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Office Xmas Party: 1925
... reminds me of Sinclair Lewis's protagonist in "Babbitt" (1922): "He was the modern business man; one who gave orders to clerks and ... Having spent nine months wearing a mask, practically bathing in hand sanitizer every time I touch anything, and staying as far ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/15/2023 - 3:04pm -

        It's two Fridays before Christmas, time for a hallowed holiday tradition here at Shorpy: The Office Xmas Party! Which has been going on for 98 years now. Will Clarence in Sales ever get up the nerve to ask out Hermione from Accounting? Is there gin in that oilcan? Ask the bear.
December 1925. "Washington, D.C. -- Western Electric Co. group." There are enough little dramas playing out here to keep the forensic partyologists busy until Groundhog Day. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Leer Kings"That Guy" looks like he could be the son of the older leering man directly to the right of him. I shall call them Denis Leery Jr. and Denis Leery Sr. The two men with them are obviously Christopher Walken as The Continental, and a young Franz Mesmer.
Just a little creepy....Some of the looks on their faces, wouldn't you love to know what they were thinking!
Debauchery 2.0Four years after behaving scandalously at the Krazy Kat, our bohemian friends find themselves slogging away at desk jobs in the boring adult world.  Just WAIT until the Christmas party, though!
The oil canOf course the bear and the cabin weren't mentioned -- everyone knows the best part of the party is getting well-oiled!
Thank you. I'll be here all week. And don't forget to tip your server.
H.P. Lovecraft?Could it be? Standing in front of the "Go Go" guy, half hidden? Maybe Franz Kafka, instead? This would be the guy who takes an extra-long time in the lav in order to scratch unseemly things onto the stall partitions. Every office has one of these guys and in this office, its either him or else its the nearly invisible guy standing across from him on the other side of the tree. Also, the girl on the far left, standing in front of the door, is unforgivably cute. I'll bet she's told a lot of these guys "NO" and that's why she's way over there.
The Power Bloc ...Have you happened to notice how Big Boss Man - the guy holding that little stubby cigar - is surrounded by thugly-type guys? This is the power bloc for this office. The guys up on the top left are all from a different Department and are wary of Big Boss Man's thugs. There is a little bit of cross-pollenation, however. The first guy standing on the table at the right is shooting a bemused glance in the direction of his bud in that other Department. He's the shorter, unjacketed guy with the full frontal grin and the eyebrows in serious need of plucking. To them, this is all a goof. They hang out together and keep each other informed as to who says what about whom, which of the girls are doable and what the scuttlebutt is coming down from the top. There's more here but I don't want to get censored.
A Story in every faceThis photo can inspire everyone to write a novel because there is indeed a colorful character with his own personal bio in every set of eyes.  The bald guy with the candle on his head particularly stands out as one who has a complex persona but so does everybody else in the picture.   Some appear depressed, some look beat up, some seem desperate.  Make up your own scenarios.  Personally, I used to look forward to the office parties when the most unexpected facets of co-workers' personalities would be revealed, giving us the rest of the year to talk about that until the next one.  Stuffy old lady accountants and spinsters turned out to shock us the most when relaxed by a "touch of the grape". Lots of fun, too bad they have mostly been eliminated. Thank you for this blast from the past.
[That's a "GO-GO" traffic signal on Mr. Complex Persona's noggin. - Dave]

WiredCould it be that they tapped the power for the Christmas tree lights from the ceiling fixture?
What a mod hairdo!The brunette peeking from behind the desk (right above the black purse) has such a 1960's hairstyle!
Fat ChanceThe corpulent boss, stogie in hand, actually thinks that removing his glasses improves his appearance. He also seems to be playing footsie with the marcel-waved cutie who inexplicably has an oil can in front of her.
A KnockoutThe woman with the pearl necklace sitting at the very corner of the desk is a knockout! She looks like a present-day actress whose name escapes me. The guy standing up and glaring into the lens at the extreme top right of the photo may very well be the Antichrist. His stare gives me chills. The guy behind him looks like an "evil character" straight out of Central Casting. This is a great photo.
Thought BubblesIt would take me all day to write out thought bubbles for what I imagine is going through all those heads, but the lady at dead center seems to be thinking, "What was IN that punch? Did they repeal Prohibition and nobody told me?"
The "dark lady" downstage right is thinking, "I hope they snap that picture before I freeze to death down here on the bare floorboards. You would think the electric company would have better heaters in its own offices, but old man Pennyfarthing won't even spring for a rug to keep the draft out."
Western Electric (Shock Therapy)Great pic.  And I'm sure there are as many stories as people in this one.  But let's admit that the lady sitting on the floor on the left has to have the most interesting one. There is a haunted, post-experimental-therapy look to her that immediately reminded me of the psych-ward scenes in "Changeling."
Where's the copier?Ahhh, the days before every office had a copier, and every office had some joker trying to get the temp to sit on it!
Re: Fat ChanceWait -- so the oil can is worth noting, but not the bear statuette or the small house?
Western ElectricWestern Electric was the manufacturing and distribution arm of American Telephone and Telegraph. I suppose that this office in Washington was one of their distribution points. At any rate one interesting thing about the photo is the decided separation of men and women as though they might have come from different sections of the business. I also note that the ladies are sitting on a pretty rough floor, which is something I would have thought they would have avoided in those clothes. As to the glasses, I suspect that the photographer cautioned them that the flash might reflect from the lenses, assuming that I can assert that there was flash. Who knows, maybe there's a window somewhere.
That Office GirlI find her the most intriguing face in the picture. She looks almost out of place in this setting... her face is striking. Her expression says that she's part of a back story going on around the office that no one knows about.
Wow. I'm falling in love with a woman who's long long dead. How sad is that?
GiftedJudging by the peculiar items in the shot I'm thinking they exchanged white elephant gifts at the party. I got a big stuffed fish at our last party. I would have preferred the oil can.
This is so great!A bevy of attractive females here but I'm partial to the blond girl standing at the far left of the photo.  
Also, standing next to Boss Stogie on his left: ladies and gentlemen ... Mr. Joaquin Phoenix.
 The Black WidowQuick somebody, get the story on the raven-haired woman sitting in front of the desk.
She looks like she ate her young; perhaps she has a few "missing" husbands buried in her dirt-floor basement.
I get the very distinct impression that if you crossed her, you ended up joining the silent majority long before your time.
Dark LadyWell.....the woman at bottom left certainly catches the eye. Something of a femme fatale, I think. Not generally popular with the more strait-laced ladies, like the woman two to her right who's giving her a very frosty look. The younger woman though, above and slightly to the left, is more sympathetic.
Since it's not uncommon here on Shorpy for unflattering comments to be directed at the olden-days womenfolk, let me be the first to say what a grim bunch the men are. I'll make an exception for the guy under the tree.
Getting Oiled at the Office Xmas PartyThe oil can on the foreground floor is absolutely precious.  There can be no rational explanation for it.  Then again, one tends to get oiled at the office party.
The hot babe is standing, far left, if not the girl sitting left, in pearls by the purse on the desk corner.
The fat guy with the cigar has his conjoined twin growing out of his forehead.
Girls on one side, boys on the other?  Weird.
How dare these people all die off before telling us why that guy is holding the little horsey?
"Hey, Griselda.  Spin my copter.  If it says 'STOP - STOP', you are not mine.  If it says 'Go - GO', oh you kid!"
Most riveting photo ever.I've been a lurker on Shorpy for months, but this photo has prompted me to register and comment. I've been coming back to this picture every day since it was posted, showing it to everyone I know. 
What strikes me is that though there are several vintage-type characters here, there are also quite a few very contemporary looking people as well. This photograph represents such a vibrant living moment in the lives of these people. Some of them look like they could speak to you right from the picture. And, oh what a story they could tell!
This photo takes first place from my previous Shorpy favourite, They Shall Remain Nameless.
(But it's so close... check it out if you missed it.)
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there ...
Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen,!  I think that's my favorite part of this picture.  There's such a great group of hairstyles among the women.  A few of those girls were pretty darn good with the curling iron, or whatever they used.  I wonder if they're more glammed up than usual for the big party.  For some reason, the hairstyles are more striking to me than in other pictures.  Anyway, fascinating as always.
P.S.  I think the guy that bdgbill thinks looks like the antichrist is actually kind of a hottie.  I'm going to go on the assumption that he didn't look that intense all the time.  If he did...well, I could see bdgbill's point then.
Now I KnowMy father worked for Western Electric. The money wasn't very good, so I never figured out why he stayed there. Guess this answers the question.
IN and OUTI noticed the IN basket on the desk to the far right, but where's the OUT basket?  I sometimes wonder why I have an OUT basket on my desk at work - it's always less full than the IN one.
The woman sitting on the floor to the far left bears a striking resemblance to the Italian actress Ana Magnani (The Rose Tattoo).
Dramatis PersonaeMona, the woman on floor, far left (one of the few without the Marcel wave), is probably a Suffragist or at least politically active. Maybe she's trying to organize these party animals into a union and all they want to do is balance traffic signals on their heads and be wildly social.
Don't mess with these guys!The boss from Hades has what looks like a goose egg on his forehead and the coatless guy on his right has a black eye and cuts on the nose and eyebrow: maybe the partying started the night before. Looks like a smoking hot curling iron was de rigueur for any  well-coifed lady.
That guyOf the four guys standing in the upper right, the guy who is on the left side, closest to the tree -- which girl is he leering at? 
Western ElectricIf you flip the picture around, you can sort of read the door sign.  I can make out:
[Western Elec]tric Com[pany].
I wonder what the missing part is.  Administration?
Office TensionThis must have been just after Phyllis spilled the beans about Dwight and Angela. Poor Andy!
The Power Bloc, continuedThe balding gent just over Boss Stogie's left shoulder-- the real power in the office, he certainly looks confident that his recent appointment to regional director will lead to greater things. Boss Stogie's son, Junior (with the candy cane), was on the fast track to becoming a junior partner until he was befriended by Harold from the mailroom (his hand on Junior's shoulder), which displeased Boss to no end.
UndercoverIsn't anyone going to ask why the woman in the middle is wearing a hat with a Police badge? Is this a costume xmas party? Could she possibly be a real cop??
My GirlSay what you want about the woman on the floor or the blonde with the pearl necklace, but my heart belongs to the woman standing fourth from the left, middle row. She reminds me of Bernadette Peters.
The henchman second from the right at the top has a menacing Snidely Whiplash quality about him. You just know he slipped a mickey into someone's drink.
Re: Western ElectricYou know you're a Shorpy addict when you "get" Anonymous Tipster's reference to the photographer's use of flash (or WAS there a window somewhere?!). Nice shot, A.T.!
Twins or Sisters?Study the features of the young woman directly in front of the door - then look at the one just to the right of (and looking directly at) "blondie with the pearls". Eyes, hair, smile, shape of face, body build: if they are not twins then they must at least be sisters. It is uncanny!
Christmas BackstoryYes, the young lady at the lower left leaning against the desk has the most interesting backstory in the room.  Thanks to the passage of time we'll never know what was behind her haunted expression beyond that the woman giving her the evil eye must have had something to do with it.
Dave continues to put these evocative photos up knowing our emotions will never be satisfied!!
Meanwhile, notice the vintage Chia Pet resting on the scales in the "shipping department" (the desk along the left side).  The girl in the fake police hat is looking longingly at it.  Chia bunny?  Chia elf?
The guy in front of the Christmas tree holding the toy, "I got a PONY!"
Keep them in their place.I, too, wonder why all the women are sitting on the floor in their silk satin dresses with fur collars.  Surely there were some men who would have been glad to give up their places for them (and to sit amongst the women!)
How did they get Xmas light strings in 1925?I thought people used small candles until the '60s. How did they happen to have these string lights? Great pic of us back then.
[The 1960s being, I guess, when covered wagons brought in the first supplies of wired Christmas lights. - Dave]

I spy...Second woman in the third row...Frida Kahlo, at her day job. 
SpellbindingI cannot stop looking at this picture. So much to see. The Al Capone looking guy is mesmerizing. The guy at top, second from right gives me the creeps.
1920'sI'm kind of young so maybe I'm missing something, but did pretty women not have to hold jobs in the 1920's? This office is worse than the one I work in, I didn't think that was possible.
Re: 1920sI'm kind of young too, but I disagree with you.  I think this office has quite a collection of lovely women (and some not-as-lovely ones too, just like today).  Sometimes, it's hard to look past the hairstyles and the clothes.  If you are young (20-something? younger?), you've really only seen one ideal of beauty--you've missed a lot of the different fashions and hairdos of the rest of the 20th century.  You also underestimate what modern makeup does for women.  There are so many more varieties of it today than there were then, and it's generally of higher quality and easier to use than in the past.  If you took one of the women in this picture, say, the girl with pearls sitting next to the desk and plunked her down in 2008 to get a makeover, her hair would be longer, probably highlighted and dyed, and aided by daily washing and a host of conditioners.  Then, add some good moisturizer, foundation, and concealer, as well as a lash curler, mascara, and a healthy helping of eye liner, and I'm guessing you'd think her quite the fox.  
Conversely, take the most attractive woman you know now, and put her in short hair and marcel waves, take away her hair dye and most of her makeup, and I'm guessing she'd look quite similar to the ladies in this photo.  Even something as simple as the shape of plucked eyebrows really change the look of someone, and with the change in aesthetics, it's sometimes hard to get past the fashion to see beauty.
It works with the men too--you'd probably look a lot different with a side part and a pompadour!  
That's right . . .. . . pretty women did not have to work in the '20's so, Miss Oilcan's exemption is assured, in my opinion - what a hottie.
Las Vegas 
That's my desk!I have a desk that's identical to the one on the left.  I had guessed it was 1940's vintage.  It's nice to see it's even older than I thought.
Record Breaker?Look at the stats on this photo: 53,000 + reads, and still climbing. That's a lot of forensic partyologists! I wonder if even Dave knew what he had pulled out of the hat with this one?
[I am shocked. Shocked! - Dave]
re: Xmas light strings LOL! Dave, a lot of your comments (like this one) crack me up! Are you a comedian in real life? Merry Christmas!
[Please folks, no applause. Just throw money. - Dave]
Hotness quantificationI count 20 women in that picture; most of them you can see no more than their face and hair, and two you can't even see all of that.
Out of the 18 you have a good facial shot of, I'd put 3 of them at 8.5-9.5 on the scale... three of them are SMOKING hot. I'd put another 4 at the 7-8.5 mark, meaning serious cuties, and at least three of the others are a 6 -7.
Where I work we have 100 women in my office; I'd put exactly three in the 8.5-9.5 scale, and another 10 in th 7-8.5 scale; of the rest, probably only a smattering are really in the 5+ range.
So, I have to know ... where do you work that the women are so attractive? Playboy Enterprises?
Taking into account the differences in style, these women were, mostly, very attractive, and even a couple of the less attractive weren't awful.
The Men of Western ElectricIn the interest of gender equality, I got to wondering about the relative charms of the office boys. I found three who tickled my fancy.
1. The tall smiling fellow whose head is sticking up behind and to the right of Police Woman. His face is open and honest, he's smiling with his twinkly dark eyes as well as his mouth, and although his ears are a bit prominent there's a lovely overall symmetry to his face. I'll call him Dimples.
2. The one man who has the sense to sit down with the ladies. He's a bit older, but I love his soft wavy hair. There's a certain aristocratic but slightly sad angle to his tired half-smile that puts me in mind of a young Prince Philip. I'll call him Phil.
3. OK, here's the hotness - the brash, cocky young sheik peeking out confidently between the heads of Boss Stogie Pennyfarthing and his wan shirtsleeved assistant. He's got the eyes of Frank Sinatra and the hair of Jack Kennedy. I don't know what he looks like from the neck down, but from the Arrow collar up he's all, "How YOU doin'?" I'll call him Frankie.
In summary: Were I one of the office flappers, I would ride in Frankie's Studebaker, nurse a secret unrequited crush on Phil, and take Dimples home to meet Mother.
Rogues' GalleryI can't stop staring at the chilly filly down by the leftern desk. She looks like three out of every five women I've ever fallen for. It's the eyes. As to the resemblance to Ana Magnani, she might be of Italian descent.
I am also like the older gentleman in the upper right. Mr. Leery Senior, was it? Right between Charlie Sheen (or Leery Jr.), Snidely Whiplash, and Mr. Deer-in-the-headlights. What a jovial sort. And a snappy dresser, as well. Conversely, the startled fellow's vest is well off-center and makes him look like he couldn't decide which part of him was the front. Or maybe he was taking a nap under a desk just before the photo op and somebody had to drag him out.
Funny how a photograph will turn Bob & Lisa from the office into Dick Tracy characters once you let your imagination do the walking. Thanks to all you for sharing your insights.
You were linkedA local blogger from Beaumont's newspaper linked your site today. I will be forever gratful! Nevermind I got absolutely nothing done today and instead pored over your site at length. This is truly an awesome site!
This Won't DoOne chubby gal. One chubby guy. 
As an official with the State of California, I say that this does not pass muster.  There was hiring discrimination here.  Walk into any State office and you'll see what I mean.  Not to mention the plethora of Caucasians.
The chubby gal is next to sheet music.  Wonder what this melba toast group was singing?
They're all dead nowJust think ... they all had their youth, their lives, their personalities, and now they are all turned into worm food.  Just a happy thought for Christmas.
No, wait a minute. . . okay, I've changed my mind. Now I like Miss Lookingaway, sitting in the lower left.  Definitely.  She's the one.
Las Vegas
Oil Can GalThe siren sitting with the oil can is undressing me with her eyes. I'll ignore the fact she is 112 years of age, and let her.
[Guess that explains the oil can. - Dave]
Houdini?The guy on the left side, just above and to the right of the P.D. hat girl....did Houdini make a special appearance?  In any event, he's got a mean set of eyebrows.
And you are correct, Stinky, the girl on the far left by the door is surely a looker!
Lost in the crowdNobody seems to have spotted Hugh Grant peeking out between Stogie Boss and Bald Guy.
Famous facesTo keep Hugh Grant company, fellow British comic actor Rowan Atkinson is peeking out from behind Shirtsleeves.
He is not a crookOh, my gosh. There's Richard Nixon on the upper right (with face partially hidden) just below old boss and crooked-vest guys.
Roxie & Co.I love this picture, and all the comments! Here's my .02:
*Girl with the oil can doesn't want to undress you, she's too in love with herself. You can see it in her eyes; she's a Roxie Hart if I ever saw one. "Eat your heart out, Sophie Tucker."
*I swear I graduated with the girl who has her hand on Roxie's shoulder. She's the one who organizes all our class reunions.
*If I were one of those girls, I'd probably want to date the guy sitting on the desk, right hand side. However, I have a feeling he'd want to "just be friends." So,
*I'd have to go for the one behind Ol' Pennyfarthing. No, not that one, the bald one. Handsome features and sense enough to not put some ridiculous piece of fur on his head.
*Girl leering at our castoff looks like one of Cinderella's stepsisters. Drucilla, I believe.
Office HottieI think the guy looking over the RIGHT shoulder of chubby-stogie dude is hot.  There's something about the eyes that grab me.  And the hint of a smile.
British InvasionNot only Hugh and Rowan - isn't that the actress/singer Patsy Kensit on the left, standing in front of the office door?
Can't Get Over This PhotoI can't get over this picture.  It's my favorite one on Shorpy, which is saying a LOT.  And, it has nothing to do with my collection of high-end Western Electric phones from 1905-1939.
The woman in front, referred to as the "Black Widow," I can't look at her enough.  She surely would get a large kick out of the ruckus she would caused in 2008, unless it bored her as also being commonplace in her own time.  The woman over her left shoulder has movie star looks.
They are on the fifth floor, and I wish I could see the name on the glass door.  Then again, the woman obscuring it may be the one to take home to meet the family, so she can stay.
The finish on the floor is badly worn, as contrasted by the part under the desk.  These fellas were habitually hustling to and fro, and with the feminine charms represented here, it's no wonder.  Office romances must have been all there rage therein.
I have been hoping the Farkers would be all over this one, except they love to specialize in the one-person quirk shots.  I could place the Black Widow in countless situations...
Is this the only picture you have on this stunning group?
[Afraid so. - Dave]
If onlyTterrance had taken this photo! We would know all about it, mystery solved.
I thinkthe mysterious suicidal communist was probably a cleaning lady whom the photographer sort of forced to be in the picture and she's embarrassed to be photographed in shabby clothes and feels naturally out place amongst the staff with whom she's always been subservient. 
She reminds me of Camille Claudel on her way to the madhouse. 
50 Little IndiansThis photo looks like a cast of characters who would end up in an Agatha Christie mystery....and I'm pretty sure I know who did it!
The Officethis picture reminds me of the TV show The Office. Jim is sitting on the desk in the right corner. Pam is all the way to the left in the back row. Michael is the guy with his hand on Jim's shoulder although he should be the bossman with the cigar. Stanley is the guy between the man holding the horse and the man with the cigar. Creed is Mr Leery. Kevin is holding the horse. Dwight is the only guy in glasses. Kelly is the bobbed woman behind the desk with the permanent smile on her face. Meredith is the creepy woman off alone... she's just waiting for her next drink of alcohol. Andy Bernard is the guy to the right in the back with the striped tie. I couldn't decide who Angela was. Ryan is the deer in headlights next to Andy. Phyllis is in the satiny dress to the right. Oscar is right by the right hand edge.
Man I love this picture.
AngelaAngela's sitting on the floor with that big lace collar, giving the stink-eye to Meredith.
Naughty NaughtySome young lady has just done something naughty off screen left. The Leery Boys approve, the Black Widow and Stink Eye don't, and the young lady behind Stink Eye is too drunk to comprehend.
Also, is the bald man by the Christmas tree wearing a traffic signal on his head, set to "Go?"
Somewhere in this crowd must be Col. Mustard, Miss Scarlet and Prof. Plum. 
My favorite pictureI and my co-worker check this site at least three times a day. He has never been on the Internet and when he passes by he will invariably ask "Anything new?" Which I know to mean "Anything new on Shorpy?" This Christmas Office Party is our favorite. We both live in Maryland and have seen many of the areas displayed in these pictures. When we scan the Office picture and see the "mob boss" guy with the stogie and the gun in his pants, he does a great Al Capone voice. I hope my posting this comment will bring new fans to
this amazing photo.
Merry Christmas everyone!have a great holiday and prosperous New Year.
Oh Christmas Twig! Oh Christmas Twig!Considering it is 1925 and an urban area they probably had a hard time locating a showpiece Christmas tree. Probably the best they could do was this poor little immortalized twig.
Timeless peopleEver notice how nearly every photo of a large group, from about 1900 on, contains at least one person who looks like he/she could have been photographed in just about any decade, or just the other day?  The lady by the desk behind the pretty  girl with the pearls looks like a teacher at my kids' school! There is nothing about her teeth, hairstyle, makeup, etc., that gives away the fact that she was photographed in 1925 except, of course, for most of the other people in it.
The Timeless DeskI'm still using the exact same desk as the one in the photo; my wife purchased it from McGill university when they replaced the professors' desks in the mid 1960s. 
Oh what funAdolf (second from right at very top) has quite the leer going on. Peter Sellers could imitate him well. Mystery Lady could have been even more beautiful. I imagine her long hair flowing and her prominent features brought out even more with an expert's touch. 
What is Stogie Man carrying, besides his eyeglasses? I also wonder who took this photo. It obviously took some  arranging, with the piling up of people. 
Excellent, almost spellbinding picture! I come here about six times a day just to visit it. I wonder who lived the longest, and what year they all died and how? Yes, I'm a morbid one.
Office A-Go-GoThe gent at the back is, indeed wearing the miniature street signal (it has 4 arms to the signal so not a railway signal) on his head. Firstly, the only thing behind him is a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall, certainly nothing that the signal could be perched on. And, secondly, if it was sitting on something, it would not be sitting at the angle it is.
Then and Now  I'm wondering -- in today's world there is usually at least one person at an office party of that size who gets a little too inebriated and winds up making photocopies of their nether parts for distribution to all. Was there a way to do the same thing using a mimeograph machine or whatever other copying technology existed in 1925? Would the tipsy individual first have to draw their naughty bits on some special copy medium? Our grandparents sure had a lot of hardships to deal with. 
At First Glanceand in the zoomed out view, I thought the gent at the far right might be the office troublemaker and that the folks wrapped him up in Christmas lights for his just deserts.  Alas and alack, when you go in for a closer look, it's simply the ravages of time taking their toll on the negative.
[This batch of plates has water damage along one side. - Dave]
The Lady of the Deskjust wandered in from the Sergei Eisenstein film that was shooting on the set next door. She's on a break between takes of the Odessa Steps sequence. 
RE: Oh GreatIf CBS could give us Rudolph, Shorpy can give us Western Electric.
2010 InterpretationsThis year, I think the Black Widow has pretty much just had it with that place.
Stink-Eye isn't looking at the Black Widow. She's disapproving of something messy on the front of the desk.
I can't find Don Draper Nor Joan Holloway, but this sure conjures up thoughts of Mad Men, 45 years earlier. I burst out laughing when my eyes scanned to the guy in the back with the stop and go-go item on his head! Maybe THAT is the flavor of the evening?  More GO than STOP? This is the roaring 20s after all and these are certainly modern women..
Yes, this picture and your readers' comments may be my very favorites to date!
Some Like It Hot The mademoiselle  standing in front of the woman wearing the Policeman's hat could have been Billy Wilder's inspiration for his casting Jack Lemmon in drag.
Another WorldThese people are denizens of another universe that, no matter how many photographs we study or books we read, we will never fully understand because we didn't live in it and never will. 
These are people who knew how to navigate themselves in the distant world of 1925. All of these people were born at the beginning of the last century and were brought up by people from the 19th century. 
If a modern young person were to be suddenly transported here without preparation he would find it completely disorienting and possibly quite frightening, because of so many technological and cultural and social differences between now and then.
Deja vuI loved this picture. 
But the lass in front of the desk, looking stage right, is memorable. I think I've seen this picture before.
Then I noticed the dates of the previous comments. 2208? Surely two years cannot have gone by so quickly.
[To say nothing of the 198 after that! - Dave]
SteamyThere are some SERIOUS sexual crosscurrents and hot vibes in this picture! Amazing!
Slow on the uptakeI'm pretty sure Mr. Semaphore head isn't actually wearing that thing on his head; it's behind him. What is alarming is the second head growing out of his chest. The heads seem to be in agreement to lurk. 
Oh great!Shorpy is doing reruns for the holidays.
Merry Christmas.
Uh-Oh TannenbaumThat's the most bedraggled Christmas tree I've ever seen. It has more tinsel than needles.
An unflattering portraitMy god, this is by far the ugliest group photo I've ever seen! Both girls and guys look like winners from the Walmart Ugly Photo Contest.
Kimono-wearing parrot?With a bouffant, no less? Over there, on the scale!!
The gal with the candy cane, to our left of the much-ballyhooed oil can chick, seems to be presaging late '60s hairstyles.
And yes, the balding dude in the rear with the traffic semaphore on his head wins the covert group-photo clown award in spades.
Sad to SaySo many hotties, so many dorks.
Season's GreetingsHope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season, from Walter and all his friends in this, my favorite Shorpy picture.
General Electric Crime FamilyOk, a lot of the men look like mafiosi with the big-lips guy in front being the capo.  The two guys at the right, top, are hit men.
Western Electrical FireI can't believe, in 90+ comments on this remarkable photo, that not one person pointed out the extension cord running from the ceiling light fixture to the tree.  I think the answer to the comment about how and when these folks died is:  a few minutes after this photo was taken, in a horrible electrical fire.
It would be a chore, but could someone pleasecolorize this!
BeautyI love the woman sitting on the floor next to the desk looking away.  At first glance you think; boy she looks tired, and then you look again and you see how beautiful she really is.  She is just stunning.  I also find it interesting with the commentary just how similar our comments in the office were to the ones posted on this site.  We too made up stories about these folks.  I love this photo.  Thanks for sharing it.
I never tire of looking at this one.Always noticing something new, frinstance, 
The object on the scale, seems to have some heft to it based on how far the scale dial has moved, maybe a cast iron toy?
The young fellow on the far right, Candy Cane in his right hand but whats on his left hand? Looks like it's slipped inside of something, a toy holster maybe?
Completion All this tableau requires (perhaps) to make it complete, is a large paper bag on the floor stuffed with goodies, including the obligatory pair of turkey-feet protruding upward in a festive fashion.
Best of the Season to All in the Shorpyverse Continuum!
Secrets never revealedThere is no question that many secret alliances and not-always discreet hook-ups probably took place during and after this festive celebration 86 years ago.  Luckily for those involved, there were no surveillance cameras, cell phone cameras, tape recorders, security guards, texting devices or other pesky snooping devices that could cause the merrymakers a permanent record (and deep lifetime regret) of their missteps.  They were the roaring 20's when people gathered their rosebuds where they may and parties were for having the best time you could have.  I'm betting many of these revelers took their sweet and sordid memories of that night to their graves. 
Another Shorpy Party!I love this photo and we're going to test the limits of the reply counter.  Merry Christmas everyone and have a grand new year!
Lord Almighty!!!It's the butler in the pantry!!!
I have never, ever seen so many guilty people in one photograph.
Unbelievable that it was not staged. But it obviously wasn't.
My hat!How did she get it?
"Pure horse, Danno. Book 'em."Having just spotted the drug paraphernalia on the left - the scale, the packaging materials, the kimono-wearing parrot - our undercover coppette in mid-pack has whipped out her official police hat and ignoring the cries of "that baggy's not mine!" is about ready to haul the whole gang downtown. A bust like this baby was sure to bump her upstairs and away from all these dreary office parties.
Up to no good?The gal sitting on the floor behind the Oil can  has had a drink or two already, and she is plotting mischief. I can see it in her eyes! Was she the good time that was had by all?
Cost of that treeCould not have been more then a dollar in 2011 money
Must have been last minute!!!
The ion DepartmentA quick flip of the door confirms we are in room 504 of the ion Department.
FestivusIts good to see this one again. I just keep looking at the people and see more than a few that would have been great company. I hope everyone, viewers, commenters, Dave and webmaster Ken has a great Holiday Season in the company of friends and loved ones.
She apparently had a good time with my grandpa.As she is my grandma!
"The gal sitting on the floor behind the Oil can has had a drink or two already, and she is plotting mischief. I can see it in her eyes! Was she the good time that was had by all?"
3rd rowfrom the top 3rd from the left. I'm in love.
Oh wait.
Party HeartyOoooo -- Roaring twenties office party, bathtub gin. Oooooo -- I think I just threw up in my throat a little bit.
Shorpy Christmas cardIf Dave would produce an annual Shorpy Christmas card I would buy a few boxes, and I'm sure others would as well. Cards with this photo would be seen in every business cubicle in the country and quite a few places around the globe. It says Merry Xmas for me.
So much to read into This picture is as familiar to longtime readers of this blog as our own family photos and as evergreen as that Christmas Tree was before it was cut down. One can imagine so much here, for example that as soon as the photographer finishes with his duties, the Volstead Act will be violated by most of the people in this room (there are a few who look as if they might disapprove), and the usual office party shenanigans will occur, some of which might have consequences in the months to follow even if they all swear that what happens at the Office Party stays at the Office Party.
Al JolsonIs that Al Jolson in front of the "Traffic signal" bald guy?  He's peering out just a bit from behind the guy with the vest and holding his glasses. 1925, the timeline is right. :)
Iconic StatusThis photo has taken on a level of immortality that few others can hope to achieve.  A Photograph for the ages that will always be appreciated and admired.  A Tradition is born! Thanks to Dave and all that visit here; hopefully someday your office pictures will be shown here and we can all marvel at how far we've come in so short a time.
Tiny Tim said it best so I shan't repeat it but that is my wish for one and all. 
Thank you, DaveI hope this re-posting will bring new fans. Merry Xmas,everyone!
Why the oil canThose three objects in front - Maybe just spur-of-the-moment party silliness?
Another year olderI just love this photo. There's so much to analyze. Saw it last year for the first time. Here we all are, another year older. That would include those in the picture, in a macabre sort of way.
Best Christmas Party EverFirst, Dave, you have cured my holiday depression. I found this during a post-Xmas hangover and there are no words. I was instantly addicted to your site. Thank you.
Second, if there is anyone out there with connections to the BAU I would like you to seriously consider imposing yourself on that relationship and get them on it. I'm dying for a more complete story. You must be too if you're reading this. You know who you are. Pick up that phone and give him/her a call.
Not Al JolsonWade in NW Florida: if he looks like anybody of that period, it would most likely be Eddie Cantor, not Al Jolson.
The other 13I have just spent an extremely enjoyable hour reading all the comments reaching back to 2008.  Of the 47 people in the photo, 34 have been commented on.  So what about the other 13?  Six guys in the upper left have been ignored, plus seven gals in the pack.  The most prominent of the abandoned baker's dozen are, to my mind, the two women standing side by side, closest to the tree.  Both have bead necklaces: one tucked in, one on the outside.  They seem neither hot nor cold, neither suicidal nor drunk.  The two of them actually look (dare I say?) like really nice people.
NOW it's the holiday season.....when Shorpy breaks out this holiday classic! I wonder what pop-culture figures of the past year will be likened to our hard-partying crew?
The face that could sink a thousand shipsThe guy holding the cigar, oh man I want to punch his face!
Every yearEvery year when I look at this, I think the same thing: do all those dames hate Desk Woman for the same reason, or different ones?
Lots of single women in that officeNo wedding rings on almost all of them. Perhaps a woman worked until she got married, or at least until she had children - and then she was sequestered in the kit home built in one of America's booming trolley suburbs.
It must have been a major change for these ladies to go from office life, with its daily human contact and pleasures (such as this office party) to a few rooms, kitchen and nursery figuring predominantly. My grandmother still reminisced proudly about her work as a lawyer's assistant in the 1920s, way back before she got married, had three children, and spent most of her time in the top floor of a Boston triple-decker for the next 20 years.
Colorized Version Hidden in Plain SightCheck out for colorized version in Colorized Photos by members. Dave, do I get a prize for finding it? 
Talk About Your Lonely HeartsThis could be the Sgt. Pepper album just before The Beatles stepped into the shot
Par-TAY!I totally wanna party with this crew. I've always loved the Roaring-Twenties era, and the show Boardwalk Empire is doing a great job with the fashions and the music. I think Nucky Thompson needs to sprinkle a little Xmas cheer on this group. Volstead Act be damned!
Young bald guyEvery time I see this, my eyes go to the young, very handsome man who is looking over the shoulder of the rather portly guy on the right side of the photo. Balding men didn't have many options, then, like they do now, but I rather doubt that the premature balding kept all the young ladies away from him! 
I wonder which of these men were veterans of WWI?
At the Ion Department Christmas Party . . .That exotic woman sitting in front of the desk in the lower left STILL seems distracted by something just out of camera, and the woman in front of her is still watching her carefully.
It's a wonderful photo worth our annual holiday attention!
Naughty or Nice?This oft-repeated photo is starting to remind me of the traditional holiday tune by Eric Cartman (of South Park fame) singing about the Swiss Colony Beef Log; irreverent but fun.  
What's printed on that document?Dave, can you zoom in on the piece of paper being held by the guy kneeling in the center, right in front of the tree? It's almost as if he's trying to show it to the camera. Thanks!

