New Video! The Great Ocean Grove Bathing Suit Controversy of the 1870s

“Bathing dress censorship at Ocean Grove”, from the Illustrated Police News of London, England, circa 1877.

This image, titled “Bathing Dress Censorship at Ocean Grove”, is from the Illustrated Police News, one of Great Britain’s first tabloid newspapers. First published in 1864, it gained a reputation for sensationalism during the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888.

Yes, even as far afield as jolly ol’ England, people knew about the great bathing suit controversy raging in Ocean Grove, New Jersey in the 1870s.

So what was the fuss?

We made a video to tell you all about it. Watch and learn about “The Bathing Question”, as well as the Ocean Grove inventor who changed swimwear. Plus, hear about the 19th century visitors to OG who flouted ordinances against nudity and cross-dressing.

Dive in and play the video below!

Camera and editing: Mary Solecki

Research, writing and host: Kim Brittingham

Funding has been provided by the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Video: Treasures of the Severs Sisters

Severs guest houseWe’re thrilled to share the second video in our “Curiosities of Ocean Grove” series.

When an Ocean Grove resident began renovations on her Victorian era home, she stumbled upon the personal belongings of the Severs women who occupied the property in the early 20th century. The collection tells a surprisingly detailed story of their lives through letters, photos, vintage dresses, keepsakes, even toiletries.

Most of the photos and letters will remain at the Historical Society of Ocean Grove. All other items will be sold to the public on Saturday, May 30, 2015.(That’s the day of the big spring flea market.) Look for us in the yard of Centennial Cottage at Central Ave. and McClintock Street. All proceeds will be donated to the fund to restore the fountain in Founders Park in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

For more information, call HSOG at (732) 774-1869 or e-mail us at info (at) oceangrovehistory (dot) org.

To get acquainted with the Severs and see what they left behind, click on the video below.

Researcher: Dell O’Hara

Camera and editing: Mary Solecki

Writer and host: Kim Brittingham

Funding has been provided by the New Jersey Historical Commission.