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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Stripes and Solids: 1905

Stripes and Solids: 1905

New Jersey circa 1905. "On the beach at Atlantic City." A lively group seen earlier here. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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About ten years later

My grandfather Harry A. Fox (far right in both images) and fellow sailors from the _USS Indiana_ on the beach at Atlantic City in 1918. In the second image they are clowning with some local children.


I have never understood why, in these shots of Atlantic City in the early 20th century, seemingly everyone is a) in the water and b) all bunched together. Nowadays if anyone goes into the ocean, they pretty much keep their distance (unless you are related-and surely all these people weren't) Was it just considered the social thing to do then? I am truly curious.

[I'd say it's because of a) hot weather, and b) the sheer quantity of people. - tterrace]

Shore fast line

My grandparents would have ranged in age from toddlers to teenagers at this time. They were more likely to have spent summer holidays in Wildwood, though one pair of grandparents rarely missed the Miss America Pageant, which originated at Atlantic City and remained there until it was moved to Las Vegas for reasons that remain a mystery to this writer.

Reading Railroad passengers from Philadelphia took the ferry to Camden's Reading Terminal for trains to Atlantic City but after 1896, Pennsylvania Railroad passengers had the choice of through trains that crossed the Delaware River at the Pennsy's Delair Bridge. Early in the Depression, the joint Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines railroad was formed and the Pennsy lost its monopoly on the Delair bridge.

Those women must have been rather uncomfortable in such voluminous bathing costumes.

Family Tradition

I could weep as I look at this, the life and pleasure of the young who are now all more than 110 years old. This was my grandparents' generation. They loved to visit Atlantic City and 20 years later my father and his three older siblings would be dancing and performing on the Million Dollar Pier, which I believe is pictured here. The stories of my father's boyhood years, summers in Atlantic City, "the playground of the world," and especially the sights and sounds of the Million Dollar Pier, are among my favorites of his. Perhaps like the people pictured here, his family would come by train from Philadelphia (well, they had to cross the river by ferry into Camden and then get the train). The family-- grandmother, uncles, mother and children, would come for the summer, while my grandfather remained in the city, working in the foundry, earning money to keep them there.

[This photo shows the Steeplechase and Steel piers. - Dave]

Gym, tan, laundry.

Gym, tan, laundry.

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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