These 1900s Nude Postcards Caused A Scandal In Denmark

by Robyn Smith

Mary Willumsen took scanty photos of women at the Danish bath Helgoland and sold them as postcards in the early 1900s before police began to show interest in the kiosks that sold them. Working since the age of seven (she was a papergirl), Willumsen grew up around Copenhagen. She began taking photos of women, who always had their identities concealed (even when their nipples were not), at the bath in 1914 and stopped when she was arrested in 1920. Though they were deemed pornography, most of them were not—women at the bathhouse were behaving naturally, not erotically.

After her arrest in 1920, Willumsen gave up photography and pursued the equally as lusterous career of buying and reselling antique furniture. Mmmm, saucy. Here are nine of the photos that were so steamy, they were considered illegal until a court ruled the postcards were safe and dropped the charges:

fancy umbrella


hello boobs

skirt boobs

umbrella boobs


hello butt

 smiling boobs

better butts

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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