Vintage landscape: take water, add children

Before air conditioning, water was the best remedy for hot summer weather.

The children in the photos just above and below were enjoying a public fountain in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1912.

The fountain is the Peace Monument on the U.S. Capitol grounds.

Below are children in a public pool in Washington, D.C., also in 1912.

All of the above four photos were taken by Harris & Ewing.

The three photos below of bathers in Rock Creek Park were taken by the National Photo Company between 1920 and 1932.

The photo label for the above picture is “Women and children find some relief by wading in the creek on one of the hottest days in the history of the Capital. Snapped in Rock Creek Park today.”

The highest temperature recorded for Washington, D.C., was 106°F, in 1918 and 1930. The city just missed matching the old record yesterday, only reaching 105°F.

Below are children playing in an “old swimming hole” in the Washington, D.C., area. The photo was taken by Theodor Horydczak between 1920 and 1950.

The photo below shows a group of proper young ladies at the free public baths, Harriet Island, St. Paul, Minnesota.  It was taken by the Detroit Publishing Co. around 1905.

How hard to be so dressed up at the lake!

Below are children playing with a rope at a beach, possibly at Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The photo was taken between 1890 and 1910 by the Detroit Publishing Co.

The lure of water in a fountain during hot weather is universal. Below are children in Japan or Korea in 1908. The photo was taken by Arnold Genthe.

All images via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.  Click on any photo to enlarge it.

6 thoughts on “Vintage landscape: take water, add children

    1. Oh, I know. That photo and the one of Harriet Island make me remember how girls have often had a hard time having fun in the outdoors. It’s good to see the fourth photo above from 1912 and the girls getting completely soaked in light cotton dresses.

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