‘If you are going to swim, wear a water bathing suit.’

‘There are two kinds of bathing suits, those that are adapted for use in the water, and those that are unfit for use except on dry land. If you are going to swim, wear a water bathing suit. But if you are merely going to play on the beach and pose for your camera friends, you may safely wear the dry land variety.’

  • How to Swim (1918), pp. 47–48  Annette Kellerman

Here are some of my great aunts and uncles, ‘posing for their camera friends’ in New York in 1919.

beach 4beach 5

In those days, when seaside bathing was becoming fashionable, the thing to do apparently was to sit at the edge of the beach and let the breaking waves wash over you.  The activity was considered daring as the waves would sweep the ladies bathing dresses upwards, revealing their legs. Here my great aunts seem to be doing just that.

in the waves

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