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The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

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.

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Rockaway, Long Island, seaside businesses. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Men swimming at Coney Island beach, 1903. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Family on the beach, 1889. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Long Branch, New Jersey beach, 1865. Via/ Library of Congress


The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Beach in Rhode Island, 1897. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

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.

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Palm Beach, 1896. Via/ Flickr

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Long Island beach, New York, 1900. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Long Island beach, New York, 1910. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Long Island beach, New York, 1915. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Coney Island bathing costumes from 1898. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Coney Island water chute ride, 1900. Via/ Library of Congress

Family fun at the beach may have changed over the years, but going to the beach has always been a wonderful way to enjoy the day. And these folks certainly seem to be having a grand time!

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Coney Island, 1855. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Atlantic City boardwalk, 1900. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Atlantic City sand sculpture, late 1800s. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Coney Island beach, 1900. Via/ Library of Congress


The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

On the beach at Atlantic City, 1901. Via/ Library of Congress

The Victorian Seaside in Photographs

Large family in the water, 1880. Via/ Library of Congress

Click here for a look at the lost Victorian mansions of New York!

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