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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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Galaxy of Beauty: 1919

Galaxy of Beauty: 1919

July 26, 1919. Washington, D.C. "Bathing beach parade at Tidal Basin." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.


Comely Damsels in Scant Attire Win Prizes for Their Appearance.

        JULY 27 -- While more than 5,000 persons clambered to each other's shoulders and to roofs of nearby buildings to view the Annette Kellermanns at the first annual beach parade at the Tidal Basin yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Audrey O'Connor, 620 Maryland avenue southwest, was proclaimed by the judges as Washington's most beautiful girl in a bathing suit. Mrs. O'Connor wore a blue and orange jumper, blue cap and orange tights. Miss Dot Buckley, 1250 Tenth street northwest, received honorable mention in the contest. Her suit was a creation in red, white and blue.
        First prize in the costume contest was awarded Mrs. Grace Fleishman, 5 Iowa circle, who wore a white silk suit with black and white border and a white silk hat. Miss Muriel Gibbs, costumed as Miss Liberty in stars and stripes, received honorable mention. Silver loving cups were awarded to the winners of both the beauty and the costume contests.
        Following the parade of the score or more of beauties between cheering crowds of bathing beach fans, the former faced half a dozen movie machines and a battery of press cameras. Later one of the winners obligingly did a modified "shimmy dance" for the movie men.

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Name and address

Back then you printed the name and address automatically. The equivalent today would be to print the cell# and email address of Miss America! But I imagine they had a much tighter leash on the crackpots and loony toon stalkers. These women lived with their parents who would greet any unsuitable man with sharp words and the door slamming in their face.

Guys haven't changed much

"Bro" culture isn't anything new, apparently. If those dudes in the crowd were wearing backwards baseball caps they wouldn't look out of place at any college party or festival.

"Comely Damsels"

I guess they've already left to collect their prizes?

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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