Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Wien, 1920

The Vienna public pool was the setting for this 1920 trio.



  1. Do you reckon these guys were well-tanned, or is it just the age of the picture that makes the men look so dark?

  2. The skin gray tone depends of the type of Black&White film used, Panchromatic is sensible to all colors while orthochromatic is not sensible to red.
    In other way if you take a photo of the same person with the same illumination using different kinds of film, the grey tone of the person skin will be different.
    I assume that the film used was orthochromatic. Any red sunburned skin should look darker.

    In a different comment:
    How 70's fashion is the man bikini at right!, how sexy is the thong at left (I used something similar in the 80's in Germany) and it is my idea, or the speedo-like on the center looks painted?

    One century later, if they appears dressed like that at any public pool in USA they would be thrown on jail because of indecent exposure!

    1. Thanks for the photo tech info! I think the speedo was probably real, and it would depend on where in the USA. Even the nicest one (left) might be OK in some places.

    2. If you look carefully to the swimsuits at left and right, you will notice that the black parts are not uniformly black.
      On the right you can see some horizontal creases on the 'speedo' and on the left the right side corner up (or down) to the insignia is a little less black.
      this is because the cloth material is not a plane surface and the reflection for each different angle related to the sunlight is a litter more or a little less strong.
      I did some additional analysis, technically called pixel histogram plot covering the swimsuits areas on the photos.
      on the right one, the called half-width of the 'speedo' black pixels distribution is ~28 pixels, that means on a nontechnical way there are about 28 shades of black on the suit image part, on the left thong the count is ~26 shades of black.
      But in the center the same count gives only 8-9 shades, that strongly suggest that it is a paint over because that would mean that the material is practically flat in relation to the sunlight.
      (a VERY flat belly and no bulge at all!)
      As if Calorman suggestion, that the photo was taken at an all-male sport association, and given the liberal spirit of the twenties it is not surprising that the man at the center was naked on the original photo.
      As greggy says if the left and right man were competing, the central one is without a cap, so no need to use a swimsuit...

  3. Swimwear of this sort was used from late-Victorian times onward and also worn for games such as badminton, volley ball and five-a-side soccer which were often played in all-male spaces such as gymnasia and sports clubs. What we today would call a micro-brief worn by the man on the left would have had a back panel. Briefer styles like this would not be worn with women present and so I suspect this to be a Viennese men's sports club. The styles were dropped from the 1940s onward when segregation of the sexes gradually ended and a post-war conservatism gripped the Zeitgeist, only to be revived in the 1980s when someone remembered that Queen Victoria had died.

    1. I knew I could count on you for a good swimwear fashion wrap-up. Thanks!

  4. I can tell you that the guys on the right and left are dressed for competition. If you had long (or any length hair) you wore a swim cap to reduce drag in the water. The small tank suits (including the string bikini) were worn for the same reason. If you remember back then all male only sports clubs (like the YMCA) had a no swimsuit rule, so these guys were wearing the caps and trunks for a competition.

    1. True. The logo on the string suit is typical of photos of German and Austrian competitive swim teams of the era.

  5. In Vien war diese Bademode lange Zeit ublich. Ich trainerte und hatte eine Schon Figur. Fruher trug ich einen Bikini mit Leopardenmuster bei dem mein halber schoner herausragte, Hintern die verwirrten und schockierten Blicke, die ich fruher bekam.!