SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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]

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Volley of the Dolls: 1943

Volley of the Dolls: 1943

October 1943. Washington, D.C. "Sally Dessez, a student at Woodrow Wilson High School, playing a tennis match." Along with This Girl. Photo by Esther Bubley for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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!

Before there were miniskirts

There were tennis dresses.

[The appear to be pleated shorts. -tterrace]


It's no accident that Esther Bubley took dozens of photos of Sally. Her father was John Harrison Semmes Dessez, a captain in the US Navy, and her grandfather was noted Washington-area architect Leon Emil Dessez. Leon's wife Eliza "Bessie" Semmes was the daughter of prominent DC businessman John Harrison Semmes (1823-1898). In short, these were people of substance.

Miniskirt in 1943?

I didn't know that. Now, I'm impressed!

Double take

At first glance I thought "This Girl" was Madonna given her hair & glasses. The sweater and skirt confirmed it isn't her though.

Real Men

... avoid the two-handed backhand, and so does this comely blonde! Of course, that innovation hadn't yet been devised.

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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