A Day At The Beach

It’s a rite of passage for college girls across the country – a day spent at the beach with girlfriends. In this case, the girls were from Pomona College in Pomona, CA. The particular beach is unknown, but the waters of the Pacific look calm, the sand lovely, and the girls of course, progressive in their scanty bathing suits!

13 girls pose for this candid shot, making me wonder who is taking the picture! There must have been 14 people at this outing. The girls’ bathing costumes vary in style from the “old fashioned” on the far right to the risqué on the left, with everything else in between. I’m going to guess (100% guess) that this photo was taken in the mid-1900s to 1910s. Some girls have a more “flapper” style of hair and suit, while others are holding on to older fashions. Therefore, my guess is that this was a transition time between the Edwardian to the Roaring 20s.

Unknown beach location in Southern California.

Frolicking in the waves. Each photo has been individually scanned and follow.

Very pretty

Lounging in the sun

Come in, the water’s fine!

Do you think she fell over or was knocked over by a wave?

Note that some of the girls have on a bathing cap. At the time they weren’t rubber like you picture on a swimmer, but were made of the same or similar fabric to the bathing costume. This was because the whole costume was to have a certain coquettish look. The early bathing costumes were clothing designed to give some freedom of movement, but also to showcase the individual wearer’s style, status and station. A hat or head covering was essential to complete the look.

I’m no historian of bathing suit design, so there ends my understanding of these styles. :-)


Side eye


I just love this little image! The square-ish card mount is approximately 2.5″x2.5″, and the photo is mounted to the back, with a thin paper covering the back of the photo. The woman at first glance just looks the “usual” stern of antique photos. However, when you look closely, she must have glanced over at the photographer because her eyes are not tracking off the the right, but looking back at the viewer, and it makes it look like she is giving the side eye. Too funny!

Beyond that, take note of the lovely small tucks across her bodice. This work was sometimes done by hand, but there were also fabrics made with tucks in them. If it was done by hand, it’s beautiful but tedious to accomplish. The tucks – if sewn by hand – would be small and precise, with tiny stitches that could barely be seen. Hand sewing is truly becoming a lost art, because it takes much practice and sometimes better materials than we have readily available to us today. The dropped puffed sleeves of this garment suggest late 1890s or early 1900s, but without more of the dress I can’t make a better guess.

Her crowning glory of a hat has bows, flowers and feathers I believe, and looks like an amazing millinery confection. I wonder how on trend this type of hat was, or if it was just that old thing?

Stern face, pretty lace


This fine Edwardian era photograph features a middle aged woman with a stern face. Her hair is twisted up on top of her head in a style popular in the early 20th century. Her high-necked dress has an embellishment of lace across the bodice and on the collar. Finally, there are six buttons front and center, which are probably non-functioning, meaning her bodice fastens in a different way. It is likely the dress has hooks & eyes, or less attractive workhorse buttons hidden by a placket.

The image is oval shaped in the center of the gray card. The card itself is about 3″ x 2″. I have two other photos that came with this one, and all were found in Tennessee.

UPDATE I forgot that this had been identified on the back as Mrs. S. M. McSparrow McSparrin.

A Joyful Christmas


Ombre green and flowers

This pretty post card from the 1900s shows a pot of flowers on a gilded background, all upon a green ombre card. Ombre is the style of fading from one shade to another, or one color to another. The sentiment is A Joyful Christmas.


The reverse of the card shows us that it was not mailed, but it was intended for Mrs Murray “addressed.” I’m not sure what that meant, exactly. The card was signed Kind remembrances Miss Alva Paugh.

A Merry Christmas


Pretty holly

This is an unmailed postcard from around the 1900s. It is heavily embossed and gilded, and shows a bouquet of holly tied with a red bow. The gilding on the holly looks copper rather than golden. The small pine cones are also gilded with the copper color. The card was printed in Germany by B. W.

Xmas Wishes With Love

Dora Allen From Friendship

A snowy church scene

Printed by Davidson Bros Pictoral Post Cards, this card was printed in Germany. The scanning process negates the metallic sheen of the border, which is silver, and the inside border is gold. It shows a lovely church scene with a road & snow, and two people standing in the road. A sprig of holly accents the corner, and the sentiment is Xmas Wishes With Love.

The reverse of the card shows that it was intended for Dora Allen, and signed From Friendship. There is no note, and it doesn’t appear to have been mailed.

A Merry Christmas


Ring the bells, little angel

This pretty, silvered card brings the wish of A Merry Christmas, brought by an angel ringing bells, surrounded by holly and ribbons. The cherub is alone in her quest to ring in the holiday, but my guess is, still successful. The card was mailed in December 1909, but due to the heavy embossing, the postmark is not clear and we can’t get the date.


The card was mailed to Miss Nellie Metcalf of Los Angeles, CA. (The irony here being that I live close to Los Angeles, but bought this card in Tennessee lol.) The note reads:

Dear Nellie,

With a g???? & wishes of a Merry Xmas & Happy New Year. All are well. Wish you could be with us Xmas.

Lovingly, Aunt Mira

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