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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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Last One In: 1942

Last One In: 1942

July 1942. "Rupert, Idaho. Schoolboys at swimming pool." Medium format negative by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.

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Irrigation structure?

Looking at the concrete walls of the swimming hole shown in Dave's added photo, I suspect this was an irrigation canal water control structure. Irrigated land is plentiful in southern Idaho.

On Board

Looks like the can-do enterprising youth of yesteryear decided a higher diving board, with more "spring" was called for.

Two observations.

Number one, I can just imagine their grandmas running after them with milk and cookies on account of them being "so thin" (been there, long ago, *sigh*).

Number two: Well, that dive board looks kind of shaky. How did they ever survive their childhood with such extremely hazardous attractive nuisances around?

Well, probably they had been told to look before they leap, instead of their parents looking for somebody to sue anytime they come home with as much as a scratch.

Style shift

Today’s low-waisted, long-legged, baggy board shorts are pretty much the stylistic antithesis of what these boys are wearing. Hopefully the chances of this swimsuit style returning during my lifetime are as remote as the chance of this body habitus returning.


Swim trunks with belts! Great idea for diving safely.

Look at that divingboard!

I wonder if "swimming pool" might be better described as "swimming hole"? These boys seem to be deliberating about something, like perhaps a snapping turtle in the "pool"?

[Another view of the pool. - Dave]

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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