Just a something something
You and Yours
A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year
Division Four Office

Worth a second or third look There are some half dozen ladies in this photo. Like the one right behind the corner of the desk, with the chevron shapes on her dress and the one directly in front of the door on the left that are definitely worth seeing again. 
Merry Christmas Shorpyites!   
Is there anybody out there?Surely one of these people in the photo has a living relative (great grandkids, grandkids, etc) that might be able to shed some light on this photo.
2%Of the 47 people in the photo, only one is wearing glasses.  Did the Ion Department require perfect vision of its workers?
My cueI don't even start listening to Christmas music until I see this picture reheated. It's a classic. 
The Girl with the Curl -- and the candy cane. There once was a girl
with a pretty little curl
right in the middle of her forehead
When she was good
She was very, very good
and when she was bad
she was even better! 
Re 2%The cigar smoker on the right in the three-button suit and the gent on his right both are holding eyeglasses, all the more to ratchet up their smashing good looks. Well, maybe just looks. 
What's Left To Say?Besides their clothes and hair dos, two things that I’m glad have changed: The way Christmas trees look and protective coating for hardwood floors. And I’m guessing they had a White Elephant gift exchange, thus the whimsical gifts.
Raise your glassesI'm sure one of our more knowledgeable posters might know better, but I wonder if glasses were removed to prevent unwanted flash effects? 
Could it be?I've looked at this photo for three Decembers now, and I just noticed that the girl sitting behind the girl with the striped blouse, and how much she looks like she could be Johnny Depp's great-grandmother.
Party TimeThe office parties and associated grab bags were created to give us all a chance to regift.
Allow me now to wish all of our Shorpy viewers, creators and commenters a very happy Holiday season. Let us all be well, prosper and keep returning to this wonderful site.
Love this photo....Like so many of you, I love it when this photo is trotted out!  We are so drawn to it and love imagining what this party must have been like, the silly little gifts, the party girls, and those who just wanted it to all be over with so they could get back to work.  
Each year I am struck by the lady behind the one in the striped blouse.  She looks like she could have been in my high school annual from 1970.  Yes, I dated myself there!  Her hair style looks like it could have been from the 1970's, unlike her co-workers with their many finger waves.  Keep posting this one, Dave....truly a classic!
An Evocative PhotographThe romance of old photographs is especially powerful in a picture like this. Studying the faces of what we assume are long departed strangers, we can't help speculating about the nature of their inner lives and how things turned out for them. Who ended up married to someone who made them happy or miserable? Which one(s) got ahead and who descended into poverty? Who died young - and so on? 
With hindsight we know that only a few years after that Christmas party in 1925, the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Then World War II winnowed out a great many - how did this group of individuals make out through all those difficult times? There are many such questions which occur to the curious.
This is an extraordinarily evocative photograph. The transience of everything is plain to see in this picture if you notice such things.  
This photois what prompted me to make an account on Shorpy. The first thing that jumped out at me was, is that a man in drag standing with his hand on the young lady's shoulder? The lady in question looks a bit like Drew Barrymore.  
I noticed the indentations between the eyes of many of the men, and realized that they did take their glasses off for the photo, to minimize glare.  No featherweight lenses in those days!
Tales from the Jazz AgeI'd like to take a crack at imagining who some of these people could be --
Oil Can Girl (seated at bottom, center) - Never turns down a chance to cut a rug at a speke.  Very generous with the contents of her hip flask, which in a pinch can supply fuel for her sometime-boyfriend’s Hupmobile.
Desk Girl (seated at bottom, left) - Staring intently at a winged, two-horned leopard and wondering if she should jump up and scream at everybody to run for their lives.
Lace Collar Girl (two left from Oil Can Girl) - Wondering why Desk Girl is staring so intently at the office kitty-cat.
Time Warp Girl - (immediately above Desk Girl) - Up until a few weeks ago was a liberal arts major at an Ivy League university in the year 1969, then stumbled through a time portal into 1925.  Decided to stay and get a job because, well, things are a lot less crazy here.
Starlet Girl - (above and to the right of Time Warp Girl) - Avid reader of Photoplay, Picture-Play, Screenland, Movie Weekly, Movie Mirror, and lots more.  Passionately believes that her good looks could bring her fame in Hollywood, if only she could manage to stop tossing money away on magazines and save up for the train fare.
Hat Girl (immediately above Starlet Girl) - Took a few slugs from Oil Can Girl’s hip flask, now having trouble remembering her name.
Trashed Girl (immediately to the right of Hat Girl) - Took even more slugs from Oil Can Girl’s hip flask, but still conscious enough to realize that if she stops leaning on the girl below her, she’ll tumble to the floor.
Handsome Guy (standing in the back, left side, farthest left) - All the office girls have swooned over him at one time or another.  Been engaged six times, but it always breaks off when he tells his bride-to-be that his mother will be living with them.
New Pretty Girl - (third from left, standing) - Just started work this past month.  Soon to be Handsome Guy’s next ex-fiancee.
Wow, this is way too long already.  Anyway, you get the idea.  This is fun!
White Elephant Gift ExchangeI going with a White Elephant Gift Exchange for an Office Christmas Party.  It explains the goofy gifts and the attire.  Some of the exchanged presents still have tags on them.
No one seems to have noticedbut the shy guy in front of GO GO is none other than Irving Berlin, on a guided tour of the Western Electric facility and already evidencing the reclusiveness of his later years. At uppermost left, we have the mustachioed miscreant looking disdainfully at those beneath him, which is everyone. And finally, we have Grishkin at lowermost right left, a handsome woman whose lean and hungry look hath a troubled aspect not customarily associated with holiday gatherings (apart from those with family members present). She seems to have wandered in from one of those Russian plays that Ira Gershwin makes reference to.
All of which can only mean one thing - it's Christmas time here at Shorpy's. Greetings and salutations to all!
Times they don't changeThe women definitely place this picture in time by their clothes and hair. The men, especially the back row, center in photo, remind me of my father's photos of the late 1950's. It's all quite timeless.
Hey, long time listener, first time caller!I wonder if camp Pierce Brosnan (top row, far left) found the Ion Deptartment accepting of his flamboyant wonderfulness.
Festive DressThe bald gentleman in the back has the best holiday hat I have ever seen, the festive Go Go hat atop his bald head. 
We need those names!The spectacular Massafornian colorized image should have some labels for the people in it.
So, here we go.
(Gimp and Python/PIL scripts did the job)
Thanks for the MemoriesThank you for publishing this picture again this year. It just doesn't seem right to not have these wonderful people wishing all of us a Merry Christmas. I wish all of the Shorpy readers and the Admins a Merry Christmas also.
Merry Christmas!I'm a faithful reader of Shorpy, have been for over 10 years now, since I joined up. Every year, I always look forward to the Shorpy Office Xmas Party picture. I don't know what it is; maybe it's the continuity of it. We know every year we'll see it, and every year we'll get to talk about new fictions we've created for the people therein. It's such great fun.
Re Office StoriesNice commentary!  You really bring life to this party.
Glad for TradIt's truly a fun Shorpy-looker tradition to view this pic large and spend an hour time traveling and reading the comments. Hope everybody had a Groovy Solstice yesterday. Happy Holidays!
Hair dressersWho did the hair styles back then, terrible......
Sic transit ursusI love the Shorpy Christmas party! This guy still startled me when I spied him on the floor, despite the fact that I commented on him FIVE YEARS AGO. 
Dean NorrisAh, it wouldn't be Christmas without this delight from Shorpy!
The guy behind the big boss's left shoulder looks like a sightly younger version of actor Dean Norris. According to IMDB, Dean Norris was born in 1962 or 1963, but if this post on Shorpy is any guide, he's at least 100 years old.  Is he pretending to be younger than he really is?  And what's the secret of looking so young?
Cheers!Thanks for posting again, this is one of my favourite pictures on Shorpy. Some odd Barnets going on with some of the women though...I'd love to know if there was a gramophone at this party and if so, what the playlist was.
Tradition I can almost hear Tevya, singing the song in "Fiddler On The Roof", but not quite. It is of course the Holiday Season, office parties and good will to men and of course women. It is time for us Shorpy Junkies to wish each other the best of the season. Good health, prosperity and peace to all. Thanks to our Hosts Dave and  Ken and to our  interlocutor terrace for their grand efforts.
G-manI had to do ctrl-f for all three pages, and I'm amazed that no one to date has identified J. Edgar Hoover standing in the front row, cigar butt in hand, between vest-and-watch chain guy and three-piece suit guy. I can't believe I didn't notice him when I first commented three years ago.
Time for a Shorpy Xmas party!I think we are overdue to have one where we all meet and discuss THIS picture (because with 150 comments, we clearly have a lot on our minds about this W.E. holiday soiree).
Merry Christmas ShorpyitesMerry Christmas to one and all, fans of the photos posted in Shorpy. Thanks to Dave and everyone who helps out with the site.
I hope the new year is good to all and everyone will be back next Christmas to view Xmas Party.
I've been a member for 3 years, 2 days and anonymous for several before that I think.
What's with the oil can?I understand the Teddy Bear and little house in the front of the photo.  But what is the significance of the Christmas Oil Can?
[Yet another beloved Christmas legend inspired by this photo. -tterrace]
Do they know?The standing gal, 3rd from the left, and the kneeling gal (center and one row back) both have the same necklace on (7 little cascading chains ending in a pearl).  I think that the boss-man, J. Edgar Hoover (on the right with the cigar), is having an affair with both of these gals and he gave them both the same necklace. He thinks it's really funny and smiles when he sees them together; his own little private joke!  I wonder if the gals know and are just playing him for whatever they can get? We will never know for sure.
Modern Woman+89
One must wonder if oiling the bear will make the Yuletide bright?
Thanks again!This is now my official notification that the Xmas season has begun. The Office Party re-post.
Threadbare BoughsNow I know where Charlie Brown got his tree. Merry Christmas everyone!
Hours and hoursI, like so many others here, have spent hours with this image. I'm always drawn back to the woman in the lower left. She's always struck me as the office outcast trying to get out of the picture. The woman to the right of her, with the lace collar, looks like her boss giving her the stink eye for not participating.
Roaring Twenties!Thanks for this flash-back, Shorpy!
Love the very mysterious Lady on the left...
and still dislike that pompous guy with the cigar. 
Wee fish, ewe, a mare, egrets, moose... and a hippo gnu year!
I have to askDoes "Office Xmas Party" have the largest amount of comments?
[That record might be held by Our Lady of Lourdes School. Another much-commented post was The Beaver Letter. - Dave]
FinallyShorpy's annual "Office Xmas Party" has arrived! There's my guy standing in the back row, far left still waiting for me. Swoon.
Happy Holidays, Shorpyites! 
And thank you, Dave, for all that you do.
Re 2%, and Raise your glassesI think glasses were considered unattractive. I remember lots of members of this generation (my grandparents') or the next who would whip off their glasses whenever someone raised a camera. 
Tough Day At The Office?The best part about these office parties are the grab bags. It's always the best way to regift. Other than that, I hope Dave, Ken, tterace and all our outstanding commentators and readers have a wonderful holiday and a healthy prosperous New Year.
Must have been a heck of a partyAll the way in the back is a tall bald man with a traffic signal on his head! That's better than a lampshade. The body language between the woman on the far left and the woman to her right who is glaring at her is really very sad. You wonder what sort of ugliness was going on behind the scenes. The lady looks like she's been crying a bit. Who knows. It's fascinating to see such a candid photo none the less. 
An oilcan!Now I know the perfect gift to get for all my co-workers. Merry Christmas Shorpy nation. 
I look forward to these people each yearThey've become familiar yet remain interesting.  As I said years ago, we're testing the counter on this one.
Merry Christmas fellow Shorpyites and wish a grand New Year!
It was ninety years ago today ...... and the photo never ceases to give.
The fun is overOkay, we had our Christmas celebration, now everyone back to your desks and let's finish out the day at 5:00.
The lucky onesDue to the magic of photography, this happy group has been celebrating now for ninety years.  If you enlarge the picture and study their faces and demeanors, you may get some insight into their characters and personalities in 1925.  After seeing this photo for many Christmases on Shorpy, I almost feel that I know some of them as well I know my own friends.  Merry Christmas to all, especially the Shorpy staff.
What are we missing?Great photo, been seeing it for years now, but I always wonder what else was going on? People are looking left, right, straight, up, down. What was going on out of frame? That lady in lower left looks ready to bolt, especially with the other lady looking on concernedly. If this was a Halloween photo, the massacre would be about to begin.
I've been ill, and maybe delirious...
Spooky Lady of Christmas PastI remain endlessly curious regarding the woman with her back to the desk.  
Spooky and haunting, amid all the fascinating characters in this classic shot, she is The One.
Department Name for Room 504Western Electric Company
Installation Department
5th Floor
1319 F Street
Washington DC
(From the 1925 Washington City Directory)
This department installed Central Office equipment (testboards, operator switchboards, signaling equipment, etc) supporting both local and long distance telephone service. 
Google street view has an office building that looks old enough to be our Christmas Office party location. Perhaps another Shorpyite can add the street view for us.
[It was built in 1913. Interestingly enough, it's just one building away from Harris & Ewing, another source of many Shorpy photos. -tterrace]

Merry Christmas, George BabbittThe guy on the right, in front, with the grand forehead, holding the stogie, reminds me of Sinclair Lewis's protagonist in "Babbitt" (1922):
"He was the modern business man; one who gave orders to clerks and drove a car and played occasional golf and was scholarly in regard to Salesmanship. His head suddenly appeared not babyish but weighty, and you noted his heavy, blunt nose, his straight mouth and thick, long upper lip, his chin overfleshy but strong; with respect you beheld him put on the rest of his uniform as a Solid Citizen."  
Room 504Flip the photo horizontally, and you will see that we are on the 5th floor.  Who can guess the "department" we are in?
Now it is Christmastime for sureI couldn't truly celebrate Christmas without seeing this picture again. It must be after Thanksgiving or Shorpy would not have posted it. Any comments I could make about this picture would only be a pale response to all the previous comments. It just makes me try to think what an office Christmas party like this must have been compared to a modern day party. I look forward to this picture every year for some crazy reason.
294408That's how many people have called up this photo.  Over a quarter million!  And this isn't YouTube.  What an amazing picture.  What an amazing site.  Merry Christmas to all my Shorpy comrades and a huge thank-you to Dave and tterrace for all they do to bring this amazingness to us every day.
YuletideI heard Springsteen singing about Santa on my way to work, and now I see this. It is truly Christmastime now.
Oh, Beautiful Lady in the Lower Left......let me unwrap that bear for you, before your nearby friend gets more worried that you're not having any fun.
DoppelgangerThe young woman framed in the door on the left looks remarkably like today's woman who was a business partner of mine.
Nothing but the best at Shorpy!!Thanks for this expected post!
Never noticed this beforeThe men's jackets have creases running the length of the arms. I wonder if this was a customary thing for "the office" or typical treatment "of the times" for pressing? Perhaps this treatment was typical only of a worsted fabric?
P. D. Police Dept.I keep being intrigued by the one and only joker in the crowd, our lady with the "P.D. Police ...." hat. There must be another word after "Police," I suppose it is just "Dept."
Marching In PlaceSeeing this picture so many times tells me that I'm growing older but these celebrants  have become ageless. Along with that piece of wisdom allow me to add my Seasonal Greetings for a Merry Christmas, a joyous Hanukkah Past and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all. Of course we are all in the debt of Dave,Ken and tterrace (who may or may not be on the Payroll) for their addictive posts, explanations and comment rebuttals. 
From NYC, where the Christmas Eve Fahrenheit is forecasted at 72º.
[tterrace is salaried, deals in a service and is bigger than a bread box. -John Charles Daly]
Life of the partyMy best guess for "life of the party" status goes to the lady in front with elf buckles on her shoes. I love this image- there so much detail and depth of relational perspective. 
Afterlife Office PartyThis photograph has become a holiday tradition for me, as anticipated as my Christmas eve tradition of baking cookies, wrapping gifts and gently placing a dish towel under Uncle Trouble's chin so he doesn't drool on his good shirt after passing out on the couch. 
Scanning the full-screen photo, I wonder if a small corner of the afterlife might be populated by tenants doomed to spend eternity at a perpetual office Christmas party for some workplace sin like stealing lunches from the office fridge, pilfering office supplies, or failing to replace paper or toner in the printer. I can picture Dickensian clarks with ink-stained fingers forever mingling over paper-cupped eggnog with 60's swinging secretaries, Old Kingdom robed Egyptian scribes trimming the tree with bored mid-level Qing Dynasty bureaucrats, and that impenetrable knot of young IT guys and gals speaking in that techno-babble, side-eyeing the boss, forever giggling.
I imagine the mirthless rounds of the eternal white elephant gift exchange: the Take Me to the River-singing fish going round and round and round the conference table ad infinitum. I can see the everlasting greasy pile of stale taquitos, timeless sips from the bottle of booze hidden in the file cabinet, Starbucks Christmas Jazz CD playing in an endless loop -- the horror.
Goober Pea
UpdatedUsing John J's sleuthing on the location of this office, I recently ventured there to see if any resemblance to the photo remains.  I got as far as the only door in the hall on that floor. Nothing appeared to remain.
Seek and ye shall find .  . . GO!TimeAndAgainPhoto, that's a great job of investigating one of our favorites, but I'm convinced that if you'll just badge your way into that office, you'll find a fellow in there with a traffic signal on his head.
I hope so, anyway.
Re: Seek and ye shall find . . . GO!Jim Page - I had to badge my way past security and up the elevator before I was stopped by the secured door.
Those were the daysI really do miss the office Christmas parties from my working years which gave us an opportunity to meet, greet and schmooze with people we hadn't seen in 20 minutes.  Merry Christmas to all, rejoice and be glad.
Every Year and I am Still Captivated But I Don't Know WhyThanks Dave, I'm still enjoying this for some reason I don't understand, and I'm still curious about the front and center oil can.
SNL Time Traveler?That person standing directly to the left of the tree is either a time-traveling, cross-dressing Pete Davidson from SNL or his Great Grandmother worked at Western Electric Group in 1925!
Shorpy - I look forward to this picture every year and am a regular viewer of your site.  Even have a couple of large prints on my walls at home, with another coming soon!
Thanks for this site - it's one of the pleasures of my day!
Yuletide.I love seeing this picture every year. As do my co-workers. Thank you.
I have seen this picture for six (I believe) years nowBut today, today there is a new face, one I instantly recognize, that I would swear was not there in any previous year.
I once found my wife's doppleganger (Trackless Trolley) in one of these pictures.  Today, I find my youngest daughter, Cecilia (16); she's poking her face out between the 2nd and 3rd fully visible women on the left side of the photo (their right) from the tree.
Ok, it's spooky Dave.... but I'm starting to believe someone has a time travel machine, and everyone but me in my family is using it.
P.D. clocheWonder what she's hiding under that hat?
It's timeThis picture (and the myriad comments) are so entertaining, I sometimes search for it when I'm feeling low, even in July!  I especially love Oil Can Sally's come hither look.
I amost know these peopleMy Great-Great Grand uncle was Dan Richardson, a senior accountant for Western Electric in the New England/Northeast US area. He certainly visited Washington D. C. during his time with Western Electric, and would have met and worked with one or more of the people in this photo.
Odd to think I could, via relatives, have been introduced to these people.
This is my first ChristmasI see 26 men, 21 women and hundreds of possibilities.
Oh My GoodnessI had no idea it was so close to Christmas. We really need to finish the baking...
Old Friends From The OfficeAre like warm Gluehwein to heat the cold heart at Christmas.
Merry Christmas my Shorpyite friends and a Happy New Year to everyone, especially Dave who keeps all of us in memories. [updated]
Phyllis Diller"What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day."
QuorumThis picture puts the "mass" back in Christmas.
Sturdy DesksI guess the nine guys head and shoulders above everyone else are standing on two or three of these desks. Curious as anyone about the office relationships and the lady sitting in front of the desk. My eighth year of wondering and guessing about this picture.
The scraggly looking treein the picture most probably was bought with donations from some of the people in this picture.
Older Shorpyites will no doubt remember the single set of lights on the tree.  The lighting "outfit" was an inexpensive 8 light series set, with C-6 miniature based bulbs.  When a bulb burned out, it was time to hunt for it with a good one...unscrewing every bulb in the set until it was found.
I remember helping my grandmother do just that.  For some reason, the C-6 series set was always at the top of the tree.  Grandma would get up on a stool, with me holding the good bulb, and switching it one by one until the set lit.
Wonderful times.  Timeless memories.
What Are They ThinkingI've enjoyed this picture year after year, and like many who had suffered through office parties, I often thought what goes through their minds.
Click to enlarge.

Lady in the foregroundI've also wondered (several years in a row) about the lady with her back to the desk. The thing that really stands out to me, is her hair. As far as I can tell, she has her hair swept back in a bun, which is clearly very old-fashioned compared to all the bobbed and shingled ladies in the office.
I know this is a bit far-fetched but her clothes and hair suggest to me that she wasn't an office worker, as they give the impression of having less money to spend on herself. I wondered if maybe she was the office cleaner/ tea lady who was called in to be part of the photo?
It could explain why she seems a bit distant from all the others in the group.
It's here!  It's here!The Shorpy Christmas Cheer office party picture is here!  Smack dab in the middle of Prohibition, the gang at Western Electric make merry with two or three hundred stories or thoughts about what the heck was going on in their heads!  
My favorite is the seductress "oil can" Sally with her bathtub-gin induced come-hither gaze!
Merry Christmas!
#UsTooI bet if those girls had a voice today there would be some explaining to do.
Night Before ChristmasWhen what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a company Christmas calendar, the same as last year.
Season's GreetingsThis is simply the greatest captured moment in the history of office photography!
Nothing puts me in the spirit like --this pic, a glass of egg nog and Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" on a loop! Merry Christmas all!!
The distant gazeAs fun as it is, I think we're way overthinking the motives of the 5 or so "looking away" women.  Yes, even the comment-generating pair of the sultry one in the lower left corner and the one sitting to her left who appears to be staring her down.  It was evidently fashionable for many decades for women to "look into the distance" for a portrait photograph, and I think that's all they're doing here.  My theory is that this practice started as a way to prevent the "zombie eyes" effect of the exposure capturing the blink after the flash.  My mother always did it, even when I implored her to look at my camera with everyone else.
That GirlIn the middle front, her hairdo reminds me of a poem my mother (b. 1915) used to recite:
There was a little girl who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was horrid.
[Nursery rhyme by Longfellow. - Dave]
Every yearI feel sorrier than the year before for the one sitting on the floor with her back to the desk.  She looks like she is just waiting for the party to be over so she can throw herself out the window.   
Reminds me of "The Office"I can find the whole cast from Dunder-Mifflin -- Michael, Jim and Pam, Dwight Schrute, Stanley, Kevin, Angela, and Phyllis. 
Let's danceHey, did anyone remember to bring their Lasses White albums?
ClaireThis pretty gal looks exactly like my wife.  I just printed out the image and am going to show her tonight.  
Work or PleasureIs the machine on the desk at the right (above the In Box) a record player brought in? A radio? Or is it merely some office device like maybe a phone-related routing/switchboard machine?
Also, wingtips apparently were in style.
Sure SignOf the Season: this picture on Shorpy (Thanks, Dave) and "A Christmas Carol" on TCM.  All the best to all wherever ye might be!
Ghosts of Christmas pastIt really is curious that we can scrutinize a picture like this every year and each time we notice something different that we did not notice before.  This year, while observing enlarged close-ups of these people's faces, I see resemblances to many of my own acquaintances, friends and public figures and one can almost even determine the personality and attitude of each person. I think the young lady standing on the extreme left, second row, closest to the door, looks like a younger Martha Stewart. I also know that these happy holiday office parties are quickly disappearing due to the current lawsuits involving harassment, etc. so the people of my generation (old fossils) can move into the history books with them and just remember how it "used to be" and know it will never be again.
This festive group gets a prime spot in that chapter and exemplifies what it was like, for better or for worse.  Party on kids, 'til the end of time.   
The BossThe one sure thing about this photo is who the boss is, probably flanked by his second in command to his right.
Ion Dept. XmasI have followed this wonderful Xmas photo for years but have never commented, till now.  I always wondered what I might say, since so much has been said.  But what really made me start this year -- the thing I’d never really noticed before – the new thing! – is that guy (head) craning behind the Xmas tree.  Compared with all the other people, he’s really only half there, penciled in, lacking in the vibrancy and heft of every other person. So I guess my comment is:  Merry Xmas, Ion Tree guy!  (And Merry Xmas to all my Shorpy sisters and brothers, and of course to our all-puissant but beneficent overlords, Dave and tterrace, who make this daily joy available to us all.)
[Or maybe Ion Guy is just tinseled in. - Dave]
Was the Electric Company a Communist Front?Psychodramas?  How about it looks like Alger Hiss and Whitiker Chambers’ cousins were exchanging Christmas gifts in Washington in 1925.  Alger’s stands to the left and Whitiker’s to the right—significant?  Whitiker’s cousin looks like someone socked him on the forehead and Alger’s has a smile on his face.

