Shorpy Saturday – Swim Team: 1917

By Jeffrey Buck

There was a time when summer would attract hundreds of kids to Belle Isle for little swim sessions. Although those days may be behind us, it’s very interesting to see how the swimsuit has evolved for both men and women and the sheer amount of swimmers that showed up on a hot summers day in 1917. One would have to imagine that the mass production of swimming pools, easier transportation to vacation cottages and the population change within the city limits played a large part in the demise of Belle Isle swimming.

Take a look at the photograph entitled “Swim Team: 1917.“:

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1917. “Bathing beach at Belle Isle Park.” 8×10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.


After seeing this picture it reminded me of a photo from Detroit Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg’s wedding. Take a look here and let me know what you think.


About Jeffrey S. Buck

I'm currently a Project Manager at Cypress Partners, LLC in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I graduated from Wayne State University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism. Looking to broaden my view of the world, I spent a semester abroad studying at the University of Salford, a Greater Manchester University in England. I enjoy doing an array of activities, including following Detroit sports teams, SCUBA diving, traveling, reading, playing tennis, hand-written letters and going to the movies. I am the co-founder of the Woodward Spine, a blog about Detroit and its surrounding communities. The Woodward Spine aims to inform its readers about relevant news and events through creative and informative posts in these core areas: news, opinion, entertainment, history, sports and development. The Woodward Spine serves the tri-county metro Detroit area, concentrating mainly on the communities that lie along the Woodward corridor.
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