view of "Happy Go Lucky" area of exhibit

A new American institution, the bathing beauty, sparked America’s interest in the early 1920s. Following up on this interest, Atlantic City launched the Miss America Pageant in an effort to bring visitors to this seaside resort. The first winner in 1921 was sixteen-year-old Margaret Gorman, a Mary Pickford look-alike who stood at 5’1” and possessed the very flapperesque dimensions of 30-25-32.

This robe was worn once a year by the newly crowned Miss America as she walked the runway following the announcement of her name. Mary Campbell, Miss America, 1923 representing Columbus, Ohio was the first Miss America to wear the robe.
Loan courtesy of the Miss America Organization.
Black tuxedo with coattails.
Beaded flapper-style dress.
Loan courtesy of Public Museum of Grand Rapids.