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People Enjoying at France's glamorous Deauville beach from the early 20th Century

There are many reasons why Deauville is considered to be the “queen of the Norman beaches” and one of the world’s most prestigious seaside resorts. A longtime seaside resort of French high society, the Côte Fleurie has long been referred to as the Parisian Riviera since it is the nearest seaside resort to Paris. Besides villas and mansions, Deauville boasted casinos, horse races, luxury boutiques, a beachside boardwalk, and therapeutic baths. Its main attraction, however, is its wide sandy beach, which is ideal for sunbathing, donkey rides, aerobics, and other outdoor activities.

Deauville’s earliest records date back to 1060. During that time, the region was known as Auevilla, and Seigneur Hubert du Mont-Canisy ruled it. Eventually, Hubert left France to follow William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England. Despite its long history, Deauville didn’t become the region it is today until 1860. By 1860, Deauville was renowned for its horse country. Napoleon III’s half-brother Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny transformed the region into a travel destination. Before his death, the Duc built the Deauville-La Touques Racecourse, invested in the Paris-Deauville railway, built a small casino, and built a church and school. Suddenly, Deauville was no longer a sleepy seaside hamlet.

The Normandy Barriere and Royal hotels opened in the early 20th Century, and Coco Chanel’s first store opened. In World War I, wounded soldiers were cared for at Deauville’s famous hotels and casinos. Deauville’s market and trade sector also suffered greatly from the war, as merchants had to contribute many goods to the war effort. In the 1950s, Deauville’s paradisiacal aura reemerged after being destroyed by the national financial crisis and World War II. During the Second World War, the German Army occupied Deauville. German forces occupied or used villas, hotels, and casinos. Deauville and Normandy were liberated by allied forces following the D-Day invasion. In the 1960s and beyond, Deauville understood what it represented and played the cards it had at its disposal: myth and exclusivity.

Here are some fabulous historical photos of people enjoying and having fun at Deauville beach from the 1900s to the 1950s.

#1 Two women modelling bathing suits on the beach at Deauville, 1926

Two women modelling bathing suits on the beach at Deauville, 1926

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#2 A girl selling rubber toys on the beach at Deauville, 1926

A girl selling rubber toys on the beach at Deauville, 1926

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#3 Two children racing each other in a toy car and boat, along the beach front in Deauville, 1920s

Two children racing each other in a toy car and boat, along the beach front in Deauville, 1920s

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#4 Families in tracked Vehicles on Deauville Beach, 1925.

Families in tracked Vehicles on Deauville Beach, 1925.

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#5 The Pickfords Have Guests at Deauville, 1925

The Pickfords Have Guests at Deauville, 1925

(From left-to-right) Jack Pickford, Erskine Gwynne, Mrs. Pickford (Marilyn Miller) and Mrs. Frieda Rossen, on the sands at this most fashionable summer resort.

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#6 The crowded beach at Deauville during the holiday season, 1925.

The crowded beach at Deauville during the holiday season, 1925.

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#7 Young tennis player on the beach of Deauville, 1925

Young tennis player on the beach of Deauville, 1925

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#8 Lady Louis Mountbatten on the beach at Deauville, 1925

Lady Louis Mountbatten on the beach at Deauville, 1925

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#9 A Young Woman Runs Along the Shore at Deauville, 1924

A Young Woman Runs Along the Shore at Deauville, 1924

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#10 A young woman running along the water’s edge at Deauville, 1924

A young woman running along the water's edge at Deauville, 1924

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#11 A woman being filmed by cine camera as she paddlles in the sea on a beach at Deauville, 1922

A woman being filmed by cine camera as she paddlles in the sea on a beach at Deauville, 1922

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#12 Woman Swimming on Table at Deauville, 1922

Woman Swimming on Table at Deauville, 1922

The world's champion speed swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku teaching Miss Lura Anson to swim, while director Sam Woods and Conrad Nagel, Paramount star, look on. Miss Anson will lead a hundred bathing girls in a scene depicting the French beach at Deauville, the locale of a production soon to be released by Paramount under the title of The Impossible Mrs. Bellow.

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#13 The banker Otto Kahn with a young woman on the beach at Deauville, 1922

The banker Otto Kahn with a young woman on the beach at Deauville, 1922

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#14 A young woman reading on the beach in Deauville, 1920

A young woman reading on the beach in Deauville, 1920

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#15 A large group of people including many small children on a holiday outing at a beach in France, 1920.

A large group of people including many small children on a holiday outing at a beach in France, 1920.

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#16 Two young women wearing bathing costumes with a bath cart behind, 1920.

Two young women wearing bathing costumes with a bath cart behind,  1920.

