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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bathing Beauties: 1919

Bathing Beauties: 1919

Washington, D.C., circa 1919. "Sennett girls." Producer Mack Sennett's comedy reels featured a bevy of "bathing beauties," among them Marvel Rea, seen here in the harlequin costume. National Photo Company. View full size.

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Modern women could learn from them

These gals are smokin'. Modern women could take lessons on how to be a beautiful curvaceous babe from them. Mr. Peabody fire up the time machine!


Corvette, what Corvette?

Far right

I love the last one on the right, all in white. I'd have wanted to be her.

I wonder

WOW, I can't believe no one has mentioned Charlie Chaplin. I wonder if he'd met any of them just a few years earlier in his time with Sennett. Come to think of it, maybe they were too old for him, even then.

Barrymore to come?

The girl holding the oar (I wish we knew more of these girls' names) always reminds me of Drew Barrymore; the face, the attitude and the (original) bust line!

It is sure obvious, looking at the evolution of beach attire from the photos of bathing beauties from the first quarter of the 20th century, that Hollywood always had a great deal of influence. I don't think Hollywood can push the envelope much further, though, as far as how much skin to show, unless they start covering something up.

Hood Ornaments of the Human Kind

There seems to be an widespread early 20th century tradition of posing people on cars. Not next to cars, or posed as if driving cars (which was also done) but standing on the running boards and sitting on hoods, fenders, and other places people were not meant to sit. I don't get it.

Can you imagine mom and the kiddies all posing on the hood of a Toyota Camry? How about just junior and his seven friends on the Escalade?

So here is another photo with seven people physically on a car. What the heck is that about?

[It is a mystery, isn't it. - Dave]


The sweet young thing holding the oar could paddle my canoe anytime.

Marvel Luciel Rea

has to be in my top ten list of interesting names. I couldn't find much about her on the Internet. I read where she survived being kidnapped in 1936 and committed suicide in 1937. Besides the Wikipedia article, does anyone have any other websites that have additional information about her?

[Click on her name in the photo caption, then scroll down. - Dave]

Well built

considering that there are 1000 pounds of bathing beauties on that same side, I'm quite impressed that the car shows no effect other than the top of the tires being ever so slightly closer to the fenders. If you put 1000 lbs. on the left side of my Buick it would likely collapse.

That's the kinda stuff

that'll get the neighbors talking! haha

Slower Boats

Anyone that uses the phrase "Hubba Hubba" would find the slow boat to China not slow enough.

Something to Await

Washington Post, Oct 19, 1919

Something to Await

All of Washington is looking forward to the arrival of the famous Mack Sennett girls, who are due to reach this city in the near future, and who are to appear every day on the stage at one of the local theaters in conjunction with the much-heralded feature photoproduction "Yankee Doodle in Berlin." This is Mack Sennett's greatest film, and is six parts, featuring Charlie Murray, Ben Turpin, Ford Sterling, Chester Conklin and Marie Provost. It will be a gala week all in all, and many novel entertainments have been planned for the benefit of the Sennett beauties. There is confusion gone riot out in California at the Mack Sennett comedy studio. When Mr. Sennett made it known that he would permit several of the bathing beauties to journey East and appear in person with "Yankee Doodle in Berlin" the whole studio went wild. Every girl wants to come. Mr. Sennett has to do business and has to make a certain number of films a year. If he were to assent to the demands of the bathing beauties and let whoever wanted to go make the trip, he might as well shut up shop during the engagement. But one thing is sure — whoever does come will be class.

Decorative doll

The gal on the hood makes a great looking ornament!

1919 Cheesecake

The gal with the pillow on her head can't believe the size of the uh, oar.

Separate and Unequal

Hmmmm. Looks like the beauty holding the paddle needs a slight frontal adjustment to level things out. Obviously sport bras had not yet been invented.

Hubba Hubba

I'd like to be on a slow boat to China with the one holding the oar.


The lady holding was quite a looker with obvious assets.

Lucky Fellow

The dude with the boss set of wheels is taking them home to try them out.

Will you look at that!

Mommmmmm. Grandma is showing some nip again.

Racy stuff for 1919

Some of these swimsuits are pushing the envelope of propriety for the year my grandmother married. Hollywood is still pushing the envelope ninety-two years later.

Wicked witch of the west

or a chaperon at the left of the frame. Maybe both ??!!

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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