Miss America is the oldest beauty pageant still in operation today. It was started in 1921 by a local business man in order to bring in tourists to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Since then, many more beauty pageants have come and gone including some with pretty hilarious names. For example:

  • Sausage Queen, 1955
  • Miss Atomic Bomb, 1957
  • Sweater Queen, 1952
  • And more!

Many of these beauty contests were sponsored by local businesses and that may help explain their mindboggling names and themes.

The beauty pageants of today are quite different from the beauty pageants of yesterday, as you’ll see in this gallery.

#1. This woman was crowned ‘Sausage Queen’ in a 1955 beauty contest sponsored by the Zion Meat Company during National Hot Dog Week!

Vintage Everyday

#2. At 18 years old, Gail Hooper was crowned ‘Miss National Catfish Queen’ in 1954, and in the photograph she’s holding a 56 pound catfish!

Al Pucci / New York Daily News

#3. These lovely women were competing in a beauty pageant for ‘Miss Correct Posture,’ in 1956.

Vintage Everyday

#4. She was crowned ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’ in 1957!

Vintage Everyday
#5. At the age of 19, Joy Harman, was crowned ‘NYC Donut Queen,’ at the 1957 USO.
Evelyn Straus / New York Daily News

#6. The West Side Fur Company sponsored this beauty pageant in 1960 and Julie Meade won the title of ‘Mink Queen.’

Nick Peterson/ New York Daily News

#7. In 1955, ‘Blueberry Queen’ posed in a tub full of blueberries while staying at Hotel Roosevelt.

Hal Mathewson/ New York Daily News

#8. Perhaps in one of the most bizarre beauty pageants, Cindy Carol became ‘Queen of the Anti-Triskaidekaphobia,’ which means ‘fear of 13.’

Jack Tresilian/ New York Daily News

#9. Sunny Austin at 21 years old became ‘Queen of the Pet Festival,’ in 1964. In the photograph she’s posing with a lamb and a toucan!

John Peodincuk / New York Daily News

#10. Jeanne Davis of Alabama was crowned ‘Sweater Queen’ in 1952 by The Wool Bureau and National Knitted Outerwear Foundation.

Hank Olen / New York Daily News

#11. In 1954, this beauty queen won the title of ‘Miss Magic Marker’! Hence, the two MM’s written on her chest!

Vintage Everyday

#12. In 1967, Darlene Larson was named ‘Outdoor Health Queen’!

John Tresilian / New York Daily News

#13. Eva Sloan, 22, in 1962 became ‘Queen of the Village’ (Greenwich Village) at the Spring Art Festival.

George Mattson / New York Daily News

#14. Paula Wayne won the title of ‘May Wine Queen’ in 1965. Cheers!

Frank Hurley / New York Daily News

#15. Jacqueline Petite was crowned ‘Queen of the Circus’ in 1959 at Pasilades Park.

Phil Greitzer / New York Daily News

#16. Kathleen Townsend was crowned ‘Laugh Queen’ in 1961, a pageant dedicated to help promote a national sense of humor!

Tom Watson / New York Daily News