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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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Mack's Girls: 1919

Mack's Girls: 1919

Washington, D.C., 1919. "Mack Sennett girls." Producer Mack Sennett's comedy reels featured a bevy of "bathing beauties," among them Marvel Rea, seen here in the harlequin costume. More on these ladies here. | View full size.

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Well Built

This is back in the day when you could sit on an open car door with no concern.

Character shoes

Amazing how these have changed so little; below, from a current catalog. Typically worn by the chorus, the dancers, and anyone without specific costume requirements in a musical.

And these are showgirls--the makeup is supposed to be exaggerated, not much subtlety in the limelight.

The rolled stockings have interesting symbolism: still wearing stockings, but pulled down so you can "gasp" see bare leg skin!

The shade of things to come

In about 25 years, some of these gals will have a full time gig doing cabaret at a little joint called the Kit Kat Klub in Berlin.

Is she the chaperone?

The woman on the left looks pretty old.
She could be the mother of some of the other ones.

The car in the photo

looks like an Apperson Anniversary Tourster, made in Kokomo, Indiana. Apperson was in business from 1901 to 1926.

What, pray tell...

is that mini-shovel for and/or doing in this picture?

[I'd say it's a petite sand shovel (suitable for Young Ladies), a photo prop in keeping with the typical Sennett bathing beauty seaside-frolicking motif. In most other National Photo Sennett shots, they have an oar. - tterrace]

Nothing against the 1920's, but--

--the makeup, hair and outfits of the day (big bows in your hair and rolled socks and/or nylons with heels?!) do these women NO favors (i.e. the fact that the girl 2nd from the right actually looks GOOD is the amazing fact here)

Never stare!

Just a glance at the second girl from the left. I believe that qualifies as cleavage in 1919.

3rd from the left

Are we sure that's a Girl?

1919-Racy Girl!

Wow! The girl second from the right looks downright racy for 1919. She looks just like any modern girl of today.

I like the second one from the right

But that car is pretty darn sexy too. Is there a clue on the center cap of the wheel?

[Too blurry to make out. - tterrace]

I'll pass on the girls

in favour of that slick automobile, what a beauty.

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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