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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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American Beauty: 1926

American Beauty: 1926

August 2, 1926. "Miss Marjorie Joesting." Our second look at Marjorie, who was Miss Washington, D.C., and a Miss America runner-up at Atlantic City. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

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1926 Miss America pagent

My wife's grandmother was a contestant from New York in some sort of preliminary leading up to the final 1926 Miss America Pageant but we can't find info on where the event was held and when. Any information would be very appreciated as we're writing her life story. Contact Terry at


[A search of just about any newspaper archive might have the information you need. Grandma's name would help. - Dave]


I googled Margorie Joesting after finding a lovely photo of her in a vintage Woman's Home Companion. She is wearing a black cloche hat, wide smile, and is advertising Colgate toothpaste. I became intrigued with her.

Hope's son

Then you had a part in my favorite film: See you in the Morning. You played one of the participants in the group therapy. Loved your playful, typical confused male part! Great job!


My cousin Marjorie

I am her cousin twice removed. Marjorie was a very interesting woman. She was married to Arthur Lange and lived in Beverly Hills. I used to play his piano, which was too big for me.

She was John Robert Powers's first model in New York and led a very interesting life. If anyone knows more about her family history I would really like to hear from you.

I don't know if we can leave an email address so I won't unless I hear otherwise. I will check here for an answer.

Hope's parents

Hope Lange was the daughter of Zeigfeld Follies director John Lange and the actress Minnette Von Buddecke. I should know -- I'm her son.

[Thanks. I always liked your mom. A class act. - Dave]

Hope Lange

According to Arthur Lange's IMDb entry, he divorced Charlotte Lange in 1931, and the obituary posted below has him marrying Marjorie Joesting in 1931. Arthur's daughter, actress Hope Lange, was born in 1933. So, is this a photo of Hope Lange's mother?

[Whoever wrote that IMDB bio seems to be mistaken. According to various newspaper articles from 1956 announcing Hope's engagement (as well as her Wikipedia entry), her parents were John (Johnny) Lange and Minnette Buddecke Lange. - Dave]

Marjorie Joesting

This is an except from an obituary that appeared in the Alton (Illinois) Evening Telegraph on Dec 8, 1956.

Arthur Lange, 65, widely known Hollywood motion picture director and composer, died Friday in Doctor's Hospital, in Washington, DC. He was the husband of the former Miss Marjorie Joesting of Alton, winner of the Miss Washington beauty contest in 1926, and later a model with parts in pictures.

Mr. Lange composed music and directed the Shirley Temple pictures, and also composed music for the "Great Ziegfeld."

He was married to Miss Joesting in 1931. News of his death came to Misses Helen and Eugenia Joesting, of Alton, sisters of Mrs. Lange.

Intriguing idea...

The suggestion about having a "Miss Shorpy" 2008 is interesting. The biggest drawback is that so many of these ladies of yesteryear have SO MUCH natural beauty--it might be difficult to choose! But some of these women should have the "first prize" they didn't get in their own time. ...It would also be interesting to see some of today's "beauties" without the benefit of airbrush, plastic surgery, advanced cosmetics, etc.


Rather than wonder how she would fare today, I would rather imagine myself back in 1926, and being Marjorie's beau.

She is as beautiful in this photo as she was in the first one. Just a gorgeous young, nineteen-twenties, lady.

Too Bad

She didn't know curly hair shouldn't be brushed.

"Miss Shorpy" Beauty Pageant

With all the cuties that have appeared here during the past year, I suggest we nominate one to be "Miss Shorpy" 2008. This doll deserves another chance at a title.


Now if there's anyone that would need protection from those oglers and cake-eaters it's this gal. I wonder if the Anti-Flirt Club was still around three years later.

And the winner is...

I believe she lost to Norma Smallwood from Oklahoma, the first native American Miss America.

I Fail to See....

...anything wrong with her nose, teeth, or weight.

Are You Kidding?

If she were running today, she'd need a resurrection, not a nose job.

I don't think so

If she was competing today, she would need some "work" done on her nose and veneers on her teeth as well. Plus probably lose about 15 pounds, I hate to say.

You guys all beat me to it.

Yeah, I couldn't believe she was only runner up either. Must have dropped the baton or something she was juggling in the talent competition....

Crowning Glory

Just sweet. I wonder if she succumbed to fashion and had her hair bobbed.

She's So Modern

This really looks like it could have been taken yesterday. Such a crisp shot.


What an apt title. The American Beauty is a rose... something with a natural beauty, like this girl's. I do wonder if she'd win today, though.

Well hello there!

YOWZA! I agree that she was robbed. The fix was in.

Hubba hubba

Miss Marjorie Joesting was robbed! There couldn't have been a more beautiful contestant in 1926.

Runner Up?

If she was a runner up, bring on whoever was 1st.

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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