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March 19, 2014

Interesting Vintage Photos Show Women Doing Exercise in the 1920s

The early 1900s saw a great deal of stretching as the exercise of choice, which eventually made its way into machinery. Stationary bikes, rowing machines, and the Vibro-Slim, a vibrating belt that massaged the body, were popular methods of exercise. While a machine that requires no effort but standing in place while it goes to work sounds equal parts amazing and completely nonsensical, what was more alarming was the 1920s woman's idea of activewear: dresses, high heels, and pearls.

circa 1920:  A woman exercising in a gym on a rowing machine in rather unpractical shoes.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Mae West (1893-1980), US actress, wearing a black swimsuit, lifting dumbbells during an exercise workout, circa 1920. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

23rd March 1921:  A woman using a stationary cycle.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

A woman out for her morning run on the latest British invention for home exercise, London, England, January 4, 1923. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Two women riding a mechanical horse; a means of keeping in perfect trim.   (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

A young lady in a leotard directs her energies at a punchbag, circa 1925. (Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

ca. 1925 --- Original caption: A Movie Star Who Works for Perfection. Helene Chadwick, whose cherry smile and screen ability have endeared her to millions, works hard to keep in perfect trim. And if you should doubt it, just try a twenty minute stretch on a rowing machine before breakfast every morning. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

1920s --- Woman Exercising with Dumbells --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

27 Jul 1927 --- 1920s 1930s woman in bedroom lying on floor exercising doing leg lifts --- Image by © ClassicStock/Corbis

Members of the 'Elkettes,' wives of Elk members in LA, do their daily exercises, Los Angeles, California, October 1927. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

A woman enjoying the use of her Vibro-Slim, a vibrating slimming machine.   (Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)

1928:  A woman 'exercising' on a vibrating motor machine.  (Photo by Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)



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