Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: PC 214

Photograph album of Lynne O'Neill, ca.1955


Photograph albums featuring model and burlesque dancer Lynne O'Neill who was known as "The Original Garter Girl."


  • 1955


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the photograph album created by Lynne O'Neill as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 folder

Collection contains one album of photographs featuring model and burlesque dancer Lynne O'Neill. O'Neill is depicted wearing fashionable clothing, burlesque-style costumes, and bathing suits. There are several nude portraits. In some, O'Neill is depicted dancing and stripping; she is also shown posing in a pinup style. Some photographs are taken outdoors at a beach. The album also includes two promotional cards for O'Neill's shows at the Village Paradise and Tony Pastor's in New York City.


Lynne O'Neill was born Elaine Jose Nolan in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 8, 1918, to Allan and Josephine Nolan. The family moved to Evanston, Illinois, where O'Neill graduated Evanston Township High School in 1935. During World War II, O'Neill performed as an entertainer for the United Service Organizations (USO). O'Neill worked as a model and a dancer under the stage name Lynne O'Neill, and began performing in Chicago as a burlesque dancer, where she developed a routine featuring her garters. She became known as "The Original Garter Girl." O'Neill traveled throughout the United States and Mexico, and had minor roles in musicals, movies, and radio shows. She moved to Lynbrook, New York, in the 1950s, where she continued her burlesque career. O'Neill was arrested in March 1960 for possessing and distributing nude photographs of herself, later serving four days in prison. She had a role in the movie "Secrets of an Uncover Model" and also wrote a column "Burlesque Backstage" for the men's magazine Man to Man. In 1972, O'Neill and her mother Josephine Nolan moved to Hempstead, New York, and opened a real estate brokerage office. O'Neill, working under her given name Elaine Nolan, also served on the board of the Hempstead Chamber of Commerce and was the president of the Country Club Estates Civic Association. She died on August 5, 2010.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2022-M118

The photograph album of Lynne O'Neill was acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Between the Covers in June 2022.

Processing Information

Processed: October 2022

By: Paula Aloisio

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from the Class of 1957 Schlesinger Library Fund and the Kim A. Bendheim Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA