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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • WE CAN DO IT! BUT FIRST, COFFEE

A.C. Beach Patrol: 1907

A.C. Beach Patrol: 1907

The Jersey Shore circa 1907. "Lifesavers on the lookout." The Atlantic City Beach Patrol is watching you. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

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First impression

It ain't Baywatch.

I only have eyes for you

I am intrigued by the body language of the couple having a conversation while standing knee-deep in the coming waves. They're visible beyond and between the pair of ladies in the foreground and the girl beside them with the long flowing hair. The couple look as though they don't know if they're in a garden, or on a crowded avenue ... just talking as though there is little or no ambient noise. Anyone who has ever conversed with someone at the beach knows that, the closer you get to a pounding surf, the more you have to raise your voice to be heard. But their attitude is quiet and even intimate. I also like the beautiful little boy behind them, standing by himself, wearing what look to be overalls, holding his arms out. I think he was loving his time at the edge of a heaving sea but not quite sure what to make of it.

Deja Vu

I have photos just like this featuring my grandma as a child at the beach with her family, from about the same time.

Answer for LEZ

Yes, the ACPB is still active! The ACBP was formed in 1891.

A man appears to be in distress

next to the lifeguard stand, as a woman attempts to assist him.

Speedo to the Rescue

Knitted swimsuits tended to absorb a great deal of water, resulting in elongation and sagging. As a result, they provided modesty only as long as they stayed dry.

Speedo, the Australian clothing company, started to experiment with swimwear in 1914. By 1920, it was possible for women to buy something a little more like contemporary swimwear than what we see in the photograph.

Women’s bathing costumes

Can you imagine how heavy those swimming outfits would be once they got wet!

On the Lookout?

With that heavy surf shouldn't the lifesavers be looking in the other direction? Granted, a photographer with an 8x10 view camera might draw some eyes, and something is going on with the trio nearest the stand, most everyone else in front of the camera is looking toward the water.

For those more familiar with Atlantic City beaches, is the A.C.B. Patrol still in business? I wonder what training they had.

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