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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Jimmy Hall: 1921

Jimmy Hall: 1921

Riverton, New Jersey, July 23, 1921. "Jimmy Hall, Central Y.M.C.A." James W. Hall Jr. of Brooklyn, who won the 1921 National A.A.U. distance title by default after the first-place finisher was disqualified for completing the 10-mile event in the Delaware River without a swimsuit. Bain News Service. View full size.

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Color me confused

According to newspaper account below, Bolden was disqualified for wearing a "supporter," yet the photo caption says this is a pic of the winner Hall.

This man is clearly wearing said "supporter" under a shirt, with no trunks. Is he actually Bolden, or Hall?

[Bolden wasn't disqualified for wearing a supporter -- he was disqualified for not wearing a swimsuit. Jimmy Hall, in our photo, is obviously wearing a swimsuit. - Dave]

Naked Ambition

New York Times, July 24, 1921.


Bolden, First in Ten-Mile Championship,
Loses Because Not
Sartorially Correct

        RIVERTON, N.J., July 23 -- Eugene T. Bolden of the Illinois Athletic Club, Chicago, twice winner of the National A.A.U. ten-mile swimming championship in the Delaware River, finished first in that event again today, but was disqualified for not wearing a regulation suit as called for by the rules.

        James W. Hall Jr., Central Y.M.C.A., Brooklyn, who finished second, was awarded the race.

        When Bolden entered the water at Race Street Wharf in Philadelphia, he wore the regulation suit, but when he emerged at the Riverton Yacht Club here he had only an elastic supporter. As he approached the finish line an easy winner, he was cheered by a crowd which had waited two hours for the long-distance swimmers to appear. He was acclaimed by the crowd, and disappointment was expressed when the referee, Herman Meyer of Philadelphia, announced the disqualification.

        Bolden explained that the suit bothered him shortly after taking the water, and with the consent of his trainer he discarded it.

        Twenty-six contestants entered the water, and nineteen finished. Bolden led practically all the way. His time for the ten miles was 2:07:45. Hall's time was 2:12:25.

Kinda skinny

He doesn't look like today's musclebound athletes. Hard to imagine him surviving 10 miles in a river. But, what nasty sea creature yanked the suit off the other guy?


Apparently the water wasn't too chilly.

The Y

is a great organization. Always nice to see a member.

No surprises

That's what 10 miles in the Delaware River will do to you.

Is that a dime in your pocket?

And it's heads. 1919. D. Or are you just glad to see me?

Here I am you lucky people

"How do you like me NOW?"

Pass me the smelling salts

Oh my.


Nice fence ... Riveting! And a lovely row of rocking chairs. Etcetera.


It pays to advertise!


I thought we were all supposed to have been concerned with modesty in 1921. Or did that just apply to women's suits?

Double Standard

Oh, I see. You get disqualified for being nude, but win if your swimsuit is just painted on. Shoulda been a tie, at least.

Psst, buddy

You see a guy with a camera? Yeah? Then RUN THE OTHER WAY!

Shorpy Pictures Like This

The comments that always follow Shorpy's revealing pictures of guys are predictable and, I imagine, are akin to the talk that goes on in girl's locker rooms.

What's the problem?

Lots of people enjoy photography!

Not the type

to go putting his head in the sand. Yet.

An admirer

The guy on the left looks a bit envious.


He looks pretty cocky for a guy who won by disqualification.


I suspect he might be concealing a European keel.

For whatever reason

... it was obviously a challenge keeping these boys in their swimsuits!



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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