Ocean City’s beach and Boardwalk had a different appearance in the years prior to World War II. This photo looks north from Talbot Street. The Boardwalk in those days was narrow and raised about four feet above the beach. On a hot day, bathers would sit under it in the shade and enjoy a picnic lunch.
People dressed up to walk on the Boardwalk in that era. As can be seen in this circa 1940 photo, even in mid-day women wore high heels and men wore long sleeved shirts and ties. The attire was even more formal in the evenings.
The beach was narrow and waves often rolled up to the Boardwalk on high tide. It was well into the 1950s until the rock jetty at the Inlet caused lots of sand to build up at the south end of Ocean City. Today the beach in this location is nearly eight times as wide as it was 80 years ago.
The tower-like structure in the background was caused by the Coast Guard to watch for both boats and swimmers in distress. It was removed at the end of World War II.
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Postcard from Bunk Mann’s collection