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Bathing Beauties: 1951

Bathing Beauties: 1951

My mother, far left, with some of her young and attractive co-workers from Salem Gas & Electric posing for the New England Electric System magazine cover in the early spring of 1951. The photo shoot took place on King's Beach in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Enjoying ideal beach weather are Phyllis Collins (Salem Gas), Betty Konopnicki (Salem Electric) and Lil Bouchard (Salem Gas). View full size.

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Before the King

That year the airwaves were ruled by the likes of Tony Bennett, Nat Cole, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney etc. I know this thanks to Oldies infomercials and Google. I was 1 at the time--not into the music scene yet. I was more into Itsy Bitsy Spider in those days according to my late Mom.


The lady by the radio has a really interesting bathing suit that would be high fashion even today with the asymmetrical shoulder strap. Lovely photo of friends on the beach.

About 5 pounds

The battery is about the size and weight of a construction brick, and has a 7.5 or 9 volt tap, and a 90 volt tap. The 90 volt part has a stack of no fewer than 60 cells and stacked end-to-end. It lasts about 100 hours.

The radio is some variant of the RCA Globetrotter (probably an RCA BX-6), a very classy and beautifully made radio, with very good performance on the AM band only. There's no real on-off switch; you lift the cover over the dial and it turns on. It was also pretty expensive for the time.

Worst Beach Town Name Ever


Classic cheesecake

-- as they used to say even years before this shot. Beautiful ladies!

As an old time amateur radio operator, I was wondering how many pounds of batteries were in that portable tube radio they dragged along for this outing.

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