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Working at PlayA History of Vacations in the United States$
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Cindy S. Aron

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195142341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195142341.001.0001

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“through the streets in bathing costumes”: Resort Vacations, 1850–1900

“through the streets in bathing costumes”: Resort Vacations, 1850–1900

(p.69) 3 “through the streets in bathing costumes”: Resort Vacations, 1850–1900
Working at Play

Cindy S. Aron

Oxford University Press

During the 19th century, American resorts varied widely—in size, cost, location, clientele. Some resorts were small towns that swelled to crowded, minimetropolises during the summer season. Other resorts presented a more rural demeanor. Seaside resorts offered swimming; mountain resorts touted the pleasures of country walks and rides; inland springs added bathing to the pleasures of strolling or riding either through the town or countryside; lakes tendered the possibilities of fishing and sailing. Vacationers at summer resorts, perhaps reflecting the generalized and growing interest in competitiveness and physicality, participated in a range of sports and games. Summer resorts provided middle-class women with a significantly wider range of amusements and pleasures than normally available to them. Perhaps nowhere was the potential challenge to middle-class rules of conduct so great as when it came to two other popular resort pastimes—flirting and courting.

Keywords:   United States, resorts, sports, women, swimming, flirting, courting, amusements, middle class, summer vacations

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