Friday, May 4, 2012

Camouflaged Mermaids and Water Nymphs

 Above A cartoon from Harper's magazine (September 1919), with the caption: "To Decrease Visibility: Why not camouflage stockings?"

The following paragraph (about camouflage beachwear) appeared in the Little Oddities of Life section of Illustrated World (1918), p. 369, with the heading "Mermaid Indulges in Camouflage"—

The surf seemed deserted. Scores of masculine "beach combers" and "sand lizards" thronged the Board Walk, watching the breakers roll in at Atlantic City and looking for mermaids and water nymphs. None were visible, yet one sported in the waves. The camera revealed what was not apparent to the eye. With her alluring figure hidden by a camouflaged swimming suit, this pretty bather dared the dangers of lurking U-boats and over-curious spectators. Thus the "now you see it; now you don't" bathing costume became the rage. It is rumored that next season these suits will be made for fat men and mothers-in-law. These bathing suits present great possibilities for the paragraphers and the wits, besides offering opportunities for clever filming to the comedy movie man. The Tired Business Man, however, will not suffer unnecessarily from eye strain on his vacation.