Jeff Delaney’s book Newport Beach has some fun beach photos from the early 1900’s and before when this location began to be popular as a tourist stop.
Back in early 1900, early swimmers had to proceed cautiously. It would be a number of years before lifeguards came on the scene.
Victorian morals demanded that bathing attire resembled everyday clothing. I suppose partially to ensure the proper attire, bathers could rent bathing togs at bathhouses in both Newport and Balboa.
Today’s bikinis and swim trunks have made the process of wringing salt water from bathing suits a lost art:
The pavilion in Balboa Beach originally consisted of an 8,000 sq. ft. meeting room on the second story and a simple bathhouse on the first floor, where people could change from street attire into bathing suits.
Do you have anything you want to add to the history of swimming back in the 1900’s?
Read more about Newport Beach’s area by looking through my articles in the category “Local History.”