SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Taking the Waters: 1900

Taking the Waters: 1900

Ypsilanti, Michigan, circa 1900. "Two men in corridor of Mineral Bath House." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!


I burst out laughing when I saw this shot - it looks **exactly** like what I've seen in a gay sauna. Guys at the doors, waiting for interested dudes to play with.


According to a 1892 business directory: 22 to 30 North Huron (just north of Michigan Avenue and west of the Huron River), in beautiful downtown Ypsi.


I grew up in Ypsi and remember reading about the "healing waters." Has anyone found out where this was located?

It all makes sense

Now I understand how Ypsilanti's Water Tower came to be!

Real men don't wear jockstraps

Because they haven't been invented yet?

Come Hither

This reminds me of San Francisco in the late 70s.

Some history on the water

"Ypsilanti has already come to be the center of attraction for the halt, the lame and the blind, the palsied and paralylics."

Overlook Spa

"Come bathe with us ... forever!"

Ballad for the Baths

"If you are sad, with sickness worn,
And have the headache every morn,
Just come and drink a healing horn,
Of Ypsilanti water.”

—- from a Ballad for Ypsilanti Mineral Spring Water

The agony of the feet

The shoes in these old photos always look like torture devices. Looking at the gnarled bare feet of these poor gentlemen, I think we can confirm the torture-footwear theory.

Well, hello

Reminds me of the Riis Park Bathhouse.

Faint praise

As the Ypsilanti Quarter Club sang when the spa opened in 1884:

It's true, it has a woeful smell
But if your stomach don't rebel
It's just the thing to make you well
And praise up Ypsilanti!

We're not inverts!

We're here in this all male bath house for the minerals. Really!

Won't you come and play with us?

Does this picture remind anyone else of the two creepy girls in the hallway from "The Shining"?


I can see a set for something by Laurel and Hardy or maybe an early Mack Sennett extravaganza with Chaplin.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.