Thursday, on Shades Of The Departed, will be dedicated to
many things, and nothing in particular.
Bathing Suits and Trunks
Photographers went where the people went, and when the people went to the beach, so did many photographers.
They would set up seaside studios equipped with backdrops imitating the shore. Seavey, one of the most famous background painters of his time, sold a Sea Shore Ground backdrop for $13.00 in 1887.
The description of bathing apparel accompanied by the photographs below all offer sufficient reasons "not to go into the water."
Bathing "trunks" are usually made of knitted cotton or worsted, and shaped to cover the loins and trunk of the body.
Bathing "suits" are of various shapes and made of many materials. Surah silk of thick quality is used extensively. It is claimed that it does not retain as much water as flannel, and that it does not cling so closely to the figure. The medium quality bathing suits are manufactured of flannel and of a coarse wiry cheviot.
Jersey suits are also manufactured and these do not shrink. The waist and skirt are all in one piece in this variety, and the skirt is made full. The drawers are close fitting like equestrian tights and have stockings woven with them—but how and where they are fastened no man has ever found out.
Cole, George S. A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods and History of Silk, Cotton. W. B. Conkey Company, 1892.
American Journal of Photography. Advertisement. 1887.
Women all courtesy of the Library of Congress.