SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Young Tarzan: 1922

Young Tarzan: 1922

Johnny Weissmuller in an Illinois Athletic Club swimsuit circa 1922, prior to winning five Olympic gold medals in 1924 and 1928. Before becoming Tarzan and signing a movie contract with MGM in 1932, Weissmuller was a spokesmodel for BVD swimwear. George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

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About Johnny

He was actually born in a district of Timisoara (Romania, Eastern Europe) in 1904 and registered as Peter Weissmüller.

When he was seven months old, the family emigrated to the United States aboard the S.S. Rotterdam as steerage passengers.

He was the son of German-speaking parents of Jewish and Roman Catholic background, Petrus Weißmüller and Elisabeth Kersch.

In the US he used his brothers name, Johnny, because it was more American.

Very cool! I wish as kids we

Very cool!
I wish as kids we knew what was in front of us. How to savor the moments we can't get back now.

Young Tarzan

I actually met Johnny Weissmuller in 1976 in South Louisiana. I was in a community play called Bayou Bon Temps and one of the acts had us dressed in Tarzan outfits in honor of the first Tarzan movie being filmed in our hometown. Being 16 years old at the time, I didn't realize the significance of the man we met. I remember him as being still full of energy and enthusiasm at the time.

SHORPY OLD 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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