Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tags and Numbers -Some Nudist History

Now for something a bit different on a Tuesday, the Bare Platypus brings you a few items of history, as well as a question or two.

In some of the photographs that you may find on a nudist blog, nudidt  newspaper, or magazine, you'll see people wearing brightly colored plastic, or even wooden tags on a neckchain or string.  Usually circular in shape, these were a tradition in many nude clubs and events to show that you had paid the admission fee.

In addition to their proof-of-payment function, the tags were quite collectible. Some nudists carried long strands of them as conversation pieces about the  many places and events they had attended.

There may be a few clubs and nude conventions  that still use tags, but many have been replaced by colored wristbands that may include unique numbers that the nudist may use to charge food and beverages. More functional, albeit a bit less collectible than the discs, perhaps.

At least when you see either in an image, you'll know what they were for.  But just to show that the Platypus doesn't know every bit of nudist lore, we'll admit to being puzzled by a different "totem" in many old photos.

In those, various persons have a number painted on their arm... usually a single digit.  We assume these were to mark contestants in sporting or... ahem... "talent" competitions (pageants) that used to take place.  However, the numbers do not always appear on swimmers perched on starting blocks, or the king and queen of a contest on a stage and we confess we do not know from first hand experience how they were used. Surely the numbers of attendees to conventions exceeded single digits so the numbers weren't used to track general attendance.

Perhaps one of our readers can share what they know.  Our experience goes back to about 1990 and we don't recall painted numbers on arms at that point.