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Victorian Tintype Photo of Ladies in Bathing Suits...

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Posted 10 months ago


(128 items)

I acquired this tintype pic from a friend of the family, and was told the pic was of his ancestors, who vacationed many summers at Rehoboth Beach, De and Cape May, NJ.

Public bathing during the Victorian era was a sexually segregated event. Women were carefully shielded from men's view and by the look of the bathing suits, these ladies had total coverage from a wondering imagination.

Very interesting and modest bathing suit attire compared to what women wear these days that's for sure. Can't imagine wearing stockings, hat, scarf, and a two piece dress... Not much of a tan line and oh, what fun to get sand trapped in those panties! ;)


  1. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thank you, Musikchoo. :)
  2. SEAN68 SEAN68, 10 months ago
    BEAUTIFUL, I love old photos:)
  3. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thanks, Sean! Glad you love the pic.
    Thank you, MustangTONY! :)
  4. SEAN68 SEAN68, 10 months ago
    I really do Leah:) your very welcome Leah:)!!
  5. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thank you, Ho2cultcha and Charlie. :)
  6. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
    Although the tintype process created cheap, low quality images, pictures like this took time to compose on a field view camera and shoot. No wonder the family doesn't look overly happy and giddy. I'm trying to figure out if this is an indoor studio shot or a portable studio set up at near the beach ... could be the latter if the sun went behind clouds to soften the shadows.
  7. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Hi Rneiderman. I do agree the girls don't look to happy and thought it was because of what they were wearing! They had to been very hot wearing all of that clothing. I've never seen a whole lot of smiles from photos during the Victorian era. Wonder why? Would like to ask have you ever heard that during the Victorian era picture taking was like a taboo of sorts, because of the superstitious belief that if someone had their picture taken their soul was captured and would never go to heaven? I think that is just a tale of sorts and how true it is, I have no idea. Just something I heard once upon a time.

    Not sure if the pic was taken outdoors or indoors and would love to know if the pic was taken at Rehoboth or Cape May. The family pictured, I was told lived in Lewes, De. which is just a hop and a skip away from Rehoboth.

    If I may share, I have spent a lot of summers at Rehoboth beach and they have a studio on the boardwalk that people pay to have their pics taken wearing clothes from the Victorian era and the back ground is usually a parlor or bar type scene. Never took advantage of it, but this photo from the CW post reminded me how vacationers like to have pics taken as a souvenir. Also, I remember a time when photographers would be walking around the sandy beach and ask to take pics of vacationers. The photographer would give a receipt for the photos to be pick up at a shop on the boardwalk later that evening. The pics would come in these little telescope picture boxes made of plastic, and you would have to close one eye and use the other to peek through the telescope to capture the pic. These were key chain souvenirs. So with your thought, I'm sure anything is possible since I understand souvenir pics at the beach have always been a trend.

    Thank you for sharing your curiosity, rniederman. :)
  8. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thank you- Kevin, Manikin, and Gary! :)
  9. trunkman trunkman, 10 months ago
    What a great photo -- looks like the beach didn't show up! :)
  10. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thanks, Trunkman. :) It is hard to see the background.

    Jay.. Glad you to know you love it and the pic gave you a good laugh. No, they don't look a bit happy. More annoyed than anything. The girl on the left seems more chipper than the rest.

    Thank you for the love, Inky - Mikelv85 - Scott - and Amber! :D
  11. rniederman rniederman, 10 months ago
    Hi LeahGoodwin ... stories of stealing souls with cameras is probably an urban myth. I never really looked into it. However when photography was very young, there was a different twist on the experience of getting your first picture taken. Salons were called 'operating rooms' ... refer to another one of my CW posts for an interesting and humorous 1850 story about a farmer being coerced into his first picture:
  12. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Urban myth, I would like to agree. Kind of creepy knowing a salon was considered an operating room. Geez, how far we have come. Enjoyed your CW posting immensely and Thank you for sharing, Rniederman.

    Thank you, Phil, Lisa and PWCollector for the Loves. :)
  13. MattyG MattyG, 10 months ago
    Interesting and educational comments here. It's funny how stuck in time my community is, I live among many Amish and Mennonite families who still believe photographs are graven images, and living on the river I often see groups of girls kayaking in full ankle length dresses and bonnets on the hottest days. Out of respect I do not photograph them, although very tempting at times.
  14. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Hey MattyG. Very thoughtful of you to have respect for not taking pics. If someone did not know better, they most likely would not think twice. Sounds like you live in a beautiful area. Thanks, MattyG for sharing. :)
  15. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thank you, Phil - Lee - VictorianVicky - Brat - and MattyG for the loves. :)
  16. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 10 months ago
    Thank you, Scottvez. :)
  17. LeahGoodwin LeahGoodwin, 6 months ago
    Thank you, Lundy - Moon - NicoleJerelen - Gary and Saraoff for the loves. :)

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