People in 1905 really did laugh—a timeless photo

Have you ever seen a photo from the B&W ages of the late 19th century where people didn’t look like they were attending a funeral?
Granted, slow film speeds made it hard to be spontaneous, but one still gets the feeling people were way too serious then.

The Jersey Shore circa 1905. “On the beach, Atlantic City.”

How long would they have to hold a pose for in 1905?

Love the guy who’s got his girlfriend in a vise grip - people in 1905 really *did *abuse their spouses! :wink:

The ladies’ swimwear is crazy. I mean, wow, even thick tights??

That’s not the Jersey Shore I’ve been hearing about, is it?

Well, sure, people smiled for photographs, but – as this photo clearly demonstrates – only when the photographer brought along a professional Smiler to grab them by the face and force them to do so.

With that package in his shorts, I’m surprised he had to force *anyone *to smile.

Check the dental hygiene on those two ladies on the right and you can see maybe why more people weren’t smiling in old photos. (Looking for gap-toothed smiley…)

The guy on the far left is really, really creepy.

Back then, a photo was very serious, like posing for a portrait. I have a photo of my mother’s family, circa 1910s. You can see tears running down the cheeks of one of my aunts. My grandfather had caught her smiling and had slapped her face.

By this time cameras had begun to be affordable for if not everybody then at least the middle class and better, so this is possibly not one of the flash powder and “Hold still for the next minute” pics but a pic taken with a personal camera on a bright day. It’s amazingly clear for its age.

I love the guy who looks like Teddy Roosevelt as Uncle Fester on the far right. That’s beachwear I could pull off. (I wonder what colors it came in?)

There’s an older man on the far right of the photo whose clothes are very unlike the other men’s swimsuits. I wonder why?

The three young people in the middle look like they’d be a lot of fun to know.

Good point. Kodak introduced the Brownie camera in 1900.

(Although the photo caption says 8x10 dry plate glass negative. Which wouldn’t be from a Brownie.)

The guy holding the girl’s face reminds me of the ill-fated Leo Frank (who’d have been 21 at the time, though I don’t think it’s him obviously).

Not one of my favorite versions of what’s not one of my favorite songs from what is one of my favorite musicals, but how often is it relevant? Atlantic City from RAGTIME (set the same decade of this picture). “Well overnight things change I guess… I’m in New Jersey… wearin’ even less…”

Is that Willem DaFoe’s grandfather behind the kid in the polka-dot hat?

Could be. I think that’s Charles Durning at the far left- this being 1905 he’d have been in his late 30s, but already appearing in every 4th moving picture produced.

The guy smiling in the center between funny guy and head holding girl is really cute. I’d go for him if I was there. Too bad my morbid self can only think of him and the others all being dead now and just a bunch of bones in the ground. I like the picture though. Seeing them smiling makes me want to know more about them. It’s weird there’s been a whole lotta life before I ever came into this world.

He reminds me of Edward Norton.

He is a time traveller. Notice the cell phone in his hand?

How about the guy on the far right dressed as a monk? (Actually, I know someone now who looks like him.)

One of my grandmothers was born in 1905. She lived to be 89 and would have been 105 next Thursday. I have a photograph of her father, my great-grandfather. They were Arkansas hillbillies, and he’s posing with his squirrel rifle and hound dogs, powder horn strapped to his chest, looking like Jed Clampett’s best friend. A wonderful photo, he was smiling just a bit.

Well you wouldn’t want to be some boardwalk Jezebel showing an inch of skin at the calf and turning boys into sexed up dope fiends.

I can’t tell if Ma over on the right standing in front of Fester Roosevelt is missing teeth, just has big gaps or if it’s the lighting.

I wonder how many of the boys in this served in World War I and, if they did, if they thought of this moment when they were in the foxholes.