[Ahem. Whittaker, not "Whitiker." - Dave]
That Temptress!All these folks saying they see something new each year -- nuts. I first laid eyes on the beauty behind the oil can, what -- a decade ago now? And she has had me in her spell ever since. It is now officially Christmas season for me.
I'm busy here!You Shorpyites who fantasize about folks from over 90 years ago -- How strange you are.
And all your blather is distracting me from my mission of saving the saintly Love of My Life whose shoulder had been latched onto by the Evil Witch with no opposable thumb ...
I must complete this pesky time machine before Christmas.
Holiday RomanceI see that its time to renew my holiday romance. Every year I fall in love with the young lady the farthest to the left. Brings warmth to my heart, of course, I don't dare tell my wife.
Season's Greetings!I look forward to this picture every year. I like that it's been a running thing here for so long, because I see it as a way to bind all us Shorpyites together. No matter where we live, how old we are, what we're doing in our lives, we can all stop here and comment on this picture, wishing everyone a wonderful holiday. Thank you, Dave, for providing that for us. 
I wish all of you that read this a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2019 be the year you've been waiting for.
Hip FlasksEven the Bear won't tell, but, I am sure the oil can will.
1925! Prohibition! Almost every woman had one and, I am sure, that there may be a few here. 
Maybe, that's why Gladys sitting with the Bear and oil can, is smiling knowingly?
Even the person who introduced Prohibition had a still in his basement.
"It was 93 years ago today" Happy Christmas, John! Happy Christmas, Yoko!...Esther, Mary, Eugenia, Mabel, Nellie, Ida, Clara, Edith, Winifred, Maude, Violet, Gladys, Daisy,Doris, Agatha, Gertrude, Elspeth, Velma, Thelma, Myrna, Hortence...
The LevelingTo paraphrase William Makepeace Thackeray "It was in the reign of President Calvin Coolidge, that the above-named personages lived and quarrelled ; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now."
Most popular galMy favorite - Oil Can Sally - has three gag gifts displayed.  That probably makes her the most popular woman in the office. In addition, her provocative smile suggests a hangover was in her future!
Still GOGO after all these yearsI love the bald guy just visible in the back row with the traffic signal "ballanced" perfectly on the top of his head. Very steady!
It sounds crazy... but I swear the bear moved a bit since last year.
That old gang is back!The Christmas Party Picture is back!  I'd actually forgotten about it, so a quick check of Shorpy was the most welcome way to end my Friday.  The week to come will reveal new snarks about these buddies of ours, and I look forward to that.  Thank you, Shorpy!
Those EyesThe beauty sitting against the desk gets me every year. She looks exhausted.
My Favorite TraditionI don't post a lot of comments, but I check the site every day to see what's new and to read what *other* people have said. This is probably one of my favorite posts on this site because it's great to go back through the years of comments and read people's observations about the image, maybe see if someone has come up with something new. I hope we keep seeing this picture on the Friday before Christmas until the heat death of the universe. It would be a lovely constant.
Happy Holidays to everyone at Shorpy. I hope it's filled with love, contentment, and joy.
If you like this photo ...You loved the postcard you just received!!!
When mine came in the mail, my wife said, "Do you know those people?"
Find the BossI just love the way he stands there holding his cigar.  You can almost hear him barking out orders in a very Edward G. Robinson-ish voice.
This reminds me of --That photo in "The Shining" of the 1921 New Year's Eve party at the Overlook Hotel.  These folks will be back, again and again.
The timeless shorpy traditionEvery year when I see the office party pic, my eyes always wind up gazing into the sideways glance of that beauty in front of the desk.
I cant help imagining what the conversations of the day were, who brought a flask full of illegal libations, was jazz coming from a tube type radio, did everyone get a little Christmas bonus (it was the roaring 20's mind you), and who has a crush on who?
Dave, thanks for all you do. Shorpy is a constant in my day.
Be well everyone!  
I guessed the right number of buttons in the jarMerry Christmas!
The Shorpy Ion Dept.A crazy thought occurred to me this year with respect to this beloved standard photograph: what if it were not the Ion Dept. from 1925 but the Shorpy regular contributors from 2019?  Which one is Dave?  Where is tterrace?  And what about so many of the devoted Shorpsters (in no special order) – Jim Page, fanhead, TheGeezer, PhotoFan, Baxado, BethF, TimeAndAgainPhoto, Vintagetvs, OTY, Solo, Jeb70, switzarch, DaveA, JennyPennifer, rhhardin, pennsylvaniaproud, JohnHoward, kines, loujudson, lindab, Jano, StefanJ, jimmylee42, Hayslip, rivlax, Mattie, joemanning, Born40YearsTooLate, GarandFan, mountainrev, perpster, Dbell, Doubleclutchin, Root 66, KathyRo, archfan, GlenJay, alexinv, karenfryxell, Gooberpea, Angus J, 510Russ, Michael R, Brett, BillyB, bobzyerunkl, Alex, jsmakbkr, Marchbanks, Commishbob, Jimmy Longshanks, DoninVa, mgolden, Alonzo, Dag, Juan de la cruz, bobstothfang, Ice gang, Rute Boye, Vonderbees, Ad Orientem, MacKenzie Kavanaugh, JazzDad, Maniak Productions, EvenSteven, Doghouse Riley, John.Debold, Sewickley, Paul A, and jd taylor.  And let’s not forget some of the people we haven’t seen for a while: stanton_square, aenthal, Mr Mel.  (My apologies to those I have not listed.)  Best of the season to you all, my fellow Shorpsters!
Who's WhoDavid K - Dave runs the joint, so he's the three piece with the cigar.  TTerrace is his major player on this site, so he is the guy looking over Dave's left shoulder.  Now we just need someone to post a picture with numbers, and we label them.
Maligayang Pasko all.
Re:Shorpy Ion Dept@davidk, I'm the one peeking from behind the Christmas tree.
I hope everyone in the Shorpy pantheon enjoys all the holidays!
Postcards From The EdgeWhen I got mine, I literally jumped for joy seeing the people that I love and cherish so much. Now I can look at them anytime throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
And, thank you to DAVIDK for the mention.
[@davidk, I would be the guy with the object upon his head]
Our own office partyI love seeing this photo every year and thanks to davidk for the guest book entries of our office.  Top of the season everyone!
Still HereEvery time I see this picture I think that these people could have been my mom or dad.The time and ages represented are almost perfect. It reminds me of aunts and uncles and family friends who are long gone although I will never forget them. I just turned 80 years old this past July and can remember a lot of people who would have been right at home in this picture. Thank you davidk for including me in your list of people who have liked this picture in the past and a big Merry Christmas to Dave and tterrace for maintaining the site. 
This one never gets oldHow is it that an old picture never gets old?  Every year, I always notice something new that I hadn't noticed before.  This year it's the guy with the beard, hiding behind the tree.
Also, the woman just above and just to the left of the woman in the striped blouse (her left, that is) - could that be Johnny Depp's great-grandmother?  I see a definite resemblance.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Love itI love this photo.   The expressions, the faces.  Some of the women are quite attractive. The man with his hand draped across the shoulder of another man is interesting.
Office desk sultry beautyI wonder why the dark hair beauty is staring off to the side?  Was she jilted?  Was she sick of the many advances by the suited men, or despondent that the one she wanted got away.   Why does the women in the RBG collar stare at her?  Does she know what happened?
I love the captions from another commenter. 
Michael ScottIf Michael Scott were the manager of this office, I wonder if he would have said (as he did 85 years later on the TV show), "Unbelievable. I do the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for these people and they freak-out. Well happy birthday Jesus, sorry your party's so lame."
Merry Christmas, Shorpy! And for the record, I don't consider this a lame birthday party, and I doubt Jesus would, either.
Bal MasqueNinety-five years later, if there even would be a party! With an added suspense -- what does Hermione look like, under that mask?
Socially DistantWould they have believed it had someone told them that in 95 years their photograph would be the highlight of 2020 for a group of remote observers?
Merry and BrightThis photo has become the official kickoff of the holidays for me.
Best wishes to all the Shorpy regulars and particularly those who keep this place running. 
Neither here nor thereEach year my attention is drawn immediately to the three beauties at the bottom left of the photo: sultry beauty far left floor level, looking off to her right at someone/something off camera; the lady to that lady's left who seems to be watching her with deliberate intent; exquisite beauty just behind the desk corner, beheld with what appears to be fond regard by the lady just behind her to her left; and wholesome beauty smiling behind exquisite beauty, being kept tabs on by the lady in the Police Department helmet. 
I do eventually get past these women, to study the remainder of visages and postures and wonder about the other long-dead revelers of both genders, but it is these six who take up most of my time each year as I wonder what might have been the complexities of the various relationships. And as always, I hope each one in the photo had a Merry Christmas that year and many years after. I know that the likelihood is slim to none that all lived long and were carefree throughout, but that's still what I wish for in this suspended moment that so many have celebrated for so long, thanks to Shorpy.
So a Merry Christmas to beloved Shorpy and its erudite, esteemed company of gazers no less fascinating than any who attended Office Xmas Party: 1925.
Thanks Again Dave and Merry ChristmasThanks again Dave, I've been waiting for it.  Obviously, we all love this yearly Christmas "surprise".  I enjoy everyone's take on this party I missed awhile back.
Questions, questionsEvery year I wonder.
What is that thing on the postal scale?  A misplaced elf? A misshapen magus?
Why is that woman with the oil can looking at me?  Am I safe?
And why is the Christmas tree so scrawny?
Merry Christmas Dave!And to all the crew at Shorpy!  Thanks for the memories and keeping some of us sane in 2020!
What I want for ChristmasI don't care what it is, I want one.
[Update, thanks to all the gizmo identifiers. I love tape dispensers! Now I really want it!]
Nothing stops this partyOh, thank goodness the Shorpy party is still on!  It's the only event the pandemic cannot cancel!
Judging youDon't know what got into her holiday spirit. Not too pleased with someone.
Re: tterrace What I want for ChristmasIt's a gummed tape dispenser, similar to this one:
She of the averted gazeI know that we enjoy interpreting what is in - or not in - this photograph each year.   However, eight people, including "she of the averted gaze" are looking in that direction, suggesting something was going on while the picture was taken, sufficient to distract.   A further basis for interpretation and speculation, perhaps?    Merry Christmas.   
Only one bow tieAmong all those Windsor knots on the gents, third on upper right.  In group after group they are always in the minority, even until today.
Going to a Go-GoNothing says Christmas like a  Go-Go party hat.
That machineMay be a gummed tape applicator.
National Package Sealer model #206
Do they know?Do you think the two women wearing the exact same necklace (dripping pearls) suspect that it might have come from the same man? Are the pearls from the handsome young gentleman with the pen sticking out of his pocket? Is this an early version of "The Bachelor" that we are witnessing? Which one will he choose?
Austerity Christmas?From the Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the lack of any visible food or drinks (except for a few candy canes) to the blank, unimpressed looks on some faces, it looks like an Austerity Christmas in Anytown this year.
Well, Merry Christmas TermiteYou can probably still find one somewhere.  It's an automatic wetter and cutter for wide, brown packing tape. You just mash down on the handle and it shoots out a measured length of wet sticky tape and cuts it when you release. There is a messy water reservoir up front. I used one in a shipping department in 1974.
Buddha Bear!Puts in his once a year appearance.
Merry Christmas to Dave & Ken & tterrace and all the naughty boys & girls at Shorpy!
Nice $-value todayThat horse that guy in front of Christmas tree is holding. All with bit of wear and patina collected in 95 years.
Another yearWe all get another year older and they stay the same.
Five groupsPart of the endless fun with this photo is deciding which part of it to center as the embiggened image on my screen.  I fluctuate between the five main Ion Dept. groups: on the left, the ladies on the floor, the ladies standing, and the men standing above them, and on the right, the lower men and the upper men. (If I had to distinguish a special sub-group, it would be solo guy behind the tree and the fellow on the very far right who hovers between the upper and lower groups.)  Once I have the group du jour embiggened, I focus on the individual characters.  As we who have been doing this for years well know, that’s when the fun begins.
Might I take this opportunity to offer the best of the season to Dave and Ken and tterrace and all my fellow Shorpsters.  In this extraordinary year of greater screen time than ever before, I find that my Shorpy screen time is even more intense and valuable, if such a thing is actually possible.  Bless Shorpy, and bless you all.
Elbow to elbowEvery year I have a different response to this photograph, depending on general mood and the state of the world.  This year, I truly envy those people.  They get to stand together in a bunch, breathing one another’s air, touching each other casually, sharing food and drink, simply going in to work at an office.  They all lived through a plague of their own six years earlier, and they look fine now, so there’s hope.
Happy holidays to all the people who create and enjoy this wonderful website that gives me joy and perspective on a daily basis.
Re: Elbow to elbowI must concur. Having spent nine months wearing a mask, practically bathing in hand sanitizer every time I touch anything, and staying as far removed from people I don't live with as humanly possible, I'm jealous of these long-dead coworkers for being able to crowd together, enjoying one another's company in person, rather than over Zoom or FaceTime.
It's been a bad, bad year, there's no denying that, but Shorpy has been a bright spot in my day since January, much as I'm sure it's been for the rest of you. Happy Holidays to all the Shorpyites out there — may you find some contentment and peace in the face of all this tragedy and come out the other side hale and hearty.
That Time of Year AgainThrough the miracle of photography and our friends at Shorpy, we are able to visit this party again.  
A Vintage CrumpleAfter all these annual viewings I finally noticed what looks like a lone crumpled piece of paper at lower right. We'll never know what was on it. Maybe a dig at one of these people? Or love note? Ah, the mysteries!
Christmas Past, Present, and Future all at once!Every year I wonder about the dark-haired smiling young woman third from the front, beside the desk. With her modern-looking bob, she looks like a Time Traveler, so that's what I've named her. (Not far away are The Maniac, Da Boss, and The Very Secret Lovers.) This photo, along with its subjects, never gets old, and I hope the Holiday Spirit that originally inspired it never does either. Happiest of Holidays to everybody who produces and sees Shorpy, and a New Year of peace, love, courage, and good health to all.
12 Years of ChristmasMerry Christmas Shorpy.  Thanks for the memories.
[This is Shorpy's 14th Christmas! - Dave]
PerspectiveThey all lived through a plague of their own six years earlier, and they look fine now, so there’s hope.
Thanks, jdtaylor--I'm sure I'm not the only one who needed that perspective today.
Happy holidays to Dave and all the Shorpyites. This site has been a great distraction lately!
Time to Move OnI vote that next year you post the 1926 photo. Some of the lingering issues must have been resolved by then.
The X-mas Party Presents!And here you may have a look on how Christmas looked 100 years ago in the U.K. (including a display of toys made by Meccano in the toy department of Whiteleys store in Bayswater).
Mysterious machineNow that the gummed tape dispenser has been identified, I hope someone will be able to reveal the secret of the machine on the desk behind the in-box. A perforator or a mimeograph machine perhaps?
[It's called a typewriter. - Dave]
Dead ringer, etc.At the very back and far left - the attractive woman 3 in - I have a friend who looks exactly like her but with a more modern hair style, but identical facial features. How eerie!
Something tells me that Oil Can Mary's wicked smile indicates that she is already planning what flapper attire she will wear at the local speakeasy that night. Her future toast might be: "My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends— It gives a lovely light!" Published in 1920. Edna St. Vincent Millay.
I often wonder what became of all these people. It is my hope that they all lived long, happy, prosperous lives but alas, as we know, life can be more complicated than that.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year you ghosts of Christmas past!
The only Christmas party I'll go to.Merry Christmas to Dave and the Shorpy Crew, as well as my fellow Shorpy followers. It appears that I've been around for 12.5 of the 14 years of, though it seems like yesterday and DoninVa no longer lives in Va. There's always something to be found in a Shorpy photo: the young woman framed in the glass of the door is the doppelganger for someone I once worked with. Cheers!
Newcomer To The PartyAfter viewing Shorpy for some years now, I finally decided to join this party; I'm in awe of the many observations, and for now, am unable to come up with any new angles on this fascinating photo.  I do want to say that the comments of jd taylor and BethF most definitely struck a chord with me; I, too, envy those in the photo, survivors of even greater trouble, coming as it did following The Great War.  Hope to see you all back at the party next year, and a few other places along the way.  May you all find peace and hopefully some joy this Christmas.
A Merry Christmas to You All!It's been a rough few years for me (family deaths, health issues), and my Internet usage dropped off considerably. I may have stopped commenting, but I never stopped reading, and I've looked forward to this photo every year for a long, long time. I'm glad that for all the things in flux in this world, the Shorpy Office Xmas Party remains the same.
I wish you and yours the very merriest and happiest of holiday seasons. May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white.  :-D
EerieWhy the rush?
[??? - Dave]
MassafornianWhat a great comment, thank you.  I’ve never colorized, and I use Photoshop for barely 10% of what it can do, but I truly appreciated your insight into the process.  More amazing is that you’ve named them all.  Gosh, I’d love to know who the others are, in addition to Mary, Bobbie, Lulu, and Lila.  And how honest to share with us your faves, Mary and Bobbie, made legit by your wife asking.  I agree about Lila: trouble.  Also the lady with the marcel wave in the purple dress and blue coat with fur fringe behind the bear and oilcan and house: you might think of her in off moments but you could never make it work.  (What’s her name?)  Thanks for explaining about Remini because I wondered how their teeth and various other features were so brilliant and precise.  And don’t worry about the rouging: it raised the temperature on the whole event (and not just on the ladies – it’s perfect for that guy third from the left in the upper right, the older fellow with the red tie, who’s had too much to drink or is about to have a stroke or both).  One more thing: I’d never really noticed that unsightly blotch on the forehead of the boss with the cigar – you did it full, gross justice.  Again, great job, and thanks, man!
I'd like to be the first this yearSurely, it's not too soon for this Yuletide Jewel ...
The Oilcan Need an explanation for the purpose of the oil can at the party.
[It's not a party unless everyone is well-lubricated. - Dave]
Now the season is complete!I look forward to revisiting this every year. Thank you!
- Ken
Colorized versionI've been working off and on to colorize this wonderful image throughout the year. Here's the result. You can also find it here in high resolution:
Merry Christmas!
[Bravo! - Dave]
Amazing colorization!@ Massafornian -- thanks so much for that epic job. It adds so much to an already incredible image. (Judging by your username, I suspect we are compatriots -- I was born in Massachusetts and live in California.)
Merry and BrightWith retirement, our lives have been simpler here so the Christmas decorations go up earlier and earlier. But it isn't *really* the season until the annual Shorpy office party. Happy Holidays to Dave and the regular contributors that make this place special.'s kind of odd that I get older but none of the partygoers ever seem to. Must be something in the eggnog.
As We Seek Normalcy, This Pic Provides it!The last two pandemic driven years, makes most of us seek glimpses of normalcy. Having this Christmas tradition each year, having a peek into the office Christmas party, gives a moment of that peace. Knowing these, and their children, and their grandchildren...made it through the Great Depression, WWll, the Cold War, etc., etc., still, a moment frozen in time, gives a certain reassurance, that everything is going to be ok! 
Merry Christmas, office party, as well as all the Shorpy members that crash the party each year!
Bravo, indeedWell done on the colorization, Massafornian.  It adds a level of vibrancy to an already-lively photo of an intriguing bunch of people.  I’m also surprised at some of the effects, for example the oft-commented-upon woman in the lower left, sitting against the desk, craning her neck for a beady glare offstage – the rouge on her cheeks and the lipstick blunt the ultra-crazy impression and make her look, dare I say, somewhat fetching.  Thank you for your addition to this seasonal favourite.  And best of the season to my fellow Shorpsters and to the toilers in the digital mines who bring us this much-loved website.
Everybody's back in the officeNobody's working from home and the party is ON!  Happy holidays!
WFHAs we head into Covid Christmas #2, it again strikes me that these folks would have no idea what working from home would even mean.  (Taking in sewing?)  Here they are, in joyous proximity one to the other, while we are still asked to distance, mask up, etc.  Their mingled exhalations, their casual touches, the humid density of their gathering – how I envy them.  Well, we come here to dream and fantasize, don’t we?  Happy holidays to my fellow dreamers and observers and to the hard-working trio who bring us the stuff that dreams are made of.
Up to good or no goodI am incredulous that I have never really noticed the girl at the far left of the photo, just in front of the door -- the last of the women. She is concealing something. Knowledge or intent, benevolent or nefarious ... no matter. Keep a weather eye on that one.
Egad! New versions!Shorpy Patreon members have been treated to a short, elegant--well, creepy--music video in Ken-Burns-goes-Edward Gorey style. And now a colorized photo with costumes straight out of Technicolor heaven. And in 2021 they all sneaked in to party on Saturday!
Old FriendsI've seen this picture so many times over the years at Christmas time on Shorpy that the faces have become like familiar old friends. I'm of the opinion that Christmas will never be the same for me unless I get to see this photo at least once during the Christmas season.
Girl At The Far LeftNo one tried to say a thing
When they took him out in jest
Except, of course, the little neighbor boy
Who carried him to rest
And he just walked along, alone
With his guilt so well concealed
And muttered underneath his breath
“Nothing is revealed”
Time For A Rhyme...or TwoIt's Christmas Party time again, so back to yesteryear,
To faces from so long ago, we now hold somewhat dear
They lived through their pandemic, and now we've had our own
For some, it was an ordeal; of much more time alone,
Yet, gazing at these faces here shows us things will improve,
And then to next year's gala even more will gladly move!
A Merry Christmas to you all, here at this special time
I thank you all so very much for bearing with my rhymes,
May next year's party be the one our current trial's behind us
But our friends from 1925 will be there to remind us ...
A very special thanks to Massafornian for the superb colorization!
A bit more on the colorizationThe colorization was done by hand, for about an hour most every morning, when I had the spare time while listening to podcasts. I started in early January and completed it around April. I am sure that most Shorpians know that colorization is tedious, mostly due to the need to mask objects and details as much as possible, to distinguish them from other objects. (The Christmas tree with its fir needles and tinsel was a bit of a job). Automated colorization just doesn’t compare in quality to doing it by hand.
Each person is a smart layer in Photoshop that in turn contains many layers of isolated bits to colorize. The fun part was choosing the colors of people’s attire. Hopefully what I chose is close enough to what this cast of characters might’ve actually worn in 1925, but I won’t claim any historical research was performed for color accuracy.
I could easily spend the same amount of time on this image again, by further masking textures and smaller objects, and separating their colors. If anyone wants the original layered PSD to do more magic, you can have it here:
You have exactly one year to post the next refinement!
You might notice in the high resolution version that the faces are oddly higher resolution than the surrounding parts of the image. This is a bit of AI deployed on the faces, called Remini. Google it to learn more, but in a nutshell, Remini analyzes a face that is low resolution or blurry and magically reconstructs it in high resolution by drawing from a huge library of face components. Remini reassembles face components onto a map based on the original image. The process is hit-or-miss as far as how it can interpret low-quality image data. It was fun to apply it to this image one face at a time and integrate the rendered AI faces back into the master image.
I feel that I know all these characters in the photo intimately, having spent a lot of time on each one of them. I’ve given them all first names to distinguish the Photoshop layer names. My wife asks me which lady I might’ve fancied back in the day, and I think it’s a tie between ‘Mary’ (the blonde in front of the ‘504’ door wearing purple) and ‘Bobbie’ (third-to-the-right of ‘Lulu’, (the pixie by the desk), with brown hair, a green coat and blue dress, looking directly into the camera). Those two have nice, approachable personalities. I’m intrigued by ‘Lila’ (the mysterious lady on the floor in front of the desk), but she’s perhaps too brooding for 1925 Me to take on; and ‘Lulu’ is far too racy and trendy for my sensibilities.
I was born in 1963, so I imagined a lot of these people from 1925 as being my many older relatives who were a huge part of my childhood in the 60’s and 70’s. My grandmother was born in 1890 and her gaggle of five sisters had birth years that ranged between 1885 and 1902. Though elderly, they were all alive and vibrant for most of my childhood, and greatly influenced me.
I’ve been patiently waiting for this time of year when Dave publishes this wonderful photo, to submit my contribution. I think this version turned out pretty nice.
@ Born Too Late - my geographical fate is the opposite of yours: I started out in the Alameda, California and moved to Massachusetts some 20 years ago. Massachusetts is really a great place to live—weather be damned!
@ DavidK - Yes, ‘Lila’ did indeed turn out to be beautified by the AI software, Remini. In retrospect I think I got carried away with rouging people’s cheeks, but without it, the skin tones just seemed too flat.
HUAAgreed, davidk ... most likely she's a downright dollbaby but there is a definite glint in her eye and you must admit she has a secret or two or ten. Maybe she's even got something on some of the other girls.
Not nefariousI’ve had my eye on that woman on the far left in front of the ION window for years, JennyPennifer.  She has a touch of high color, and I really like that ringlet that has broken loose by her right eye.  She seems mild yet ready for fun.  Not naughty.
At this rateI'm thinking that by the 2025 centenary we should be ready for an animatronic enlivening of this ongoing party.
Cast of charactersAbsolutely outstanding job of colorization, Massafornian!
It really brings out details that were easy to overlook.
I see the Serbian Anarchist, peering out just to the right of the Big Boss with the cigar, and wonder what he's planning. And the guy hiding just below the life of the party, with the STOP/GO headgear - he looks like he's hiding something, for sure.
But is the Big Boss truly the Man? My money is on the distinguished looking silver haired gent at the top right, overlooking the affair with a cautious gaze ...
And, who really *is* the mustachioed guy to his left, glaring at the photographer?
Is he worried about this photo getting out? Does he appear on a Wanted poster??
Merry Thank YouBecause it's never Christmas until the Office Party and new Office Party Comments.
Office Stories@ DavidK - If you have Photoshop, try downloading the PSD and you’ll see their names in the layers palette. The oilcan lady I named ‘Janelle’ because she looks like my cousin who has that name. I believe ‘Janelle’ to be the well-regarded office trickster.
The aging lush in the top-right standing group of men is named ‘Redd’. Me thinks he’s barely evading his mortality this fine evening, and perhaps is about to fall off of whatever he’s perched upon, to be carried out to a waiting cab, muttering something about his childhood pet dog, Wilberforce. After his early departure his hip flask was found on the floor, where he fell. No one knows what happened to it, or its contents.
The leader of the pack is named ‘Boss’, for obvious reasons. My wife thinks that perhaps he has a familial connection to ‘Bertha’, the large lady in the red dress. Boss’s blotch is an expanding skin growth. By 1945, it will have grown over his face, poor fellow. Unfortunately, the portly Boss died of a heart attack in 1946 while un-crating his new supply of Consuegra cigars and munching on a donut.
I note in this photo that there is no evidence of food or drink, save the candy canes. So while we have conjectured on this post about the state of inebriation these people might be in, strong drink seems unlikely at this event, particularly in the age of prohibition these people find themselves in. (Redd is the exception, having brought his own supply of spirits.) The food might be in another part of the room, but the lack of it has me thinking that this event was a relatively brief gathering after work.
‘Lulu’, the office pixie, is only 19 years old. She is Boss’s niece. This makes her somewhat problematic for all concerned in the office, and something of a political figure. She’s not exactly incompetent at her job, but the office matriarch, ‘Ursula’ (sitting on the floor in the green dress) was grudgingly forced to hire her. Lulu got married to a Studebaker salesman in 1928, moved to Pasadena in 1930, and had 4 children. She died in 1988 in a car accident.
The thing about the brooding ‘Lila’ that no one knew was that she had a very wealthy aunt in New York City. In 1934 her aunt passed away, and Lila inherited nearly $3 million dollars in property and bonds. She moved to the Upper East Side in 1936, but never married. She lived to the age of 103, dying in 1998.
Here's a closeup of Lila:
Go-GoIs that something hanging from the wall or sitting on the man's head as a prank?  Has it ever been commented on before?  Though not shown, there has to be a portable Victrola and stack of jazz records somewhere for when the party gets hot!  This was the height of the Charleston era and there are plenty of flappers present!
A White Elephant In The RoomMay explain the oil can, the Honey Bear, and all the other strange gifts.
I don't know how long the White Elephant Gift party has been around, but my wife and I just had one at our house.
That is one thing that I have been looking at all these years on Shorpy (the crazy gifts), and now realize the crazy gifts could be from the White Elephant in the room.
Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year to all my Shorpyite brothers and sisters.
(Thanks archfan. Good to know that it is still around after all these years)
Colors!Kudos, Massafornian! At first I thought, hm, some of those dresses are awfully bright, but then I realized of course that for the office party some people always wear a “special” outfit. I doubt that woman in the red satin dress would have worn it any other day but it’s so Christmasy how could she resist! 
Colors!Kudos, Massafornian! At first I thought, hm, some of those dresses are awfully bright, but then I realized of course that for the office party some people always wear a “special” outfit. I doubt that woman in the red satin dress would have worn it any other day but it’s so Christmasy how could she resist! 
Re: Go-GoVictrolaJazz asks if the mini traffic signal on the head of the man at the back, to the right of the tree, has been commented on before.  Yes!  Many times over the years, in fact.  This would provide a fine opportunity to review the long and enjoyable string of comments where you will find the following:  Going to a Go-Go (12/12/2020), Still GOGO after all these years (12/20/2019), Festive Dress (12/19/2015), Must have been a heck of a party (12/23/2014), No one seems to have noticed (12/14/2012), Office A-Go-Go (12/25/2010), Slow on the uptake (12/24/2010), Kimono-wearing parrot? (12/23/2010), I can’t find Don Draper (12/23/2010), Naughty Naughty (04/21/2009), Getting Oiled at the Office Xmas Party (12/15/2008), Dramatis Personae (12/15/2008), and, finally, A Story in every face (12/15/2008) which includes a Dave link to a Shorpy post with a real GO-GO traffic signal in it.
Time travel?Either Johnny Depp  was the original Doctor Who time travelling as a woman or his mother was working Working for Western Electric that Christmas
A white elephant party?I hadn't thought of that and now I'm disappointed.  For years I have been daydreaming about the oil can lady, the one with the unnervingly lascivious direct look.
Then I remember she'd be old enough to be my grandmother.  Jeepers.
Grateful Holiday pome These people, alas, are all now dust.
 But we on Shorpy surely must
 visit them once more.
 Cheer to all on Shorpy!
Sad or Stimulating, or a bit of both?Having been recently retired, with no more company Christmas parties to attend, I am faced with a conundrum. 
Is it sad that the 1925 Christmas Party on Shorpy is now the Office Party I look forward to the most, or is it tantalizing that the faces and actions of these folks, now long gone, give all of us smiles nearly a century later?
Let this serve as a reminder to treat every moment as if that moment is also "frozen in time"!
Merry Christmas, Dave, and the entire Shorpy family!
MomObviously, this is another photo in the Shorpy Hall of Fame inaugural class, but the best thing about it for me is that it was likely taken when my mom was just a newborn, having come into this world on December 17, 1925.  Merry Christmas to all and a Happy Heavenly 97th Birthday to my mom!
My how time fliesSeems like it was just a month or two ago when last Christmas flew by with this pic.
NobodyHas changed much from last year.  Remarkable.
Gag Gifts?I look forward to this party every year, and I notice something new each December. It's occurred to me that everyone in the photo is holding some kind of small gift, and all of them look like "white elephants": a toy horse, an oil can, a little bear, a toy policeman's hat—perhaps it was a "Secret Santa" kind of gag gift swap, and each gift was appropriately unique to the receiver. The photograph makes every one of these people forever young, and I always wonder what happened to each one of them: all those life stories that we'll never know. (I hope they all got a Christmas bonus!) Happiest of Holidays—and a Happy, Healthy New Year—to every Shorpyite.
The finer detailsI’ve chosen to focus on some of the smaller, obscure points this year in my investigation of this beloved photo.  The woman in the bobby hat towards the left?  Go south to the hand of the woman in front of her, the hand on the shoulder of the woman in the light-colored dress: that hand looks disembodied and is therefore creepy.  Person who looks most Photoshopped in?  The woman to the immediate left of that hand, staring right into your soul.  Stuff like that.  The picture is positively filthy with wacky, kooky, scary little things.
Sober thoughtFourteen years of beautiful fascination. Wonder if some folks who commented earlier, by now "are with the people on the photo" too?
Go-Go indeedI just wanted to second the man at the back, being bald myself. Go Go, folks.
Christmas TreesIf nothing else, we have made great advances in Christmas tree technology. 
Every year they look a bit youngerMeanwhile, every year I look less like my father and more like my grandfather.
Love the ones you're withThanks for the labor of love and commerce Shorpy is. Years ago this photo evoked for me speculations about what may have divided these office mates. Now what comes out of this photo is the love that is possible if only ... with enough time and enough patience and enough "having lived through" being absent from one another we arrive at a finality of cherishing "in spite of" or even "because of" the uniqueness we bring.
The big read 1925I wonder how many of them were concealing new books in their purses, briefcases, or desk drawers. It was an era of readers, and 1925 was a banner year. Here are some of the newly-printed titles waiting for them in bookstores:
Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Hemingway, In Our Time
Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Dreiser, An American Tragedy
Christie, The Secret of Chimneys
Dos Passos, Manhattan Transfer
Cather, The Professor’s House
Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Milne, a Winnie the Pooh story at Christmas
Kafka, The Trial (if you read German)
Proust, Albertine Disparue (if you read French—though some of them may still be working through the 1922 translation of Swann’s Way).
By December, early subscribers could have accumulated ten months of the new “New Yorker.”
But let’s hope that they still had a few years to be blissfully unaware of Mein Kampf, published in Germany in July.
There's one in every office. Frank is holding up an equipment assignment sheet while calling (vainly) for the frivolity to end and a return to work. He will not succeed. 
Group AnalysisObviously far too long a comment, but Shorpy is so inspirational. Still had fun thinking and writing, as well as viewing picture again.
I was wondering about the woman at the far left. She is showing a sideways glance, and nobody else in the picture has a sideways glance. A sideways glance can be a powerful indication of attention to a subject, like romantic attention or professional attention or just surprise, but in any case something out of the ordinary. Like here, it seems different, just that one woman.
Trying to analyze a sideways glance, there is the face angle (determined by the nose angle) and the eyes angle. For a sideways glance like this, the eyes are directly pointed at the subject, but the face is pointed elsewhere. Using a reasonably limited choice of angles (0, 15, 30, 45) and expressing angles as "eyes angle / face angle" (eyes come first, most expressive), then this mystery woman with the sideways glance could be a 0/30.
Directly below her on the floor is a 45/0 woman, and her eyes angle is the extreme opposite. Seems absolute difference between the two angles can show degree of interest or attention, not the amount of either angle. With any 45/0 difference then attention seems to be very much elsewhere. The 30/45 woman to her right apparently has her attention directed to the same subject, but not to the same degree, more a casual interest, just a difference of 15 between her angles.
And the next woman above is a 30/30, also looking in that direction, but no difference between her angles, no indication of interest or attention, just looking.
Also just looking, but now at the camera, are all the 0/0 men and women, no differences, the largest group. They seem to be posing conventionally for the picture, and there is no apparent sign of interest or attention (other than to the camera). The exact pose varies by individual, some are smiling more than others, but they are all 0/0's. Some 0/0's may be simple conformists, and others may be nonconformists bored stiff (they can still smile, for the camera), but you can't probably tell which is which from the picture.
The big boss on the right is a 0/0, and the men in line with him are mostly 0/0's too, diligently following his traditional example. Above him are three 45/45's, you may not be able to tell about attention or interest from a 45/45, no difference there, in that way like a 0/0. However they are definitely not posing for the camera in any conventional way, not following the big boss example, and probably not in line to succeed him. His successor would probably be a 0/0 closest to him.
We could also consider tilt angle of the head as a variable, but that's more difficult to determine, because it varies with perspective, further away or closer to the camera. Also could consider extent of smiles, but that also difficult to determine. Eyes angle and face angle (nose angle) should be easier.
These angle measurements are probably useful only in a posed office photo, like this one. In a family photo 0/0's can be visibly full of emotion. And in real life anyone can look at you straight on, a 0/0, with amazement or fury or love or anything else. So angles won't help much in real life, although a sideways glance can still show interest and then create reciprocal interest, even mutual interest.
Mistletoe and High Voltage for all the women!I love how the ladies' hair has that "Bride of Frankenstein" look ... creepy yet sexy.  It reminds me to get the yule log out.
ZoomThat was a quick year. 
Another Year Gone ByBeen seeing this annually for a long time now, am I the first to comment ?? Anyways all these souls, their troubles and happy days are behind them and now are just dust in the wind … enjoy yourselves as we will be dust too! Merry Christmas 
My Newest Favorite Christmas Tradition!I have gotten to the point of looking so forward to this party each year, it has indeed become one of my favorite Christmas traditions! LOL
For most of those attending the party, they are indeed, "living life!" That is so valuable, the ability to live life. On a personal note, I am learning that this year, having lost my precious wife in March, to Dementia. As iamjanicemarie well noted, all of these, are now just "dust in the wind."
Which makes me wonder, in what order did they pass? Did some in the picture in 1925 not survive till the party in 1926? Who was the last to go, and in what year? In the hundreds of comments, some pointing out actual things, others just speculating ... we can learn one lesson.
Live Life Fully Every Day. Who knows, a hundred years from now, you may still be having an effect on someone who you never even met!
Merry Christmas, Shorpy family!
What's up with the gals?Are they wearing kryptonite jewelry?
Old friendsI never get tired of this party and these coworkers.  The job, yeah, I'm sick of it, but the people make it all worthwhile.  I feel like I've known them forever.
Welcome Back, Dear 1925 Office Party Friends. . . and all Shorpy friends, too! 
I look forward to seeing this wonderful photo every year. These folks never age, unlike the rest of us. I find this reassuring: life goes on, as it did for the office partiers whose lives continued through the Depression, WWII, and possibly even on to the 1990s. I always wonder who they were and what happened to them. 
Here's to a Happy Holiday season and a peaceful 2024.
Seems Like Old TimesNice to see familiar faces, even though I never met them.  However much they aged after this photograph, we'll never know, so just once each year, it's 1925 again.
StableThis firm has a very stable workforce.  Every year, it's the same folks in the Christmas photo.
Macabre variationAlthough certainly macabre, I do like the door that iamjanicemarie tentatively opened and that HarahanTim swung fully open.  In what order did these people pass?  The annual response to this photo has definitely taken a curious turn, but I’m glad to chime in.
First to go, I believe, was Boss Man with the cigar, the very next morning, in the wee hours.  He’s clearly in bad physical shape, a massive coronary waiting to happen.  And it wasn’t the fault of one of those young ladies sitting on the floor that it happened in her bed.  It was a different time when office and sexual politics were vile, and everyone was drunk.
Last to go was Heather on the far left in back, framed by the glass of the door.  She’s only 23 in the photo, and she lived right into the next century, dying at 102 in 2004.  She had moved back to Ohio, and on her last day was surrounded by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even one of her great-great-grandchildren.  They all loved her very much.
It's finally Christmas ...... when this bunch show up. I checked; they're all there. Proceed to celebrate. Merry Christmas, everyone xoxo
In the officeIt's hard to imagine this bunch "working from home". The dynamic would be lost with a "Zoom" holiday party.
Fire ExtinguisherJust behind the gentleman with the "GO" signal on his head it looks like there is a classic soda/acid fire extinguisher that I noticed for the first time today. Conveniently located next to what appears to be a rather combustible tree. Season's Greetings to Dave, tterrace and the whole Shorpy gang. 
Well, having had time to ponderabout these folk for a good decade since discovering Shorpy, I have come to a tentative yet preliminary assessment.
The only woman with no apparent makeup and yet the most beautiful features is the lady sitting on the floor at bottom left. Really in a class of her own in this crowd with those almond eyes and high cheekbones, yet with hair and dressed a bit out of date, but still sporting brand new shoes judging by their soles. How they got her to sit on the dirty floor for the pic is beyond me.
In any case, the photographer has just given her a huge suggestive wink, and she's snapped her head to the right in response, looking faintly amused / bemused, no doubt used to the unwanted male gaze. The woman second to her left is staring at her, annoyed that Gloria (for that is her name) has caught the roving eye of the photographer instead of her -- the body language is obvious. The flapper two to the left of Ms Envious is giving the photographer a bit of a come-on with her lopsided grin -- she has sussed out his game.
Mr Fatlips the boss is terminally near-sighted but for photos and thus posterity takes his glasses off when posing, as one can see. What he looks like with them on is a subject for a horror movie.
The rest of the crowd barring a few are to a greater or lesser degree tipsy on smuggled-in booze, it being Temperance Time, er, prohibited drinkees time in America
I'll have an update in future when other things become more clear to me from my favorite Shorpy image. 
Merry Xmas to all!
Finger WavesThe blond and brunette whose backs are against the door and doorjamb, respectively, look modern.  The other modern looking girl is two rows in front of them, also a brunette.  These three look timeless.  The other women either still have long hair wrapped up some way or they have those awful finger waves that look like ridges in their hair.  None of the girls that have finger waves have benefitted from that style.  It does not flatter any face shape, it just looks weird and kind of Bride of Frankensteinish.
The blond miss sitting on the floor is looking daggers at the moody looking woman sitting against the desk.  I will always wonder why.
Holiday Party Fun (2023)Dear Shorpy folks and friends of the site.
This year I used this very photo to make a SPOT THE DIFFERENCE game at our work Christmas party.
Each of the participants had 20 minutes to spot all 19 differences. I used Photoshop and AI to make the changes to the photo and we all had so much fun with it.
If you would like me to post that image here, you may have fun too! Let me know Dave!
Also, we have some new friends that might be joining us on this site as they were fascinated by all the expressions of this 1925 party. I did inform them of the site and URL.
Merry Christmas everyone
What is on the hand of the number 2 guy next to the boss?There is something on his pointer finger and thumb.  Could these be some type of grippers for leaving through papers?  Could it be he was working until they forced him to come get his picture taken?  He is clearly annoyed to be there. Maybe he is plotting to have the boss removed so he can be in charge?
Half a MillionI expect that the number of reads for Office Xmas Party will pass 500,000 shortly. Is this a record number of reads for a Shorpy photo?
[Office Xmas Party holds the No. 2 spot. Shorpy's most popular post is ... Lady in the Water, with over 640,000 reads. And at No. 3 is The Beaver Letter. - Dave]
Merry Christmas to all Shorpians!May your holidays be merry and bright.  A special Merry Christmas to Dave and tterrace who keep this very special website going.  And to all pictured from that office party held nearly 100 years ago, a Merry Heavenly Christmas to all!
ONE MORE TIMEAfter passing this photo around for everyone to look and laugh at, it was probably hung on the wall for a time, then taken to someone's home and put away in a chest and forgotten ... perhaps copies were made.
But how would these people feel if they knew that almost a half million people have studied it?
Also those desks have been in their current positions for a very long time, the floor below them new and pristine.
[This was not a casual snapshot -- the National Photo Company was primarily a news service. Its photographs appeared in newspapers, advertisements and publicity material. This particular image might have been used for Western Electric's in-house newsletter or a company Christmas card. - Dave]
Thank ya Dave for clearing that up.
Meet some of the boys ...Introducing ...
Charles S. Barker, District Superintendent: "With the right personnel and a good organization, you can do anything in telephony"
E.N. Searles, Division Superintendent
J.E. Grant, R.D. Dick, and...
Walter W. Lodding, Division Accountant
... with an invitation to Christmas at the Loddings':
This image was featured in the December 1926 issue of the Western Electric News with the title: "YOUTH AND THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT" and caption: "Santa Claus did right by this little lad the son of W.W. Lodding of the Installation Division 11 Headquarters"
Looking daggers?Susanhumeston wondered, "The blond miss sitting on the floor is looking daggers at the moody looking woman sitting against the desk. I will always wonder why."
I have always been intrigued by that interaction. Pretty much come to the conclusion that three of the ladies were diverted by something off set to the left. One (Charlotte) clearly annoyed, one (Lila) merely taking it in, and one (Gwen) mildly amused.
NamesMarkJo - nice job finding the real names!  
I'm fascinated by the different names and nicknames in all the posts.  Then I scroll to 12/23/21; alex_shorpy did a great job labeling everyone. Or go further back to 12/22/19 and see davidk's comment.  
I also don't look at these folks as having turned into dust.  Every year they come alive in the imaginations of many readers.  
Maligayang Pasko to all.
Well, what else?Say, we don't view the full size for a micro-study. What we see is the "pyramid" of working stiffs that retracted into one side of the office against the forceful advance of upper management group. Sharp diagonal dividing line was disturbed somewhat at the bottom, by the lady and gent behind her.
There he is!Every year I look forward to seeing dear old Mr. Hilter at the top of the picture looking so skeptical!
"Mildred, what did you do with my flask"?This party was during the TEETH of prohibition too! The REAL fun will come later.
(The Gallery, Bizarre, Christmas, Natl Photo, The Office)

Bathing Girls: 1922
"Lansburgh Bathing Girls, 1922." Avert your eyes, gentlemen -- the leftmost lady's knees are showing. ... out of the picture. No gal could get past those "bathing suits" There's a pretty face or two in this picture but the ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/06/2018 - 10:18pm -

"Lansburgh Bathing Girls, 1922." Avert your eyes, gentlemen -- the leftmost lady's knees are showing. Next to her, Shorpy regulars will recognize Iola Swinnerton, winsome Washington beauty. National Photo glass negative. View full size.
It's hard to tellthey are not really at the ocean.
No shameNext thing you know they will be appearing at the beach without stockings. Where will it end?
Prop FlopWhat we have here is a failure to crop the brick wall out of the picture.
No gal could get past those "bathing suits"There's a pretty face or two in this picture but the outfits are so outlandishly awful (and unflattering to boot), it would take a veritable Angelina Jolie to shine in these get-ups. (clearly "less is more" was NOT the motto in those days for bathing beauties)
I'm so sorry, butare the three on the right part of Les Cagelles?
Could you swim in those?All that cloth would probably be heavy when wet. I love the style, though.
Gakkk!I read an interview with the "oldest living Ziegfeld girl", Doris Eaton Travis from just before she died at age 106 last year.  She said she didn't like the fashions of the 1920's.  She thought they were unflattering.  And I have to say, these outfits are BIG TIME hideous.  I mean, the addition of color might help, but what this looks like to me is a VERY awkward halfway point between old fashioned "bathing costumes" and modern one piece swimsuits.  Gak indeed. 
25 yearsfrom here to the first bikini. Regarding these styles,I think the birth rate in the early '20s must have been near zero.
90 Years LaterIn a short 90 years, girls went from 95% coverage to only 5% coverage!
Roll 'em, girlies, roll 'em!When I was in middle school, in the early '80s, I took a judo class taught by one Morey Korey, who was then about 80 years old. He really moved well for an octogenarian, and naturally, he was big on stretching exercises, which were accompanied by a song he had learned as a teenager, and which he taught us:
Roll 'em, girlies, roll 'em,
Go ahead and roll 'em,
Go ahead and show your pretty knees.
Don't let teacher tell you that it's shocking.
Paint your sweetie's picture on your stocking.
Laugh at Ma, laugh at Pa,
Give them all the ha-ha-ha,
Roll 'em girlies, girlies roll your own!
Bathing Girls: the soundtrackGood memory, Lectrogeek. "Even grouchy traffic cops get jolly, when they see you step into a trolley." Here's Billy Murray's popular rendition of "Roll 'Em Girls," recorded on November 4, 1925.