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#17 French Seaside Holidaymakers, 1920

French Seaside Holidaymakers, 1920

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#18 A group of holidaymakers, several with nets, posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

A group of holidaymakers, several with nets, posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

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#19 A large group of holidaymakers posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

A large group of holidaymakers posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

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#20 A group of holidaymakers posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

A group of holidaymakers posing on the beach at Deauville, 1920

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#21 Swimmer on the beach, Deauville, 1920

Swimmer on the beach, Deauville, 1920

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#22 The beach of Deauville (Calvados), in 1920.

The beach of Deauville (Calvados), in 1920.

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#23 Swimmer on the beach of Deauville, 1925

Swimmer on the beach of Deauville, 1925

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#24 Deauville (Calvados), 1920

Deauville (Calvados), 1920

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#25 Boards and the new baths (Adda architect), 1925

Boards and the new baths (Adda architect), 1925

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#26 Games of beach at Deauville, 1925.

Games of beach at Deauville, 1925.

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#27 Deauville, 1925

Deauville, 1925

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#28 Deauville, 1920

Deauville, 1920

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#29 Deauville, 1920

Deauville, 1920

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#30 Youngsters relax on the sands at Deauville, 1919

Youngsters relax on the sands at Deauville, 1919

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#31 Children at play on the sands at Deauville, 1919

Children at play on the sands at Deauville, 1919

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#32 Deauville, 1918

Deauville, 1918

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#33 Deauville, 1914

Deauville, 1914

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#34 Seaplane on Shore at Deauville, 1919

Seaplane on Shore at Deauville, 1919

Adrien Levasseur by a seaplane designed by Nieuport on a beach in Deauville after an air race from Paris. In spite of 5 forced landings, Levasseur reached Deauville only to be disqualified.

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#35 Deauville Children build sand-formations at the beach, 1913

Deauville Children build sand-formations at the beach, 1913

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#36 Deauville, Young woman at the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, 1913

Deauville, Young woman at the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, 1913

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#37 At a beach in Deauville-les-Bains, Henri Molla takes off in a Leveque Type II floatplane during the Concours des Avions Marines. Molla won the speed competition over a distance of 250 nautical miles, 1920s

At a beach in Deauville-les-Bains, Henri Molla takes off in a Leveque Type II floatplane during the Concours des Avions Marines. Molla won the speed competition over a distance of 250 nautical miles, 1920s

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#38 A ground crew pushed a floatplane into the water on the coast of Deauville, France. Eugene Renau will use the aircraft to compete in the 1913 Concours des Avions Marines.

A ground crew pushed a floatplane into the water on the coast of Deauville, France. Eugene Renau will use the aircraft to compete in the 1913 Concours des Avions Marines.

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#39 Swimmers at Deauville, August 1913

Swimmers at Deauville, August 1913

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#40 Three children with a dog at the beach of Deauville, 1913

Three children with a dog at the beach of Deauville, 1913

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#41 Children on the beach of Deauville, 1912

Children on the beach of Deauville, 1912

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#42 A young woman wearing a swimming costume posing beside a bathing hut in the sea, 1910.

A young woman wearing a swimming costume posing beside a bathing hut in the sea, 1910.

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#43 A small group of people wearing swimming costumes paddling at Deauville, 1910

A small group of people wearing swimming costumes paddling at Deauville, 1910

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#44 A small group of people wearing swimming costumes paddling at Deauville, 1910

A small group of people wearing swimming costumes paddling at Deauville, 1910

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#45 A large group of people in their Sunday best on a holiday outing at a beach with beach huts at Deauville, 1910

A large group of people in their Sunday best on a holiday outing at a beach with beach huts at Deauville, 1910

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#46 A family group on a holiday outing to a beach at Deauville, 1910

A family group on a holiday outing to a beach at Deauville, 1910

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#47 A family group wearing their Sunday best sitting on the sand at a beach at Deauville, 1910

A family group wearing their Sunday best sitting on the sand at a beach at Deauville, 1910

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#48 A large group of people wearing the latest fashion on the promenade at at Deauville, 1910

A large group of people wearing the latest fashion on the promenade at at Deauville, 1910

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#49 A large group of people on a holiday outing at the beach at Deauville, 1910

A large group of people on a holiday outing at the beach at Deauville, 1910

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#50 The many pleasures available on a beach, including building a sand boat, at Deauville, 1909

The many pleasures available on a beach, including building a sand boat, at Deauville, 1909

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#51 A family group in their Sunday best on a stony beach at Deauville, 1908

A family group in their Sunday best on a stony beach at Deauville, 1908

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#52 A group of holidaymakers in swmming costumes padddling in the sea at Deauville, 1910

A group of holidaymakers in swmming costumes padddling in the sea at Deauville, 1910

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#53 Racehorses Galloping on the Beach in the Morning at Deauville, 1909

Racehorses Galloping on the Beach in the Morning at Deauville, 1909

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#54 Bathers on Deauville beach.

