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About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Endless Summer: 1905

Endless Summer: 1905

The Jersey Shore circa 1905. "On the beach, Atlantic City." Who has the Frisbee? 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Hands and sand

This is like a panorama spliced together from three different pictures: the kids sitting in the foreground, the line with the ice-cream cart in between, and the beach perspective in the background. The last two layers don't do much for me, but the foreground is amazingly tactile, expressive, and dynamic.

I'm drawn most of all to the steady hands and quiet gaze of the rightmost girl in the foreground. There's an interesting contrast between her steadiness and the blurred gestures and shifting weight of the girls beside her. There's also a very pleasing symmetry between the way she rests her hand on her ankle and the more wound-up gesture of the leftmost boy scooping up a fistful of sand.

The Dawn of Ultimate

Hey, this may be the earliest photo of an Ultimate Frisbee beach tournament. Off to Asbury Park for a round of Disc Golf after the tourney, maybe?

Pretty racy

Bathing suits that showed arms AND legs? The horror!

Ice cream ...ocks

Possibly "blocks." I remember small cubes of ice cream, about the size of a child's alphabet block, wrapped in waxed paper being an item one saw for sale during my childhood years back in the 50s. Could be another convenient way, along with sandwiches and cones, to sell small quantities in a recreational venue such as this. Then there's Neapolitan ice cream, often served in block form to maintain or display its multi-colored layers.

Beach Blanket Bingo

Minus the blankets. And the bingo.

Bubble, bubble

I, too, can remember at the end of the annual church picnic when the leftover dry ice was tossed into the river. Along from the trampoline and collecting tadpoles, it was the highlight of the day.

The Days

Those were the days when it was worth it to stoop and pick up a penny.

Ice Cream and --

The sign on the Ice Cream cart is partially obscured -- what ends in "ocks"?

Ice Cream Dream

What is the profit margin for selling something like ice cream for 1 cent?

Re: Whew!

Was wondering the same thing about the dry ice. Were they using it back then for refrigeration? I looked up some history on it. Dry ice was discovered in 1834, but was not commercially available until 1924 or 1925. I remember its widespread use in the early 50's. It was always a treat at the end of a picnic to see it being dumped into water and seeing the resulting explosion of bubbling and vapor release.

Where the Frisbee is

Several hundred miles away is where. At this point, the Frisbie Pie Company's plates hadn't made it outside the Bridgeport, Conn. area.

Bathing Suit Rentals

It looks the most popular rental shop was Old Navy.

Your Credit Is Good Here

The sign on the building on the left is a reminder that the enticement of easy credit has been around a long time.

Gimme an A!

There in the background on the right and coming closer, is that Hester Prynne from "The Scarlet Letter"?

Horse on the Beach

No good can come of this.


Love these old photos! I was just at the beach at AC recently, in some ways it hasn't changed. I wonder if that's the high-diving horse on a break from the Steel Pier?

Several unanswered questions

How did the third girl from the left get so much sand in her hair?

Who is the fourth girl throwing sand at and why?

Who cleans up after the horse (whose tail indicates he may be ready to drop one)?

Why does the chap in the background have a big circled "A" across his vest?


If the weather that day was as hot as it is now here in Pa. they had better hurry up and eat the ice cream before it melts! Did they refrigerate with dry ice back then?

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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