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Bathers, Steel Pier, Coney Island

Photography

The couple at the center of this photograph has donned swimming costumes appropriate for a day on the beach. Until the early twentieth century, women wore bathing dresses or long tunics over bloomers, all of which were made from heavy, often wool, fabric to prevent the clothing from rising up in the water. Men also had to observe the rules of propriety—they were not allowed to bare their chests on Coney Island beaches until the late 1930s.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES ca. 1880-1885; printed 1940s
DIMENSIONS image: 7 5/8 x 12 in. (19.4 x 30.5 cm) sheet: 10 7/8 x 13 15/16 in. (27.6 x 35.4 cm)
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed on center verso in ink: "BR 2106"; in lower right corner in pencil: accession number; on lower right corner of recto in pencil: "35"
COLLECTIONS Photography
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER X894.149
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Coney Island pier
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