Ditching Mom’s Swimsuit Look

These fresh-faced ladies of the 1920s modeled the current swimsuit garb of “modish jersey tank suits, curl-revealing caps and high two-tone shoes.” One can hardly imagine lacing up shoes for the beach or how much sand would enter them.

In contrast, the 2/7/55 LIFE compares the bleak, black tank/shorts of the past to the fashionable “sweater-girl bathing suits” of the present, with clinging knit, loud stripes, broad straps, skirts, and sleeves. Plus, they had the luxury of going barefoot.

Either way, the lesson here is to always have a cigarette handy, especially at the beach.

When You Not Only Want To See His Armpit Sweat, But You Want To Feel The Moist Warmth Upon You

This 1947 Blueprint yearbook referred to one of these fellows as “Lonesome Polecat,” and I immediately thought that that might be the best name for an indie folk band ever, until I Googled it, and DARNED if it isn’t a song from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. It includes the lyrics, “a man can’t sleep when he sleeps with sheep.” Goodness!

Not The Best Way To Land A Man

Del Masters 1940s

This Del Masters pinup opens itself up to many questions. Firstly, we all know that hitchhiking is frowned upon, especially once serial killers came into vogue. Who knows what kind of person might rescue her? Secondly, there is no way that seaplane could spot her thumb from so high above. Even supposing it is a seaplane that had the capability of landing Sully-style near her, the waves would topple her raft, especially if she insists on standing astride it. The last thing a pilot wants to see is a distraught young woman in a wet, white shirt.

Thirdly, both she and her luggage would be better off sitting down. Surely she’s not wearing stilettos, or the raft will be sunk in no time. Why is she on a raft in the first place? Did her boat overturn on a three hour tour? Did everyone else perish? Did one oar float away? It’s a good thing she’s decked out in her best seafaring ensemble, garters, and flimsy blouse. Let’s just hope that pilot isn’t on his phone, or he may just miss her.

Kick Your Heels Up

Paul Martin, London, 1896

Girls dancing to the music of the “mouth organ” (let’s call it a harmonica) to celebrate the August Bank Holiday on Hampstead Heath. Despite the layers of heavy clothing, they seem to be enjoying the moment just fine.

Stay Thirsty, My Friends

Cheapside, a street in London, in 1893 by Paul Martin, who noted that “refreshments of sherbet and water were 1/2d per glass” (or 1/2 a penny)

Nearly 130 years old, this image shows us so much, from the design of the watercooler to the fashion of the day, the architecture of the lamppost to the woman selling apples, the omnipresence of hats to the crowded London street. Fascinating!

Textbook Time

Le Mirage 1969

As the new semester starts, students in the fall of 1968 rush the cashier with textbooks and other school supplies. Then it’s back to the dorms for a change of clothes because the Methodist Student Center is hosting a back-to-school party tonight.

Later on, it’s going to get groovy, man. Lose your shoes and let your hair down.

Don’t overdo it because you’ll have to be up early in the morning. Isn’t campus lovely this time of year?

Linda is delighted that the University Complex South just got the new typewriters in. They’re super intuitive.

Lily is excited to use the dictaphone in shorthand class, the wave of the future.

Don’t worry; teachers are always willing to help students with vocabulary words.

And students are willing to point out where professors may have spilled potato salad on their ties.

You can catch up with your old friends and talk Aqua Net. No boys will ever run their fingers through your hair again.

Go wild and take a modern dance class.

But before long, those term papers will be due.

So be sure to put on that thinking cap and make it another great year of academics!

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