Bathers on Deauville beach.

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#55 Carpet dealer on the beach of Deauville (Calvados, France), 1930

Carpet dealer on the beach of Deauville (Calvados, France), 1930

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#56 Fun on Deauville Beach in France, 1910s

Fun on Deauville Beach in France, 1910s

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#57 One of the main attractions in the French bathing resort Deauville, 1900

One of the main attractions in the French bathing resort Deauville, 1900

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#58 Sand yacht at Deauville, 1937

Sand yacht at Deauville, 1937

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#59 Man on the beach of Deauville, 1937

Man on the beach of Deauville, 1937

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#60 Bath costume on the beach of Deauville, 1937

Bath costume on the beach of Deauville, 1937

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#61 Beach of Deauville, 1937

Beach of Deauville, 1937

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#62 Deauville, 1930s

Deauville, 1930s

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#63 Deauville, 1930s

Deauville, 1930s

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#64 Deauville, 1930s

Deauville, 1930s

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#65 Sand yatch at Deauville, 1937

Sand yatch at Deauville, 1937

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#66 Some Young Women having fun on Deauville’S Beach On July 7, 1936.

Some Young Women having fun on Deauville'S Beach On July 7, 1936.

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#67 Vacationers in Deauville on a toboggan on the beach on July 7, 1936.

Vacationers in Deauville on a toboggan on the beach on July 7, 1936.

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#68 Two hundred Parisian dressmakers (young girls) on the Deauville beach, 1930s.

Two hundred Parisian dressmakers (young girls) on the Deauville beach, 1930s.

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#69 A view of Deauville and a terrace, 1936.

A view of Deauville and a terrace, 1936.

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#70 Vacationers crowd the Deauville beachee, 1936

Vacationers crowd the Deauville beachee, 1936

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#71 The casino and the royal hotel in Deauville, 1936

The casino and the royal hotel in Deauville, 1936

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#72 Women on the beach of Deauville, 1936

Women on the beach of Deauville, 1936

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#73 Beach of Deauville, 1936

Beach of Deauville, 1936

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#74 Beach of Deauville, august 1936.

Beach of Deauville, august 1936.

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#75 Rhonrad in Deauville, 1936

Rhonrad in Deauville, 1936

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#76 Beach of Deauville, 1936

Beach of Deauville, 1936

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#77 Couple on the Deauville’s beach, 1936

Couple on the Deauville's beach, 1936

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#78 Deauville, women sunbathing on the beach accompanied by a Dachshund, 1935

Deauville, women sunbathing on the beach accompanied by a Dachshund, 1935

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#79 Two young women sunbathe, lying on the sand of the beach at Deauville, 1935

Two young women sunbathe, lying on the sand of the beach at Deauville, 1935

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#80 Contest of Sandworks on the beach of Deauville, 1930s

Contest of Sandworks on  the beach of Deauville, 1930s

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#81 Presentation of swimsuits on the beach of Deauville, 1934

Presentation of swimsuits on the beach of Deauville, 1934

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#82 Jackie Garai, daughter of Alexandre Garai, founder of Keystone press agency, enjoying a donkey ride on a beach in August 1932 in Deauville

Jackie Garai, daughter of Alexandre Garai, founder of Keystone press agency, enjoying a donkey ride on a beach in August 1932 in Deauville

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#83 Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

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#84 Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

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#85 Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

Jackie Garai on a Beach of Deauville, 1932

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#86 Holidaymakers at the French summer resort of Deauville, 1931

Holidaymakers at the French summer resort of Deauville, 1931

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#87 Beach at Deauville, 1930

Beach at Deauville, 1930

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#88 European Beauty Queens gathered at the antique beach bathhouse on July 27, 1930 in Deauville, France.

European Beauty Queens gathered at the antique beach bathhouse on July 27, 1930 in Deauville, France.

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#89 Deauville-Les-Bains and its Beach, 1930

Deauville-Les-Bains and its Beach, 1930

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#90 Canadian-British newspaper publisher and politician Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook == chatting with Vera Edyth Griffith-Boscawen, Lady Broughton on a beach while on holiday in Deauville, 1930

Canadian-British newspaper publisher and politician Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook == chatting with Vera Edyth Griffith-Boscawen, Lady Broughton on a beach while on holiday in Deauville, 1930

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#91 A woman wearing a bathing cap and suit plays with a ball on Deauville Beach.

A woman wearing a bathing cap and suit plays with a ball on Deauville Beach.

