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With swimsuit season arriving, women are no doubt kicking their workouts into overdrive. Just as they are cursing their hips and thighs, the wide selection of styles and colors are cause for some consternation as well. Should it be a one-piece or a two-piece? How about a red piece or a blue piece? The colors and styles are seemingly endless, and every magazine and newspaper is offering up their picks for the season.

Butte, Montana. Victor Rauh and one of his children reading a newspaper. 1942 Half century of bathing suits shown at Quota Club convention. 1931

"One of the most fetching suits that can be modeled is of white mohair, and, by the way, it is severely plain and to look best should be worn by a very pretty girl," says Jane Wilkie of the San Francisco Call.

"The smart bathing costume of this season is made of silk or satin. Heavy corded silks and taffetas are the sorts preferred, since soft silks are quite too clinging for the purpose . . . Plain colors are in vogue, although stripes of an inconspicuous character and some styles of checks and dots are worn," advises the Washington Times.

Unnerved yet? Rest assured this sage advice isn't for the modern woman of today but rather the fashionable women of 100-plus years ago. Seriously, silk and taffeta? They don't make for a very buoyant bathing beauty!

According to the May 31, 1908, issue of The Sun in New York City, "Conspicuous and freakish bathing costumes are always in bad taste, but almost any of the chic bathing suits of today would have been regarded as outlandish and extravagant by the women of twenty-five years ago . . . It was only a few years ago that women bathed in flannel and serge and denounced the first mohair suits as revolutionary, absurd, conducive to rheumatism and various aches and ills."

These newspapers are just a smattering of the publications found on "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers," a Web site that provides access to information about historic newspapers and to select digitized newspaper pages. The project is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

Users can view and search newspaper pages from select states for 1900 through 1910 on other particular subjects or even historical events.

Also, users can browse an A-Z newspaper directory from all 50 states or search for information on a particular publication that dates as far back as 1690.

A. Butte, Montana. Victor Rauh and one of his children reading a newspaper. 1942. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USW3-009704-D (b&w film neg.); Call No.: LC-USW3- 009704-D [P&P]

B. Half century of bathing suits shown at Quota Club convention. 1931. Prints and Photographs Division. SUMMARY: From left to right, wearing bathing suits of the period from 1868 to 1931, for convention at the Shoreham, Washington, D.C.: Claire Hooten of Baltimore and Frankie Overstreet, Ruth Harrell, Betty Shore and Elinore Kane, all of Worcester, Mass; Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-116423 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: SSF - Bathing suits <item> [P&P]