Curtis & LemmonA publicity still from Some Like It Hot?
No expense sparedBoy, that photographer really went all-out with the backdrop, and even if he managed to crop it well, that flagpole sticking out of the ocean behind the girl on the right is going to be harder to get rid of.
RealisticI get seasick every time I look at this.
20s attireI LOVE, LOVE the 20s fashions -- just NOT the  bathing attire!!
(The Gallery, D.C., Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Beach Policeman: 1922
... and one of Shorpy's most popular posts -- June 30, 1922. "Washington policeman Bill Norton measuring the distance between knee and suit at the Tidal Basin bathing beach after Col. Sherrill, Superintendent of Public Buildings and ... 
Posted by Ken - 08/31/2022 - 12:51am -

        Commemorating the Potomac Thighway Patrol's 100th anniversary, and one of Shorpy's most popular posts --
June 30, 1922. "Washington policeman Bill Norton measuring the distance between knee and suit at the Tidal Basin bathing beach after Col. Sherrill, Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds, issued an order that suits not be over six inches above the knee." 4x5 inch glass negative, National Photo Company Collection. View full size.
This poor guy would have a stroke......if he could see what our high schoolers are wearing to summer school this summer. I honestly don't know where to put my eyes.
And obesity does NOT stop them from wearing too little and revealing too much. I wish I could "un-see" some of this summer's ensembles! (Rolls of exposed fat, ripples, dimples, man breasts, and so much more...)
Side note: What you are hearing in the media about the increase of obesity among America's young people is true. As they entered the building today with their doughnuts and Gatorades and Rock Stars (breakfast they buy at convenience stores on the way to school!), I realized that the summer FACULTY is more trim and fit than the summer school STUDENT BODY. Of course, we *do* have a lot of coaches, male and female, working this summer, but still...
Oh my God, it's the REALOh my God, it's the REAL bikini inspector!
Bathing Suits RequirementsNo kidding!  My grandmother was arrested in the early 1900's for showing too much leg at a beach on Lake Michigan.  Great pictures....  Al . Sacramento, Ca.
Modesty, Please!Today he'd be looking for thongs.  I wonder what the next step is.
Looking upI'm sure he hated his job!! Yeah right!!
Today he couldlook for bulbous folks who have no business wearing Spandex
My only question is...Where are the beaches in Washington, DC?!?!
[Along the Potomac or Anacostia rivers. This is probably near the Tidal Basin. - Dave]
Beaches in DCIs that the Washington Monument in the distance? With the Smithsonian Castle over to the right? That might put this at the swimming beach where the Jefferson Memorial is now.
Its a tough jobbut somebody's got to do it!!!
heaven forbidmen see more flesh than is already present...they just wouldn't be able to control themselves...monsters that they are...
RE: This poor guy would have a stroke...Awww... but these are sure some nice pictures on this site, eh?
sadthis picture is so disheartening. not saying that measuring women's bathing suits isn't a bit humiliating and patronizingly obnoxious, but why are our teenagers pretending they're porn stars?!
["Pretending"? - Dave]
MemoriesI remember being a kid and having someone measure the distance between my knee and my shorts. Even though you knew what you wore was long enough, it never stopped the butterflies caused by wondering if the man doing the measuring was going to think they were too short! What an embarrassing time! 
Re: SadJust because some bratty little kids dress in very little at all doesn't mean they're pretending to be filming an adult movie. I'm sure there are people at the time of this picture who were offended by the girl's skimpy suits, but you don't really have to go off calling them porn stars.
Beach policemanNotice how they aren't measuring the men.
Well, look at the girls.Well, look at the girls. He's more like the "cover yourself up, fatty" inspector. Too bad we don't have those today...
Re: Well, look at the girls.You're an idiot. That's what real women used to look like before the media and anorexia started coming down on everyone. You think they had Twinkies and Ding Dongs back then to gorge on, while sitting in front of the TV? Those girls are not overweight. Your tiny mind has been warped by today's sick society.
D.C. "beach"The area where the Jefferson Memorial is today was once a segregated public beach.
Good Work If You Can Get ItSo, did she pass inspection?
I Knew It!I've suspected for some time that my job sucked. Now I have photographic proof!
The SwimmerI like that she's leaning forward.  I'm pretty sure that'll slide the fabric down at least a little.  Way to work the system, bathing suit girl!
 Double Standards???I don't see any men in the picture, but do notice the boys in the background are wearing essentially the same outfits, which modern boys would consider somewhat uncomfortable, I'd bet.
You can see from the marks……above her knees that she had taken off her stockings only a short time before the picture was taken.
For the sake of HumanityIt's obvious that what our parents taught us didn't matter to us, nor did they care for their parents as well. People had envy for their integrity and honor, and people cared for one another as if they were family, it's sad to see our world slope down to a level beyond wearing bikinis, to a level where we are happy how our children become more and more as adults to copy what we call "celebrities" and where short skirts and show skin. In my search I have found the answer and the solution to this problem, I have found a religion so great. Over time and as skin began to increase people see it as being normal, and that covering up is so abnormal, demeaning and a violation to one's rights, it's the beginning of humanity where Adam and Eve try to cover up, it's in our nature, in reality I found what integrity really means, to me and my family. Although I am double searched at airports because of my religion but in the end I am happy and can lift my head up high, and be proud of our honor, and what we have become in a hateful and evil world.
[So in this evil, bikini-wearing world, you're finally feeling good about yourself? Super. - Dave]
On Our KneesWhen one can determine what the appropriate amount is required to be modest, then the only fashion will be that one definition... A lot of people need to evolve.. 
Hmmm. 1922?Nice pic - but perhaps the foreground images are a little bright, sharp and contrasty for a 1922 image? And a right click of the mouse and a quick squizz at the image properties reveal the use of a $25,000 Sinar digital camera back - and Photoshop CS3. Surely digitizing with a normal film or flatbed scanner would have been more appropriate? I do hope I'm wrong and that they are the real thing but......  Hmmmm.
[These images were digitized using a Sinar 54 scan back and then adjusted for contrast and turned from tiffs into jpegs with Photoshop CS3. - Dave]
ScannerDon't get your point - I would expect you to use a scanner - either a film or flatbed type - to scan these rather than a digital camera. Just curious to know why all the pix on the site put through the Sinar look slightly unnatural for their time, that's all. Maybe we're all used to faded images from the period.
[You wouldn't use a film scanner because there is no film -- these images were recorded on glass plates the size of windowpanes. Flatbed scanners are more suited to reflective media (prints) than transmissive media (glass plates, film transparencies, negatives). Plus, flatbed scanners would be much too slow. The single-exposure scan back (in this instance, made by the Swiss firm Sinar) is standard equipment in a lot of archival facilities where hundreds or thousands of images have to be processed every day. The principle behind each scanning method is the same, though -- light shines through the transmissive media being digitized and hits a semiconductor array. - Dave]
NecklacesThey have to be mother and daughter, related somehow...Matching necklaces...can we get a zoom in of the Medallions... please.. Dave? (Love this site by the way)
[Those are claim tags for the changing-room lockers. - Dave]
Integrity IS hard to find!It's really sad to be a 21 year old girl these days. Everyone I know is getting on their knees to get male attention instead of being subtle or witty. I'm reading and drinking coffee with my nose in a book. I think I've got the right idea, and my joints are no worse for the wear.
Washington PolicemanThe policeman in question is a member of the United States Park Police.  At the time they were under the control of the Bureau of Public Buildings and Grounds.  They eventually were transferred to the National Park Service when the Bureau of Public Buildings and Grounds was reorganized to create the General Services Administration.(GSA got the buildings and the Park Service got the grounds).
Some Warning, PleaseDave!  Please!  I had to clean my morning tea off my monitor.  Too funny!
Fat Was Beautiful"Plump" was a compliment in those days.  Look at the first 10 Miss America winners (not to mention Playboy centerfolds).  The current idea that "Bony is Beautiful" is of fairly recent development and is a forced denigration of all that makes women biologically successful.
(For the "Yeah...sour grapes" crowd, I'm 5'2" and weigh 97 lbs.  I wish I had a little more padding.)
Pull over miss!Pull over miss while I wrap my fingers around your knee cap!  I bet his mother, his wife, his children, and his in-laws are so proud.  How does he explain to his children what he does for a living?  Yes, my dad measures women's bathing suits at the beach.  Sooo funny.  Nope, Madonna wouldn't put up with this.  Note the little boy carrying (I think) a brownie camera in the back.
See him in actionYou can see our man in action in this YouTube movie, round the 3:10 and 3:40 mark.

Presidential dippingI notice the location may be along the Potomac.  A trivia fact is that President John Quincy Adams loved to swim nude in the Potomac.
Reminders of mini-skirtsForty-six years after this, I was a freshman at Fort Knox High School.  While the fashion was for skirts to be several inches above the knee, at FKHS, if they thought someone's skirt was too short, they would make her kneel on the floor.  If her skirt didn't touch the ground, they could send her home to change. The very young VP was generally the one who did that.  Since I had grown four inches taller in the previous few months, but my dresses hadn't, I did my best to avoid him!
Taking no chancesThe young girl on the extreme left is definitely not going to drown as she is wearing TWO, not just one, inner tubes around her waist and keeps them on either in or out of the water.  Better safe than sorry.
Touch my leg??!!Is this the origin of the expression "cop a feel"?  Just wondering.
A perfect illustrationof bureaucratic inefficiency. What's with the tape measure? If the law says six inches, all he needs to measure with is something six inches long, that he can press against ladies thighs. Hmmm....
[That wouldn't have made as effective a photo. This was shot for newspaper distribution. - tterrace]
Oh, it would have made an effective photo alright! I doubt they could have printed it in the newspaper, though.
Not Park PoliceHe is wearing a Metropolitan Police badge.
Very PresidentialI always wondered what FDR did in the 20's before becoming president! 
The measure of a manMr. Sherrill had definite ideas about things --

"But this did not satisfy them""They wanted to play golf on the same days and at the same time as the white people."  Imagine!
[Really. The nerve of some people! - Dave]
Get Back in Your BurkaWhy the ladies don't kick sand in the face of this doofus is a good question. I'm guessing the boys standing just behind are wearing suits just as short.
1963This very thing happened to me in high school on Long Island!!
I think I know what job I want when I grow upThe boys may be thinking this is the job for them!
(The Gallery, Bizarre, Curiosities, D.C., Natl Photo, Swimming)

Dirty Girls: 1922
Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Potomac bathing beach." Our second glimpse of these sandy lasses . ... the actor, Mark Wahlberg ( I wonder if he has any old-tyme bathing beauties in his family tree) The lighter haired beauty The girl ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/05/2012 - 4:59pm -

Washington, D.C., circa 1922. "Potomac bathing beach." Our second glimpse of these sandy lasses. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.
WowThe one on the left (no, not the one with the shower cap) is stunning!
The dark haired beautyThe girl on the left with the long, dark hair is lovely. Such composure and she has beautiful eyes (I am guessing blue) and (despite the hole in her sock) her figure is elegant-even her hands are quite comely. But she never smiles, and sadly, we will never know why.
Hmmm, that girl on the far right...looks more than a little like the actor, Mark Wahlberg ( I wonder if he has any old-tyme bathing beauties in his family tree)
The lighter haired beautyThe girl to her immediate right is also pretty. I think they are sisters .. their eyes are the same.
Potomac bathing beach is now the Tidal BasinThey dredged it to build the Jefferson Memorial. And I want to believe the one in the middle is a redhead.
Our DaughtersLike most other viewers, I see honest, unpretentious beauty in these young women's faces. But because I have a daughter, the ultimate impact is different.  Unseen in these images are these girls' fathers.  My connection with them across the decades is instantaneous.  As kindred spirits, we anticipate with angst our daughters' inexorable journey toward wisdom and independence. "Wow" is right.
High HopesThe two leering guys seated behind them seem to be enjoying the scene but probably don't have a shot. It's my guess that the bathing beauties are professional models and have their sights aimed higher.
Best seat in the houseThe boys who have taken up their watch against the wall right behind these girls seem to be expressing their happiness in finding a choice spot from which to view the activities.  Changing topics, you would think that out of the thousands of people in all these early beach pictures that at least one or two individuals would have dreamed up the brilliant idea of bringing along a beach towel or blanket to avoid being covered with sand.
I don't think they are blue.I don't think the girl on the left has blue eyes. This photo is from 1922 and the film was probably orthochromatic -- not sensitive to blue. If her eyes were blue she would look like a zombie.
I do have a question, which of their fathers took care of the guy in the background who was ogling them?
MommaThe lovely girl at the far right looked much better in the previous photo, in my opinion.  And I have to agree that the other two beauties are sisters. I'll go one further and guess that the lady with the cap is their mother, along as a chaperone.  And judging by the looks on the faces behind them, good thing. Youth is wasted on the young.  
PreferencesGolly gee, I’ve always liked dirty girls!
re: orthochromatic Orthochromatic film was blue sensitive. It was not red sensitive. Blues appear light and reds very dark.
People with ruddy complexions often look dirty-faced in old photos, because the red shows as dark blotches.
And yes, blue eyes will look light, maybe zombie-ish.
Their grandaughters are wearing bikinis! For the 1920's these are about as revealing swimsuits as you can get. Although, the girl on the right would most likely not look too out of place on the beaches of today if her suit were made of modern materials. 
as for the eyes colors I would thing the Girl on the right has brown eyes and the other two have green. I agree with RadioMattM about the orthocromatic film. 
Any way, all three of the young ladies are very lovely. 
She's Married, Fellers!Nobody yet has commented on her ring. It's irrelevant to the important points about this photo - who's the cutest and how ortho film reacts to various eye colors - but I think it's no accident she has made her hand quite visible. And the guy just back (girl X's brother perhaps?) is obviously just smiling for the camera. No need for pop to 'stand his ground'. Were towels then too expensive or difficult to clean for owners to subject them to such abuse?
Married?Unless the photo is mirrored, the ring is on her right hand.  She may have made her hand visible, but not to show a wedding ring.
Bathing Beach RulesThe woman to the right and the man in the background are both wearing lanyards with matching tokens - perhaps tags for checked valuables? 

Washington Post, September 5, 1918.

Bathing Beach Rules.

Hours at Tidal Basin Are 7 A. M. to 12 M.;
2 P. M. to 7 P. M.

The public buildings and grounds has announced the following rules for the new bathing beach on the shore of the Tidal Basin in Potomac Park:

Bathing hours—7 a. m. to 12 m.; 2 p. m. to 7 p. m. 

 Open daily, including Sunday and holidays.

Bathing Suits rented, 25 cents for men and 35 cents for women.

A charge will be made for soap, towels and checking valuables.

No children under 6 years of age allowed to bathe unless accompanied by adult member of the the family.

PaparazziI'll bet the photographer followed these beauties around while they were at the beach. If you look at the differences between the two photos of the girls, you can see they were taken at different times that day.
In one, the girls look clean and somewhat happy, in the other they're sandy and seem a little annoyed. (And just a little further down the beach.)
In both photos, there are boys behind them, but not the same boys. And oddly enough, in both photos, there is a boy laughing behind the two girls on the right. 
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Swimming)

Beauty Prize Winners: 1922
Four prize winners in the 1922 beauty show at Washington Bathing Beach, Washington, D.C. Left to right: Gay Gatley, Eva Fridell, Anna ... . .! where? I'm curious as to where this DC Bathing Beach was. I'm sure the water back in '22 was a heck of a lot cleaner ... 
Posted by Ken - 07/06/2018 - 10:20pm -

Four prize winners in the 1922 beauty show at Washington Bathing Beach, Washington, D.C. Left to right: Gay Gatley, Eva Fridell, Anna Niebel, Iola Swinnerton. View full size. National Photo Company Collection.
Beauty Pageant WinnersIt's fascinating to see how the image of the "ideal" body has changed, and yet the average female has the same type shape. This female feels a little better. . .! 
where?I'm curious as to where this DC Bathing Beach was. I'm sure the water back in '22 was a heck of a lot cleaner than it currenty is. I coulnd't imagine getting in any of the rivers around here for enjoyment. Ew! 
No airbrushing here!Funny how times, styles and beliefs change!
Anon TipsterI agree Anonymous Tipster. :)
It's sad that we can't be happy with how our bodies look. It's nice to see women that aren't starved winning awards for being beautiful!
The second one from the leftThe second one from the left scares me. She looks like she could kill me with her eyes if she wanted to.
No. 2looks like she is a redhead
Lil' IolaHas perfect posture, and her feet are in a dance position. My guess is she was a dancer.
I agreeI agree with Anonymous Tipster......In today's society if you are a woman you have to be skinny or almost fake looking to get in pictures for commercials or magazines. I think today people need to reconsider woman as a whole and not based on what they look like. 
Missouri woman
DC bathing BeachMy wife, a native Washingtonian now 82 years old, tells me her parents went swimming there, it was at Hains Point.
- Milt
Girl on the right...I've noticed that girl on the right in several photos. She looks like a female version of Ronnie James Dio, ha.
Four Prize Winners?Looks like there were only four contestants
$1000 for Titian-Haired Beauty Washington Post, Aug 6, 1922

 Titian-Haired Girl Wins Beauty Prize
The old-fashioned titian-haired beauty, without the modern make-up, returned to popularity yesterday, by winning the fourth annual beauty contest at the Tidal Basin.  A girl with curls, of athletic type and wearing the normal style of bathing suit, Miss Eva Fridell, a 17 year-old Business High school student, took the capital prize, a large silver loving cup.  She wore a yellow bathing suit with narrow black stripes around it.  Not only is she a regular patron of the beach, but one of the expert divers and swimmers.  Miss Fridell, whose complexion needed no paint or powder, quickly caught the eye of the judges A.J. Frey, Isaac Gans and Arthur Leslie Smith.  The winner lives with her parents at 611 Ninth street, northeast
The winner of the style show at the beach a few months ago, Miss Anna Niebel, of 1370 Harvard street northwest, again came out as the winner of the best costume for beauty, design and durability.  Miss Niebel was awarded a silver loving cup for the suit she wore, which was all blue rubber, with several white stripes at intervals.
Second prize for the beauty was awarded to Miss Gay Gately (sic), of 1402 Massachusetts avenue southeast.  Miss Iola Swinnerton, of 3125 Mount Pleasant street, northwest, was awarded second prize for costumes. Both were given engraved gold medals.
The winner of this contest received a check for $1000 as first prize.

Yellow?I get the "titian haired beauty part" because she's definitely that, but if she's wearing the same suit that she wore in the competition I'll eat a pair of my old sneakers. There is no way in the world that that suit is "a yellow bathing suit with narrow black stripes around it."
Weight was healthy.Many comments about body type for all these types of photos.  At that time, a thin person was considered unhealthy.  A thin woman with a high metabolism was considered "sickly" and was not thought to make for a good wife or mother. Other attitudes migrated with immigrants from places where food was sometimes scarce.  A healthy wife and family was a sign of prosperity where the man was a good provider and his family ate well. He could be proud of the abundance he brought to his home and the fact that they could afford plenty of meat, etc..
Iola's address3125 Mount Pleasant St NW is still there. The first floor is (or was recently) occupied by the Mount Pleasant Cleaners and the Raven Grill. Anyone have a better photo of that location today?
Body ImageI beg to differ.  That image of plump women=healthy was outdated by the late 1910s.  The fashion magazines began promoting the image of thin, athletic women.  Harper's Bazaar and the other glossies had a hand in making women obsess over their weight and the amount of exercise they had to do to look like the girls in the magazines.  That's still where we are today.  
The power of suggestion the magazines had/have over us is so great, women didn't even shave their arms and legs until a magazine (I think it was Vanity Fair) began this massive and explosive campaign degrading hairy legs and armpits, because it was disagreeable to see the hair while wearing the short-hemmed and sleeveless outfits that were just coming into fashion.
A very sizable prize!I was impressed that the first prize was $1,000! That would be a pretty good prize for a beach beauty pageant, now! I agree about the winner's bathing costume. Maybe her stockings were yellow with black stripes, but not the suit!  It is hard to imagine her as beautiful, based on this picture, but I'll bet she looked much better in color. (Later, I went to an inflation calculator to see how that $1,000 prize in 1922 would compare in today's money. It would be worth less than $14,000 today, still a decent piece of change, but not nearly as much as I was thinking. That was because things actually went backwards during the depression. That $1,000 in 1922 didn't get back to being worth the same $1,000 again until twenty years later, 1942.)  
My favorite is Iola. She was very charming and attractive, and obviously loved the beach. However, I think that bathing costume was absolutely hideous! 
1904-1988Eva Fridell's resting place:
(D.C., Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Our Lady of Lourdes: 1914
... John (born 1918) Theresa (born 1920) Vincent (born 1922) Veronica (born 1925) My mom had such fond memories of her time ... Such fond memories of long ago, especially the itchy bathing suits. In the 1920s and up to the early 1940s, when on or near the ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/13/2022 - 12:33pm -

        A newly restored version of a Shorpy favorite that has collected three pages of comments since it was first posted in 2007 --
The caption for this one just says "Post Office." Thanks to our commenters we now know that the building with the statue is the Our Lady of Lourdes School at 468 W. 143rd Street in New York circa 1914. 8x10 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size | The school in 2007.
Post office?Looks like a Catholic school, actually. This is just a wild-a**ed guess, but St. Jean Baptiste on East 75th? This would coincide with the warehouse cart on the left (sort of).
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic SchoolThis is Our Lady of Lourdes School in New York City on 143rd Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Convent Avenue.  The school was built in 1913 in Washington Heights, an exclusively white, upper middle-class neighborhood.  It was built and equipped at a total cost of one hundred and forty thousand dollars.  
Besides classrooms for five hundred pupils, the building contained an auditorium with a stage lavishly equipped for theatrical productions, a gymnasium, a roof-top playground, an assembly room for parish organizations, rooms for classes in cooking and sewing, and offices for the school officials.
The associated church (Our Lady of Lourdes) is located directly behind the school on the next block, 142nd Street.
Yes...Which is the Post Office?  The large building in the center must be a Catholic School, what with a saint on the roof and all.
As for the location, I have no clue.  
Post OfficeWhich building is the Post Office?
post officeBuilding with street level entrance and flags would be my likely guess.
Today...Google Street View. It's always interesting to see NYC in the early years, and how it's changed.
Our Lady of LourdesI attended this school for eight years in the 1950s. The lower grades entered by one door and the higher grades used the other. City College frat houses faced the school. Recess was on the street out front. We didn't have any cooking or sewing classes, no classrooms equipped for that. There wasn't any  gym. We weren't allowed to go up on the roof and there wasn't an assembly room. We did have a annual spring play using the stage and we had a Christmas concert. There was a way into the church from the back of the school. The nuns that taught there were called Society of the Holy Child. Father Kline was one of the priests and Mother Mary Edward taught there. A good school, good memories.
Johnny PumpThat fire hydrant probably was installed in the late 1880s. Was born and bred in NYC and traversed all five boroughs  many many times, but NEVER laid eyes on a johnny pump like that. Every boy who ever grew up in "The City" is instinctively  drawn to hop over as many hydrants as possible. However that one is a KILLER.  
Our Lady of LourdesI attended OLL from 1933 to 1941. The lower grades kindergarten to fourth were taught by the Ursuline Order of Sisters. The upper grades fifth to eighth were taught by the Sisters of the Holy Child. The school was funded and guided by the priests of the adjoining OLL Church.
We were there to learn,to pray: no play, no library, no lunch room, no outside activities. It was not an easy life for children of poor families during this Great Depression Era. I often cried and asked God to help me through the day, the year. I know I received a very good education but not a happy one. There were nuns I would have died for, however there were many that should not have been allowed to teach children.
The Church and school were founded by Monsignor Thomas McMann. There is  a bust of the good priest near the entrance to the upper church.
In the 1930s we were allowed on the roof for various activities.
The term  "very stern " comes to mind.
The statue is Our Lady of Lourdes, similar to the statue in the grotto in the lower church on 142nd Street. It was removed a few years ago as it decayed and was ready to fall off the roof.
Convent AvenueThis photo faces east, and the townhouses in the background are along the east side of Convent Avenue. All of them still stand, most are in superb condition. This is the finest real estate in Harlem; a house across the street sold for $3.89 million about 18 months ago. Here is a listing for a house a few doors down from the ones seen here:
Note the terraces on two of the buildings -- those are stunning and almost never seen in New York.
Does anyone remember anDoes anyone remember an Irish nun by the name of Sister Gerard?  She was one of the Ursula ? nuns at the Our Lady of Lourdes in Manhatten.  She emigrated about 1910, so am not sure anyone would remember her...
Is there a cemetery associated with Our Lady of Lourdes?
Upper and Lower ChurchCan you tell me if the Upper and Grotto Church still exists and do they have mass on Saturdays and Sundays?  I lived 2 streets away a long time ago and would like to see the old neighborshood.  I have never forgotten the Grotto.  It's so unique.  Would like to share it with my spouse.
Or maybe I can speak with someone in the convent.  Are the nuns still there?
Thank you.
Diana Gosciniak
Our Lady of LourdesI also went there in the 1950's. The nuns were very dedicated to teaching. Our religion was the major reason they and all of us were there. The grotto was under the main stairs and confession was held downstairs at 4 pm on Saturday. The children's Mass was at 9 am on Sunday, a High Mass in Latin. The doors of the main church came from old St. Patrick's downtown in Little Italy.
The sisters made sure that the majority of 8th grade students got into Catholic high school. A lot of the girls went to Cathedral H.S. and the boys went to Cardinal Hayes.
The church was around the corner with a connection to the back of the school. The convent was right next door to the church and the rectory was across the street.
Once in a while we were invited to go to the convent on a Saturday to see the nuns. The neighborhood was pretty good, all kind of stores that tolerated all of us kids.
It was nice going there for eight years. Fond memories.
O.L.L. Upper and lower churchYes, the upper church is still active with most Masses in Spanish. The lower church {the Grotto) is not used.  However the statue of the Blessed Mother is still on view. The sisters left about 10 years ago. I visited the school and was told the Church no longer had any say in its operation. When did you attend? I was there from 1933 to 1940.
J Woods
Theatrical productions?Oh, how I wish I had your recall. However, I did attend O.L.L. from 1933 through 1940. Yes, the stage was used - but with limited equipment. I never saw or played on a rooftop playground. There was no gymnasium. The seats in the auditorium were moved to the side for military drilling by boys from grades 5 to 8 once a week. The girls exercised in a nearby room. The children in the lower grades had no physical training. I don't remember an assembly room for any parish organizations. Family members were not encouraged to come to the school except on Graduation Day or if the student had a serious problem that required a meeting with the principal and/or a parish priest. I must say we all received a very good education and were farther ahead in our studies than the Public School  kids.
Yours truly and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
OLL NeighborhoodI lived on Amsterdam Ave for 16 years. Where did you live? When did you attend OLL School? The few friends I had from the old days have passed on. I answered your other message; The Nuns left about 15 years ago. You need to have someone open the lower church to visit there. The Blessed Mother's Statue is still located in the Grotto but masses are no longer read there.
Regards and in friendship.
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of Lourdes, 2008I had a chance to stop by West 143rd street and take a snapshot today. The cornerstone is dated 1912. As you can see, every building shown in the "1914" photograph is extant and all are in excellent condition. There is even a fire hydrant in the same location as the fire hydrant shown in the photo. As for changes — there are trees on the block now, and the cornice has been removed from Our Lady of Lourdes, as has the statue of the saint. And, of course, as with all modern photos taken in New York, it is full of automobiles.

(Click to enlarge)
The reddish sign on the left side of the street, behind the motorcycle, identifies this block as part of the Hamilton Heights Historical District (Hamilton Grange is only a few blocks away). Today was garbage day, so a distracting pile of trash sits in the foreground, sorry about that.
Our Lady of LourdesCentral Harlem, did you attend Our Lady of Lourdes? If so what years?
Thanks for the picture
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of LourdesI attended an Episcopalian school. I contributed that photo because of my joy in Harlem history, not any tie to this school in particular.
Last weekend, I found a photograph of this block dating to 1908! All the buildings looked the same except for OLL, which was then an empty lot. Perhaps Team Shorpy can enlighten me -- would it be compliant with copyright law for me to scan and post it?
[Is there a copyright notice on it? If it was copyrighted before 1923, the copyright has expired. - Dave]
Our Lady of LourdesThank you for your latest information, Central Harlem. Where was your school located? Did you live nearby? I'm 80 years old going on 81 and all I have are my memories (mostly fond). And my memory is outstanding. I was hoping to hear from anyone who attended OLL with me.
By the way, the folks on Amsterdam Avenue always envied the folks on Convent Avenue, always a beautiful clean street. (Today we would say "upscale.") Three of my children were born in The Lutheran Hospital of Manhattan on 144th off Convent. I had moved to upper Washington Heights by then but my doctor was still working out of there.
Thank you and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
Our Lady of Lourdes, 1909I had a chance to scan the old photo I found of this block. It dates to 1909, not 1908 as I had first said. Every building seen in this photo remains, though some of the lots on the right-hand side of 143rd street were empty in 1909, including the lot that would house Our Lady of Lourdes three years later.

Anticipating the interest of Shorpy's crew of automotive experts, I provide a closeup of that car on Amsterdam Avenue, below.