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#92 Members of the Deauville Club have their weekly breakfast meetings on the beach after a quick dip in the surf, 1930

Members of the Deauville Club have their weekly breakfast meetings on the beach after a quick dip in the surf, 1930

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#93 Masses of people at the beach of Deauville, 1930

Masses of people at the beach of Deauville, 1930

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#94 Rider On A Donkey On Deauville Beach, 1929

Rider On A Donkey On Deauville Beach, 1929

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#95 In August 1929, on Deauville beach, these three children dug a hole in the sand with shovels.

In August 1929, on Deauville beach, these three children dug a hole in the sand with shovels.

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#96 Woman on a deck chair on the beach in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

Woman on a deck chair on the beach in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#97 Children going for a beach drive in a trail towed by a tracked Citroen in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

Children going for a beach drive in a trail towed by a tracked Citroen in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#98 Two men in their beach outfit strolling in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

Two men in their beach outfit strolling in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#99 Children strolling on the famous Planches in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

Children strolling on the famous Planches in August 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#100 Little Grooms Of The Bar Du Soleil in Action, 1929

Little Grooms Of The Bar Du Soleil in Action, 1929

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#101 Little Grooms of the Bar Du Soleil, 1929

Little Grooms of the Bar Du Soleil, 1929

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#102 Society children crowd the open-air gymnasium at the new Deauville summer school, 31st July 1929

Society children crowd the open-air gymnasium at the new Deauville summer school, 31st July 1929

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#103 On the beach of Deauville in July 1929, children fished for shrimp with the help of a shrimping net.

On the beach of Deauville in July 1929, children fished for shrimp with the help of a shrimping net.

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#104 Young children playing on the beach in July 1929 in Deauville, France.

Young children playing on the beach in July 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#105 Women sunbathing on the beach in July 1929 in Deauville, France.

Women sunbathing on the beach in July 1929 in Deauville, France.

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#106 Young Women on the beach of Deauville, 1929

Young Women on the beach of Deauville, 1929

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#107 Dutch Painter Kees Van Dongen And His Friends, 1929

Dutch Painter Kees Van Dongen And His Friends, 1929

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#108 The Souvenir Shopkeeper, 1928.

The Souvenir Shopkeeper, 1928.

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#109 Walk of the children on the beach, 1930

Walk of the children on the beach, 1930

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#110 Fujita and Suzy Dorian on the Beach in Deauville, 1927

Fujita and Suzy Dorian on the Beach in Deauville, 1927

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#111 Tsuguharu Fujita on Deauville Beach, 1927

Tsuguharu Fujita on Deauville Beach, 1927

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#112 Major Coats and Madame Le Tellier, amongst the fashionable society set holidaying in Deauville, 1927

Major Coats and Madame Le Tellier, amongst the fashionable society set holidaying in Deauville, 1927

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#113 The beach of Deauville in 1927 in Deauville, France.

The beach of Deauville in 1927 in Deauville, France.

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#114 Young girl on the beach of Deauville in 1927 in Deauville, France.

Young girl on the beach of Deauville in 1927 in Deauville, France.

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#115 Holidaymakers at Deauville Beach in 1957

Holidaymakers at Deauville Beach in 1957

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#116 Nun on the beach of Deauville, 1950

Nun on the beach of Deauville, 1950

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#117 Sea bathings in Deauville Women and a child having a walk on a beach in Deauville, France World War I.

Sea bathings in Deauville Women and a child having a walk on a beach in Deauville, France World War I.

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#118 Sea bathings in Deauville, Women and a child having a walk on a beach in Deauville.

Sea bathings in Deauville, Women and a child having a walk on a beach in Deauville.

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#119 People sit poolside and watch as a swimmer dives off the high platform of the Olympic-size swimming pool at the MacFadden – Deauville Hotel, 1950s

People sit poolside and watch as a swimmer dives off the high platform of the Olympic-size swimming pool at the MacFadden - Deauville Hotel, 1950s

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#120 Deauville, 1950

Deauville, 1950

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#121 Boards and the bar of the Sun at Deauville, 1950

Boards and the bar of the Sun at Deauville, 1950

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#122 Customers eat ice cream on the terrace of a bar, installed in a converted blockhouse, on July 26, 1947 in Deauville.

Customers eat ice cream on the terrace of a bar, installed in a converted blockhouse, on July 26, 1947 in Deauville.

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#123 On Deauville beach, German prisoners of war line under the watch of English soldiers, 1946

On Deauville beach, German prisoners of war line under the watch of English soldiers, 1946

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#124 German prisoners of war line under the watch of English soldiers, in Deauville, France in 1946.

German prisoners of war line under the watch of English soldiers, in Deauville, France in 1946.

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#125 Tomb from a victim from the landing, summer 1946.

Tomb from a victim from the landing, summer 1946.

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#126 These German prisoners of war are cleaning some of the barbed wire and steel obstructions at the beach resort of Deauville

These German prisoners of war are cleaning some of the barbed wire and steel obstructions at the beach resort of Deauville

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