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On The Day: The First Ever International Beauty Pageant - Born In Kent

13/08/2013 22:03 BST | Updated 13/10/2013 10:12 BST
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Contestants in an International Beauty Show from; left to right, Misses England, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain, on Folkestone Pier. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Glossy pouts, harispray and swimsuit rounds seem a long way from this image of the first international beauty contest in Britain, which was held at the Pier Hippodrome in Folkestone, Kent, 105 years ago.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of the first ever international beauty pageant, invented by Edwardian entrepreneur Robert Forsyth, the managing director of the Pier.

The first winner was Nellie Jarman from London, who became Miss Folkestone 1908.

The image of the pageant shows Misses England, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Spain, dressed in their finest

Feminist anger at the objectification of women was felt keenly, even in the Edwardian era.

The Folkestone Express reported the next day that:"The two front rows in the stalls were occupied by "Suffragettes". They each wore a large sailor hat with a red band on which the legend appeared "Votes for Women!".