Vintage Photograph From 1949 Shows Three Women Doing Laundry in the Central Park Lake

Dry Day, on which New Yorkers were supposed to go shaveless, bathless and laundryless, will probably go down in history as 'Dirty Day' -- but not for these three cuties, Copacabana gals, who observed the water-saving ukase and at the same time stayed next to godliness. They are shown rub-a-dub-dubbing their undies, using the Central Park lake for a washtub, with soap and elbow grease combining with the ancient washboard to complete the job.
Dry Day, on which New Yorkers were supposed to go shaveless, bathless and laundryless, will probably go down in history as 'Dirty Day' -- but not for these three cuties, Copacabana gals, who observed the water-saving ukase and at the same time stayed next to godliness. They are shown rub-a-dub-dubbing their undies, using the Central Park lake for a washtub, with soap and elbow grease combining with the ancient washboard to complete the job.

Our friends at local history site Ephemeral New York rceently dug up this great vintage photograph showing three women washing clothing in the Central Park Lake during a drought, on "Dry Day", December 16th, 1949.

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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