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Beach Style Parade: 1922

Beach Style Parade: 1922

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Washington Advertising Club bathing beauty contest at Tidal Basin." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.

        "Quintet of beauties wore the models of Lansburg & Brother, which captured first prize in the store competition." Caboose of the quintet is Miss Iola Swinnerton, First Lady of Shorpy, who took second in the individual costume contest. Read all about it here.


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Iola's second 15 minutes of fame

After the roaring twenties, Iola Swinnerton's trail goes cold for a while. But in the 1940s, she reappeared in various daily newspapers as "Chicago's Stone Woman," a reference to a disabling affliction that caused some of her muscle tissue to calcify, leaving her disabled. Her 1942 marriage to Theron V. Warren, described as an organist and shipyard worker, was also covered, including photos in various papers of her repeating her vows from her wheelchair. Other than an unsuccessful petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court filed on behalf of Theron V. Warren in 1958, and his death in 1975, I could find no other clues to their fate after 1947.

[According to our earlier research, Iola Taylor married Gerald Swinnerton in 1918; he deserted her in 1941. Evidently her affliction was too much for him to bear. - Dave]


As always, I only have eyes for Ms. Swinnerton. She is always lovely.

Miss Iola

It's nice to see her again, even if only a glance.

Laurels to Former Follies Girl

Washington Post, June 18, 1922.


Judges at Tidal Basin Contest
Award Costume Laurels to
Former Follies Girl


Simple Attire Wins -- Miss Swinnerton Second -- Lansburgh's Captures Store Prize

        Five thousand Washington lovers of the aesthetic, artistic and beautiful -- and, incidentally, of aquatic pastimes -- crowded the Tidal Basin bathing beach yesterday afternoon to witness the annual bathing costume style show, staged under the auspices of the Washington Advertising club. Bathing costumes entered by 11 local stores were exhibited by 45 selected models.
        Miss Anna Niebel, former Follies girl, who lives at 1370 Harvard street northwest, won first prize by unanimous vote of the judges. Her prize-winning costume was one of the most simple exhibited, indicating that the element of practical usefulness was taken into consideration by the judges in making the award. She represented the Sportmart [seen here, here and here].

Former Winner Takes Prize.

        Miss Iola Swinnerton, 3125 Mount Pleasant street, winner of a former beauty contest at the basin, was the second choice of the judges. Her suit was one of the five entered by Lansburgh & Bros., the firm to which was awarded the cup for the best composite store exhibit.
        L.E. Rubel, chairman of the Advertising club committee, in charge of the contest, presented the cups to the winners.
        The entries ranged from the extreme simplicity of the one-piece type of suit with the abbreviated skirt to more elaborate creations with multitudinous frills and ruffles. A knitted toque to match the wearer's suit was one of the innovations in bathing headgear that attracted attention.

Not So Much Scantiness.

        Most of the suits were more extensive, so far as the amount of material used was concerned, than those exhibited in former years. A rubber suit of green and white cut on extremely loose lines set the pace for originality.
        Weather conditions were ideal for the show, although it had been announced that all suits entered were of the kind that could have been worn in the rain without damage.

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