Would you do laundry in the Central Park lake?

Would you wash your clothes by hand in the lake in Central Park? These three women did it, and they had a reason.

December 16, 1949—the day the photo was taken—was “dry Friday” in New York City. Thanks to a severe drought that left upstate reservoirs at 34 percent capacity, city residents were forbidden to shave, bathe, or do any other activity that day if it required water.

These three women—Copacabana girls, part of the East Side nightclub’s famous chorus girl lineup, per the caption on the photo—are demonstrating their patriotic duty to do laundry without any running water.

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2 Responses to “Would you do laundry in the Central Park lake?”

  1. Zoe Says:

    We’ll probably be doing this again… when/if things get really apocalyptic. (If there is still water… or people). In the meantime I really want a pair of highwaisted trousers like the ones on the girl in the middle! (Again. I had a pair exactly like these from the 40s I bought vintage in the 70s…).

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    The fashion fan in me actually noted the same thing about those high trousers. Very trendy now too!

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