Battle of the Ballots! 🗳🇺🇸
A revolutionary nudist election, a litigious sore loser trying desperately to overturn the results, and the fight for democracy in the early nudism movement. #thread
At the center of this drama was #IlsleyBoone, aka “Uncle Danny” — the charismatic founder of the #AmericanSunbathingAssociation, and chair of its board. With his majority share of member proxy votes, he could — and frequently did — sway #ASA elections any way he wanted.
I’m excited to share my first piece for #TheBulletin. Appropriately, it’s about the history of The Bulletin itself, which is integral to the history of the American nudism movement. @AANR_Int members, the whole September issue is history themed. Some great articles to check out!
Three separate publications from January 1952, all claiming to be the official #TheBulletin. Note the different #ASA presidents. Left, #RudolphJohnson in American Nudist Leader; Right, #AloisKnapp in Sunshine & Health. The standalone journal in the middle prevailed.
The evolution of #TheBulletin logo: every logo from 1933-2020. Credit to the @ANR_Library, without whom my research for the above article and this image would not have been possible.
Born Zelda Roth in NYC in 1908 (pictured here age 2), she grew up in NJ. After high school she moved to Greenwich Village and in 1930 began working as a researcher for “Physical Culture” proponent #BernarrMacfadden, known for his controversial writing on health and sexuality.
She continued working for #BernarrMacfadden through her first marriage, which ended in 1946. It was not long after this divorce that she married the recently divorced #JReedSuplee, an engineer, former Quaker, and owner of Pennsylvania’s popular #SunnyRestLodge.
This “educational” documentary was filmed at #SwallowsClub, San Diego, CA. It was one of the first nudist films to show uncensored genitals and public hair. #VintageNudistFilms
While previous nudist films maintained a strict family friendly focus, #TheRawOnes featured mostly young, fit adults engaging in bouncy athletics, making it controversial among textiles and nudists alike.
#JanGay (born Helen Reitman) was an author, nudist, and gay rights activist in the 1920s and 30s, best known for her 1932 book On Going Naked, which was one of the earliest written works to explore the rising nudism movement around the world. #PrideMonth
#JanGay also wrote one of the earliest documentary films on the subject of nudism, This Nude World (1933)
Years before Alfred Kinsey published his reports, #JanGay (pictured on the left) conducted interviews with hundreds of gay men and women around the world as a study into the nature of homosexuality. She faced intense backlash by the medical community as a result of her work.
During the golden age of Nudism in the 50s and 60s, there were several controversial women who straddled the line between the nudism movement and a career in burlesque/pinup. Perhaps the first of these figures was #EvelynWest, whose career began in the 1940s.
As a burlesque star, #EvelynWest became known for her PR antics. Probably most famously, she insured her breasts for $50k, leading to her nickname “The $50,000 Treasure Chest”. She’d later double down on the stunt, legally changing her name to “Evelyn $50,000 Treasure Chest West”