2001-06-02 / Columnists

Historical Views by Emil Lucev

As we know from past Historical Views, the Caffrey family sold it’s its interest in Far Rockaway Beach to a syndicate in 1906 – after the summer season was over. The changeover took place during 1907 and was completed for the 1908 season.

Caffrey’s became Roaches Beach, while Ostend Beach was built to the East.

I was fortunate enough to find one of the last remaining Bathing Beauties pictures taken at Caffrey’s Beach, Far Rockaway, Long Island in 1907. This is stamped on the front of the sepiatone photo souvenir postcard.

The attractive young lady is seated in a beach photo prop and leaning on a hunk of driftwood or a tree trunk. The painted backdrop depicts waves breaking on an ocean shore. It is quite realistic.

There is nothing on the card to identify the woman and it was not stamped with a postmark. By now you know what the next line will be, so I will leave it out this time.

Now that the spring is almost here, I am wondering what kind of bathing suits females will wear this year. It’s a sure bet that they will be nothing like the suit in this photo. When I showed the photo to a group of young girls on a train leaving Penn Station after my postcard convention meeting they all at once exclaimed, "Oh, My God!"

The second view today is the 1911 version of Miss America – Rockaway Beach style, rocky backdrop and all. The suits are rather stylish.

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