Also, a note to Jackie Woods: we're of different generations. It is good to exchange notes here, but I'm sure we've never met.
Our Lady of Lourdes SchoolWhat wonderful memories of days past. I attended OLL from 1943 and graduated in 1951. One of five brothers to do so.  You may have known my older brothers, Larry, Dick or Bill.  We lived in that apartment building at the end of the street on the OLL side. That was the location of Alexander Hamilton's house, Hamilton Grange.  When it was built, it forced the move to its present location behind the church. It will be moved again to the SE corner of Convent and 141st Street.  You also mentioned Lutheran Hospital. It wasn't so great for our family.  My brother Dick was taken there after being hit by a car. While recovering, he contracted rheumatic fever in the hospital and later died at New York Hospital. We also lived at 310 Convent Avenue because my mother's family, the Healys, lived on 141st Street. If you have any other questions, ask away. I'm still in contact with several classmates and between us, we should be able to answer.
"Thanks for the Memories"
Bob Phillips 
OLL graduatesHi, Yes, I do remember a Phillips family. The boys or boy were in a higher grade with one of my brothers. As you can see, I had already left OLL when you started there. I am pleased you have good memories of your early years. Unfortunately, mine are mixed. An incident: a bunch of us, about 12 years old at the time, were fooling around and one of the boys fell out of a tree and broke his arm. We carried him to Lutheran Hospital They wouldn't let us in the front door. Told us to take him to Knickerbocker Hospital near 131st Street, and so we did. Today, I ask why no first aid was administered or an ambulance called. However, I have nothing but good words about the hospital in later years. I was sorry to hear about brother RIP
Regards and in friendship,
Jackie Woods
PS My oldest sister, Ellen, class of 1936 Won scholorship to Holy Child Academy
My older brother William (Billy), Class of 1937, won a scholarship to Regis High.
MemoriesI graduated from OLL in 1973 and it is so wonderful to see a website with the School and the information that it offers.  I too wondered about the Masses in the lower church.  The grotto was always so beautiful and special. I have lived in Florida since 1986 and hope to make a trip to NYC just to visit the old school.  Thanks again for bringing a smile to my face today. God bless.
OLL MemoriesHi. I attended OLL from grades K to 5. I have the most beautiful memories of my childhood there. I loved the nuns. I can't believe how time has gone so fast. If anyone remembers me or remembers Sister Mary Owen or Ms. Valentine or the gym instructor George Izquierdo. I am talking about late 1960's, early 70's. Please contact me. Are the sisters still there? I went to visit Sister Mary Owen a couple of years ago. She wasn't wearing her habit any more. Those were good old days. I was so mischievous, always getting into trouble. Oh my God. I had the best early education there, never will I forget. I love history and I love these pictures that were posted up above, everything looks the same. Thanks! My family still lives up in Washington Heights.
Our Lady of Lourdes School and ChurchAnd a HI to you,
The good sisters left about ten years ago.
You can reach the school online, it has a Web site.
The school is no longer under the supervision of the Church.
If you look over the rest of this page you will see that I have answered a number of postings that may be of interest to you.
"Memories are made of this."
In friendship,
Jackie Woods
OLL AlumniHello OLL'ers
Head over to the OLL website
There's an alumni page where you can send your information and be put on the mailing list.  
OLLCould not connect with your e-mail:
Would you please check it.
When did you attend OLL?
I gave my information previously on bottom of page.
Look forward to hearing from you.
In friendship,
Jackie woods
To Jackie WoodsI knew Dennis before the war, and graduated OLL in 1937. My sister Marie graduated in 1936 and received a scholarship to Holy Name. Finding your web site after all these years is a small miracle. I'm sorry to say Marie, such a special person, passed away in 1977. Andrew, a 1943 or 44 graduate, died in 2000. I did not marry till 1985, had a daughter in 86. My wife Alice and I celebrated our daughter Colleen's wedding Nov. 24, 2007. I hope this proves I was not as bad as the sisters believed. They wanted so to see me go that they created the first coed class and skipped me from 6th to 8th grade. Yes we marched on the roof, auditorium, basement and in far away competition. I believe we had a West Point officer, but not certain. I just hope that life was as rewarding to all OLL graduates as I. God bless.
John Orlando
OLL, late 1950s and early 60sDon't know how I found this website, but so glad that I did. I graduated OLL in June 1961. The nuns are my most vivid memories of the school. The spring and Christmas plays that were held each year. Recess outside during lunchtime. Walking to school each day and spending the few pennies we had to buy candy at the store on Amsterdam Avenue, and the bicycle store there where we rented bikes on Saturday afternoons. Going to confession every Saturday down in the grotto. Checking the Legion of Decency list for movie listings. Learning to sing the Mass in Latin for every Sunday High Mass and, most important, the foundation the nuns gave us for our religion that is still strong to this day. A few years ago, we drove from Jersey up to the old place and convent still looked pretty good. Can someone please explain about not being under the archdiocese any longer. Thanks again.
Lutheran HospitalI found this link when looking for the Lutheran Hospital. Very interesting information.
I am researching my family history and found out this hospital is where my great grandfather passed away. Thinking that there may be additional information on the records,  I searched for the hospital but have not been able to find any recent reference to it. Has the Hospital been closed?  Can anybody give me some background information?  I will certainly appreciate it,
[You might try the Archives search box on the New York Times Web site. Lutheran Hospital of Manhattan, at 343 Convent Avenue, merged with Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Hospital in 1956 to form Our Saviour's Lutheran Hospital at the Norwegian Hospital facility on 46th Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn. It's now called Lutheran Medical Center. - Dave]
Lutheran HospitalHello Anne,
Yes, I know Lutheran Hospital. My three oldest boys were born there: 1951: 1952: 1954. My brother-in-law's father died there c. 1937. When I last passed by the neighborhood, three years ago, I saw that the hospital had been converted to an assisted living facility.
The neighborhood is looking great - real upscale. The brownstones that one could buy in the 1930s for a song are now selling for well over a million dollars. In the 1930s they were empty, thanks to the banks that foreclosed during the Depression. As kids we ran through them and at one time had a clubhouse inside one.
In friendship,
Jackie Woods
Lutheran HospitalThanks you both, Dave and Jackie, for your responses.
I will follow the advice and hope to be able to pass soon by the neighborhood.
OLL MemoriesHi Henry,
I too remember Sister Mary Owen, my brother David Mora had her and she was really strict.  We keep in touch with George Izquierdo and he is doing great.  Sister Rosemarie passed away.  I try to stay in touch with O.L.L.  It was really a happy time in my childhood and the happy memories will always be a part of my life.
Maxine Mora
Lutheran Hospital of ManhattanLooking for pictures of the Hospital.  I was born in 1940 in the facility and would like to see what it looked like in that era--anyone have a picture?
Dad Was an AlumnusHello Jackie,
I am curious to see if you know my father, Frank Corrigan, who was born in 1926, which would make him 82 this August. I think he was in the Class of 1941.
I am also curious to see if you have any contact or info on Alfred Pereira or his sister Clara Pereira Mercado. Any help would be appreciated.
Stephen Corrigan
Please email me when you get a chance,
Frank CorriganYes, I knew Frank Corrigan, Class of 1940, not 1941, he was closer to my brother Dennis than me, I was a year younger. Didn't Frank have a  younger very pretty sister? I last saw Frank c. 1968 in the upper Washington Heights area where many of the families from OLL had moved to from the 140th streets.
I knew Pancho Pereira (the name Alfred does not ring a bell) and Clara, his younger sister. His little brother  JoJo was killed in Korea. Pancho had a birthmark: strands of very white hair in the front of his head of very black hair. They were wonderful good people.
Pancho was good friends with Jackie Koster, whose sister Barbara married Burl Ives in Hollywood and lived happily everafter.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
Vacant Houses in Hamilton HeightsI thought we were the only ones that got into those empty houses. Afternoons we'd go in through a back window to study and do our homework. We didn't break anything, and at our age we always wondered why the houses were vacant. The Depression angle we didn't figure out until later. Tom Calumet and Frank Howe went with me. I understand Frank has died and Tom Calumet left NYC around 1945 to go out west with his parents.
I graduated from OLL in 1941, and now live in Hopkins, MN
OLL MemoriesI graduated in 1960.  There were about 10 of us cousins who graduated between 1955 and 1960.  I remember Father Cline, Fr. Malloy, Monsignor Hart, Mother Bonaventure, Mother Dominica and others. Does anyone remember the day the frat boys across the street pushed the dummy out the window during our recess? I can almost taste the corn muffins and egg creams at the soda fountain around the corner on Amsterdam Avenue while "Barbara Ann" played on the jukebox. 
OLL PhotoI have a great a picture of my Confirmation Day. I'm in full OLL uniform dated c. May 1935. How can I send it to the OLL  Shorpy site?
Yours truly,
Ed Woods
[Click the links under "Become a member, contribute photos." - Dave]
Frat boys 0, Mother Mary Edward 10I sure do remember that day. Mother Mary Edward
marched over and blasted them. Also the candy store around the corner used to sell two-cent pumpkin seeds out of a little red box.
Does anyone remember the rumor going around that the
Grotto Chapel was haunted? I remember walking home with "Little Star" playing on the transistor radio.
The OLL GrottoI remember serving at what was called the Workmen's Mass in the Grotto in the 1930s - 6 o'clock in the morning! I know the Grotto is not used any more (I visited there in December 2007). As to the candy store on the corner of 143rd and Amsterdam, it was a very busy place: candy, pen nibs (no fountain pens), book covers etc. One day the owner came to school and told Sister Casmere, the principal, that we were disorderly and she must tell the students to behave when shopping in his store. Her solution was to tell the entire student body that they were not allowed to shop there. In a day or so, the man was back begging forgiveness and asked to plaese allow the children to return to his store. The kids were his main business.
HelloHi Maxine
How are you? Thank you for responding to me. It was very nice to hear from you. Sorry to hear about Sister Rosemary, but I don't remember her was she the pricipal of the school. I do remember Mr. Izquierdo he was the gym instructor with another man don't recall his name I believe he became principal of the school later on. Oh! now I remember his name was Mr. White I believe. God trying to recall, it is getting a little difficult now a days but I like it. It brings me back in time. How time have changed it was so innocent back than not like now. Looking back in time, makes me feel like I grew up to fast. How is Mr. Izquierdo doing? How can I contact him? Please let me know. My e-mail address is I remember he got married back than to a girl name Rocio, I don't know if they are still together but that lady was my father's friend daughter. Who else do you remember. Please get back to me with pictures. I have pictures too. Let me know how can I e-mail them to you. Would you believe that we are talking about almost atleast 35 years ago but I don't forget. God Bless you. Henry
Any recollections of my father, Frank  Corrigan, Class of 1940? Maybe not yourself but some of your older brothers.
Steve Corrigan
More OLL MemoriesI graduated in 1937 and was probably a fellow graduate of a brother. I had skipped 7th grade and so did not get to know classmates well. It is possible that the Waters family lived across the alley on the second floor of the building on 142nd Street. We lived on the top floor of the next building on Hamilton Place. In the same building lived Buddy Sweeney and Sal Guizzardi, also a tall blond kid who graduated with me. I believe your mother and my mom,  Agnes Orlando, were friends. I believe your mother visited mine in 1952-3 in our new home in Bergenfield, N.J. I remember a sister who must have graduated with me or my sister Marie Orlando in 1936. My brother Andrew graduated 1947. My mother, brother and sister have passed away. I remember Poncho, the Kosta family, the Madigans, Woodses, Rendeans, Glyforces, McCarvils, Walshes, Philipses, Flynns, Duggans, Hooks, Rodriquezes, Craigs, Hugheses, Conways etc. I am sure we had many things in common being OLL graduates at a very special interval of time. I wish you well in your very beautiful state which I have passed through on three occasions. Best wishes and fond memories.
John and Alice Orlando
OLLLot older than you. Attended OLL from late 1930s to early 40s. Baptized, first Holy Communion and Confirmation (Cardinal Spellman). Lived at 145 and the Drive. Remember principal when I was there, Mother Mary Margaret. First grade teacher was Mother Mary Andrews. Remember playing on roof and being shocked by Mother Mary Andrews jumping rope.  Believe there was a Father Dolan around that that time. Only went to through the 3rd grade there and then moved to 75th St and the Blessed Sacrament -- a whole different world, and not as kind or caring.
Memories of OldHi Henry. You may not remember me but I also taught gym with George and sometimes Ms. Ortiz. George is with the Department of Education on the East Side. I work for the Bloomberg Administration. Sister Mary Owen has moved to Rye and of course all the nuns are now gone. I left in 1996 but I still miss all of the good times shared during my years there.
Memories Are GoodHello, You taught me gym and we also had alot of good times with the High School Club on Friday nights. I have most painful memories of O.L.L the day Msgr. Cahill passed away. I never knew how much a heart could have so much pain and yet go on.  My dad died on 4-29-96, Max Mora and I felt the same pain all over again. Do you know where Mother John Fisher has gone ... her name had changed to Sister Maryanne.  I would love to hear from you.
Maxine Mora
Hi HenryMy email address is I have yours and I am so happy to be in contact with you I graduated in 1973. I went to Cathedral High School.  Later moved to Florida.  My brothers and sisters are still in NY and I miss so much of it.  I look forward to catching up with you.  I will write soon.  God Bless.
Fellow ClassmateHi Tony,
It has been more than 48 years since I last saw you - at our graduation from OLL in 1960.  Let me know what you have been up to in the past half century.  My e-mail address is
LTNSMr. White! Not sure if you still come to this site, but on the off chance that you still visit i thought i would write. It's been so long since I've seen or heard from you, not since "Len Fong" closed. For all others that may still come by this site, I graduated in 1983 (possibly 82). Would love to hear from a blast from the past. Please email me at
John McKennaHi Kevin,
Any chance you are related to the McKenna family? John McKenna, Class of 1941
Your name sure rings a bell, however there must be 20 years difference between us.
Have a healthy and happy 2009
In friendship,
Ed Woods
John McKennaHi Ed,
I'm afraid that I'm not related to John McKenna.  My brothers, Donald and Desmond, graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes in the fifties.  I wasn't aware of another McKenna family in the parish when I was at OLL.
Happy and healthy 2009 to you as well, Ed.
McKenna FamilyThe John McKenna family I knew lived on the northeast corner of Hamilton Place and 141st street. I had other friends and schoolmates in that building. Thinking back, you probably had to be an Irish Catholic to live there. Whatever, I think you had to be an Irish Catholic to attend OLL. I never knew any others at that time, the 1930s. Most fathers worked for the subway and trolley systems or at the milk delivery companies along 125th Street near the river.
Those were the days, my friend. Innocence prevailed!
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
The Mc KennasJim McKenna and his younger brother Tommy lived in that house above Grizzardi's grocery. Tom hung around with Marty the Hanger Phipher and the Warriors. Billy Vahey and his brother Eddie who retired as a Lieutenant in the NYPD lived there also. Their mother was still there in the early 80s.
You probably knew the Schadack family, who I believe owned Schrafft's or Donald York. I think the building was 644 West 145 St. It was the first apartment house in the city to have a self-service elevator.
When we lived there the neighborhood was known as Washington Heights. For some reason it's now referred to as Hamilton Heights. A couple of great web sites -- Forgotten NY and Bridge and Tunnel Club. You can spend hours & hours on Rockaway Beach alone. Lots of good memories!
How about the movie theaters -- the Delmar, the RKO Hamilton, the Dorset, the Loews Rio, the Loews 175 (now the Rev. Ikes Church) and all the theaters along 180th Street?
Hamilton HeightsNorm,
Many thanks for your fine memories of our old neighborhood but there are a few minor corrections I have to make.  The first is the name Shadack family.  I believe the correct spelling is Shattuck and his address was 676 Riverside Drive on the corner of 145th Street.  We lived there and my brother Bill was classmates with Gene Shattuck.  No relation to the Schrafft's empire. 
Secondly, Hamilton Heights was always known as such.  Outsiders didn't know where that was so we usually said Washington Heights for simplicity.  Washington Heights doesn't really start until 157th Street and is separated from Hamilton Heights by the Audubon plot.
The Old NeighborhoodAlex Hamilton lived nearby. There was a very pleasant young man (OLL Class of 1941) named Eugene Shattuck who lived near 145th Street and Riverside Drive. His father was a professor at Manhattan College and his family owned the Schrafft's Restaurants.
I fondly recall Eugene having the wonderful hourglass-shaped bottles of hard Schrafft's candy brought to school and distributing one bottle to each of his classmates at Christmas time.
Needless to say, the poor Amsterdam Avenue kids were in awe of one who could afford to do such a good deed. You mention the Warriors, I knew the (Gang) but not any of the names mentioned here on Shorpy.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
P.S. My in-laws the Boyd family lived at 676 Riverside Drive. Les Sr. had a  radio repair shop on 145th and Broadway.
676 Riverside DriveI lived at 676 as well.  The family's name was Shattuck. In my day, many, many years ago, the elevator had an operator. A sweet man in full uniform.  There was a doorman as well. Saw the building years later and was appalled at the change. Then went up to OLL and hardly recognized it.  It was the best school I ever went to. Thank you for reminding me of the fun. And yes, of the education I got there. By the way, 676 on the Drive was called the Deerfield.
OLL StudentsI am researching my family history and I came upon this great site.  In 1930 my grandparents Michael and Marie Murphy were living at 1744 Amsterdam Avenue and later in the 1930s at 115 Hamilton Place. All of the Murphy children attended Our Lady of Lourdes School. They were:
Maurice (born 1916)
Rita (born 1917/  my Mother)
John (born 1918)
Theresa (born 1920)
Vincent (born 1922)
Veronica (born 1925)
My mom had such fond memories of her time spent there.
Rita Harmon Bianchetto
Hi Neighbor!!Hi Rita,
I'm a former resident of 676 Riverside.  My family lived there from 1940 to 1960 in apartment 4A.  Bobby Foy lived next door to us.  I think you may have left just after we arrived since I remember the elevator operator.  The change to automatic was somtime during or just after WWII.
I remember they put up this 10 foot wall with a door to limit access to the building.  Fat lot of good that did us as my mother was robbed in broad daylight in the service chamber of our apartment in 1960.  That's when my Dad had us pack up and leave for a secure location in the Bronx.
Anyway, the apartment was great.  We had a balcony looking over 145th Street and the river.  My brothers were Larry Jr., Bill and Nick.  Bill was a good friend to Gene Shattuck and went to Xavier with him.  Nick and I also went there.  Larry had a scholarship to All Hallows.
Judy, can you tell me your last name and if you knew me.
Hope to hear from you.
Bob Phillips  at 
Your DadSorry Steve, I graduated in 1947 and my three brothers have died.  But the name Corrigan does ring a bell.  Probably from my brother Larry who knew just about everyone in OLL.
Sorry I couldn't help out but it was great hearing from you.
Bob Phillips
Andrew.Yes, I remember your brother Andrew.  We were in the same class and we used to kid him about his name - Andrew Orlando and how tall he was.  What's he doing these days?
Bob Phillips
Those were the days, my friendsHello Rita,
I remember the name Murphy but not the faces. We lived a block south of you at 1704 Amsterdam. My sister Ellen, Class of  1936, and brother Bill, Class of 1937, would have known your family.
We had many friends  on Hamilton Place, the Koster family for one: Anita, Class of 1936, her younger sister Barbara married Burl Ives, and her other sister Mary Lou married Eddie Byrne (1710 Amsterdam). Ed's sister married Chump Greeny -- killed at Anzio Beach. He must have lived near your family.
My brother in law Les Boyd lived in the Deerfield and had an electric appliance store on the corner of 145th and B'way and a sporting goods store on the next block next to the Chinese restaurant.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
Hello RitaHello Rita,
I attended St. Catherine's Academy on 151st between B'way and Amsterdam (It cost my dear old dad $10 a month for what was considered a private school.) I graduated in 1943 in a class of only four girls. I then went to  the Sacred Heart of Mary Academy in Inwood (I had to climb the long steps up from B'way every day for four years -- Class of 1947.
Most of my relatives went to OLL as did my husband of 59 years, Ed Woods. We are still alive, kicking and fighting and making up every day.
In my Class of 1943, one of the girls was Ann Murphy -- any relation? Also a Virginia O'Malley and my best friend, June McAvoy, who keeps in touch with me. June's grandfather was Judge McAvoy, who had died by that time.
I loved when my folks took me to McGuire's Bar and Restaurant on B'way and 155th. Oh that Roast Lamb (Irish style) on a Sunday or a holiday. The girls used to go to Nuestra Senora de Esperanza (Our Lady of Hope) next to the museum complex. We were told not to go there for confession, but the Spanish priests were limited in English.
Thinking back we had but little to confess at that time.
Eddie and I had an apartment on 150th near the Drive for a few years until 1956, then it was off to Long Island to raise our six children.
In friendship and love hearing from you,
Ed and Jackie Woods
The MurphysHi Ed and Jackie,
Thanks so very much for your reply.  I wish my mom was still with us but she died in 1998, the last of the Murphy kids.
My grandfather Mike Murphy worked for the Post Office (a mail carrier working out of the General P.O. at 33rd and 8th).  My grandmother Marie Murphy died in 1939 while living at Hamilton Place. Uncle Maurice went to Regis H.S. for several years before leaving to attend All Hallows; John and Vincent then attended All Hallows; my mom, Rita, attended Cathedral; Veronica, I believe, attended St. Vincent, and Theresa died at age 25 in 1944 (not sure of her high school). Mom worked at Woolworth's on 145th Street and Broadway, and after high school at New York Telephone, retiring about 1980. She got married in 1943 and moved to 152nd Street, and we attended St. Catherine of Genoa on W. 153rd.  I graduated in 1958. So I know the neighborhood.
Peace, Rita
Hi Ed and JackieSo Jackie you are a St. Kate's gal like me! My tuition was a dollar a month, so your education was really a private school. You have listed the Academy at 151st Street but I think that it was on 152nd between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. I took my high school entrance exam at SHM so I am sort of familiar with the school -- fireworks were going off during our exam. The end result was I did fine and attended Blessed Sacrament on West 70th, Class of 1962.
I last saw the "girls" at a reunion in 2002. My Spanish teacher just celebrated her 70th anniversary as a nun with the Sisters of Charity.
I am not familiar with any of the girls names that you mentioned,including Ann Murphy. I do know McQuire's, where I had my first Shirley Temple, Mass at Our Lady of Esperanza, Trinity Cemetery & loved visiting the museums.
Do either of you recall Eugenio Pacelli, before he became Pope Pius XII visiting at OLL ?
Please tell me about your days on 150th Street near the Drive since I may have been the little skinny blond kid you both passed on the street.
Rita in Northern New Jersy
West 150th NYCHello Rita,
Yes, we lived at 615 W. 150th from 1950 to 1956. Four of my children were born there (three at Lutheran Hospital and one at Jewish Memorial). We had many friends from school and the neighborhood living nearby.
However, by 1956 it was time to move on; many changes in the neighborhood. One of my nearby friends was Juanita Poitier; Sidney was just getting started with his acting career. A real nice couple.
Was Father Tracy (Pastor) still there when you attended school? How about Father Brady? He was always telling stories during Mass about his sea time with the Navy. Eddie remembers going to the Woolworths lunch counter (145th and B'way) in the early 1940s just to have an excuse to talk with the girls. He knew many of them from school and the neighborhood.
In friendship,
West 152ndHi Jackie and Ed,
I lived at 620 West 152nd Street, just a stone's throw from you folks. My sister was born at Jewish Memorial Hospital in March 1952 -- Dr. Sandler from Broadway 150/151st St. delivered.  Those were the days of Dave's deli on the corner of 151st & Broadway famous for pastrami on rye and a cold beer for the dads, Rafferty's Bar and Grill on the other side of B'way, Harry's or Pierre's homemade candy and ice cream parlor, Cora's beauty salon where my Nana would get a cold wave and blue tint. And not to be forgotten, Snow & Youman's drug store on B'Way and 151st. I recall the name Fr. Brady but it was Pastor Kane and Fr. Tracy (and his Irish Setter, Rusty) that I recall. I just sent a photo of Fr. Tracy to my classmates.
Japanese BazaarWho remembers the Japanese-American bazaar in the brownstones across from the OLL lower grades school during the war? They had the blue star & the gold star pennants hanging in the windows. They also had a store on Amsterdam Avenue near 144th Street and when they sold coffee the lines would go all around the block.
How about the punchball games out side the school, or stoop ball? Anyone remember playing basketball and using the bottom rung on the fire escape ladder as a basket? The nearest basketball court was at 148th Street by the river. If you wanted to "take out" a ball from the park, you would leave a shirt as a deposit. I remember shoveling snow off the court in order to play.
Unfortunately those days were the last time the country was almost 100% together. Twenty years from now, these will be the "good old days."
Your brother AndrewI palled around with Andy & another kid named Eddie McGlynn. As a matter of fact I have a picture of Andy, Buddy Ayres & me at Rye Beach. Buddy went to Bishop Dubois with us. He was from Vinegar Hill. You didn't mention the Wittlingers. They lived on the first floor in your building. Brendan lives in Virginia. I'm still in touch with him, Matty Waters and Les Scantleberry. Pancho Pereria made a career of the Navy. He died several years ago. JoeJoe, one of my closest friends, was killed in Korea.
Dave's DeliI haven't had a good hot corned beef sandwich since I last had  one at Dave's. His son Milton was running the store in the 1950s after Dave retired to Florida. Dave's used to have a window in the summer that sold potato knishes (5 cents, with mustard) and of course kosher hot dogs.
I heard a Clement Moore fan club still meets every Christmas Eve next to Trinity Church Cemetery and recites "The Night Before Christmas."
I was born in 1928 at 853 Riverside Drive. When 90 Riverside was built in 1941 and blocked the view of the Hudson, we moved there.
Warm regards,
Jackie and Ed
The old neighborhoodThe Wittlingers (the twins were the same age as my two younger brothers, also twins), Matty Waters, Les Scantleberry, JoJo: All those names I remember, especially Pancho and his family. For the life of me, I cannot understand why your name doesn't ring a bell. You mentioned the Warriors. Did you know Tommy or Willie Taylor, the Conroys, Drago, Jackie Hughes, etc. What years did you attend OLL?
I looked up some old friends on the Internet over the past few years -- said hello and then goodbye when their families called to give me the news: Vinny McCarville, Bruce Boyd, Phil Marshall, Eddie O'Brien -- all gone to their maker. They were spread out all over the country. It was satisfying, however, just to say hello. I met Vinny in New Orleans and we had a beer for the first time in many years. We had gone to sea together during WWII and had a lot of memories.
You must forgive my spelling etc. My eyesight is on its way out (along with everything else). I will be 82 in a few months but active and still traveling. I have been to six of the seven continents and my wish is to have breakfast at the South Pole.
In friendship,
Ed and Jackie Woods
ToppersWas Dave's on B'Way near 140th Street? I sold the Sunday News there for 25 cents during the news strike. It was normally a nickel. We had to go down to the News Building to buy them. Overhead!
Who remembers the Sugar Bowl on the corner of 143rd and Broadway? A great hangout for different age groups. How about Toppers Ice Cream parlor on B'Way between 139 & 140th?
In the 1940s and early '50s you could go to the Audubon Theater at 168th and B'Way on Sunday for 77 Cents and see three features, 23 cartoons, newsreels and an eight-act stage show with such luminaries as Billy Halop of the Dead End Kids or Lash LaRue or Ferdinand the Bull. Top shelf. They must get at lest a buck fifty for admission today!
Tea and Nut StoreHi Norm,
My mom (Rita Murphy) mentioned there was an Asian family owned Tea and Nut shop in OLL Parish when she was a child (born 1917).  She said her brothers, Maurice and John Murphy, would sometimes play with the owners' son. I am wondering if this could be the same shop.
ToppersDave's was on the southwest corner of Broadway and 151st Street, a short trip from my home on 152nd near Riverside Drive. I do recall the Sugar Bowl and maybe was in it once or twice but never hung out there. Topper's is a name I never heard before, as far as ice cream parlors go. Thanks so much for mentioning the name and location. Perhaps before my time (1945 baby) or too far from my home. Many people have mentioned the Audubon Theater to me (165-166th Street) but I have no memory of it at all.  I do recall the San Juan Theater that took over the space of the old Audubon.
I love hearing about Mom's (Rita Murphy's) old neighborhood.
Thanks for sharing.
Your Name?No, Dave's Deli was on 151st and Broadway. Yes, Toppers & the Sugar Bowl were popular hangouts, however the Piedmont, the Staghorn and the Chesterfield were more popular later on. I have pictures of the great snowfall of December 27, 1947 taken in front of the above mentioned restaurants with a bunch of the guys posing in the cold. 
The Audubon Theater became better known when Malcom X was murdered in its ballroom. I saw Milton Berle there in the early 1940s. Actually, the Bluebird and the Washington were also popular as they only cost 10 cents (no heat or air conditioning). Memories, memories, dreams of long ago.
Ed and Jackie Woods
The OLL ChoirI sang in the OLL choir for about 5 or 6 years and hated it.T he only advantage was that we skipped the last class for practice. The downside was that after attending 9 o'clock Mass we had to sing at the 11 o'clock High Mass, which interfered with our Sunday football game. I played with the Junior Cadets. We had a very good team coached by Joe Romo, who went on to be the trainer for the Oakland A's for many years. I saw him at Yankee Stadium whenever the team played the Yankees at home. Joe died several years ago.
Mr. Skyler, the choirmaster, wore a wig that could easily be mistaken for road kill. I used to wonder if he was committing a sin by wearing something on his head in church. After all it was no different then wearing a hat during Mass.
Mrs. Daly was a very lovely lady who played the organ and gave piano lessons. She lived down the street from us on 142nd between Broadway and Hamilton Place and had something like 10 kids. My sister Maureen was friends with Theresa and Billie. John was I believe the youngest son. Maureen graduated from Notre Dame de Lourdes on Convent Avenue.
My sister Frances was close friends with Helen and Rita Nerney, who lived across the street. Fran died in 2002.
ToppersI lived at 635 Riverside Drive. I  recall Toppers being near the corner of 141st, next to a Jewish deli. In the summer my dad took my brother Tom and me for ice cream there every evening. Happy memories!
Bishop DuboisI graduated 1953 from Bishop Dubois. I believe your brother Ernie was in my class at OLL. I hope he is doing well. Give him my regards.
Bill Healy
Names from the Old NeighborhoodBrendan & Bernie turned 76 on February 2. Don't ask how I remember things like this. I forgot what I had for breakfast this morning. I'll be 76 August 11, weather permitting.
Everyone seems to forget Pinky (Michael) Pereria. You are closer to my late brother Jim's age. Jim hung out with Jimmy and John Bartlett, Donald LaGuardia, Tommy & Willie Taylor (born on the same day a year apart -- Irish twins). Again I don't know why I remember these things.
Eddie O'Brien used to go by the name Drawde Neirbo, his name spelled backwards. He was a close friend of Big Jack Hughes. I recall a group of you guys joining the Merchant Marine during the war. The Dragos lived on 141st Street between Hamilton Place and Amsterdam Avenue. The youngest (Joseph?) was in my class.
A couple of years ago I went down to the old neighborhood with my sons. Surprisingly, it looks great. Lots of renovations going on.
My beautiful wife June is a BIC (Bronx Irish Catholic) from the South Bronx. It's not as great a neighborhood as it used to be, but lots of great people came out of there. I took her away from there, married her 50 plus years ago and got her a decent dental plan and raised five kids in New Jersey.
I graduated in 1948. It should have been 1947 but Mother Mary Inez red-shirted me in the 6th grade.
Will stay in touch.
Norm Brown
Norm Brown??Norm, I graduated in 1947 from OLL. I knew a kid (Norman Brown) who lived on 141st between Hamilton and Broadway. I think he had a younger brother. He went to OLL with me, but he did not graduate from OLL. Eddie McGlynn was in my class, and the Wittlingers. I lived at 510 W 140th. Are you that Norman?
Bill H.
The Summer of '66Hi Jackie and Ed,
I never had one of Dave or Milton's corned beef sandwiches but I can say that the pastrami on rye was a thing that dreams are made of. I recall the knishes out the window in the summer and the hot dogs. Thanks so much for taking me back in time. Milton would take the pastrami out of that silver steamer box sharpening his knife, and the rest was heaven on rye. Milton was still behind the counter in the summer of 1966 but after that I can't say. 
I am sure that "The Night Before Christmas" is still recited next to Clement Moore's grave, in Trinity Cemetery.  In my day the Girl Scout Troop that met at the Church of the Intercession would participate in the recitation of the Moore piece.
I know that 853 Riverside Drive is on the Upper Drive, since I sat on "The Wall" on summer evenings as a teenager.  You said you moved in 1941 to 90 RSD -- did you mean 90 or 890?  I am not familiar with the numbering of the "lower" drive where the red house sits (so it was called).
I am off in search of a good sandwich.
Stagershorn  & ChesterfieldMalcom X was shot in the Audubon Ballroom at the back of the theater, which later became the Teatro San Juan. I saw Abbott and Costello there en Espanol. At 7 years old I was run over by a truck at 142 Street and Broadway, right outside the Staghorn, I managed to live!
I would hang from the window outside the Chesterfield, watching football games on TV with Bobby Heller and Herby Gil and Buddy McCarthy.
That was a hell of a snowstorm in '47. Remember digging tunnels through the snowbanks? You forgot to mention Larry's, just next to the Sugar Bowl. I would watch "Victory at Sea" there.
A couple of years ago I took a walk through the OLL neighborhood and realized that when you are a kid everything you see is at eye level and taken for granted, but as you look up and around from a mature aspect it becomes a whole different world. It is really a beautiful area.
90 Riverside Drive WestHi Rita. I'm positive 853 was on the Lower Drive. When the new building went up next to it around 1941, the address was 90 Riverside Drive West. However, it caused so much confusion with 90 Riverside Drive (downtown) that the address was changed to 159-32 Riverside. The plot originally hosted a small golf course.
I also went to the Church of the Intercession with the Girl Scouts. Small world. And the wall -- on a hot summer night, standing room only.
West 140th NYCThe kids I hung around with were in the OLL classes of 1940 and 1941. I had a weekend job in 1941 with Ike's Bike Rental on 141st. He needed someone to identify the kids who rented there (bikes rented for 20 cents an hour -- and that's the truth). We started a Junior Air Raid Wardens group and had a store next to Ike's. Collected paper etc, for the war effort.
And you are correct, within three years, when we turned 16, McCarvill, O'Brien, Drago and I joined the merchant marine.
Did you know the Kieley family -- lived at 1628 Amsterdam before moving to the lower Bronx: Pauline, Rita, Josephine, Peggy and the two boys Nicky and Jimmy. I loved going to their upstairs apartment for tea, especially when Mrs Kiely made Irish Soda Bread. My wife (then girlfriend) Jackie sponsored Jim Kieley when he became a citizen around 1948. He was from County Waterford, the same as her family. We celebrated our 59th anniversary last week.
Eddie Woods
My Brother JimYou probably knew my brother Jim Brown. He too was born in 1928. He died three years ago today. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes, spent a couple of years in the Army and graduated from Fordham University. Jim lived in Wycoff, N.J. He was very successful in business.
Amsterdam AvenueThe Denning family (10 kids) lived on Amsterdam Avenue between 141st and 142nd. Hughie had polio and wrote away to FDR for an autograph during the war. As it turned out he was the last person to get one. He was in an iron lung at the time. It was a big deal. Lots of press. One of the boys, Peter Schaefer Denning, was born on the back of a beer truck on the way to the hospital. Hence the name.
The Connolly brothers, Eamon and Timmy, lived in the same building. Everyone in the family had red hair. Not unlike Bobby Foy's family. If I recall properly, the father looked like Arthur Godfrey, his mom like Lucille Ball, Bobby like Red Skelton, and they had a red cat plus an Irish setter.
It took a lot of guts for a group of 16-year-old kids to join the merchant marine. A belated thanks for your service.
My wife makes great Irish soda bread. Is there any other kind? You can give ten women the same ingredients for soda bread and you'll get ten different tasting breads. All great! Especially with a cup of Lynches Irish tea. The season is almost upon us once again.
The only Kiely (different spelling) I knew was my NYPD partner Timmy, who was from the South Bronx, Hunts Point. Tim grew up with Colin Powell. Having worked in the South Bronx for 25 years and marrying June Margaret O'Brien, one of six girls from there, I pretty much connect with the people of SOBRO, as the area is now known. Sooner or later everything gets yuppified.
How about this web site? Something else!
Take care,
Mea CulpaHi Jackie,
Of course you know 853 RSD is on the Lower Drive but Google Maps does not.  "Looks like 800 Block of Upper Drive is even numbers and 800 Block on Lower Drive is odd numbers."  I did not locate 159-32 but I did find a 159-34 and 159-00, seems to be the last structure (red brick) on the Lower Drive area that we are speaking of, now a co-op but the year of construction is not listed.
I have very fond memories of the folks I spent time with on "our" wall.  
Yes, it's Kiely I was in error. For whatever resaon, The Dublin House on 79th off the NE corner of Broadway became a meeting place for many of the kids from the OLL area up until the early 1970s: Eamon Connolly,  Tommy Taylor etc. I worked with Tom for a short time before be went on the force and then as a T Man. I have not heard from him  in too many years. One of great fellows from the old neighborhood. 
In friendship,
Ed Woods
My e-mail:
P.S. The Kiely family moved to Crimmons Ave in the Bronx
 West 159th Street NYCDear Rita,
I do enjoy rehashing the old neighborhood and the wonderful memories we can recall. Yes, it is the last buillding on the street and I lived there until 1950, when I married Ed. My uncle George lived there until c. 1981 in a rent controlled apartment, and yes, it did become a co-op.
When first opened, the building had four entrances. Later, in the 1980s, it was down to one main entrance on the via-dock for safety reasons. I loved our apartment there, which had a beautiful view of the Hudson and the George Washington Bridge.
My friend June, nee McAvoy, lived at 3750 B'way. We were together in school for 12 years at St. Catherine's and Sacred Heart. June lives in Maryland.
By the way,  my e-mail is
Jackie Woods
The Red HouseDear Jackie & Ed,
How lucky you were to have lived in the Red House, especially with the views of the bridge and the river. Growing up I never knew anyone who lived there, so never saw the interior, I'm sure it was lovely. I heard that David Dinkins lived there at some point before he became mayor. Many of my classmates lived in 790 Riverside Drive and I was always so impressed that their apartments had two doors. Our apartment was on the fourth floor of a walkup and across the street from a garage. Funny how I was not really impressed by a doorman but by the two doors.
I seem to remember a gas station near your friend June's  house...other side of Broadway from the museum, now college. One of my St. Catherine's classmates, last I heard, he was teaching at the college.
Was Rexall Drug on the corner of 157th, with the newsstand outside the door, when you lived in the Red House? In my home we seemed to have all of the city newspapers -- morning, afternoon and evening, some selling for 4 cents. To this day I read two papers every day and still long to go out Saturday night to pick up the Sunday paper.
Thanks for the email.
Class of 1959I attended O.L.L. from 5th to 8th grade. My 5th grade teacher was Mother Mary Edward, what a wonderful woman, 6th was Mother Mary St. Hugh, 7th Mother Mary Edward and 8th Mother Mary Bernadette.  Graduated in 1959. Classes were mxed -- black, white and Latino. Memories are mostly good ones -- Father Kline, Father Malloy, Father Hart. The religious experience most memorable, especially during Lent, novenas on Wednesday afternoon and Stations on Friday after school.
Liggets / RexallHello Rita,
I loved the lunch/soda  counter at Liggetts/Rexalls. for whatever reason, my family used the pharmacy across the street, on the east side of B'way, to have prescriptions filled.
The family that owned and operated the newsstand helped us lease our first apartment at 600 W. 157th. Apartments were in short supply in 1950. We lived in the unit formerly rented by the Singer Midgets next to Peaches Browning of Daddy Browning fame. Of course they were long gone when we lived there. My father was very active in the Tioga Democratic Club with the Simonetti family. 
Do you remember Warner's Cafeteria between 157 & 158th? We visited St. Catherine's Church Christmas week 2007 with our niece who wanted to see where she was baptized in 1953. She is on Mayor Bloomberg's staff.
Warm regards,
Jackie Woods
Oh, as the poet said, "To return to yesteryear and our salad days." 
My brother ErnieBilly, Ernie and I went to Bishop Dubois. Ernie for two years and I for three. We both were bounced in 1951 and transferred to Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J. We went there on a Schrafft's scholarship. Our mom waited on tables at Schrafft's in order to send us there. In those days it was pretty much a blue collar school. It wasn't that far removed from being a reform school. VERY STRICT. Today it's much more hoity toity. I'm still in close touch with my old classmates, most of whom have been successful in life.
Ernie was a great basketball player, the first to score over 50 points in a game in Bergen County (three times), breaking Sherman White's record. White was an All American but messed up his career in the 1950-51 college season. Ernie went to Fordham on an athletic scholarship.
Ernie died in 2002. He was a very special guy, extremely generous and giving. We miss him a lot. He lived a couple of blocks away from me as did most of my siblings. Sad to say, the circle grows smaller.
1959 OLL gradsAre you out there, does any one remember or know of any of the following graduates of O.L.L. -- Starr Martin, Carol Long or her sisters, Carlotta and Tony, Josephine Velez, Melvina (Kinky) Boyd, Chicky Aponte. I went of to Cathedral and the others to various Catholic high schools and lost touch. After finding this site, many memories have come back. Would like to know how old friends are doing. 
600 W. 157thHi Jackie,
You lived around the corner from the post office. I remember going there once to get a money order and losing Mom's gray umbrella. Your building was by the Grinnell, where a friend's father was the superintendent during the 60s.
Liggett/Rexall -- we went to Snow & Youman's for drugs but to Rexall for film, flashbulbs and of course the soda fountain. The last time I was there was April 1965, just before my son was born. I do not recall a Warner's Cafeteria but do remember the famous, and oh so good, Imperial Deli, Lambos Flower Shop, Commander Bar & Grill, Full Moon & McGuire's.
I visited St. Catherine's about 1994 and it was like being in a time warp, except for the piano near the altar. The church was just as I remembered when I got married in 1964, only smaller. The school is now public. I am in touch with some of my friends from the Class of 1958. It was nice that your niece was able to visit the church where she was baptized.
I never heard of the Tioga Democratic Club or the Simonetti family (the only Simonettis I know are the family whose niece and son are engaged).
Jackie, was the pharmacy on the east side of B'way United or perhaps that was a sign for United Cigar?
So nice this walk down memory lane.
Best to your Eddie.
Memories: dreams of long agoHi Rita,
My close friend June's, nee McAvoy, family lived in the Grinnell for many years. Her grandfather was Judge McAvoy. Eddie claims to have an exceptionally good memory but he says he needs to yield to you. You do have a most wonderful recall. However, he is more familiar with the OLL school and church neighborhood.
My brother-in-law (much older than Eddie and me) was in the vending machine business: Ace Distributing -- jukeboxes, cigarette machines etc. Eddie worked for him for  a few years when we first married and the company had locations in almost every store in the neighborhood (including the Commander). That is a dead business today. How about Pigeon Park? You couldn't sit there.
Warm regards, Jackie Woods
GrinnellHi Jackie,
Do you recall a Doctor James Farley living in the Grinnell?  Doctor Farley must have taken care of half of Washington Heights over a period of many years (had an office on 178 St. between Broadway and Ft. Washington Ave.).
Ah, Pigeon Park...I remember it well and always tried to circumvent it!
All the best.
I remember it wellHi Rita,
Our family physician was Dr. VanWorth, as an adult I visited Dr. Liebling, who had an office c. 156th. He later moved down to 72nd Street. A wonderful caring man (who made house calls). My son Ed Jr. was 58 years old this week, I have a picture of him when he was 1 sitting  on a pony taken on the corner of 155th and B'way. John Orlando's brother married a St Catherine's girl. I don't know her age.
Ain't we got fun?
Jackie Woods
Current resident of the neighborhood (Grinnell)I'd like to invite you to visit, which is a virtual walking tour of the neighorhood you're discussing.  You can "take the walking tour" online or go to the Sitemap/ Index of Images to read about specific buildings and see pictures from many eras.
I'm happy to post any pictures (and credit the owners) of the neighborhood that you'd like to share - focusing on the Audubon Park area (155th to 158th, Broadway to the river).
Walking TourThanks so very much for posting the site for the Audubon Park area...I had a delightful walking tour.
Down Memory Lane at OLLWhat happened, did we all run out of memories?
Who remembers the stickball field comprised of Hamilton Place from 140 to 141st Street. A ball hit over the small roof on 141st was a double and over the roof at 95 Hamilton Place was a homer. After the war the street was so crowded with cars that the games were moved to Convent Avenue in front of CCNY. There was some heavy money bet on these games.
Walking TourThanks, Rita, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk!  Please come back and visit the site again.  I post a Newsletter on the homepage ( ) each month highlighting new pages, information, and research, as well as updates on the Historic District project.
The Prairie StateDoes anyone have memories of the Prairie State? It was a WWI battleship moored in the Hudson River at about 135 Street and I believe used for Naval Reserve training. As kids we snuck on board and played basketball on it. The deck (court) had a bow on it which is partially responsible for the replacement parts in my ankle today.
How about the "Dust Bowl" at 148 Street next to the river where we played football and baseball? Today it's state of the art, at least compared to what we played on. Now there is grass on the field. Progress!
Under the Via DockFar from being a battleship, the Prairie State (also called the Illinois) was an old transport. However, as youngsters we would have been impressed by its size.
Pancho and another neighborhood boy whose name I can't recall trained there before being sent to England as frogmen in preparation for the D-Day landing. It was decided that those boys with big chests (big lungs) could do the job best. I can recall Pancho telling me after the war that he had only a few days of Boot Camp.
Sports -- we used the oval near City College. Stick ball -- 144th between Amsterdam and B'way. A ball hit to any roof was an out, never a homer. Spaldines was Spaldings were costly in the 1930s. One had to learn to hit as far up the street as possible, over the sewers. That is why  the good hitters (one strike only) were called three-sewer hitters.
The Prairie State was docked under the Via Dock c. 130th St. Like you, we visited it often. Nearby were the meatpacking/butcher plants. During the 1930s there were two "Hoovervilles" (hobo camps) under the dock. The overhead gave the men some some protection from the elements. I had an uncle who took me fishing off the piers. I felt sorry for the "lost souls." Then one day they were all gone. Hosed away! I used to wonder where  they went.
In friendship
Ed Woods
PanchoAs you recall, Pancho was short, about 5'8" and maybe 200 lbs. and a very good athlete -- basketball, baseball and could hold his own on a basketball court. I remember speaking to him about the UDT (Underwater Demolition Teams,the precursor to the Navy Seals) and asking him if they were relegated to swimming all the time. He told me they spent most of the time running, running, running to build endurance.
As I remember, the Oval was near Convent Avenue. We never used the term two sewers in stickball. That was a Bronx expression. We bought our pink "Spaldeens" at Rutenbergs candy store on Amsterdam Avenue between 140 and 141 Streets for a nickel. He also sold kids twofers, two for a penny loosies, and Bugle Tobacco so you could roll your own or purchase a corncob pipe to puff away. Loosies were two cigarettes for a penny. I understand due to the cost of smokes they are doing that again.
We played "swift pitching" in the park at Hamilton Place between 140 and 141 streets. It was comprised of drawing a box (a strike zone) on the  the handball court wall and throwing balls and strikes as hard as you could. I'm a little younger then you but I remember the Swift Meat Plant down by the river and the time John Garfield filmed a scene from a movie, Force of Evil, running down the steps  toward the river. Somehow he ended up at the red lighthouse under the GW Bridge and discovered his brother's body, played by Thomas Gomez, in the river.  As kids during the war we would fish and crag off the docks  right near the old Two Six Precinct. I'll never forget the time my younger brother came home with a catfish and an eel and damn near burned the house down trying to cook them.
Boy, life was a lot simpler then. Even with a world war raging.
Amsterdam AveRutenbergs, address 1628 Amsterdam, I lived in the upstairs bldg for five years. The Rutenbergs lived in an apt in the back of their store. Tommy Smith worked their paper route for many years. Tommy lived in 1626 next to McCarvill. The Conroys (Johnny the Bull) lived in 1630. Eddie O'Brien lived in 1634 over the Rothschild Deli where we could buy Old Dutch beer for 14 cents  a quart plus a 5 cent deposit. "It's for my father." The playground around the corner was busy at night after it closed  for the day.
My recall of  loosies is six for five cents in a small paper bag with six wooden matches. 
You refer to the station house as the "Two Six Precinct."
Something tells me you were "on the job." A good family friend, Frank Lynch, became the Captain at 152nd and Amsterdam (The Three Two)?
Your e-mail?
In friendship,
Ed Woods
Three Oh PrecinctYes I worked in the South Bronx for 25 years which included 10 years at the Yankee Stadium,ten of the best years of my life. A ring side seat at the world. We played many games there-- Shae, West Point, etc. -- and traveled to Venezuela with the New York Press team. I worked out with players on the DL. Thurman Munson was a good friend as was Catfish Hunter. Lou Pinella and Graig Nettles. 
We guarded Pope Paul and Pope John Paul II. John Paul II gave off an aura that was indescribable. I was very close to him on three occasions and he made you weak in the knees and start to shake. Believe me it wasn't his celebrity status. Some of the people I knew were Cary Grant who used to look for me when he came to many games. Someday I'll tell you how he saved my marriage. A funny story! Jimmy Cagney came to a few games. Boy was that sad to see Rocky Sullivan, every Irish American kid's hero, all crippled up with arthritis.
I finished up in the Bronx Detective Task Force and never looked back. It was a great career if you rolled with the punches.
The six for five must have been filter tips.I forgot about the wooden matches. Do you remember the Hooten Bars they sold? One by two inch chocolate candy stuck on wax paper. Nobody seems to remember them. Rutenberg had the greatest malteds. They kept the milk frozen. God! Were they good!
The Three Oh Precinct was at 152 Street & Amsterdam Avenue across from St. Catherines Grammar School where I went to kindergarten for a day. Later it became Bishop Dubois H.S., which I attended for three years before getting bounced along with my younger brother.
There was a kid by the name of Neally Riorden who may have lived in your building and a kid by the name of Brian Neeson Hannon who died around 1945. I remember going to his wake on Vinegar Hill. Next we should take a trip down Vinegar Hill.
My e mail is
God bless & HAPPY EASTER
Rutenberg'sRutenberg's had the greatest milkshakes mainly because they kept the milk semi frozen. They also had Hooten bars, sheets of one by two inch chocolate that sold for a penny each. I've never met anyone from a different neighborhood who heard of them.
Yes, I was on the job for 25 years in the South Bronx. Check your personal e mail. The Three Oh was at 152 Street and Amsterdam Avenue. It's now a landmark. The new precinct is on 151st Street of Amsterdam.
How about Wings Cigarettes with the photos of WW II planes? 
The Shamrock Bar was on the corner of 140th Street and Amsterdam. On weekends guys would pick up containers of beer and carry them over to Convent Avenue for refreshments during the stickball games.
Take care,
PanchoLooking for any info on Pancho Periera. He is my godfather and was best friends with my dad, Frank Corrigan. 
OLLumnaI went graduated from OLL in 1950. I came across this great site and I am wondering if anyone graduated the same year. I have been trying to get in contact with my fellow classmates and this looked like a great opportunity!
The Old ShamrockI visted the 140th Street area a few years ago and took a few pictures. The Shamrock is gone with the wind -- history.
I showed a picture of the building (1626 Amsterdam) to Vinnie McCarvill, who had lived there, when I met him for  a beer in New Orleans a few years ago, and he almost wept. Some great memories of our Salad Days came to mind. 
"Oh the nights at the playground on Hamilton Place." It's the place  where we came of age.
In friendship,
Eddie and Jackie
ParishesOne thing folks from New Orleans and New York City have in common is that you identified your neighborhood by the parish in which you lived.
Agnes GerrityMy mother, Agnes Gerrity, born 1916, and her brothers Thomas and Richard (born c. 1914 and 1920) attended Our Lady of Lourdes until high school. All three have passed away but I'd love to hear if anyone happens to remember them.  Like your mother, my mom loved that school and spoke of it often. 
Anne Collins
OLL Confirmation Day 1935I thought  former students would enjoy seeing the uniform we wore in Our Lady of Lourdes School Primary Dept (1st to 4th Grade) during the 1930s.

