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

Coney Island Bathers

Coney Island Bathers

On the beach at New York's Coney Island circa 1910-1915. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.

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!

It was the best of times

Coney in the '50s was very much the same, lots more exposed flesh though. There's something truly magical about this image. This huge crowd of people, most of whom never saw each other before, nor ever again, enjoying "the perfect moment" together.


oooh - so much cold water - I prefer Spain in July. But this foto is very nice to see - greetings from a long long time ago.

Anne of Hessen, Germany

Slow Day at Coney Island

The overcast weather limited the crowds that day, which I'd guess from the women's shapes and hair styles was more like 1908-1910 than later. Not one of those "wall of human flesh" days on the beach that prompted Casey Stengel's "Coney Island? Nobody goes there any more - it's too crowded."

Proof of Existence

It's stuck me from time to time when I've looked at old photos with lots of people in them that, in many instances, I'll bet, the camera inadvertently captured the only proof that someone ever existed.

I get this same feeling when I watch old film clips - like people coming and going on a busy street, for instance. They are always the people in the background, not the people the camera is focusing on, that make me wonder if, in some back corner of that person's subconscious, a little message was sent to them saying "Be sure to walk down 3rd Avenue, at Elm Street, on your lunchbreak. Somebody will be taking a movie of the horse-teams there and you'll be captured there, too, for posterity. It'll be a way for you to tell the world: I existed! My life was valid!"


the ratio of wool bathing suits to exposed skin in this photo must be about, what? 3-to-1? 4-to-1? How times have changed.

(Not that we see much in the way of scantily clad people on beaches here in Alaska, mind you! But we do get down to Hawaii every once in a while.)

Denny Gill
Chugiak, Alaska

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.