They would become known as the Inter-City Beauties.
Each individual winner’s prize would be an all expense paid trip to Atlantic City’s Second Annual Fall Frolic as an honored guest.
Lesser awards to finalists include swimwear and trophies by designer Annette Kellerman, a woman widely known for her scandalous 1907 arrest for indecent exposure.
Annual protests from women’s and religious groups questioned the morality of a beauty contest that featured bobbed hair and bare limbs.By September 1922 she became known as “Miss America.” In the ensuing years it would grow and reflect some of the most powerfully held attitudes towards what it meant to be an ideal American woman. In the decades just prior to its creation, there was a marked transformation around women’s roles in society.The years from 1900 to 1920 were rich with expanding social, political and cultural activity for women.At a newspaper circulation manager’s meeting in Philadelphia, nine East Coast newspapers decided to hold photographic “popularity contests” from among their readerships to increase their circulations.Subsequent city finalists would be judged on personality and social graces during citywide summer events.As America moved headlong from the Victorian to the modern age, a new image for women developed, symbolizing the changing times.According to leading magazines and periodicals of the time, the modern woman was vigorous. This was an unprecedented break from the rigorously controlled physicality prescribed for the ideal 19th century woman, with its emphasis on delicacy and fragility.She would also win a trophy for her appeance in the Boardwalk Parade noting her popularity with the crowds of parade-goers.The next day, based on the popularity of the visiting Inter-City Beauties, they were also entered into the Bather’s Revue.The event had become so big, results of the prize-winners were later aired nationwide via radio.Although never before seen as a problem, concern arose over the fact that a leading contender for the “Miss” America title was a married woman.