KnickersIt was humiliating having to wear knickers. Remember pulling them down to your ankles and thinking "maybe people will think they are pegged pants"? Boy did we ever fool the public! And how about the high starched collars -- I don't think they could have even gotten Freddie Barthomew to wear them. Didn't we replace them with waterboarding?
However Ed, they look great on you. Do you still wear them?
Old OLL picsDoes any one have some old OLL class photos or just some neighborhood pictures to post here in the comments? I'm sure a lot of Shorpy addicts would appreciate them.
OLLi go to school at lourdes now im in the 8th grade and i think its really cool to see people talk about the memories they had about my school before i was even born and i would love to see some kind of picture of the inside of the school like a class picture so i can see what it used to look like
[Just wait'll you get to Capitalization and Punctuation. - Dave]
Class of 1964I too went to OLL from '57-'64. My parents and I moved to 3495 Broadway at 143rd St. in 1956. I started in the 4th grade with Mother Mary William. The school in those days was no longer a military academy. We wore navy blue uniforms, white shirts and the school tie and the girls wore navy blue jumpers with a white blouse and blue tie. It was very interesting reading about all the students who came before me and where they lived. I always was so curious to find out how this old neighborhood looked like years before we moved in. As you all know, the area changed at some point racially, although when I was at OLL the school was still predominantly white with a handful of Black children. I will always have wonderful memories of my time at OLL. My parents moved out of the area in 1969 and I since been back once to recapture some old memories of my childhood.
NostalgiaThe picture that follows is the 1937 graduation class with the girls omitted. Monsignor McMahon built church and school(1901-1913); after 15 years as Curator at St Patrick's Cathedral, constructed 7 years earlier. See church of Our Lady of Lourdes for construction details. At the time of graduation, Fr's Mahoney, Dillon and Brennan resided across from the Church. The Poor Clares home was to right of the church, and secondary had Society of the Holy Name Jesus sisters. School and Church gave us faith and hope and discipline. Our world was the depression years followed by the wars. Our class of 1937 was just in time. The handsome lad below the sergeant stripes is the brother of contributor Ed Woods.Ed,and brothers Bill and Dennis served with distinction. Andy Saraga bottom right was a highly decorated Marines  The others served as well. I hope Our Lady of Lourdes provides the inspiration our families sought for us. 
Nostalgia 1937The 1937 graduation photo is great. It's with both sadness and pride to think that most of these wonderful kids would be defending our country in a very short time in different uniforms.Believe it or not this military training was useful. How about more pictures like this and some candid neighborhood shots.
OLL in the NYT
So interesting: A more recent residentJust want to say that I've read every entry on this post. It is so interesting to read the memories shared by those that lived way before you in the same neighborhood. My mother and I live on 135th Street near Riverside between 66th and 77th, then moved to 138th between Hamilton and Amsterdam. I went to PS 161 and graduated from CCNY. I also have fond memories of my childhood. I used to play basketball in an after school center at Our Lady of Lourdes as a young kid, visited the area a couple of years ago and brought back great pics.
Cheers to all
The Grinnell: Celebrating Its Centennial Those of you who remember The Grinnell (800 Riverside Drive) may be interested to know that the residents have just begun celebrating the building's centennial.  We're having a year of events,so this is a great year to visit!  
Check the website: for photos, historical news articles, and residents' memories (and contribute your own).
Click the calendar tab for a listing of the events between now and July 2011.
Why Grinnel!The hundredth anniversary of a building? Forgotten is the fact that it's also the anniversary of the site building, and all the memories fast fading. I think Ed Woods of all the graduates, always hit the mark. Several others struggled to add something. If someone remembers the names of the sisters and preferably anecdotes please don't deny this information from this site. I personally remember sister Rose from 4th grade 1934. I believe Mother Michael provided my brother Andy's Confirmation name. Others with better memories speak up. Also it wasn't only our generation that owes  recognition for all given freely. 
Christmas at Our Lady of LourdesAt Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, the statues in the creche would be replaced by live students. The scene would be repeated the following day at the 9 o'clock Children's Mass and the 11 o'clock High Mass.
A live baby would be borrowed to lie in the manger. The girl who posed as the Blessed Mother and the boy who posed as Joseph were the envy of the entire student body.
"Oh to return to yesteryear."
Happy New YearThank you SHORPY for bringing back to us so many wonderful memories. It has been said pictures are worth a thousand words. Shorpy's pictures, however, are worth so much more -- just can't put a number on them. Thank you and a Happy New Year to the Shorpy Staff.
Ed and Jackie Woods
[And thank you, Ed and Jackie, for inspiring the hundreds of interesting comments in this thread. - Dave]
The OLL neighborhoodIt's nice reading and re-reading your stories about OLL, Hamiliton Place,and seeing the names listed.
Many years ago, in my past, I visited the old neighborhood only to find it somewhat depressing, old and in poor shape. One time in particular I had parked my new "rental car" near West 144th street, and was showing my young children some of the places I lived on Amsterdam Ave, Hamilton Place ( 95 and 115 buildings) when two older African Americans came up to us, and said you'd be better not park here." It wasn't said as a threat, but more it's unsafe here, now that the area has changed. I had told them that I used to live here many years ago.
I am glad to hear from Norm, that the area has rebounded, and in looking at the prices of the real estate I wish we had stayed here.
Keep up the good work.
Matt Waters
Hi Anon Tipster 1959.  I used to date Carlotta Long & visited her lovely home many times.  147 off Convent as I recall. I often wonder in my old age (69) whatever happened to her & how her life turned out. I did graduate from Dubois in 1960, so I'm very familiar w/the sights & places referenced here. So glad I found this site. 
Tis That Time of YearThank you SHORPY for another year of nostalgic pictures and comments. Brought to us in Black and White and Living Color.
Such fond memories of long ago, especially the itchy bathing suits. In the 1920s and up to the early 1940s, when on or near the beach and boardwalk, boys had to wear the coarse wooolen suits with the tops on at all times.
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New York to Dave and staff.
Ed and Jackie Woods
Our Yearly PlaysI graduated in 1960 after 8 memorable years. I remember our yearly plays in the auditorium and all the hard work and practice we put into it. Father Hart was our pastor and I remember our farewell speech to him. My best friend was Lydia Marin and I remember Maria Santory, Joyce Brown, Maria Matos, Alma Mora, Maureen Quirk.  If any of you from this class are around, give a shout.
Jackie Erick
Class of 1964Class of 1964 where are you guys? Write something here you remember. Do you remember me?
OLL Class of 1957Here's the names of the boys' teachers from 1949 to 1957. I think I have then all correct.
Grade 1, 1949-1950:	Mother Mary Theodosia
Grade 2, 1950-1951:	Sister Mary Macrina
Grade 3, 1951-1952:	Mother Mary Eulalia
Grade 4, 1952-1953:	Mother Mary Declan
Grade 5, 1953-1954:	Mother Mary Edwards
Grade 6, 1954-1955:	Mother Maria Del Amor
Grade 7, 1955-1956:	Mother Mary Euphrates
Grade 8, 1956-1957:	Mother Mary Rosario
Eighteen nuns lived in the convent adjacent to the church on 142nd Street: eight boys' teachers, eight girls' teachers, the school principal, known as the Reverend Mother, and the housekeeper.
Six priests and the pastor lived in the rectory on the south side of 142nd Street.
OLL was also known as Old Ladies' Laundry.
I've written down the names of almost all the boys who, at one point or another, were part of the class of 1957. Only 27 graduated in 1957. Many were expelled in 1956 as part of a crackdown on gang membership. Mother Mary Rosario was brought in to preside over a difficult situation, but after the expulsions her job turned out to be not that complicated.
I'll post the list of names another time.
Our Lady of Lourdes Alumni ReunionHello out there.
I am a current parent at Our Lady of Lourdes.  As we enter a new decade, OLL would would like to start planning a few reunions.  I am looking for some potential organizers to help us reach out and plan events in the new year.  Please reach out if you are interested in planning or connect dots.
There are many new happenings at the school.  We will be launching a new website by the end of the month with an alumni portion.  
Thank you!
Class of 1971Hi! I graduated in 1971 and our teacher was Sister Patricia. I remember Marlene Taylor, Karen, Miriam, Dina, Elsie, Maria and Robin, Carla, Margaret and Giselle. Our class was an all girl class. I also remember Sister Rebecca, Sister Theresa, Sister Rosemarie (our history teacher). I continued to Cathedral High School but I miss all my dear classmates. Is there anyone out there who enters this site? My email is  I would love to hear from someone. Marlene Taylor became a doctor (wonderful!!!).
Shorpy Hall of FameIf there were a Shorpy Hall of Fame, this photo would definitely have to be in the inaugural class.  I've enjoyed going through the many comments for this photo going back to 2007 even though I have absolutely no connection to the school other than being Catholic.  What is equally as awesome is that a look at the location today via Google Maps indicates that, other than a few trees, fire hydrants, automobiles and removal of the statue, everything is basically the same today. 
Double DutchKllroy is correct about not much having changed, but it looks like even the foreground fire hydrant is in the same place (but a newer model).
It looks like the circa 1914 photographer was set-up on the northeast corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 143rd Street. The Google Maps photo was taken travelling northbound on Amsterdam Avenue. So basically both photos are shot from almost the same location; it is interesting how the vintage image makes 143rd Street appear much shorter than in the Google image. I guess it's the result of different formats and lenses.
By the way, the buildings at the far end of the T-intersection, on Convent Avenue (mostly blocked by the trees in the Google image), reflect NYC's Dutch heritage [ETA:] as does "Amsterdam" Avenue.

(The Gallery, Education, Schools, G.G. Bain, Kids, NYC)

Bathing Costume Contest: 1921
June 25, 1921. Washington, D.C. "Bathing Costume Contest." Note Felix/Krazy Kat doll. National Photo Company ... to me like one of the winners in the photo "Iola and Anna: 1922". What do you think? ... Swinnerton! This is my favorite Iola photo! I like her bathing suit in this one much better, too. The suit that looks like Venetian ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/06/2018 - 10:20pm -

June 25, 1921. Washington, D.C. "Bathing Costume Contest." Note Felix/Krazy Kat doll.  National Photo Company Collection. View full size.
Felix the Cat?Is that Felix the Cat that the girl on the right is holding?
Re: Felix the Cat?Looks a little like Krazy Kat to me. Class?

Krazy KatLooks like Krazy Kat to me
Definitely Krazy KatCan Ignatz the Mouse be far behind?
The girl on the right looksThe girl on the right looks to me like one of the winners in the photo "Iola and Anna: 1922".  What do you think?
Krazy and GeorgeOne of George Herriman's admirers is clutching an identical doll in this photo from the Coconino County website.

Another beautiful shot of Miss Iola Swinnerton!This is my favorite Iola photo! I like her bathing suit in this one much better, too. The suit that looks like Venetian blinds might have been stylish then, but it looks ghastly to me! Fortunately, you can't make a sow's ear out of a silk purse (my father's twist on the old adage).
This isn't the only one where some of the contestants look to be in their thirties. The woman on the left is holding some kind of thing that looks like an embroidery hoop with fabric from her bathing costume attached to it.  Some kind of bag, maybe?
Swinnerton Krazy Kat ConnectionThe comic strip pioneer that shares Iola's name influenced the Krazy Kat creator.  
From an article on  Jimmy Swinnerton :
As the comic strip industry grew up around Swinnerton, he found kindred spirits. The young Walt Disney used to come to his birthday parties. Swinnerton took George Herriman (creator of Krazy Kat), Rudolph Dirks (creator of the Katzenjammer Kids), and the painter Maynard Dixon on a safari through the Arizona desert to see the Hopi Tribe of Indians do their annual snake dance...The group traveled by horseback through the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley (which later played a significant role in Krazy Kat.) It was on this trip that Swinnerton gave Dixon a half interest in the Arizona desert.
(The Gallery, D.C., Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Noel, Iola: 1944
... of Shorpy, Iola Swinnerton . Some two decades after her bathing-pageant days, she is still radiating beauty and cheer. Scroll down to ... have been 19 or 20 in those earlier photos from 1921 and 1922, and 42 here. She has lovely, youthful skin and a radiant smile. ... 
Posted by Dave - 12/24/2023 - 11:31am -

On this Christmas Eve,  we travel back 79 years for a visit with the First Lady of Shorpy, Iola Swinnerton. Some two decades after her bathing-pageant days, she is still radiating beauty and cheer. Scroll down to the comments for more of Iola's life story. View full size.


        CHICAGO (Dec. 23, 1944) -- Mrs. Iola Swinnerton Warren, who suffered the illness known as myositis ossificans after inoculation for typhoid following a Florida hurricane, watches her husband Theron V. Warren and little nephew Herbert Taylor trim Christmas tree. (Acme Newspictures photo.)
Licensed to Marry.From the Washington Post of August 4, 1918:
"Gerald Swinnerton, 31, of Williamston, Michigan, and Iola Taylor, 18, of Rockford, Illinois."
Iola in 1947Here is part of article from the Waterloo Sunday Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) of March 9, 1947. The Warrens adopted Herbert Taylor (Iola's nephew). Herbert was 13 in 1947.
Forever YoungIt would seem, from an earlier comment, that she was born in 1902, so she would have been 19 or 20 in those earlier photos from 1921 and 1922, and 42 here.  She has lovely, youthful skin and a radiant smile.
[If she was 18 when married in 1918, she'd have been born in 1899 or 1900. - Dave]
Not just Christmas celebrationsThis is also the occasion of their second wedding anniversary - I found the announcement from the Suburbanite Economist (Chicago) of December 23, 1942. It sounds like she had a terrible time with this illness -- it started in 1926 and she spent nine years in the hospital! I'm glad she seems to have found happiness with Theron.
Based on what I read about myositis ossificans, it seems unlikely that this is what she had. It is normally caused by an injury to a muscle, and from what I can tell, stays within that muscle -- it doesn't spread to other areas of the body. It's probably more likely that she had heterotopic ossification, possibly caused by central nervous system injury or an underlying genetic disorder.
*Cringe*I am sure that Herbie really enjoyed being characterized in the newspaper as her "little" nephew.
Hope his friends didn't see the story!
[He looks like Larry Mondello. - Dave]
Carpentry and TweedNotice the nicely done rest for her feet that does not appear to be part of the original wheelchair--not the easiest thing to put together if you're doing it with nails instead of wood screws, which may be the case here.  Also, I love the nephew's tweed slacks--sadly, winter weight slacks seem to be a thing of the past, even up north here in Minnesota.  They're keeping him so warm, he doesn't need to keep his shirt tucked in.
The story that keeps on givingAnother amazing feature of this website.  Over the course of eleven and a half years (dating back to April of 2007) we are treated to a series of photos of Iola Swinnerton from a very specific two-year period (1921-1922) in a very specific context (bathing suit beauty contest).  No sense of limitation or lack of variety, and every new photo was a delight.
Flash forward suddenly 22 years to 1944 and to a whole new context.  We find Iola in a wheelchair with a strange and rare disease, and yet she is happy, recently married to a benevolent-looking church organist, and she and her husband have adopted her nephew.  The husband "wasn’t discouraged because the pretty invalid was confined to a wheelchair," and she is able to report that her "condition has steadily improved" since they got married.
The crowning glory of her positivity:  "My dreams during so many years in hospitals have come true."  (She writes songs which are published!)  "I only hope someone else can take hope from my happiness."  This is one of the most truly marvelous stories I've ever come across.
Stiff Man’s SyndromeIola may have had what is now called Stiff Person’s Syndrome.  It was first diagnosed in 1956.
A friend had it.
IolatryHere's a few more details regarding Iola.
The New York Times, while reporting her wedding, stated that she was earning her living as a seamstress. The paper also said, "She was stricken by the baffling disease after the Florida Hurricane of 1926. At that time she lived in a Miami Beach cottage, the wife of Gerald Swinnerton, whom she divorced in April, charging desertion."
In the 1940 U.S. Census Gerald Swinnerton is claiming to have been widowed. He was a camera designer and repairman, as well as a World War I veteran, and he was also known as George Simons. He died in 1961.
Regarding her wedding, the Chicago Tribune of December 24, 1942 published the following story.
"Smiling from her wheelchair, in a moire taffeta wedding dress and a shoulder length tulle veil, Iona Swinnerton, 40 years old, was married last night to Theron Victor Warren, 42, a shipyard worker and organist in the Wentworth Baptist church. The bride is suffering from a rare disease characterized by hardening of the muscles.
"About 100 relatives and friends were present as the Rev. Eugene H. Daniels read the marriage ceremony. L. Duke Taylor, 1918 Cleveland avenue, her brother, gave the bride away. Donald McGowan, 1954 Henderson street, was the best man.
"Miss Swinnerton, who lives at 4044 Wentworth avenue, has been suffering from the malady since 1926. She teaches a Bible class at the church, and met Warren while attending the services there."
An article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette in December 1945 indicated that she had spent six years at the Cook County Hospital for treatment of her condition. She was refinishing furniture and canning fruit in addition to writing songs. "Theron proposed not very long after I cooked him a duck dinner," she confided.
In 1949 Iola won fourth place in a nationwide Army songwriting contest, which earned her a $50 savings bond. The title of the tune was "Three Cheers For the Army."  She died five years later, in 1954. Her obituary from the Chicago Tribune is below.
"Iola N. Warren, 2642 Barry avenue, June 13, 1954, beloved wife of Theron V. Warren, dear sister of Louis Duke Taylor, dear aunt to Herbert Taylor. At chapel, 316 W. 63d street, at Harvard avenue, where services will be held Thursday, June 17, at 1 p.m. Cremation Oak Woods."
Theron Warren died on May 3, 1976.
The image below is from the January 4, 1937 issue of the Wilson (N.C.) Daily Times. 
FOPI presume Iola had fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva.
Story of Two FamiliesLuckily, I accepted an invitation to the Swinnertons' Christmas party before the invitation to the Dickeys' Christmas party arrived. 
Three cheers for King CottonThe pants of the kid look as if they are scratchy. Ask me how I know.
It’s a small worldI’ve been a long-time Shorpy lurker, and have many of the wonderful images saved as desktop wallpaper. 
I had to comment on this picture -- the Eugene H. Daniels mentioned as the officiant in the newspaper article was my great-grandfather! By the time I knew him, he was just “Grandpa Dan”; it’s neat to be able to read about Iola and Theron some 78 years later.
Merry Christmas to all! 
Eeugh!Theron is a ringer for an ex of mine.  I hope Iola had better luck--she certainly endured enough as it was.
(The Gallery, Chicago, Christmas, Iola S., Kids, News Photo Archive)

The Girls of Summer: 1922
Washington, D.C., 1922. "Potomac bathing beach." View full size. National Photo Company ... as Potomac Flats, should become a public park. ... the bathing beach adjacent to the future memorial site became popular. Swimming in ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/05/2012 - 5:01pm -

