As luxuries like leisure travel, automobiles, fashion, and technology became increasingly available to the middle and working classes, the practice of documenting those pleasures and accomplishments became routine. By the 1920s, vacationing in its many forms had become integral to the experience of the middle class. Experts advocated the benefits of rest, and working people used their increasingly available paid time off to escape their everyday routines. Photographs of vacations and “extraordinary” events and places served as proof of a good time. Even during the Depression and the war years that followed, snapshots were a crucial means of preserving for future generations life as it ought to be remembered.

Artist unknown. Untitled, c. 1920/29. Gift of Peter J. Cohen.

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