I went to an auction last week and of all the things I bought, my favorite was a small collection of bathing beauty photos and postcards. I’ll be showing them throughout the summer, and here is the first of the lot. The card isn’t dated, but it’s probably between 1905 and 1909. The girls are a bit scantily dressed for that period, and would probably had a skirt on over the bathing suit.
It’s possible that this photo came from Europe, as it shows them emerging from a bathing house, which were more common there than in the US. It is, of course, just a prop, as you can see the painted background.
Another clue that this is European is the lack of hosiery. In Europe, men and women tended to sea bathe separately, whereas in the US, men and women bathed together, making more coverage a necessity!