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Say cheese: Contestants in the first ever Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, 1921

Posing in stockings, sensible shoes and sporting severe hairstyles, this is the first ever Miss America pageant.

Draped in the now familiar sash and sporting high necked, conservative clothing (although one wildcard is appears to be wearing shorts!), the contestants look somewhat prim and perhaps even a little self-conscious.

Snapped in 1921, the line-up could not be further away from the spike heels, glossy manes and bountiful cleavages of today.

The ladies in this inaugural line-up were photographed on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with Miss Washington D.C. (Margaret Gorman, second from left), declared the winner.

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The way she was: Margaret Gorman as Miss America in 1921 (left), and 2012's winner Laura Kaeppeler, right

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The pageant was first devised as a way to extend the summer tourist season in the beach-front town.

Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce President Frederick Hickman introduced the event with the words: "Miss America represents the highest ideals.

"She is a real combination of beauty, grace, and intelligence, artistic and refined. She is a type which the American Girl might well emulate."

Gorman, who was 16 when she won the first crown, seemed slightly nonplussed by the whole event, and apparently told the Kentucky New Era: "I never cared to be Miss America. It wasn't my idea. I am so bored by it all. I really want to forget the whole thing."

This year's Miss America is 23-year-old Laura Kaeppeler of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

According to her profile page on the official Miss America website, she is an opera singer, a National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, and dreams of attending law school.

We've compiled some key looks from the Miss America pageants throughout the years. Thanks to Reddit for bringing the first snap to our attention.

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  • 1921: Full-length portrait of the first Miss America contestants, wearing their sashes over swimsuits, standing in a line on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Margaret Gorman (second from left), Miss Washington, D.C., was the winner. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 1921: Full-length image of Margaret Gorman from Washington D.C. smiling, wearing a large Statue of Liberty crown and a striped cape, as the first Miss America, Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Miss America Pageant was first devised as a way to extend the summer tourist season in the beach-front town. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Full length portrait of Margaret Gorman walking on a beach, circa 1921. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images).

  • 1935: Eleven of the fifteen remaining finalists in the Miss America pageant parade across the stage in front of a panel of judges during the swimsuit competition portion of the contest, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1930s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Miss America Through The Years

    1941: Miss America Rosemary Laplanche, from Los Angeles, California, poses on a city rooftop, wearing her sash and holding a scepter. Two skyscrapers are visible behind her. (Photo by George Enell/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Miss America 1946 Marilyn Buferd crowns the new Miss America 1947, Barbara Jo Walker, of Memphis, Tennessee, as five other contestants smile, Atlantic City, New Jersey. The pageant trophy stands in front of them. Walker was the last winner to represent a city (Miss Memphis) and the last to be crowned in a swimsuit. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • Evelyn Ay (C), the newly crowned Miss America from Ephrata, Pennsylvania, stands in her cape and gown, surrounded by a court of six young women, c. 1954. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 23: Jo-Carroll Dennison, of Tyler, Texas, who was crowned Miss America for 1942, in the annual bathing-beauty contest at Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA She is 18 years of age. (Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

  • UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 10: MISS AMERICA 1955 - Lee Ann Meriwether, Miss America 1955, will crown the incoming queen on the MISS AMERICA BEAUTY PAGEANT, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 1955, from Atlantic City, NJ. , (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

  • Miss America Nancy Anne Fleming (R) attending Chamber of Commerce convention with 1959 Miss America Mary Ann Mobley (fore L) and 1960 Miss America Lynda Lee Mead (2R). (Photo by Donald Uhrbrock//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

  • 1956: Miss America 1957, Marian Ann McKnight (19) of South Carolina, being crowned by the retiring Miss America of 1956, Sharon Kay Ritchie, Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 1962: Full-length portrait of Maria Fletcher, Miss America 1962, smiling in front of a throne with a trophy after her crowning in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fletcher wears a strapless gown with a hoop at the hem, long white gloves, a sash and a tiara. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 23: Jo-Carroll Dennison, of Tyler, Texas, who was crowned Miss America for 1942, in the annual bathing-beauty contest at Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA She is 18 years of age. (Photo by Planet News Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

  • MISS AMERICA PAGEANT 1971 -- Pictured: Miss America Phyllis George -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

  • MISS AMERICA PAGEANT 1980 -- Pictured: Miss America Cheryl Prewitt (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

  • MISS AMERICA PAGEANT 1984 -- Pictured: Vanessa Williams -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank

  • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 17: Miss Oklahoma Shawntel Smith (L) is hugged by first runner-up Miss Oregon Emily Orton after winning the 75th Anniversary Miss America Pageant 16 September at the Atlantic City Convention Center, NJ. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTIC CITY, UNITED STATES: Miss America 2002, Katie Harman, walks down the runway in Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ, after being crowned at the conclusion of the Miss America Pageant 22 September in Atlantic City, NJ. Harman, the current Miss Oregon, is from Gresham,

  • Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler competes during the 2012 Miss America Pageant Saturday Jan. 14, 2012 at The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Kaeppeler went on to win the contest. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

See below for pictures of Miss America 2012's tearful win
Laura Kaeppeler, Miss Wisconsin
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