Miss America Pageant Convention Hall, Atlantic City, N.J….1947 [caption title of panoramic photo].
The last Miss America to be crowned in a bathing suit
Almost 4 feet in length, a large panoramic photograph documenting the 15 finalists in the 1947 Miss America Pageant held at Convention Hall in the beach resort community of Atlantic City, New Jersey, September 1–8. That year’s winner was the last Miss America to be crowned in a bathing suit.
Finalists include contestants representing both states and individual cities, among whom is Miss Memphis, Barbara Jo Walker, who won the title that year. She was the last city representative to win the crown (a Miss Tennessee was also among the 15 finalists).¹
The panoramic photo shows the 15 contestants arrayed on a long runway and wearing their state or city sashes. A court of women, presumably those who did not make it to this round of the contest, are seated on a stage to the right, the eventual champion’s “throne” at their center. Two boys bearing what appear to be 15 Hawaiian leis stand near the runway. Stage right on floor level there is an orchestra. Opposite them on the floor, stage left, sit five men at a table, likely the judges, and behind them a group of 11 persons, including two women, possibly pageant officials. An extremely large audience virtually fills the convention hall; many look directly at the camera.
Description: Miss America Pageant Convention Hall, Atlantic City, N.J….1947 [caption title of panoramic photo].
Atlantic City, New Jersey: Central Studios, . Panoramic Photograph. Approx. 9 x 46 inches. Gelatin silver process; sepia tone. Mounted; framed and glazed (not examined out of frame). Some wear at discrete places along extreme edges and in right margin, not affecting main image; very good.
Note. 1. Miss America :: History - 1947 [missamerica.org] accessed online: “After graduating college she married John V. Hummel, MD. Barbara had a wonderfully varied career from numerous theater performances to being one of the first female daytime TV talk show hosts in the country.” According to Wikipedia, her son Andy Hummel was a co-founder with Alex Chilton and others of the influential American power pop rock band, Big Star, which formed in Memphis in 1971.