachee Springs the year it opened, 1947. See the comment above for some more photos, from old postcards. - Dave]

Great pic, and album

Beautiful -- I can't believe I didn't recognize it though, and I've owned the album for years.

David
http://neversealand.downtothesea.org

Floating Lady Print

Print now available at in both square and horizontal formats.

Also a Blue Note album cover

This was used as the cover for the amazing collaboration between Bill Evans and Jim Hall, Undercurrent, on Blue Note Records, in 1962:

http://www.bluenote.com/detail.asp?SelectionID=10162

Evan
http://www.pheezy.com

That is among the most

That is among the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.

Stunning

So ethereal and mystical. Breathtaking. http://flamingcurmudgeon.wordpress.com/

Very intresting picture, it

Very intresting picture, it trigures a lot of questions!

[I can think of two. - Dave]

 
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