BATHING BEAUTIES: TWO YOUNG WOMEN ENJOYING A DAY AT THE BEACH

This vintage real photo postcard features two pretty young women enjoying a day at the beach. These bathing beauties are flashing wonderful smiles at the photographer. There is an abundance of interesting things to note in this image. Check out the bathing suits, sun umbrella, beach chairs, and the tents scattered around the beach. This color tinted postcard may have been considered risque during the era of it’s publication. This postcard was printed in England and published by the National Herald. The photographer is listed as “Underwood”. It is my hypothesis that this postcard was actually produced by the publishing company of Underwood & Underwood. This New York firm existed between 1882 and 1920. The company was founded by photographers Elmer and Burt Underwood in Ottawa, Kansas. The headquarters was moved to New York City in 1897. The firm grew and soon had offices in Toronto, Canada and London, England. Underwood & Underwood was known for publishing stereo-views, and in fact, they published nearly 40,000 titles. In 1910 they began to supply news photos for newspapers and postcard publishers. It appears that the image seen in this photo postcard was supplied by Underwood to the National Herald. Underwood & Underwood was sold to the Keystone View Company in 1921. This postcard is in excellent condition (see scans).

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a great pose of attractive, avant garde subjects. I interpret the prominent display of bare feet as a ‘victory lap’ in the long ‘battle’ over acceptable beach wear. (I had a 1994 … well-illustrated in 3D … article published in STEREO WORLD magazine on the subject … actually won an award, so some must have shared the interest.)

    • I just read an interesting article about the history of the Swimwear Police (see link below). The young woman in this photo may have qualified to be arrested for wearing such a short bathing suit. If your article on the history of the beach fashion wars is online, please send a link. Sounds very interesting.

      https://mashable.com/2015/05/27/swimsuit-police/#vcJWfnktNgqM

  2. Absolutely … depending on time and place … she would be subject to arrest. Cartoonist had fun showing Keystone Kop types running amok with tape measures in hand. My old article, “Beaches, Belles & Bathing Costumes” is, I believe, not online yet but on DVD. I do have it stored … about 15 magazine pages including 19 stereo views … so one can look at the picture and text in detail. But hesitate to impose that on anyone.

    • No imposition. I would love to read the article and I am sure that others would also enjoy the opportunity to learn more about this subject. I am amused by the term “sheriffette” which was employed to describe the female beach police women who took measurements and tried to enforce the law. That term, by todays standards, would be considered sexist and demeaning.

      • I’ll try to fix it (the article) up as an email attachment … if I’m lucky. My eyesight makes everything a challenge these days. Feel free to use it anyway that seems feasible … if I can get it to you. Fun subject.

      • thanks

  3. Sent. Hope it comes through usable. Had to get an expert (my granddaughter) to send it.


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