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Iola and Anna: 1922

Iola and Anna: 1922

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Iola Swinnerton and Anna Niebel, winners of the bathing costume contest at the Tidal Basin. Miss Swinnerton, the runner-up, resides at 3125 Mount Pleasant Street N.W.; Miss Niebel, who took first prize, lives at 1370 Harvard Street N.W." National Photo glass negative. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Under the swimsuit

Believe me, there's no Twiggy hiding there.

Not the most flattering of Iola

Anyone who doesn't see Iola as beautiful in this picture should look at the others of her in this gallery. This one doesn't do her justice, because she was absolutely gorgeous! I don't know how anyone can comment on her figure when it is covered up by that horrible bathing suit. She could have had a 24 inch waist under it, for all we know! I will concede that she wasn't Twiggy, but she wasn't obese, either. I think Anna probably outweighed Iola by 15-20 pounds.


Wow, I actually feel really sad for those of you that are seriously looking down your noses at these girls. This is real beauty. Woman do not look like what society considers beautiful today. I would so much rather have had these women as role-models then the anorexic girls in magazines growing up.

Flap Away Gals

I'm completely overwhelmed with excitement! The 20's amaze me. They were a Tim Burton dream/nightmare. The photos are always so rich, dark and full of mystery. Even something like a beauty contest. Your imagination can run as wild as Iola and Anna. GLORIOUS!


I thought the exact same thing as soon as I saw the picture full size. These girls are great. So much character in their faces. I really like the girl on the left.

Iola & Anna

Well put. You made me laugh quite a lot!

The Benighted '20s

Tragically, in those days they didn’t realize that emaciated heroin addicts with chemically-paralyzed faces were the epitome of female beauty.

No Paris & Nicole

You're right on the mark there, Mr. Mel. Those girls are huge. Guess they hadn't invented eating disorders yet back then, huh? I, for one, am relieved that our standards of beauty have risen so drastically in the last hundred years.


I live a block away from her. Creepy.

Iola and Anna

My father was born the day after this picture was taken. He is 85 and living happily with his new girlfriend in the SF Bay Area. My how times fly.


Mike, I totally agree. Drew Barrymore was my first thought.

They listed her address?

Can you imagine a photo caption today giving out a pretty girl's home address? Didn't they have creeps back then?


When I look at Iola, the girl on the right, I see Drew Barrymore. Do you?


If these are the winners, can't imagine how awful looking the losers were.

Woman on the Left

I guess they weren't into abs at the time. She looks a little chunky or maybe even pregnant.

[That would be Iola, a Shorpy favorite. - Dave]


According to my Grandmother, for that time period the woman on the right would be considered "fast"--her hair is "bobbed" and she's showing way too much leg.

Outstanding outfits!

What great costumes!

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