The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

From the costumes to the horse drawn carts- its was a quite a different time!

Going to the beach today means something very different than it did 150 years ago. Ladies in full bathing costumes, horse drawn carts, and even sometimes sunbathers who were fully dressed were not uncommon sights back then. We’ve found some wonderful photographs from the Victorian era that show visits to seaside beaches like Coney Island and Atlantic City.

Rockaway, Long Island, seaside businesses. Via/ Library of Congress
Men swimming at Coney Island beach, 1903. Via/ Library of Congress
Family on the beach, 1889. Via/ Library of Congress
Long Branch, New Jersey beach, 1865. Via/ Library of Congress
Beach in Rhode Island, 1897. Via/ Library of Congress
Packed piers at Coney Island, 1900. Via/ Library of Congress

The ladies with parasols, the fellas in 3 pieces suits, and the the bathers in wool swimsuits make for some wonderful times letting loose at the beach. This was relaxation at its finest in an era when beach activities were quite reserved by today’s standards.

Palm Beach, 1896. Via/ Flickr