March 07, 2011

Discover the history of swimming, swimwear and swim equipment at British Pathe

I've always loved antiques and recently this hobby unearthed the on line presence of British Pathe. They are one of the oldest media companies in the world with a film archive from 1896-1976. My two greatest passions (all things vintage and swimming) have now been combined into a new obsession - the history of swimming, swim equipment and swim fashions!

The journey started on E-bay when I spotted this vintage Schiaparelli swimsuit previously owned by Melva Moreno who was a Skating Vanities star of the 1940's. Keen to discover more about this glamorous roller skating troupe I did a Google search and found some wonderful film clips on British Pathe. From that moment on I and everyone else at FunSwimShop was hooked.

Swimming Lesson 1926 
Speaking of hooked... take a look at this children's swimming lesson from 1926 where the child is hanging from chains in the water. You'll be pleased to know nothing like that goes on at a Seriously Fun swimming lesson!

There are some fascinating clips of prototype swimming aids which we all take for granted today. Fins or flippers were once known as "Water Pushers", hand paddles were once known as "arm fins", and someone using both together at the same time was known as the "Human Fish or Plate Swimmer"!

Hairstyle Swim Cap!
Swim wear and swim cap fashion shows have provided the most entertainment but none more than the 'hairstyle' swim cap (left) and the swim cap with a glamorous stick on fringe!

We've heard that retro swim caps are set to make a comeback but we think you all feel more comfortable with the streamlined swim caps available today.

What do you think? Can you send us any swim cap crimes of fashion from the family albums? Looking forward to hearing from you...

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