Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Video: Boarding School Girls at Coney Island, 1905

Friday, March 23, 2012

Susan reporting:

Although it's still March, the temperatures in the Northeastern U.S. this week have been as balmy as early June. It's certainly been warm enough to dream of a jaunt to the beach. Why not join these young ladies of 1905 from Miss Knapp's Select School as they head out for a day at the seaside resort of Coney Island, NY? This silent clip proves that girls do just want to have fun – and manage to have a wonderful time in spite of their elaborate dresses and hats, swimsuits with long socks, and, of course, corsets.

Video posted to YouTube by The Travel Film Archive

11 comments:

Christine H. said...

How fun! That is some fabulous footage. You're right, those young ladies seem entirely unencumbered by their outfits - and that was quite a jump disembarking from the vehicle. I really think I need a parasol, great for pointing and gesturing in addition to sheltering from the sun.

Susie said...

Great video! Thanks for posting it. Like Christine I was amazed at the jump down they took. What kind of vehicle was that anyway? Now I'll go look on pinterest to find a tutorial on making parasols, I could use one of those to keep my kids in line. :)

Sharon said...

Love the Brooklyn brownstone they depart from!
And, having been to Steeplechase Park myself a few times, I was waiting for that most memorable "attraction", the walkway which would abruptly and unpredictably blow bursts of air upward to lift up ladies' skirts. I suppose Miss Knapp's chaperones were too savvy, and steered their charges away from this notorious indecency. Great little film!

Robin said...

Completely delightful. Can you imagine wearing all those layers in the heat and humidity?

cheryl said...

Where did you find this video!!!!? It was utterly enchanting. I know that there is no perfect time in history but, if I could go back in time, this would be the era I would choose, without a doubt.
Thanks again. It made my day!

textilehistorIE said...

Really really want to hit the beach now! Thanks ladies, a gem of a find.

Di said...

Loved it when they all popped open their parasols!
I have my grandmothers 'bathing outfit' like the girls were wearing - can't imagine trying to swim in one of those.

Anonymous said...

That looked like such a fun day! Great find!

Anonymous said...

I note that this is a travel video and that the scenes seem to be very carefully scripted. Is there any evidence that these are truly students? As previous commenters have noted, the scenes are designed to provide glimpses of female anatomy as well as lots of swishing garments. I find it difficult to believe that any real, "respectable" girls' school would have participated in a production like this--undoubtedly involving design of scenes, timing, acting, garment changes, etc.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Anonymous, I tend to agree with you - the chaperones are comically strict and the girls a bit too free, nor do I think any real school would permit this kind of filming (this is the era when a lady's name was in the paper only 3 times: when she born, married, and died.) I also did a quick search, and no school by this name seems to have existed...

Still, even if it's staged, it's still a lot of fun. :)

Victorian Vanities said...

I loved this video when I first saw it! It was good to see girls moving in these clothes and also having fun! I would like to show it to my classes but I'm not at all sure my classes of 9 year olds will appreciate it. Today I am sharing this video with my friends on Facebook and Linkedin!

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