History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

29 January, 2012

Teenage Boys of the 1940s

A series of photographs of teenage boys in Des Moines, Iowa, 1945, by LIFE photographer Nina Leen. Is it just me or were they much cuter in the 40s than the 00s? 

On the bus. Source

Reading comic books. Source

At the soda shop. Source

Listening to music. Source

At the movie theatre. Source

Just chillin'. Source

Yes, there's maps on the ceiling, but there's also pin-ups by the desk! Source

The very important combed wave. Source

Typical teenage boy fashion, according to the caption. Source

Dressed up for a date. Source

"Loofing around". Source

Driving badly... Source

Er, playing with guns? Source

I wish this one had a caption. Someone's older brother wounded in the war, maybe? Source

Drinking coke and eating Cheezits. Source

Checking out the hair and withdrawing the indispensable comb. Source

Bugging the girls, of course. Source


Ana said...

I can't be more eloquent than: cuuuuute ^_^ !

Anonymous said...

These are great! Bauder's Drug is still on ingersoll ave, and is still a soda fountain too.

Anna said...

Ah, that is so cool to hear! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Cuter back then? They certainly dressed better and with more style than boys of today--even random, unposed photos of the era reveal that.

Anna said...

Hehe, yeah-- a bit of fashion sense and style goes an awful long way... ;)

Anonymous said...


maria said...

Ahhh I love the photos especially the last one! you're right the boys back then were something else ;)

Julie said...

^^^Agreed, agreed, agreed! The boys then were WAY cuter than today's boys. Everything about them was cuter! :) And the clothes....well, I'm speechless really. When I compare them to today's slobby jeans and nasty T shirts, baseball hats and the inner city gangster look of our present young man, I certainly long for a different era.....Oh to have been young in the 40's! :)

Shari Davenport said...

Without today's young men around back then to compare the 40's crop with, they'd just be "the boys" around like the ones we have now. Could be that the next couple of generations will become the ones we will be comparing today's with in a favorable manner! You never know, and never ever say it can't get any worse, because it sure has!

And if you check out the young ladies of that time in the same way, I think there's an awful lot to say about their appearance, sense of style, and behavior, compared to many of the ones I see out in public, and in pictures now, both in photographs, and in the media.

The nicely dressed, well groomed, good looking, well mannered young men back then were looking for young ladies with the same characteristics. Young ladies with no manners, no morals, no style and no grooming standards may have been the ones with the reputation for being "fun" on a date, but they had another kind of reputation too, and they weren't the ones the boys took home with them to meet the family. Or to make one with.

Anna said...

Oh yes--1940s girls may totally have looked at photographs of men in the 1890s and thought, oh, if only boys were like that today! And I'm sure in many ways teens of the time (of both sexes) were often just as immature and moody and reckless as today, just expressed differently. Still, given well-groomed, well-dressed, and generally polite emotional teenagers vs. those of today....

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