Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Men in striped bathing suits: mystery vintage photo

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | June 14, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Entertainment
Tags: men in bathing suits, vintage male, vintage photo

Sometimes I find a photo, and I just can't explain the photo. Circus performers? The world's most unusual swim team? Rejects from one of Rosie's cruises? What? Any Bilerico friends have a clue?


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Isn't this the Bilerico swim team from years back? I thought that was Bil on the far right in his younger day when he had more :D

Ha! I wish I was that tall! :) I'm always the "Can you scoot over the step stool?" guy. *grins*

grumpleton | June 14, 2010 3:38 PM

Based on the very tall guy to the right & the pumped up guy in front, I think they are circus performers--maybe the mugging person on top was of the ladder was a clown?

Vintage? No more clues? Where did you find the photo, and how did you come to own the photo? You have to have more info than “mystery, vintage photograph.” Please give us a little more to go on.

I came out in the summer of 1969 at the age of 23. I watched the moon landing in the Happy Hour in Minneapolis. AhMen (?) in Phoenix produced a fine line of swimwear. Hot catalog! My swimsuit from AhMen was the same basic design except with a different fabric. These swimsuits, however, may be custom made. Notice that the tall, thin man on the right has a higher waisted swimsuit than the others. The sandals of the muscular man look to be like the ones I had in the summer of 1969. Are the other men barefoot?

Are they performers? If they are, I would say water skiing. It looks like they are on a river or a small lake posing on a concrete dock. Gym memberships and workouts are not evident. Back then our muscles were the evidence of strenuous farmwork or other manual labor. Their “packages” do not appear to be emphasized by the swimsuits as one would expect of a group gay friends thereby reinforcing the theory that these guys performed for the public. Various ages and various races. The stepladder appears to be made of wood with metal braces.

This photo could be from the 50s, 60s, or early 70s. I would say post Beatles, though, judging from the long hair on the guy 2nd from the left. The shaved heads, though, throw me off. I don’t remember any shaved heads from the 60s.

Gloria Brame | June 15, 2010 12:31 AM

Rob, maybe I should add this to my bio, people ask me this so often...

I get almost all of my images through intensive searches on google, eBay, WikiMedia, and so on. The image above was snagged from a one-time estate sale of vintage photos auctioned on eBay. No info was provided but the image intrigued me so I snagged it.

BTW, I do not own the items I blog about. I'd have to live in Warehouse 13 if I did. ;)


One of my guesses is that they are volunteer lifeguards at a lake like those that used to be popular summer resorts when I was a kid in Ohio & PA. I notice the ladder has rope rather than metal braces like it was made to be used around water. It could be a very portable lifeguard chair considering the bald guy is sitting on what appears to be a rather wide top board/seat. The narrow legs of the latter/chair did not matter because these lakes did not have sandy beaches. Hey, it's a better guess than circus performers.

A Blaze family reunion, that's what that is.