All the frills of the beach! The bathing beauties of the 1920s who REALLY knew how to enjoy a day by the sea
- As Americans set out to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the day of festivities have become synonymous with a day of leisure – often spent at some of the nation’s beaches.
In these portrait-style black and white composites, many beach goers can be seen throughout the years enjoying the weather and each others' company. While some are content to walk the promenade with umbrella overhead, others wish to flaunt their physique - many of these images are from the Bathing Beauty competition in California.
Throughout the years, the suit fashions have changed and the hemlines have climbed, but in all the pictures, it is clear that the beach goers are having a ball. And in an era where air conditioning was something out of a science fiction novel, the beach was the perfect way to escape the heat.
Bathing beauties: In 1920, the Bathing Girl Parade took place at Balboa Beach in California; though the fashions have changed, Americans still enjoy the relaxation and sun at the nation's beaches
Promenade: Again at the 1920 Bathing Beauties parade, many fashions of the day are on display, including bobbed hair, knee-length stockings, and much more modest suits
Pins on parade: Fast forward seven years to 1927, and the Bathing Beauty Parade was going strong, this time in Long Beach, California
Fun in the sun: Women gathered for the annual Balboa Beach Bathing Beauty Parade in 1925
Behind the camera: These pictures were taken by Miles F. Weaver
A stroll on the pier: A man walks along the pier of Long Beach, California
Down by the bay: Miami's Bay Front Park and Biscayne Bay with skyline of Miami Beach in distance
Escaping the heat: This panorama of Crystal Beach shows swimmers reveling in the water while those on the pier look on
A quieter time: Redondo Beach is seen in the olden days; now, the Los Angeles-area beach is much more commercialized and crowded
Grandeur: The old boardwalk at the Santa Cruz, California beach was once packed with umbrella-toting ladies and gentlemen
Grand structures: Sweeping houses line the shore of Santa Monica Bay in California
Raising reptiles: A man looks down into a cage of alligators at the South Beach Alligator Farm
I ain't afraid of no coast: Swimmers at Calhoun Beach in Minneapolis enjoy a day in the water - despite being landlocked and far away from any ocean
Warmer climes: Those wishing to escape the cold winter months fled to Miami Beach in January 1921; a large group of men posed for the camera, and some even managed to smile through the crashing waves
Fish fry: Men gathered for the Annual Shad Bake of the District of Columbia, Bar to Bench, Chesapeake Beach, Maryland in 1916; shad is a type of fish
Gather together: Women all offer their right arms at the Bath Suit Fashion Parade in July 1918