Washington, D.C., 1922. "Potomac bathing beach." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative, Library of Congress.
Hubba-Hubba!These ladies are hot even by today's standards! I love the Star Trek alien on the far right. I bet he thought he was the coolest dude at the shore!
ZowieNice find.
The Silent Movie......Kirsten Dunst, Cate Blanchett and, er, Helena Bonham-Carter?
Three GracesMy goodness.  The young lady in the middle ... wow.
Beach history fan.I got curious about where this beach was and if it was still open.  I guess I found where it "was" but it was apparently closed in 1925.
Based on earlier comments here and monuments/buildings in the photo backgrounds, I found this in a report on the Jefferson Memorial and its grounds at
In 1897, Congress established that the entire area, including the Tidal Basin, formerly known as Potomac Flats, should become a public park. ... the bathing beach adjacent to the future memorial site became popular.  Swimming in the Tidal Basin continued until about 1925 when it was stopped by the newly merged Office of Public Buildings and Grounds and Office of Public Parks of the National Capital. The reason for this was twofold; firstly, because of the health risks caused by the debris which floated in the Tidal Basin through the Inlet Bridge and second, due to the racist policies which limited the use of the beach to whites only. Rather than allow access to the beach for everyone, it was closed and returned to its former condition, a natural waters edge without sand. ... The site of the former beach was occupied by baseball fields and tennis courts.
So, I assume the beach was located where the current baseball fields are across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial?
The cutie in the middle?  She'd be 104-110 years old today ... sigh.
Bathing BeachI looked through more of the LOC photos tagged under "Potomac Bathing Beach" and similar.
There's a photo looking parallel to the beach that faces the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
There's another photo taken looking perpendicular to the beach, facing out over the water.  What appears to be the Lincoln Memorial is far off in the distance.
Another photo taken parallel to the beach (with the beach on the right) shows the Washington Monument in the background.
The beach must have been nearly on the grounds of the Jefferson Memorial itself rather than what I "said" earlier, trying to put it across the Tidal Basin where the current baseball fields (and Roosevelt Memorial) are now.
Between the wars.  Before the Depression.  That must have been quite a time to have been living in Washington.
Wow1922?! Aside from the costumes those girls look like 3 attractive lassies tha you might see on a beach today. Maybe that's the point of posting photos like this. Thank-you.
Harry McGrawMy great-uncle, Harry L. McGraw, drowned along with a friend two days before the beach formally opened in the 1890's. A lawsuit followed, but I don't know the end result. Apparently neither 13-year-old Harry nor his friend could swim, and stepped off a ledge into some kind of crater that dropped off 12 feet. The authorities found the boys' clothing in a bathing house on shore and were able to identify them. This sad story has always made me wonder exactly where the beach was located, and I'm assuming it was right near the Jefferson Memorial.
Pictured, left to rightSmall, Medium and Large.
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Sports, Swimming)

Bathing in the Casino: 1889
Circa 1889. "Bathing pool in the Casino. (Probably the Ponce de Leon Hotel, St. Augustine, ... its left served as the "unoffical flag of Ireland" until 1922. [You are so very close to the forest. With various inconsequential ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/26/2012 - 4:53pm -

Circa 1889. "Bathing pool in the Casino. (Probably the Ponce de Leon Hotel, St. Augustine, Florida.)" UPDATE: This was actually the nearby Hotel Alcazar (thanks to Amphalon). Photograph by William Henry Jackson. View full size.
Miss Teschmacher!I second the Lex Luthor assessment. A fantastic pool. More hotel pools need to be like this!
BermudaIs that the flag of Bermuda on the rafter? I'd LOVE to swim in this room today ... that's just an incredible pool!
AquabaticistsIs there such a word to describe that team of athletes in the pool?  It just came to me, a silly word that some Victorian sideshow pitchman would come up with to describe them.
Is this pool still around?  Bears an eerie resemblance to Lex Luthor's swimming pool in the movie Superman.
MGMWow!  This would make a great set for one of those MGM Musicals of the late 40s or early 50s!  Dynamite!
Hotel Alcazar CasinoAlong with the Ponce de Leon, the Alcazar was one of Henry Flagler's grand hotels. Today it houses St. Augustine City Hall and the Lightner Museum. The pool is now the Cafe Alcazar:

International House of SplashingThe architecture is quite innovative for its day, and combines the usual eclectic mix of details: inspired by a classical Roman bath, the cast concrete structure combines Roman arches and corner vaults with Greek Doric columns, Venetian Renaissance balustrades, and Spanish corbels and roof trusses. Add to these the electric chandeliers (early enough to have been installed by Edison), the Japanese paper lanterns, and the flags of many nations. The paper lanterns over the shower stalls are in the shape of Japanese carp, a pretty amusing touch in this context.
My first thoughtafter viewing all these wonderful photos from this period something is missing. They didn't have fashionable headwear for the swimmer.
Pointed QuestionThere's something here that no one's commented on yet. A topic of seemingly endless discussion in other posts. What could it be?
Going UnderI'm not sure I could bring myself to get in this pool on a dare. Underwater nooks and crannies terrify me.  I have nightmares that look just like this, except the pool's at least three (flooded) stories deep.  *shudder*  
REPLY TO POINTED QUESTIONHeavens, there are no handrails or guard rails anywhere!!  Someone might fall in.  People should be protected against harming themselves.
Swing babyWell, I don't know if this is what your are alluding to, but are those swing type apparatus on the left for hanging onto and doing??? 
Boys night outWhere are the women swimmers?
Drowned cityGoing Under's comment on the spooky quality of this pool is well made, especially given the "today" photo of the Cafe Alcazar. As the polar caps continue to recede, the dining room might regain its historical appearance in time for its bicentennial.
A shocking detailSomehow the idea of having electric lighting fixtures dangling directly above the swimming pool gives me the willies. 
In the swing of thingsOn the left side of the photo, notice the ropes with handholds hanging from the ceiling. I'm guessing that these were used by people wanting to swing from the balcony and drop into the pool, sort of like an old fashioned tire swing. 
Since the water only appears to be a few feet deep, I don't thing I'd be first in line to try this stunt! 
Without the caption...Agree with "Going Under." If the caption hadn't said it was a pool, I would have thought it was a flooded opera house or theater, with young folks taking advantage of the disaster as they often will.  
The architecture is all wrong for a pool; it's much easier to get trapped under a balcony than to climb out onto a tiled floor.
No bathtub rings, please!Here's a nice touch: Note the showers (with hot and cold faucets) in little alcoves at the top of the stairs leading to the pool. 
No handrails on the stairs, though, even though everyone using them had wet, slippery feet! 
Top Man's CrotchThat's not the name of a town in the Rockies.  It's my answer to the Pointed Question.
Hmmm . . . let's see I'm wondering if this pool is filled with sea water.  I would assume it's not chlorinated.  There are showers in the corners for rinsing off.  The niches now have potted plants.
But what topic could you be referring to, Dave?
Let's see.  There are only men in the pool.  I suppose in those days there were no ladies' hours at all.  They all have fine mustaches.  It's cute to see the ladies demurely watching them.  Maybe it's the baggy wool swimsuits?  But they don't seem to be . . . er . . .  revealing anything inappropriate.  Maybe I need to enlarge the picture?
Oh yesAnd those trapezes look like they'd be lots of fun to swing from and fly into the water.
Casinos, then and nowGiven that our modern understanding of the term "Casino" that is almost exclusively synonymous with "Gambling Hall" I was surprised that I didn't see any comments about how hard it would be to put all your money on Black (that's a Roulette joke).
Of course the 19th century mind would have understood "Casino" as meaning "a public building where pleasurable activities, including gambling, and sports took place."
Pointed, pointed.....nope, not getting the hint. A little vexillology, perhaps? Alas, not the flag of Bermuda. The two identifiable flags I could make out are the Canadian Red Ensign and the Irish Flag of Leinster. The Canadian Red Ensign is the UK colonal flag with the Canadian crest (crest, crown, and a maple leaf wreath), though it was technically "unofficial", because they kept changing the crest every time a province was added and not standardized until the 1920s. The Irish flag to its left served as the "unoffical flag of Ireland" until 1922.
[You are so very close to the forest. With various inconsequential trees getting in the way. A "pointed" question. What could that mean? - Dave]
Virtual TourNice 360 degree panorama of the current space here.
Must have been dangerousI wonder how many folks were seriously hurt climbing the stairs there to get to those showers.  Without guardrails of any sort to hold onto.... one slip on the slippery steps and CONK!  Busted skull.....
Dave, since there aren't any nubile ladies in swim atire in the picture (all of the females are barely seen, and fully clothed in circa 1889 high fashion), I don't see what you're pointing to about the thing everyone's missed... unless it's "How the heck would you safely change a lightbulb from that chandelier while it's over the pool without getting electrocuted?"  Or are you referring to the gymnastic stuff over on the left side of the picture?
The flags on the railingabove the clock have 39 stars.  That would be the "flag that never was," anticipating the two Dakotas would be admitted as one state in 1889.
[Dingdingding. We have a winner! - Dave]
Speaking of Tarzan and swinging...That was something the younger kids would always get to wondering about. Tarzan seeming to having a very convenient vine perfectly located in each tree ready to go. We convinced them that Cheetah and his pals did all his vine re-setting in return for Tarzan's protection services. 
Those movies gave us plenty of ideas of how to hang some various size ropes (actually anything we could find) and tie them on sturdy tree branches. Hint: mama's clothesline was good for about 3 or 4 swings before someone took the plunge. Unfortunately, there wasn't any water under us. We quickly discovered the swinging part is not big deal, but the landing was way sketchy. Eventually we designed a contest of how far a kid could swing out and land. Lots of sprained extremities and bruised butts. Not being absolute idiots we moved over to playing soldier where you only got dirty. Still cracks me thinking of all the silly noises we made for our weapons. Most oft heard phrase..."No way, it was just a flesh wound."
Tarzan practiced hereLooks to me that those ropes are hung in such a manner as to allow one to grab the first one from the shower, and swing from one to another until you've reached the pair closest to the camera. 
And from the markings, I'd say these swimmers are near the shallow end of the pool. It's only 3 1/2 feet at the far end, and 4 1/2 feet near the man with the life preserver, then 6 feet at the column on the near left. Could be a diving board at the near end, judging from the size of the room in the Panorama.
Timely!Amazing, I just ate lunch in the deep end of the Saturday! 
I was quite fascinated by that room, the floor slopes down to the cafe end, with antique shops underneath the sides, they said it was fed by a sulfur spring and kept at 86 degrees.
 The shallow end was reserved for the men so they could smoke their cigars and relax, and the other end was for the women.
The Ponce de Leon across the street had its own powerhouse with two early Edison generators. (Apparently one is in the Smithsonian now.) They may have powered the lights here.
Washed out.I saw the band Explosions in the Sky perform in this very room a few years ago. Very strange space.
A small touch of Japanese styleNote the Japanese chochin (paper lanterns) hanging from the ceiling and arches. Is Japan even considered exotic anymore?
Where's Esther?I pool this beautiful needs a queen.  I think I see a sign: Esther Williams swam here. Or maybe it's just a mirage.
And dancing tooIf you get a chance to visit this landmark it's very important to look at everything to see what it was like during its many iterations.  Try to tell what it used to be like from what it is now.
Some of the things I noticed: The acoustics. The sound echoing up to the rafters of every little activity in the pool area would have made for an interesting stay in the rooms on the upper floors.  
The upper floors seem to be guest rooms surrounding the huge atrium above the pool/casino area.  You see people standing near the edge.  The open deck from where the people are to the rooms is very wide.  Not just a walkway but more a dance hall. I can picture guests dancing in this spacious area with music wafting up from below.
The pool had "canals" off to the sides that one may swim in to the massage and sauna.
Windows opened like awnings all around the top of the building above the pool providing powerful ventilation with the seabreeze.
Lady SwimmersI read that there were ladies' hours, and there was a special private pool behind the main wall. Probably in a book by Thomas Graham, who has written several about the Flagler properties.
(The Gallery, DPC, Florida, W.H. Jackson)

Bathing Is Compulsory: 1922
1922. Washington, D.C. "Women's Bureau." The House of Detention display at the ... Detention Home seen here on Shorpy as it appeared in 1922. Located in the infamous "Hooker's Division" neighborhood south of ... 
Posted by Dave - 11/02/2012 - 4:52am -

1922. Washington, D.C. "Women's Bureau." The House of Detention display at the Social Hygiene exhibit. National Photo glass negative. View full size.
Segregation in the small printThis being Washington DC in the 1920s, there is, not surprisingly, racial segregation in their model prison. The center panel on the top depicts a "White Girls Bedroom" next to a photo of a "Colored Girls Dormitory."
Don't mess with herThe head of the Women's Bureau was Lieutenant Mina van Winkle (1875-1932) who seems to have been a very formidable woman,a leading suffragette in New Jersey she became head of the Bureau in 1919. Among her once controversial ideas, such as not jailing prostitutes but instead treating them for 'social diseases' is this gem from 1925.
"Friendless" "Clients are requested to notify police of any friendless, homeless or incorrigible boys and girls"
So if you were a shy kid with no friends, the police would come get you? But at least you'd get your own bed, and wouldn't have to share, I guess.
SegregationWe often forget how Southern Washington DC was- white girls get bedrooms and colored girls get dormitories and we are assured that the restrooms are segregated as well.
Ohio Avenue NWThe Juvenile Detention Home seen here on Shorpy as it appeared in 1922. Located in the infamous "Hooker's Division" neighborhood south of Pennsylvania Avenue and just east of the White House, it was torn down along with every other building in the surrounding area to make way for development of the present day Federal Triangle.
Segregation as HygieneOne of the "truths" in segregation was that even the dirtiest white man was cleaner than the cleanest black man.  It served to bolster the superiority of whites over blacks.
EmployeI have to love that one poster uses "employe", the old alternate spelling of "employee" without the double-e at the end.  I worked for GM for many years and they steadfastly adhered to that spelling until the mid-late 1990s.  People used to joke about some bean counter having figured out that they saved money by dropping the extra "e".
[Other examples can be found here when you click "quotations." - tterrace]
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo)

Marvel Rea: 1919
... Rea, one of film producer Mack Sennett's well-rounded "bathing girls," in somewhat moldy National Photo glass negative. From a series ... eventful, according to the divorce petition she filed in 1922, which accused him of standing her on her head two weeks after the ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/05/2009 - 4:09am -

"Mack Sennett Girl," circa 1919. Actress Marvel Rea, one of film producer Mack Sennett's well-rounded "bathing girls," in somewhat moldy National Photo glass negative. From a series of pictures using cars and tires as props. View full size.
Bathing BeautyThey were called Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties. Several famous actresses got their start with Mack.
I don't know which I like better......the name "Marvel" or those wickedly cool shoes!
Marvel Mystery GirlSo what ever happened to Marvel? I only find the films she was in and a short blurb about her being kidnapped and assaulted in L.A. near her home. Any further details about this lovely lady?
More MarvelRegarding Marvel's alleged 1903 birth date, we might take that with a grain of salt. It seems to have been calculated from the age given for her at the time of the 1936 assault trial. Age-fudging was pretty common for movie stars back then. (Although at least one news account did call her the "baby star" of silent films.) It would be nice to know what eventually became of her.

Marvel's lifeHer page in Internet Movie Database lists 27 films, all between 1917 and 1921, and most with "come hither" titles (such as "Why Beaches are Popular"). Her marriage to Henry Page Wells in 1918 was eventful, according to the divorce petition she filed in 1922, which accused him of standing her on her head two weeks after the wedding, spending his salary on narcotics, and certain acts of impulsiveness and violence. Fast forward to September 1936, when the newspapers reported that the "33-year old blue-eyed blonde" was kidnapped by three youths in a red truck in south Los Angeles, subjected to a "night of terror" in a eucalyptus grove where she was "repeatedly mistreated," then released in Compton. Three suspects were quickly caught, then convicted by a jury that November and sent to San Quentin in January 1937. After that event, her name disappears from the papers.
Marvel in the CensusA Marvel Rea appears in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 censuses, which all show her living in Los Angeles. In 1910, she is 9 years old and living with grandparents David and Mary, daughter Grace Conlin and daughter-in-law Nellie Rea. David's occupation is at City Hall and Marvel is listed as being born in Nebraska. There are four children in the house - Gay, Lramas (maybe Thomas?), Marvel and Clyde.
In the 1920 census, she is still in Los Angeles living with her parents at age 19, and listed as married. Parents are John and Nellie. John works as a building contractor. Siblings are Eva, Clyde and Thomas, plus two lodgers. Eva and Marvel's occupations are given as "actress, film industry" and Thomas's is "photographer, film industry."
In 1930 Marvel is still in Los Angeles, living in in a house valued  at $3,000, which she owns. Listed as widowed and born in Nebraska and living with mother Mae (also listed as widowed) and brother Clyde (age  22), who works as a plasterer. She is listed as unemployed. They are not listed as having a radio set. The address is 134 West 117th Street, Los Angeles.
[Fascinating, thank you. So is her mother Nellie or Mae? [The answer: Nellie Mae.] If she was 9 in 1910 that means she was born in 1900 or 1901. - Dave]
Marvel's MomThe 1920 census has a Nellie. The 1930 has Mae. They are about the same age but are listed with different birthplaces. Could one be a stepmother? Or a mistake by the census taker? Or maybe her name was Nellie Mae. In 1920 Nellie is the wife of John Rea, so we don't know for sure she is Marvel's mother. In the 1910 census Nellie Rea is listed as the householders' daughter-in-law. Where John is we don't know.
I'm on a roll!Here's a biography of what appears to be Marvel's brother Thomas Rea:
The bio was written by Kevin Scott Rea. Might be able to find out about Marvel from him.
Nellie May ReaI found Thomas's draft registration card from WWI. His occupation is listed as "film industry" and next of kin is Nellie May Rea -- so Marvel's mom went by the name Nellie May (Mae).
Runnin' Wild!Marvel Rea appears to have had a complicated life after she left Sennett. The lurid news details of her divorce and the later abduction reminded me of an antique saying used in my family to describe a girl who had Been Around: "She's seen more lighthouses than I've seen streetlamps!"
Go Clyde!If Clyde died in 1943, it would be quite a trick for him to have had a daughter in 1949. Pretty sad though.  Lots of early deaths there -- and pretty close together too.
1937According to a family tree I found Marvel died in 1937 and is buried in California. I have contacted the author to try and get more information.
Marvel Luciel Rea 1901-1937Pacific Crest Cemetery, Redondo Beach, California
Eva Gay Rea 1895-1936
Clyde D.W. Rea 1907-1943
Marvel Luciel Rea 1901-1937
There is also an infant Mary Rea, 1949-1950, perhaps Clyde's daughter? California was not kind to this Midwestern family.
[Thank you, Anonymous Tipster! (How could Mary be Clyde's daughter if he died in 1943?) In any case now I'm really curious as to what happened to Marvel. I can think of all kinds of sad scenarios relating to that assault. - Dave]
134 West 117thI wonder if her house is still there.  I had a look and perhaps it still is.  Thanks so much all for supplying information on Marvel she certainly did not have a happy life which is very sad indeed.
Up too lateObviously up too late. Tom Rea lived until 1956. Or it could be another relative.
Marvel Rea Wilkinson, 1901-1937This is a great site, and I'm glad to see that other people remember Marvel Rea!
I've done a bit of research on her over the last few years, along with other Mack Sennett alumni, for my upcoming book "Mack Sennett's Fun Factory" (for McFarland), and I can provide a few more details about Marvel.
She was born on November 9, 1901 in Ainsworth, Nebraska, and came to California with her family by 1910.
A couple of years ago I looked up her death certificate, which is under her last married name (no mention of Rea). In August 1936, just a few weeks before the unfortunate events involving her being assaulted, she became engaged to an Edwin J. Wilkinson. Apparently they did marry, though I don't have the date.
However, sadly, Marvel L. Wilkinson died on June 17, 1937, at age 35 in Los Angeles. The cause of death on her death certificate is suicide by poison (ingestion of ant paste). Its hard to fathom what torment she must have gone through to lead to that end.
Her death certificate lists her occupation as actress, and that her last work in that profession was for the Fox Film Company in 1932.
In 1939, the three men convicted of Marvel's assault were released from San Quentin because of technicalities regarding their trial.
Brent Walker
New Shorpy addict here...The almost exact same bathing suit was seen here a couple of months before, but no one deemed it worthy of comment. Perhaps it isn't? Both are 1919 bathing beauties, but while Miss Rea is identified as a Sennett girl, the other is one of Sidney Lust's chorus girls. Is the similarity just a coincidence? 
Great Aunt MarvelHeard lots of stories about Marvel from my aunts and grandmother. She was one of Mack's bathing beauties and a mermaid. One of her marriages was not listed. Wells was a banker. The missing husband was a very famous world class violinist. Do recall his name but she traveled with him on tour. The Wilkinson listed as her last husband Eddie was the brother of Dorothy Wilkinson. Who was married to her brother Tom. Marvel and Clyde where both drinking together at her time of death. Made a suicide pact together. She carried it out. He passed out.
She had a trail of bad marriages.
She thought she had nothing to live for.
She could not have kids.
She had a miscarriage while filming with a real Gorilla in a cage. She could not get pregnant after that.
Researching Marvel ReaI'm researching her life and death for an upcoming book of mine. If anyone has new info or a way I could contact living relatives, please let me know at my email:
(The Gallery, Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Bathing Girls (Colorized): 1922
Here is my version of this Shorpy photo . Now that we are all "Shuttered In Place," I can do what I enjoy most, colorize Shorpy Photos. View full size. (Colorized Photos) ... 
Posted by Bugaboo - 04/20/2020 - 9:12am -

Here is my version of this Shorpy photo. Now that we are all "Shuttered In Place," I can do what I enjoy most, colorize Shorpy Photos. View full size.
(Colorized Photos)

Style Show: 1922
June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Group winners at Tidal Basin bathing beach." On the right we have eternal Shorpy sweetheart Iola Swinnerton; ... pressure imposed by short skirts. Iola's bathing suit I agree with Vintage TV. I think Iola's bathing suit is ... 
Posted by Dave - 01/07/2022 - 4:58pm -

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Group winners at Tidal Basin bathing beach." On the right we have eternal Shorpy sweetheart Iola Swinnerton; the others are interchangeable nonentities who serve only to emphasize her many charms. In the background is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.
Not heard there this day on that occasion"Iola, are you, like, happy you won?"
"Happy? It's, like, totally awesome!"
"I'm, like, so-o-o-o-o-o, like, totally thrilled for you!"
Guy sitting on left to his friend, whispering:
"Dude! I, like, see some bare skin!"
Friend: "Duuuuuude! Sick! Yeah, like you can almost see
like their whole shoulders! Oh, man!"
First guy: "Duuude!" 
How it looks nowView Larger Map
Black MagicThe girl in the very middle appears to be holding a figure that looks like a voodoo doll, possibly representing her main competitor and she may have pins in her cobbler's apron with which to put a curse on whichever girl she deems threatening.  This photo was taken on my father's 13th birthday which may well have been a Sunday, since it often coincided with Father's Day.  And last but not least, those were some horribly hideous "get-ups" those gals were wearing, especially the bloomers, the printed outfit and all the leg attire.  Perhaps there was no winner.
Follow-up:  Just FYI there is a website called "Day of the Week" and if you type it into your search space, it will tell you the day any date fell on in the past.  This swimsuit contest was a SATURDAY.
PerspectiveHaving recently visited DC, and having walked round the tidal basin would I be correct in thinking that this is taken roughly where the Jefferson Memorial now is? I'm basing that on the position and angle of the Bureau of Engraving and printing in the background.
What is Iola wearing?Looks like a shredded trash bag, or maybe she's going to the renaissance faire later.
The young lady with the open parasol is quite attractive.
ShoesThe girl with the open parasol is wearing some very interesting shoes. They look like modern pointe shoes (pointe shoes have changed very little since the 19th century, actually), but it looks like the soles may be a little harder. But then again, they also look brand new. Ballet shoes don't stay pristine for long. I bet she was a ballerina. They're even laced properly.
My inner ballerina picked up on the shoes, especially since they're different from the other girls'.
The Female Kneehas obviously undergone rapid evolution under the selection pressure imposed by short skirts.
Iola's bathing suitI agree with Vintage TV.  I think Iola's bathing suit is hideous! I prefer the one she wore the year before I think she's a doll, though. The girl second from the left is pretty cute, too, and the one far left looks considerably more attractive than in the other photo we have of her.
I love these photos of these girls!  Seeing multiple photos of someone allows us to get to know them much more than seeing just one. 
PS, just looked at another one, which has three of the same girls and is the same summer, thinking this would have been from the same time.  Although they are wearing the same suits, from what I can see, they all have something different in their hair and/or on their feet.  I wonder if they had these contests every month or so, or maybe if they just got the girls together a few days later for the rooftop photo.
(The Gallery, D.C., Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls)

Another "Bathing Beauties" Image!
... I can only imagine how itchy and hot their wool bathing suits were to wear on the sunny beach at Atlantic City. Note: I ... recall what they were called - "jitneys" I think) in the 1922 photo were still in use into the 1960s, I remember seeing them as a child. ... 
Posted by dougramsey - 07/09/2007 - 3:32am -

Here is another image from the album I purchased.  I can only imagine how itchy and hot their wool bathing suits were to wear on the sunny beach at Atlantic City.  Note: I "assume" this is Atlantic City.  Does anybody have any information regarding the "Globe" (theatre?) sign in the back ground to substantiate this being Atlantic City?
Globe TheatreThere was apparently a Globe Theatre in Atlantic City:
(also linked to by the above article) looks like it could be a later picture of the same area of the Boardwalk.
BTW, the people-powered "taxis" (I don't recall what they were called - "jitneys" I think) in the 1922 photo were still in use into the 1960s, I remember seeing them as a child.
Globe TheatreWhen I was growing up in Ventnor, (next to Atlantic City) in the fifties, the Globe was notorious as a burlesque theatre.  My friends and I would never dream of trying to go in, but we gasped at some of the racy pictures posted outside.  Today, they'd be considered mild, I guess.  
As for "jitneys," the word refers to the small-capacity (about 12 passengers) busses that run on Pacific Avenue only and only in Atlantic City, not downbeach to the rest of Absecon Island.
[The jitneys mentioned below were not buses. - Dave]

(ShorpyBlog, Member Gallery)

Iola and Anna: 1922
June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Iola Swinnerton and Anna Niebel, winners of the bathing costume contest at the Tidal Basin. Miss Swinnerton, the runner-up, ... on her figure when it is covered up by that horrible bathing suit. She could have had a 24 inch waist under it, for all we know! I ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/06/2018 - 10:19pm -

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Iola Swinnerton and Anna Niebel, winners of the bathing costume contest at the Tidal Basin. Miss Swinnerton, the runner-up, resides at 3125 Mount Pleasant Street N.W.; Miss Niebel, who took first prize, lives at 1370 Harvard Street N.W." National Photo glass negative. View full size.
Outstanding outfits!What great costumes!
Woman on the LeftI guess they weren't into abs at the time. She looks a little chunky or maybe even pregnant.
[That would be Iola, a Shorpy favorite. - Dave]
WinnersIf these are the winners, can't imagine how awful looking the losers were.
1922According to my Grandmother, for that time period the woman on the right would be considered "fast"--her hair is "bobbed" and she's showing way too much leg.
IolaWhen I look at Iola, the girl on the right, I see Drew Barrymore. Do you?
Iola and AnnaMy father was born the day after this picture was taken.  He is 85 and living happily with his new girlfriend in the SF Bay Area.   My how times fly.  
They listed her address?Can you imagine a photo caption today giving out a pretty girl's home address?  Didn't they have creeps back then?
IolaMike, I totally agree.  Drew Barrymore was my first thought.
Hmmm.I live a block away from her. Creepy.
No Paris & NicoleYou're right on the mark there, Mr. Mel. Those girls are huge. Guess they hadn't invented eating disorders yet back then, huh? I, for one, am relieved that our standards of beauty have risen so drastically in the last hundred years.
The Benighted '20sTragically, in those days they didn’t realize that emaciated heroin addicts with chemically-paralyzed faces were the epitome of female beauty.
Iola & AnnaWell put. You made me laugh quite a lot!
 Yes! I thought the exact same thing as soon as I saw the picture full size. These girls are great. So much character in their faces. I really like the girl on the left. 
Flap Away GalsI'm completely overwhelmed with excitement! The 20's amaze me. They were a Tim Burton dream/nightmare. The photos are always so rich, dark and full of mystery. Even something like a beauty contest. Your imagination can run as wild as Iola and Anna. GLORIOUS! 
BeautifulWow, I actually feel really sad for those of you that are seriously looking down your noses at these girls. This is real beauty. Woman do not look like what society considers beautiful today. I would so much rather have had these women as role-models then the anorexic girls in magazines growing up.
Not the most flattering of IolaAnyone who doesn't see Iola as beautiful in this picture should look at the others of her in this gallery. This one doesn't do her justice, because she was absolutely gorgeous! I don't know how anyone can comment on her figure when it is covered up by that horrible bathing suit.  She could have had a 24 inch waist under it, for all we know! I will concede that she wasn't Twiggy, but she wasn't obese, either. I think Anna probably outweighed Iola by 15-20 pounds.
Under the swimsuitBelieve me, there's no Twiggy hiding there.
(The Gallery, D.C., Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Possibly Naked: 1922
July 28, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Unclothed woman behind '?' sign." That pretty well sums ... Amidst the hype, I bet a can of snuff she is wearing a bathing suit behind the question mark. ! Somewhere there's an unclothed ... been completely concealed by the sign? Certainly not a bathing suit of the period. [Below, also from 1922 . Maybe she's ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/03/2012 - 8:06pm -

July 28, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Unclothed woman behind '?' sign." That pretty well sums it up. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative. View full size.
Watch out for those nails!....and the barbed wire, too.
Nailed ItThis picture certainly captured my attention.
Someone should be very ashamed of themselves for this shoddy and heinous display.
That is some very poor nailing.  
Unclothed WomanWith very strange tan line.
[Think beach socks. - Dave]
A RiddleEarly versions of Batman villains seem rather crude to the modern eye ...
Nails + Nudity = InjuryThose nails sticking out of that fence don't look like they'd be too kind to delicate skin. The thought makes me cringe. 
I think...I know the answer.
?...I'm still trying to figure it out.
Winner!This is, without any real debate needed, the most random image ever seen on this site. I love it. I also love how she is "unclothed" not "naked."
Clara Bow's cousin, maybeLooks like the kind of gal that would hang out at the Krazy Kat or the Better 'Ole.
Gasp!Now that you have our attention.....
OK, I'm stumped...... can you reveal the answer please?
[There is no answer. - Dave]
The AnswerFrank Gorshin!
Ye are much too easyAmidst the hype, I bet a can of snuff she is wearing a bathing suit behind the question mark.
!Somewhere there's an unclothed man behind an exclamation point.  When he meets this gal, no words will be necessary.
[Maybe he'd make a dash after her. - Dave]
.I wonder if she was missing hers.
Modern times.I can't believe she doesn't have her rolled down socks on.  She's exposing her -- gasp -- ankles!
She has to be clothed behind the "?" sign.  They didn't have nekkid people back in 1922. It wasn't allowed!!
Naked Nude UnclothedTraditionally, "naked" meant being undressed by onesself, unless someone else walked in on you ("She was surprised, naked, in the bath.") "Nude" was to be without clothes knowingly with others, as in "She modeled for artists in the nude."  This woman is "unclothed", as she is in public without clothing, but nothing inappropriate is exposed.
At least that's how a professor of 19th century art explained it to me.
What I want to know is: why does both the fence behind her and the walkway she's standing on slope down to the right side of the image?
[It's a topological phenomenon that, as a geology professor once explained it to me, is called a "hill." - Dave]
Ak vs. EkkThe late great Lewis Grizzard told us that "naked" is merely being in an unclothed state, while "nekkid" means you're unclothed and up to something.
Scanties?I'd like to think that sweet-looking lass had SOME clothes on behind the punctuation, but what garments existed in 1922 that would have been completely concealed by the sign?  Certainly not a bathing suit of the period.
[Below, also from 1922. Maybe she's wearing something similar with her arms out of the straps. More 1922 beach fashions here. - Dave]

The question is..."Have you seen my colon?"
1922 Advertisement... for Guess brand jeans!
Secrets well guardedThey certainly didn't want anyone crawling over the fence in search of answers, did they?
Sk8r GirlWhatever she's not got on, she is wearing a plaster over the scuff wound on her right knee, a very modern-looking touch. But she probably didn't earn this skater badge by grinding along the seawall ledge. It somehow recalls to me a 1920s John Held cartoon caption on a drawing of two flappers, one holding a powder puff and a compact:
"Is my nose shiny?"
"No, but your left knee is dusty."
Meanwhile, the nailsNails in that location don't seem to serve any structural purpose. My guess is that something's intended to be attached to them periodically, like seasonal banners or bunting maybe. Or perhaps it's an el cheapo provision for the nude, naked and unclothed people to hang their clothes on.
(The Gallery, Curiosities, D.C., Natl Photo)

Beauty Contest: 1922
... "Washington Tidal Basin Beauty Contest -- August 5, 1922." Misses Eva Fridell, 17, and Anna Niebel. National Photo Company glass ... Political Power It is amazing how quickly women's bathing attire became so much smaller after they got the vote. Our beauty ... 
Posted by Dave - 06/09/2018 - 4:38pm -

"Washington Tidal Basin Beauty Contest -- August 5, 1922." Misses Eva Fridell, 17, and Anna Niebel. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.
Political PowerIt is amazing how quickly women's bathing attire became so much smaller after they got the vote.
Our beauty on the lefthas got the "babyface knees" almost perfect
Looks like the wrong one wonassuming that size, in silver cups, matters.  The one on the right is a beauty.
We've seen these two before:
If they were the winners,what did the losers look like.  The one on the right looks particularly sinister, I certainly wouldn't like to meet her on a dark night!
Thelma and LouiseSeems like the one on the left probably wrestled that cup away from somebody.  And the one on the right looks like she's a street brawler. Ah yes, leave it to Shorpy to find the first two lady wrastlers and foist them on us as beauty queens!  
LovelyWow. There's just something enchanting about the women in the 1920s-era beauty contest photos you post. Maybe it's because they were so naturally beautiful without all the beauty aids and plastic surgery women have access to today.
I WonderIf anybody else showed up for the contest. The one on the right is OK, but the one on the left looks, um, rather plain (I'm trying to be polite!)
YikesI've often had the thought that the 1970s had the worst style and taste in American history, but nah. Nothing will ever beat the 1920s.
I'm thinking of why the port side wonLooks like a red haired lady with beautiful freckles and naturally long hair. The very attractive lass with the dark hair has her hair bobbed.
I'm sure the judges considered that no real lady would bob their hair.
I prefer both.
Both of these ladies are lovely.Although I have to admit that I never knew Joan Cusak was so old.
Left GirlHmm, Maogwai Cat has made me reconsider my opinion of the girl on the left. If she had red hair and green eyes (her eyes seem lightly colored in this picture), she would be striking. In this case, the B&W photo giving her such a lifeless coloring does her no favors, along with the angle of her head.
But I still stand by that the styles of the 1920s were a low point.
They are both winners!Especially if you look at it full size.
And even more if they were wearing something else.
Oddly, red hair has not always been considered attractive. "Red-headed stepchild" was an insult in more than one way.
[Indeed they were -- Eva won the beauty prize and Anna won for best costume.  - Dave]
A Girl With CurlsWashington Post, August 6, 1922.

