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Image Cornish family at Dromana beach with parasols, 1927

TLF ID M002392

This is a black-and-white photograph featuring the Cornish family at the beach in Dromana in 1927. The nine adults and nine children in this group are dressed in bathing costumes, and many wear bathing caps. Three large parasols (light sun umbrellas) are being held by women at the back of the group. A long pier is visible in the background. The image was collected as part of Museum Victoria's 'Melbourne's Biggest Family Album' project in 2006. It is a digital scan of the original black-and-white photograph.

Educational details

Educational value
  • Many aspects of 1920s bathing costumes are seen in this photograph. Women's bathing caps were often like the cloche hats of the time. Women's 'tank suit' swimming costumes had built-in shorts. Men's costumes were often plain two-piece suits made of wool jersey, with a stripe of colour. 
  • People earlier in the 20th century would have thought these swimsuits outrageously indecent. Allowing the body's shape to be seen, and having the skin below the neck line, the arms and that much thigh uncovered was a relatively new thing. But in the 1920s, between the First World War and the one that followed, people were less inhibited and wanted to have more fun.
  • Parasols like those in the photograph lost popularity in the 1930s, when a tan came to be viewed as a fashionable sign of health. On the beach in this photo, though, they seem to be providing the only means of protection from the sun.
  • Family photographs like this one from 'Melbourne's Biggest Family Album' reveal much about how families lived and played, and provide valuable information on aspects of times past.
Year level

F; 1; 2

Other details

  • Author
  • Person: Edith Cornish
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: Museum Victoria
  • Organization: Museum Victoria
  • Description: content provider
  • Address: Victoria
  • Person: Edith Cornish
  • Description: Author
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • © Museum Victoria and Curriculum Corporation 2009 (except where otherwise indicated). You may view, display, print out, copy and modify this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.