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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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Dames: 1941

Dames: 1941

September 1941. "The 'girlie' show at the State Fair in Rutland, Vermont." Acetate negative by Jack Delano for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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Another glimpse

Coming Attractions

By the looks of the poster on the far right, there may be more to see from these girls if you buy a ticket.


I think these dames would rather grab one of the poles and start airing their grievances to the guy with the microphone.

Little Egypt

"Step right up, folks and see Little Egypt do the famous dance of the pyramids. She walks, she talks, she crawls on her belly like a reptile. For one thin dime, one tenth part of a dollar.

"Cast your gaze to the window on my left and see Little Egypt. It's 20 degrees hotter on the inside."

(My apologies to The Coasters)

Poor Ladies

Most look scared and maybe a bit vulnerable.

There is nothin' you can name

The dame on the far right looks as though she may be concerned about what the fellow crouching behind her pedestal is up to.

Not much mirth

Wow, what a hard looking bunch. I guess it must have been a long day or they were tired of being on parade.

World of Mirth ?!

Hardly any of these women look too happy to be working for the "World of Mirth" show!

I don't see much mirth

Nobody seems to be enjoying the show -- at least not the dames.

Abandoning her fashion career, she turned to writing

Fran Lebowitz on the left

Happy to be there!

You can tell by the expressions on most of their faces how much they appreciate participating in such a grand revue, with such a classy title, at such an august gathering as the Vermont State Fair. 2 to 1, it's next to the hog exhibit.

Carnival and the Fair

Back in the day of the hoochie-koochie girls. When we were kids we used to sneak behind the tent and lift up the flap then the big mean guy with an oak club would come along and hit the tent where ever there was a lump. Ouch.

Not a very happy looking bunch

But then again it is 1941. In 1921 their mothers' generation would have been all smiles.

World of Mirth?

I don't see a lot of mirth present here.


They all look so "happy" to be there. Can't say as I blame them.

Today on "Poorly Sewn Dresses - REVEALED"

Maybe they were all overly ambitious? The majorette skirts! The epaulets! Those balloon sleeves! The long skirt hems! Not to mention the tuxedo?

Truth in advertising -- not.

Given the expressions on their faces, the "World of Mirth" appears to be, well, rather mirthless. Can you imagine the fallout today if they had shows like this? People would be outraged. Not so much by the attire, but the use of the word "dames."

I'm No Judge!

But he must be saying the wrong thing to that girl. She looks like she could use a farm implement to do him some damage.

All the others look as though they want to be somewhere else.

World of Mirth Shows

These dames did not get the memo on the company name change.

Not the British kind

What do you go for?
Go to a show for?
Tell the truth you go to see those beautiful dames.

When I was a wee child, there was a period when I believed all movie songs were written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Now that I'm older, I think it was a pretty good idea.


Where were they stashing the pretty ones?

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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