SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Basking: 1951

Basking: 1951

1951. "Marilyn Monroe reclining on a contour lounge chair, with photographers." Photo by Earl Theisen for Look magazine. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

re: Low light

"Twin lens unit is probably a Rolleiflex." Or maybe a Yashica Mat? My dad had a couple of those.

The flash may not be too out of place from what I remember of the Yashicas. Placement of the flash is largely dictated by the shape of the bracket holding it next to the camera. There were larger brackets and some were shaped a little differently. My dad also had one flash you held away from the camera as far as your arm would reach, with a long firing cable to connect the two.

The flash on the TLR is lacking a bulb, anyway, so he wasn't using it on this shoot. The flash on the handheld Speed Graphic facing us is mounted underneath the camera lens.

Bathing suits

Circa 1959, both my mother's and my suits were heavy and thick and stiff. Hard to put on dry, worse to take off wet, terrible to put on again sopping wet and cold... which they invariably were because they were almost impossible to wring out properly and took forever to dry, even in the sun. A week at the cottage or the beach meant you often only put a fully dry suit on once, for the first swim. Peeling it off every time you had to go to the bathroom was awful!

Mine was red with a red and white candystripe section at the top. Mom's was yellow. She also had a brown one at one point, with a sort of panel at the front that made it look like it was a skirt.

Contour Chair Lounge, 1949

Here's a full page ad from 1949, with everything anyone could possibly want to know:

1949ComfortChairLoungeAd.pdf345.29 KB

Capital C Contour Chair

Contour Chair Lounge was the brand name, out of St. Louis. That's the two-person model. Very comfortable, and a favorite of blood banks. Also weighed a ton. Still wish I had ours.

Would I were a fly upon her leg!

Love the cameras, and of course their subject.

Low light

Very unusual position of the flash gun on the camera at center. Would be interesting to see what that image looked like. Twin lens unit is probably a Rollieflex.

What Nerve!

Is that a fly I see on her leg? Must be a boy fly!

Armored fabric

Bathing suits of this time seemed to made out of exceptionally rigid fabric, not unlike drapery material. They tended to pinch and distort that which they were designed to conceal in ways that did no favors for girls who, unlike Marilyn, lacked a surfeit of features sufficient to overcome the effect. Lycra and Norma Jean, it would have been a beautiful thing.


What cameras? It's good to be the Queen.

Next stop: "Antiques Roadshow"

Could it be found and its provenance established, that lounge chair would earn quite a handsome appraisal, I suspect.

Somebody's got to do it

It's quite obvious that all four of these dedicated photographers very much enjoy their work. When was the last time you saw everyone in your office smiling at the same time? Really nifty lounging chair too.


Looks like a couple Anniversary Speed/Crown graphics, a Medalist (?) and some sort of TLR.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.