Who Were They?

Lost and forgotten photos from the past

This week, our Sepia Saturday host posted a photograph of his Auntie Miriam enjoying the seaside. Alan thought it would be nice to think of warmer times, for those experiencing the cold right now. Well, I like that idea just fine, so I’m sharing some family photographs as well.

Hen 004

My Grammie Hennie

Hen 008

Ready to go for a swim

Hen 001

A different swimming suit

Can you imagine swimming in that suit? While I wouldn’t say I love some of the swim suit fashions of today, I am certainly glad we have evolved beyond the full coverage, wool or linen get ups of yesteryear! This side of my family loved photographs and fortunately a cousin has scanned lots of them for us. Thanks L!

UPDATE: Cousin L tells me these were from Ocean City, NJ. My great-great-grandmother had a big house there and invited family members to come for extended stays. The house and servants are gone, but the memories remain. Oh, the good old days!

To explore what other people are thinking about whilst in the cold of winter or heat of summer, click on over to Sepia Saturday.

Get sand in your shoes

22 thoughts on “By the shore

  1. Auntie Kat says:

    Love, you. K

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  2. A super theme choice. Without synthetics, natural fabrics get very heavy in water, so swimming must have felt ridiculously heavy and awkward.

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  3. Boobook says:

    Lovely set of family photos. I wonder what year the last one was taken.

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    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I’m guessing early 20s or late teens. She is younger in the last photo than in the two with the cover up.

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  4. Wendy says:

    I’m with you — those swim dresses seem heavy. It’s a wonder anybody was able to stand up after being knocked down by a wave. And the stockings — good grief!

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  5. Bob Scotney says:

    I wonder what she would have thought of lycra and wetsuits. That dress would be a wetsuit of a different kind.

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  6. Auntie Kat says:

    My guess is these are from the 1920’s. Mom or Dad could probably say for sure. And, I’m sure she loved her more modern suits. She lived until the mid-1990’s.

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    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      In Florida, with a swimming pool right outside her back door. They definitely liked the modern suits! :-)

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  7. Little Nell says:

    Lovely pictures of Hemmie. I wonder what material the beach wrap was made of; it seems quite light compared with the heavy swimsuit.

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    1. Auntie Kat says:

      The wrap could be rayon or cotton. It was probably quite colorful with blue in it somehow. Blue was Hennie’s favorite color.

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  8. Great photos. Hemmie appears to be wearing tights with her suit in the last photo. She’s a very attractive women.

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  9. Kathy says:

    How difficult it must have been to swim in one of these. I suspect there was more playing in the water than actual swimming – at least that is what I would have done!

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    1. Mrs Marvel says:

      I have read that beach play for women was basically splashing in the shallows. Women were not encouraged to swim and exercise as we know it really wasn’t allowed for them. I remember my mother or someone saying that a woman who fell into the water in a dress would drown because of how heavy the skirts would become. Even these bathing costumes would be heavy in deeper water!

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  10. ScotSue says:

    I have not seen beachware like these – fascinating photographs.

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  11. Alan BURNETT says:

    Great photos. And isn’t one of the great joys of publishing old photos the way in which people will contribute scraps of information about time and place so that we can build up a clearer history.

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  12. Karen S. says:

    They could almost be related! No, but what fun, I like your photos too! I just adore seeing the different styles and customs between everyone!

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    1. Auntie Kat says:

      Mrs. Marvel and Auntie Kat are…. Sisters! Your were right. :-)

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  13. Brett Payne says:

    I like the swing seats in the bacground – what fun.

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  14. postcardy says:

    I was thinking that flowery robe looked like something from the 1960s, but it must be older if those photos are all the same person.

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  15. The last swimming suits looks like an ordinary dress a girl could wear during daytime. The times they are a changin :)

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  16. That is quite the beach cover-up too! Fun photos!

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  17. tyrogers6200 says:

    I can’t even imagine swimming in such an outfit but as said above I don’t think these women were doing any swimming. We’ve come “a long way baby.”

    Like

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