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Jersey Shore: 1905

The Jersey Shore circa 1905. "Crowded beach, Atlantic City." These boys have been standing here for over an hour, hoping to spy a bare ankle. View full size.

The Jersey Shore circa 1905. "Crowded beach, Atlantic City." These boys have been standing here for over an hour, hoping to spy a bare ankle. View full size.


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Glimpse o'Gam

Talk about spying a bare ankle! Faithful readers of Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang were often treated to a glimpse of an entire woman's leg on the cover, accompanied by an implied wink of the publisher's eye.

About bathing suits

An interesting article in the Lewiston Evening Journal, Jul-8, 1905, "The bathing suit of 1905". According to the article, the leading fabrics were flannel, sorge and mohair (also taffeta silk if money was not in consideration). About the colors, the favorite was black, then blue, and brown and red as emerging trends.

Another article.

Men in Black

In black and white film everybody wears black and gray. I really doubt these suits (especially the midi dresses and sailor style tops) are black. They are more likely navy blue. There could easily be brown and red mixed in there too.

Re: Millinery

Look at how the women are wearing their wide-brim hats...with string tied under their chin. What great sun protection! We should bring that style back into popularity.

Beach nearness

I think these are some of the main factors explaining the crowded beach: popular destination, well-kept and well-provided with amenities; easily accessible via abundant train schedules; huge population base nearby; the one day of the week most people had free; hot weather. So, you're in New York City on a hot, muggy Sunday; most likely you can't afford a car or a carriage, but you do have train fare. What to do? Hop on a train to Atlantic City, of course. Along with thousands and thousands of other people with the same idea. Except for those other thousands and thousands creating scenes like this at Coney Island.

Answer Me This

Looks like a great day at the beach. However, why is everyone garbed in black? You'd think that one would be dressed in light colors for a day like this. Maybe even back then, people knew about the effects of a "Wet T-Shirt"!

How near can you go?

I have been to more than a few beaches in my life (both on the West and East Coast) and have NEVER seen people this closely bunched up together. I am TRULY curious; was there a whole different way of looking at how close you wanted to be and/or could be to your neighbor or friend 107 years ago? (It seems like the rule here was the nearer the better but being a rather private person, I would have been the one trying to get a little space-all this crowding would have driven me nuts!)

Magnificent Millinery

I have been debating as to which of the glorious hats worn in pics like these is the most beautiful; the shower caps or the straw buckets. At any rate, they are both lovely accompaniments to the "sexy" bathing suits that were worn with them!

Actually, most of the bathing suits weren't black, but they were Navy blue, so that's not a whole lot better! The women even wore corsets under those bathing suits, so that was a lot of layers of fabric, not just hot, but heavy when wet.

All together now

Like birds swarming a birdbath, one would think that with 1600 miles of east coast beach, the people would have spread out a little; there is barely a path for one person to get by and nobody will give up their spot. That was a difference I noticed when I first saw the west coast and the Pacific, around San Francisco, with just a few people per beach in the early 1960's.

[However, San Francisco beaches are generally more, shall we say, brisk, than the one at Atlantic City. - tterrace]

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