Judges Rule None in Tidal Basin
Contest Excelled Miss Fridell
In Pulchritude.
Miss Niebel Again Awarded First
Honors for Best Bathing Suit
Shown at Beach.
        The old-fashioned titian-haired beauty, without the modern make-up, returned to popularity yesterday by winning the fourth annual beauty contest at the Tidal Basin. A girl with curls, of athletic type and wearing the normal style of bathing suit, Miss Eva Fridell, a 17-year-old Business High school student, took the capital prize, a large silver loving cup. She wore a yellow bathing suit with narrow black stripes around it. Not only is she a regular patron of the beach, but one of the expert divers and swimmers.
        Miss Fridell, whose complexion needed no paint or powder, quickly caught the eye of the judges, Al. J. Frey, Isaac Gans and Arthur Leslie Smith. The winner lives with her parents at 611 Ninth street northeast.
Going Back to High School.
        Last spring she graduated from a two-year course at Business High school, but expects to return in the fall to complete a four-year course.
        The winner of the style show at the beach a few months ago, Miss Anna Niebel, of 1370 Harvard street northwest, again came out as the winner of the best costume for beauty, design and durability. Miss Niebel was awarded a silver loving cup for the suit she wore, which was all blue rubber, with several white stripes at intervals.
        Second prize for the beauty was awarded to Miss Gay Gately, of 1402 Massachusetts avenue southeast. Miss Iola Swinnerton, of 3125 Mount Pleasant street northwest, was awarded second prize for costumes. Both were given engraved gold medals.
Nine Chosen From Sixty.
        Of the 60 girls entered in the contest, nine were picked out to appear before the judges. These were Gay Gateley, Norine Fords, Mae Poole Allen, Eva Fridell, Edith and Aileen Bergstrum, Anna Niebel, Dorothy Parker and Iola Swinnerton.
        The participants were paraded before the judges several times before the winners were chosen. Al. J. Frey, chairman of the judges, is a member of Hochchild Kohn & Co. of Baltimore, Md. He was appointed to select the winner of the beauty contest conducted at Palm Beach, Fla., last winter. The winner of this contest received a check for $1,000 as first prize.
YellowThis is interesting for colourisers.  The article states that Miss Fridell had a yellow suit with black trimmings.  In monochrome the yellow appears quite dark - a common feature (see the picture I colourised of Civil War veterans a while back).  It's easy to assume that yellow in black and white looks pale - but it isn't always so.   And this is an excellent example. 
Orthochromatic FilmPanchromatic film was not invented until the thirties and was first used for the movies. Othochromatic film is most sensitive to blue light. That's why the silent films have such high contrast and the mid 30s and later "talkies" look so much different with their extensive grey tones. Panchromatic film did not get wide use until almost WWII. 
[This was photographed on a glass plate, not film. Panchromatic emulsion for plates first became available in the early 1900s, though they did not come into common usage until the 1920s. Kodak released their first panchromatic film stock in 1913, though it was intended for use in additive-color motion-picture photography. Their regular panchromatic film came in 1922; the first feature film to be shot entirely with it was that year's The Headless Horseman.  - tterrace]
I know, I should have said emulsion. Othochromatic film or emulsion was not in general use until WWII. Even Weston used Orthochromic film in a box camera for his photos. What you see is mostly his darkroom work when you view his photographs.
In color... and if you want to see how I think it looked in colour:
UncomfortableI have been trying to picture what a rubber bathing suit would be like, and it sounds miserable, but so does a wool bathing suit, like Ms. Fridell is wearing!  
(The Gallery, Bizarre, D.C., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

American Girl: 1922
Washington, D.C. "Kay Laurell, 1922." The star of stage and screen, Kay (reclining) was "an American girl who ... Playing at the Belasco Washington Post, Jul 6, 1922 Coming to the Theaters Belasco The Belasco ... oar guitar Va va voom A boat full of women in bathing suits. What could be better? Kay in a Nutshell Typical show-biz ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/04/2012 - 4:56pm -

Washington, D.C. "Kay Laurell, 1922." The star of stage and screen, Kay (reclining) was "an American girl who leaped from stenographer to Queen of Bohemia in a night ... she appears in magazine illustrations, and in the new salon pictures -- also on butchers' calendars, soap ads, and so on." Five years after this photo was taken, Kay was dead of pneumonia at age 37. View full size.
In the same boatThey're all beautiful -- back in a time where it was healthy for women to "have a little meat on their bones" (I just think they're healthy looking!)  I love the girl who's playing the oar as a guitar -- something I'd do.
Beauts in a boatIs the class clown on the end playing air ukulele?  I can only imagine the comments this is going to generate from the male demographic.  Yes, the swimsuits are unflattering.  And yes, the real knockout is the one sitting behind the Queen of Bohemia.  
Proud to call any of 'em "grandma"They are all so lovely and charming and all the age of my father's mother. Sorry about the pneumonia, hope the rest had happy and fulfilling lives. Love the kooky hat, pinned-up suit, and the smoldering look of the second from left. Great picture.
Farrrrr leftShe is the cutest loveliest thing ever seen on Shorpy yet.
To each his own, but --The girl in the boat with the "Queen of Bohemia" is by far the hottest.  Wowza!
As a ManI appreciate the low standard established for us. It doesn't take much effort to rise above such a low bar.
Wet and WoollyThey're all adorable, and I'm surprised how sexy those wool swimsuits look.  To my surprise, I'm especially captivated by the buxom cutie standing up beside the boat with her hair covered.  She looks like she gets all the BS about the queen of Bohemia and is fonder of the water than any of this nonsense. 
Most appealing though is the dark haired girl with bangs sitting in the boat.  Her face is calm and she seems really for real.  
Great photo.
Playing  at the Belasco

Washington Post, Jul 6, 1922 

Coming to the Theaters

The Belasco Players, augmented by such notables as Kay Laurell, the famous Follies beauty, and Eleanor Griffith, late of "The Last Waltz," will next week present the Avery Hopwood comedy of turkish bath locale, "Ladies' Night," beginning Sunday evening.

Water HazardI can hear their mothers saying, "Don't go out in those skimpy suits, you'll catch your death of pneumonia!"
Carole HanelGirl second from right was Carole Hanel, a redhead. Knew her granddaughter.
She's playingoar guitar
Va va voomA boat full of women in bathing suits. What could be better?
Kay in a NutshellTypical show-biz tragedy. Small town girl from Erie, Pennsylvania goes to New York to make it big. While working as a secretary, is discovered in 1914, and became a big hit as a Ziegfeld Girl in the "Follies" shows of 1914 and 1915. Then hits pay dirt -- marrying uber-rich movie producer Winfield Sheehan in 1916. Hits the zenith of her career in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, where a very intentional costume malfunction (as the partially exposed French Liberte in a patriotic wartime extravaganza) makes her an international sensation. Heads out west to Hollywood to make movies, like everyone else in the silent era. Gains a reputation of a hard worker, and tries to make the tough transition from chorus girl to "real" actress.
Then it all goes south. Gets divorced from big studio sugar daddy in late 1918 or 1919. Unlike most other former chorus girls, she is unwilling to get ahead by way of the casting couch. Is in a serious car accident in 1919, running off the road at 1:30 a.m. and takes a pretty hard banging around, requiring stitches and hospitalization. Makes only one other movie after that, in 1921. Returns to New York to find stage work. A cast player in one play in 1923 that runs a respectable five months, and then one poor effort in 1925 that flops and closes overnight. Feeling washed up in both theater and film, she retires to London, where she dies of pneumonia in 1927. 
I hope she didn't own a dachshund.
On the LeftCan those be shadows on her legs? Looks like socks with cuffs, or stockings, and then from beneath her suit legs to her knees? The world's weirdest sun burn? Or what?
[Those are girdle marks. Just like your ankles might look after taking off tight socks. - Dave]
Before the days of antibioticsHer story reminds us of the many greats in history who had everything but with one cold, TB or pandemic illness were struck down. Today her pneumonia would be easily treated with a shot of antibiotics and some bed rest.  In some ways even the poorest of us has the ability to live longer because of cures offered by modern medicine.
mehI love how any photo with women in it gets subjected to choosing which of them is the hottest. I'm sure the the same thing happens with all of the photos of men. Yep.
[Stick around. - Dave]
As a womanI still say the swimsuits are ugly.  Now that no one else has asked, I simply must know what the strange round protuberance is near the nether regions of the second lady from the viewer's left.  Anyone?  A place to put a cork to help her stay afloat?    
Available drugsThis young woman's death is almost familiar to me. My grandmother died of pneumonia in the early 1930's, within three days of the onset of illness. My mother always noted, when speaking of her mother's death, that the best drug they had to fight the pneumonia then was quinine. The sulfa drugs didn't become available until the late 1930s.
By the way, I disagree about the cause of the marks on the one girl's legs. I suspect that the rings were left by stockings rolled over an elastic garter.
You Gotta Be Kidding MeWhat happened to slim and trim?
Goose lard and whiskey A few years after Kaye Laurel died of pneumonia, my grandfather contracted double pneumonia. The doctors basically threw up their hands and said there was nothing more they could do. Well, his mother, one of the most bull-headed people who ever lived, showed up at the hospital with a jar of goose lard and a bottle of whiskey.  Several times a day, she would go and rub lard on Grandpa's chest and give him a shot of whiskey.  This was in about 1932.  Grandpa was with us until 1992. 
Grandpa said it was divine intervention that saved his life.  My great grandmother said it was the goose lard and whiskey.  Maybe it was some of both!
Cause of her deathWikipedia states she died in childbirth, which was initially reported as pneumonia since the child was out of wedlock.  Wonderful descriptions of her Ziegfield tableaux in that link as well.
(The Gallery, Boats & Bridges, D.C., Natl Photo, Sports)

The Fab Five: 1922
"Lansburgh bathing girls" in 1922 near Washington, D.C. Girl on the right: Iola Swinnerton. View full ... girl second from the right... She is in a number of these 'bathing beauty' pics, too, and always right next to Iola. They must have been ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/06/2018 - 10:19pm -

"Lansburgh bathing girls" in 1922 near Washington, D.C. Girl on the right: Iola Swinnerton. View full size. 4x5 glass negative, National Photo Company.
IolaThe woman on the right is fantastic. What a beautiful face!
Famous GroupieI think the woman on the right looks exactly like Pamela Des Barres, which is not necessarily a compliment.
More IolaIola is OK in this photo, but I like her even better in this one.
[She's also here and here and here. Who can tell us what became of lovely Iola? - Dave]
Iola's friend......the girl second from the right... She is in a number of these 'bathing beauty' pics, too, and always right next to Iola.  They must have been best friends, or maybe even sisters! :)
IolaAccording to the SSDI there are at least 30 women who were issued Social Security cards in Wash. D.C. named Iola who would have been between the ages of 16 and 25 in 1922. 
An SSDI search for "Iola Swinnerton" turned up bupkis.  So she either married or she is still alive and approximately 100 years of age.
 I didn't even bother checking Maryland or Virginia.  Apparently Iola was a very commmon name in the South and Midwest at the turn of the 20th century.
IolaI found the same Washington Post article and it gives the other girls names as Mary Lee, Thelma Spencer, Hattie Spencer and Julia Cunningham.
The winners were models for Lansburgh & Brothers (which I assume was a department store or dress shop) and the photos are from a "Style Show" held at the Tidal Basin
[Yes, Lansburgh's was a big department store in Washington. - Dave]
Elusive IolaI haven't found a great deal more, but I did discover some newspaper clippings about her beauty contest winnings via, and if it helps to narrow your search any, in 1920 she was described as an 18-year-old restaurant cashier from (and working in) Washington, D.C.  
Exquisite Clothing DetailI adore the headpiece on # 5 on the right. I want to steal that idea for a costume. It would play beautifully today.
So happy!I love the pictures from the 1920s! The people always look so happy. Granted, these girls just won a bathing suit contest, so of course they'll be happy, but in every 20s picture I've seen everyone looks so happy and carefree, like they can do anything and be anything in the world. Just love it thank you for this site!
Mystery girl Iola SwinnertonIola is such a mystery!  She seems to have taken Washington by storm in 1920 when she was named the most beautiful girl in the District. For those who have access to historic newspapers, see the front page of the Mansfield (Ohio) News of Nov 21, 1920, for a write-up and photo:
Winner of Beauty Contest is Athlete
Miss Iola Swinnerton of Washington has won an opportunity for fame and fortune in having been selected as the most beautiful of hundreds of capital girls in a recent beauty contest. Miss Swinnerton, who is a cashier in a Washington restaurant, attributes her beauty to her love of athletics and outdoor exercise.
Thought we found her in Dec 1942. Iola Taylor Swinnerton, described as the "Stone Woman" because of a rare disease that was hardening her legs, was getting married in Chicago to one Theron Warren. Her first husband, Gerald Swinnerton, deserted her in 1941.
[According to the news accounts from 1942, Iola Taylor had married Gerald Swinnerton in 1918. So she couldn't have been the Miss Swinnerton of Washington, D.C., unless they Missed when they should have Mrsed. Which is a definite possibility. (Updated July 2018) - Dave]
This pictureThis picture is set on the roof of the Lansburgh department store in downtown DC in the vicinity of 7th and E.
Iola has grown on me!In the first picture I saw of Iola, I thought she was so odd looking that she was kind of homely, but her looks have grown on me.  In this picture, she looks absolutely adorable! You know that it is all natural, too.  She looks like she is wearing some lip rouge, but probably no other makeup. I don't like the bathing outfit with the slats but, as my father used to say, you can't make a sow's ear out of a silk purse!
I'm glad that she took the opportunity to enter the beauty contests on the beach before that fleeting blessing; youth, got away from her, as it does to us all!
(The Gallery, Iola S., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Sweet Seventeen: 1922
... "Washington Tidal Basin Beauty Contest -- August 5, 1922." Seventeen-year-old Eva Fridell, last seen here and here , takes ... here. Here is what he said: "Eva Fridell, the bathing beauty and not the one that lived in Washington State and died at the ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/25/2012 - 3:12pm -

"Washington Tidal Basin Beauty Contest -- August 5, 1922." Seventeen-year-old Eva Fridell, last seen here and here, takes the loving cup from judge Isaac Gans. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Why don't they do this anymore?As someone who lives just a few blocks from the Tidal Basin, I'm disappointed that we no longer have such events in the neighborhood (and that we no longer have girls like that in the neighborhood as well).
America's Other SweetheartIf the other photos left doubts about this girl's ability to charm, this photo should dispel them. This is a classic silent movie era version of "Work it, girl!" And the pair of mesmerized Ruperts on the right seal the deal.
ScenarioCharlie Rose is annoyed. He wanted Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon to win, and had told her that he could fix it. Now she'll probably go home and marry that prince.
Smile!So here we have documentary evidence that people not only really did smile back then, but could smile when their picture was being taken. They just had to have something to smile about. Just having your picture taken in and of itself wasn't enough. In fact, what we generally see seems to point to a societal norm of the time that being photographed was regarded as an occasion for dignity. I wonder if the OED has a date for the first occurrence of the phrase "Say cheese!"
Very happy young ladyBeautiful, playful smile!  We judged too hastily!  Pretty girl.
Say cheeseIn reply to tterrace the OED or Brewers' Dictionary doesn't seem have the origin of the phrase "say cheese." I did find this, though:
My goodness!US Park Police Officer Bill Norton must be off to-day!
How To Avoid Getting Sand In Your ShoesMr Gans had the right idea, don't get off that bottom step.
I Just knewI Just knew she had a smile in her. Glad we've finally seen it. She sure looks nice wearing it!
Ah yesA lovely young redhead with freckles and curves! I love her long curly hair as well. Just beautiful! 
Hmmm,Girls really did have hips back then.
Oh no heI'd kill to know what it was he said to get that expression.
She lived to be 110 years old[Article about a different Eva Fridell.]
[Our Eva lived in Washington, DC. See this article in a comment to a previous photo of her. - tterrace]
What a doll!I agree with all of the others who have commented on how much prettier she looks in this one than the others of her.  Personality really makes a difference!  Sure looks like Mr. Gans is loving his job, that day, doesn't it?
Some information on Eva FridellI decided to ask my dad, the career Marine-turned genealogist, if he could find out anything about our Eva Fridell, here.  Here is what he said:
"Eva Fridell, the bathing beauty and not the one that lived in Washington State and died at the age 110, was born 22 October 1904 in Washington, D.C. She died 7 November 1988 in Silver Springs, Maryland. I found several Family Trees with her in them but most everything about her was marked 'Private". There was one indication that she had married a man named Julius Hawkins. He was a Commander in The Navy."
So, that's at least a little more on the girl that so many of us have been touched by, in one way or another!
I agree with noelani I am a little late to the show here, but I have to say I absolutely love the way the photographer captured the charm of this shot. 
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Just Add Water: 1922
Atlantic City circa 1922. "Four young ladies on a roof." Who can put a name to any of these lovely ... keys. -tterrace] Bravo Shorpy finally shows bathing beauties that are actually beauties. Vivacious Girls! Wow, this ... but I think the young woman on the right in the all black bathing suit and headband may be Margaret Gorman - the 1st Miss America (1921). ... 
Posted by Dave - 06/11/2013 - 9:55am -

Atlantic City circa 1922. "Four young ladies on a roof." Who can put a name to any of these lovely faces? 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.
Hussies!Just look at those revealing outfits.
Anyone know what the arm bands might be? They all seem to match.
[Locker keys. -tterrace]
BravoShorpy finally shows bathing beauties that are actually beauties. 
Vivacious Girls!Wow, this is the year my mother was born. I never imagined my grandmother, who was a contemporary of these girls, ever looking this jaunty!
The gal on the far right isJane Fonda's grandmother...stunning!
Ritz-CarltonI think this was taken on the roof of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which would have been new at that time.  
The IT GirlIs that Clara Bow 2nd from the right in the black suit with the lighter stripes?
TimelessIndeed, the young lady on the right is a classic. 'Stunning' is a good word. 'Breathtaking' works as well.
The difference a smile makes.What’s the bet one of those young ladies was named Mildred. All jokes aside though... the two (2) young ladies on the right are surely lovely. It’s great to see smiles. It certainly makes a difference to one’s disposition.
All cute as a buttonBeing the age of the Flapper, I wonder if they really were as innocent as they looked?
Just Add Water 1922I'm not positive, but I think the young woman on the right in the all black bathing suit and headband may be Margaret Gorman - the 1st Miss America (1921). I think those arm bands indicate these girls were participating in the Miss America Pageant.
(The Gallery, Atlantic City, G.G. Bain, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

When We Were Young: 1922
The Potomac bathing beach with a view of the Washington Monument circa 1922. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size. ... right I'd guess they had no concept of the two piece bathing suit. At first I thought the guy was joking but looking at the image ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/21/2012 - 10:37pm -

The Potomac bathing beach with a view of the Washington Monument circa 1922. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
3rd from rightI'd guess they had no concept of the two piece bathing suit. At first I thought the guy was joking but looking at the image closer and realizing it was a one piece and it was 1923 it was probably considered macho. Am I right?
[Those are rental swimsuits. The necklaces are claim tags for their street clothes. - Dave]
Potomac SwimmerRight.  Since the bikini hadn't been invented yet, the poor guy doesn't realize that his bathing suit makes him look like he's wearing one!
The guy in the middle seems to be really into the girl looking at the camera. Very cute. 
Dead in the WaterI wonder how many of them are dead now. All of them?
Potomac BathersThey would be at least 96 if they were alive.
[If they were 10 years old in this photo, yes. - Dave]
The Guy on the Right...Is stunning, and he looks like someone famous now, but I can't think who.
Mr. RightLooks like Matt Damon to me. 
Rental swimsuits!Rental swimsuits!  This reminds me of my high school.  Swimming was required to graduate (in 1994) and we had to share swimsuits. How gross!
SwimsuitsWow, think of how great they would all look in decent bathing suits, if they look so good in these things!
And when did people start to realize that they could buy their own swimsuits? Always with the rentals.
[Renting means you don't have to carry a wet wool swimsuit back home on the streetcar. And don't have to wash it, either. - Dave]
Swimsuits AgainGraduated in 1962. Swimming in school was separated -- boys one day, girls the next. The girls got to wear swimsuits.  The boys, not so much.
Stylin'The second guy from the right seems to be aware the suit is a bit feminine, hence the posture.  A wonderful goof, there is always one. 
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Sports, Swimming)

Hanging Out: 1922
July 1922. Washington, D.C. "Kallipolis Grotto, Potomac bathing beach." The Grotto being one of Washington's many Masonic lodges. A big ... Grotto day will be observed tomorrow at the Tidal basin bathing beach. M.W. Pickering, monarch of the Kallipolis Grotto; Edward ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/05/2012 - 5:03pm -

July 1922. Washington, D.C. "Kallipolis Grotto, Potomac bathing beach." The Grotto being one of Washington's many Masonic lodges. A big cigar, a bottle of pop, and Thou. National Photo Company glass negative. View full size.
CodpieceThe man seems to be wearing a weird garment! I wonder what the young ladies think?
DenizenBy-the-Jesus, that fellow's a Mainer if I ever saw one! (Effete Maine, down around Portland, has citizens; the rest of the state has denizens.)
Sore SpotsI'd like to think that the sores and his legs and the sores on her arms are coincidental.
[They're not just coincidental, they're nonexistent! Except on the negative. Note how the "sores" are also seen on clothing and even in the sand. - tterrace]
What's that smell?Nothing like hanging out next to the sewer clean out.
Re Codpiece, Shriner-styleOur dapper chaperon with the stogie waiting, the hat set just so, and the bottle of Moxie is sporting a oddly-torn Kallipolis Grotto shirt. Whatever these three are thinking, it probably is not "If we live another 90 years, we won't even be on Facebook." But they'd be wrong: 
The Maine ThingIf he's from Maine, he should be drinking a Moxie, but I don't recognize the beverage in his hand. Any sharp-eyed pop bottle spotters care to weigh in on what he's been imbibing?
Grotto DayFeatured activities included leap frog races, relay races, three-legged races and needle-threading contests.

Washington Post, July 11, 1922.

Grotto Day at Basin.

Band Concert and Sports Will
Feature Outing Tomorrow.

With a concert by the Kallipolis Grotto band, sports for children and grown-ups, a general picnic lunch and other stunts for members of the Grotto and their families, Grotto day will be observed tomorrow at the Tidal basin bathing beach.

M.W. Pickering, monarch of the Kallipolis Grotto; Edward Libey, secretary, and Charles Shackelford, master of ceremonies, are in charge of "Grotto day" at the bathing beach tomorrow.

The GrottoI'm a member of that Grotto.
(The Gallery, D.C., Swimming)

Toes Tenderly Treated: 1922
August 16, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Toe Doctor." Once your tootsies are taken care of, ... near the water anyway -- is it even possible to splash a bathing companion in a way other than in good fun? Mop top Whoa! At ... sunny afternoon. Hot Guys Those two lads under the Bathing Girls sign are HOT HOT HOT! Do-rag The guy with the bandanna ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/25/2012 - 3:08pm -

August 16, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Toe Doctor." Once your tootsies are taken care of, please note that "malicious splashing" is strictly prohibited. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
Why aren't these guys swimming?I don't think it's about toes.
Malicious SplashingUnless your intended victim is the Wicked Witch of the West -- who probably shouldn't be anywhere near the water anyway -- is it even possible to splash a bathing companion in a way other than in good fun?
Mop topWhoa! At first glance I thought the chiropodist was sporting a rad 'do. 
Before television and the internetpeople were so easily entertained.
Cosmic CoifIt's Princess Leia's grandma!
A Grand IdeaStan, having long ago given up any thought that he might rid himself of his foot fetish, stumbled upon a grand idea while at the beach one sunny afternoon.
Hot GuysThose two lads under the Bathing Girls sign are HOT HOT HOT!
Do-ragThe guy with the bandanna would be welcome at almost any beach these days.
Have a seat over thereWhy does this picture make me think that if this guy was alive today Chris Hansen would be asking him to take a seat?
What's So Funny?The expressions on peoples faces are hilarious. This photo had me laughing a full five minutes. And the comments another five. Thanks for making my day.
Here's Looking At You Kid.The lady on the far left seems to know that in 87 years she and her beach mates would be a subject of discussion on a Buck Rogers type of entertainment.   
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Swimming)

Tidalists: 1922
August 15, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Florence Skadding and Mark Coles." At the Tidal Basin bathing pavilion. National Photo glass negative. View full size. First ... swimming series was brought to a close at the Tidal basin bathing beach yesterday with the crowning of Miss Florence Skadding and Mark ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 4:44pm -

August 15, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Florence Skadding and Mark Coles." At the Tidal Basin bathing pavilion. National Photo glass negative. View full size.
First place Goes to Mark in the most-revealing-swimsuit competition.  But what was HER trophy for?
Throw the man a towel! From the looks of it, the water must not have been very cold.
NBCMark looks like an ancestral David Gregory.
Re: Her TrophiesMy goodness, how did Hipster remember Miss Skadding from three months ago? Good memory.
CoolWhere can I get a sweet outfit like that?  Honestly, that swimsuit is more revealing than today's Speedos.  
 Maj. Werts Too

Washington Post, Aug 16, 1922

District Swim Titles to
Cole and Miss Skadding

The championship swimming series was brought to a close at the Tidal basin bathing beach yesterday with the crowning of Miss Florence Skadding and Mark Coles as the champions of the respective classes. These two winners were presented with beautiful loving cups as a token of their accomplishments.  The presentation was made by Maj. W.C. Werts, officer in charge of the public buildings and grounds. ...

Her trophiesIf I recall, Ms. Skadding possesses, ahem, Great Big Tracts of Land.
MelanomaniaThat Mark Coles tan would make George Hamilton and Zonker Harris proud.
(The Gallery, D.C., Sports, Swimming)

Beach Style Parade: 1922
June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Washington Advertising Club bathing beauty contest at Tidal Basin." Harris & Ewing Collection glass ... of aquatic pastimes -- crowded the Tidal Basin bathing beach yesterday afternoon to witness the annual bathing costume style ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/06/2018 - 10:20pm -

June 17, 1922. Washington, D.C. "Washington Advertising Club bathing beauty contest at Tidal Basin." Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative. View full size.
        "Quintet of beauties wore the models of Lansburg & Brother, which captured first prize in the store competition." Caboose of the quintet is Miss Iola Swinnerton, First Lady of Shorpy, who took second in the individual costume contest. Read all about it here.
Miss IolaIt's nice to see her again, even if only a glance.
Laurels to Former Follies Girl
Washington Post, June 18, 1922.

Judges at Tidal Basin Contest
Award Costume Laurels to
Former Follies Girl
Simple Attire Wins -- Miss Swinnerton Second -- Lansburgh's Captures Store Prize
        Five thousand Washington lovers of the aesthetic, artistic and beautiful -- and, incidentally, of aquatic pastimes -- crowded the Tidal Basin bathing beach yesterday afternoon to witness the annual bathing costume style show, staged under the auspices of the Washington Advertising club. Bathing costumes entered by 11 local stores were exhibited by 45 selected models.
        Miss Anna Niebel, former Follies girl, who lives at 1370 Harvard street northwest, won first prize by unanimous vote of the judges. Her prize-winning costume was one of the most simple exhibited, indicating that the element of practical usefulness was taken into consideration by the judges in making the award. She represented the Sportmart [seen here, here and here].
Former Winner Takes Prize.
        Miss Iola Swinnerton, 3125 Mount Pleasant street, winner of a former beauty contest at the basin, was the second choice of the judges. Her suit was one of the five entered by Lansburgh & Bros., the firm to which was awarded the cup for the best composite store exhibit.
        L.E. Rubel, chairman of the Advertising club committee, in charge of the contest, presented the cups to the winners.
        The entries ranged from the extreme simplicity of the one-piece type of suit with the abbreviated skirt to more elaborate creations with multitudinous frills and ruffles. A knitted toque to match the wearer's suit was one of the innovations in bathing headgear that attracted attention.
Not So Much Scantiness.
        Most of the suits were more extensive, so far as the amount of material used was concerned, than those exhibited in former years. A rubber suit of green and white cut on extremely loose lines set the pace for originality.
        Weather conditions were ideal for the show, although it had been announced that all suits entered were of the kind that could have been worn in the rain without damage.
Iola!As always, I only have eyes for Ms. Swinnerton. She is always lovely.
Iola's second 15 minutes of fameAfter the roaring twenties, Iola Swinnerton's trail goes cold for a while. But in the 1940s, she reappeared in various daily newspapers as "Chicago's Stone Woman," a reference to a disabling affliction that caused some of her muscle tissue to calcify, leaving her disabled. Her 1942 marriage to Theron V. Warren, described as an organist and shipyard worker, was also covered, including photos in various papers of her repeating her vows from her wheelchair. Other than an unsuccessful petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court filed on behalf of Theron V. Warren in 1958, and his death in 1975, I could find no other clues to their fate after 1947.
[According to our earlier research, Iola Taylor married Gerald Swinnerton in 1918; he deserted her in 1941. Evidently her affliction was too much for him to bear. - Dave]

(The Gallery, D.C., Harris + Ewing, Iola S., Swimming)

Miss Washington: 1922
1922. "Miss Washington in bathing suit." Concealed yet revealed, Evelyn Lewis ... out that this young lass is keeping abreast of jazz age bathing fashions. Thanks, commenters You've raised a couple of ... 
Posted by Dave - 04/30/2013 - 11:01am -

1922. "Miss Washington in bathing suit." Concealed yet revealed, Evelyn Lewis at the Wardman Park Hotel pool on a nippy day. Harris & Ewing. View full size.
The Look Was Common In The 20sThin loose fitting clothing without the assistance of upper support was the style in the 20s/very early 30s.  Check out some of the silent and early talkie motion pictures.  Young ladies always looked like they were about to have wardrobe malfunctions.  
I'm gonna rouge my knees and roll my stockings downI always thought that phrase from "All That Jazz" in the musical "Chicago!" was a strange lyric.  
Rolling down your stockings was a way of being sexy - women's legs were still considered risque in a time when long skirts were still being worn. To show your legs was the equivalent of today wearing a micro-mini skirt and bikini top.
In the 1920's, rouging one's knees was a popular make up fad.  Some women used rouge to highlight and draw attention to their cheeks, although modest women resisted the use of make up and preferred to make the most of ‘natural’ beauty instead.
Flappers, on the other hand, thought of themselves as promiscuous and sexy rebels, and so they rouged their knees to draw attention to them.
I'd never actually seen it until this picture.  Thanks, Shorpy!
ScandalousExposure of those knees leaves very little to the imagination.
I know this is a family site,and she is beautiful, with those dark eyes.  She also has hips, a facet of womanly beauty that seem to be hidden by today's fashions.  
And, I repeat I know this is a family site, but did the beauties of that era also go without upper body undies?
NippyWait -- they had those then?
Dave, you old dogI can see right through your explanation of the photo.  Very witty indeed.
FriendsJazz Age edition
One more reason "LOL" was inventedTo react to those last two words. Well, next to last, actually.
Following SuitIf I may make a pointed comment, it is easy to flesh out that this young lass is keeping abreast of jazz age bathing fashions.
Thanks, commentersYou've raised a couple of interesting points.
(The Gallery, D.C., Harris + Ewing, Pretty Girls, Swimming)

Sand Dancers: 1922
July 6, 1922. "People dancing on beach." Pavilion at the Potomac bathing beach in Washington. View full size. National Photo Company ... on the left side of the photo (note the logo on the bathing suit). [Same guy, but the swimsuits are different. - Dave] ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/11/2011 - 10:49am -

July 6, 1922. "People dancing on beach." Pavilion at the Potomac bathing beach in Washington. View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.
The FellowThird from the left (with his arms folded across his chest) appears to be the same person from "When We Were Young", also standing on the left side of the photo (note the logo on the bathing suit).
[Same guy, but the swimsuits are different. - Dave]
TuberPoor kid with the innertube would have had a tough time hanging onto that skinny thing. My dad was in heavy construction, and we would occasionally be gifted with a huge truck tire tube which was almost too big to climb up on while in the water. Plus, we wore out our arms inflating those things with a scrawny bicycle pump. 
Digging those dressesThe (swim?) dresses with the stripes that those girls have one (like the girl far right next to innertube guy) are too cool. 
Let's do the BalboaThese folks look to be doing the "Balboa," a dance that started in the mid-teens in SoCal. Not much is known about the dance, but likely stems from the same roots as Lindy Hop, Collegiate Shag, and other forms of swing dance. Bal was often done on beaches as opposed to other swing dances because it is more of a shuffle step.
Oh, and there was the small matter of it typically being a full-body contact dance... most of the lead was in the body connection. Although, in these bathing suits, a full-body lead would be... erm... a bit interesting for the guys, to say the least.
Balboa is alive and well.Balboa is being danced all over the place; it's a great dance for super-fast tempos like Dixieland. I've gone to swing dances in Seattle, L.A, Chicago and Miami, and have seen Balboa in all those fine cities.
(The Gallery, D.C., Natl Photo, Sports, Swimming)

Social Hygiene: 1922
Washington, D.C., 1922. "Social Hygiene Society exhibit." The Women's Bureau photos in our two ... the facts about them inside. House of Detention Bathing is compulsory! Click to embiggen. That ... Hygiene to Be Explained Washington Post, Jan 5, 1922 Hygiene To Be Explained Separate Hours for Men and Women ... 
Posted by Dave - 09/13/2011 - 11:15pm -

Washington, D.C., 1922. "Social Hygiene Society exhibit." The Women's Bureau photos in our two previous posts were used in this exhibit. Which is, in case we haven't mentioned it, FREE -- so come in, won't you? View full size.
Beware the Traffic CircleDangerous Places
The "circles" are particularly dangerous. There are other dangerous places, however. Learn the facts about them inside.
House of DetentionBathing is compulsory! Click to embiggen.

That displayIs that a slide viewer, or some early form of TV?
[See the comment below. - Dave]
AV ClubNote the TV-ish opaque projector in the window display. Similar to the one seen here on Shorpy.
This could happen to YOU!The appearance of the people inside is creeping me out big time!  I'm guessing that the guard-like people on small pedestals are actually mannequins.  The one on the left has an impossibly long neck and appears to be about to do something with an object that one should not be doing in full public view.
The people seated look like they might be real.  They also look like they are strapped in at an angle and some have some odd headgear.
Is this a Social Hygiene exhibit or a House of Horrors?
I like how the man outside on the far right appears to be beaming down from an episode of "Mad Men."
Hygiene to Be Explained

Washington Post, Jan 5, 1922

Hygiene To Be Explained
Separate Hours for Men and Women at 1222 F Street.

A social hygiene exhibit under the joint auspices of the District health department, United States public health service and the Social Hygiene Society of the District, will be held at 1222 F street northwest for one week, beginning Monday morning at 10 o'clock.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily the exhibit will be open to men only and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., to women only. From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be mixed audiences.  At the evening meetings motion pictures will be shown and there will be prominent speakers.

Washington Post, Nov 12, 1922

Hygiene Exhibit to he Held
Planned for Three Weeks, Beginning Wednesday.

A free social hygiene exhibit under the auspices of the District health department will be opened next Wednesday at 512 Ninth street northwest, Dr. William C. Fowler, health officer said yesterday.  It will be continue for three weeks, daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Cooperating with the health department is the United States public health service and the Social Hygiene society of Washington.
The exhibit will be held to show the importance of treatment for diseases and how they may be prevented.  Motion pictures will be shown.

EraserheadFor me, as I look at this image close-up, it reminds me of some sort of David Lynch nightmare.
(The Gallery, D.C., Education, Schools, Natl Photo)
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