Y’know, it didn’t used to be that in order to cool off at the beach, you’d have to head down to Coney Island. You used to be able to check out the sands around the Bath Beach and Bensonhurst waterfront, long before the Belt Parkway was built, like a Great Wall of sorts, dividing the neighborhood from its waterfront.
Yes, back in those days you might have been able to walk straight to the water and take a swim. Jealous much? Well, don’t be. Smallpox and Spanish flu were still things.
Anyway, if you did walk down to a truly local beach, it was these guys – the Bensonhurst lifeguards – that would protect you (but not from the smallpox). Shot circa 1908, it certainly gives a taste of beach life back in those days.
Say, how would that woman near the top center save us in full dress, anyway? Such are the wonders of the early 20th Century.
Have a terrific day, by the way. The heat advisory ends at 6:00 p.m.
Photo via Shorpy.