Training Sarasota’s Sun Debs (1949)

Kodachrome photos of Florida's models undergoing training

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs posture training class at Lido Beach, Florida Date: 1953

Sarasota Sun-Debs posture training class at Lido Beach, Florida. Date: 1953

In 1949, young, single white women blessed with the powers to persuade could work as one of Sarasota’s Sun Debs. The Sun Debs were handpicked by local nobs to represent the Florida resort’s wonders locally and nationally. Learning how to walk, pick things up, lure sexually adventurous alligators and posing for photographs were the job’s demands.

On the other side of the lens was Joseph Janney Steinmetz, hired by the Florida Development Commission. Later he collaborated with his wife Lois, and the couple became noted photo journalists specializing in destination coverage of Florida and the Caribbean.

 

suns debs brochure lido beach florida

 

Captured on 35mm Kodachrome around and at least once actually on the Lido Beach Casino, the Sarasota sirens beckoned the sun-starved and aroused. shanoknowsmovies spots a familiar face on the cover of the above brochure:

Just to let you folks know, that cute little blond, in the Lido Casino pic, standing on the far left, wearing the blue one-piece, is my mom. All those other kids are in her SHS 1949 yearbook. She’s probably 16 there.

 

Sun-Debs atop the Lido Casino at Lido Beach

Sun-Debs atop the Lido Casino at Lido Beach

 

Title: Ballet instructor Ray Ross with the Sarasota Sun-Debs at Lido Beach, Florida Date: January 15, 1949

Ballet instructor Ray Ross with the Sarasota Sun-Debs at Lido Beach, Florida
Date: January 15, 1949

 

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs training session at Lido Beach, Florida Date: ca. 1949

Sarasota Sun-Debs training session at Lido Beach, Florida
Date: ca. 1949

 

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs being coached on how to pick up objects on the ground at Lido Beach, Florida Date: January 15, 1949

Sarasota Sun-Debs being coached on how to pick up objects on the ground at Lido Beach, Florida Date: January 15, 1949

Title: Young women at the municipal casino: Lido Beach, Florida Date: ca. 1945

At the municipal casino: Lido Beach, Florida

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs training at Lido Beach, Florida Date: ca. 1949

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs training at Lido Beach, Florida
Date: ca. 1949

Sarasota Sun-Debs at Lido Beach, Florida Local call number: JJS0010 Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs at Lido Beach, Florida Date: January 15, 1949

Title: Sarasota Sun-Debs at Lido Beach, Florida
Date: January 15, 1949

 

Group portrait of the Sarasota Sun-Debs: Lido Beach, Florida Local call number: JJS1927 Title: Group portrait of the Sarasota Sun-Debs: Lido Beach, Florida Date: ca. 1950 General Note: The Sarasota Sun-Debs originally organized in 1949. The young women who participated received modeling training and were featured in locally and nationally distributed photographs of Florida beach scenes.

The Sarasota Sun Debs: Lido Beach, Florida

Via: State Library and Archives of Florida