Monday, August 3, 2009

Vintage Beach - Ocean Flappers 1922

(Click image to enlarge)

Flappers of the sea,
Cute as cute can be,
You're in proper form
Beach hounds will agree.
Any way you're dressed
ou will meet the test;
On the shore you're great,
But in the brine you're best.

The E Pluribus Unum Project reports that, "Some of the fiercest battles over bathing costumes were waged in small towns. Under the header WARS ON BATHING SIRENS, the New York Times on October 5, 1925, reported the 'village of Valley Cottage in Rockland County (New York) is up in arms over the invasion of flappers, who during the last season paraded the roads in their one-piece bathing suits.'

Residents formed the Valley Cottage Community League to ask Governor Al Smith to send the state police to patrol the village and enforce the ban on one-piece suits. Valley Cottage lacked a police force of its own. In its absence a kind of vigilante justice prevailed. League spokesman Vito Pascal told the reporter: 'Several times during the Summer the wives of some of our members ran out into the roads with switches and paddywhacked these sirens back into their bungalows.'"

If the good people of the Valley Cottage Community League were still around today, I suspect they would be doing a lot more than "paddywhacking" today's sirens!

7 Thoughtful Comments:

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Delights of the past and now smiles anew. Visions of family photo albums from many a tide past - the bathing fashions donned with pride -my Mom, happy to show the bathing photos where her young sensuous body was in modest view.

And would you believe, "Valley Cottage in Rockland County (New York) is but two towns away from where I live in Tappan, NY. I can guarantee you there has been a lot of changin' going on!

Maya said...

Oh, times have changed!

Sierra said...

Aww, I always love vintage beach pics! Thank you!

The Fajdich Times said...

Just love all the old pictures. Beach water is still the same old fun:)

Shellbelle said...

Rose Marie, I can't believe you live so close to Rockland, what a delightful coincidence! Yes, I would imagine a lot has changed. My mom was born in 1929 and my most cherished memories of her are at the beach in shorts or a bathing suit. She was always the happiest at the beach and stayed that way her whole life. Did your mom grow up near the coast?

I'm so glad you all enjoy these photos, they are so much fun and it's nice to have someone to share them with.

RobinfromCA said...

I love this post! You know, you could make 50 swimsuits of today's variety out of the amount of cloth in these!


Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Ooooo....this illustration is almost as good as the Beach Police one you posted (and kindly sent my way). Almost. :-) I finally printed it Monday night and I love it!! I'll be heading to Michael's with my 40% off coupon in hand to get a frame for it in all of its beachy gorgeousness.

I have to say, after heading to the beach Saturday afternoon I can honestly say that I wish there was some kind of "battle over bathing costumes." Hoo boy howdy, what "costumes" people wear to the beach! Don't they have mirrors? ;-)

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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