Sunday, February 19, 2012


Photographed in Webster Groves, Missouri, St. Louis, and Des Moines, Iowa, photographer Nina Leen captured these amazing portraits of teenage life in 1944. There is something lingering in the air in these photographs that conjures the feeling of Twin Peaks-- something amiss-- a cover-up-- something stranger and darker lurking just below the surface. The soft gray tones of some photos, along with stilted posture of some of the figures, give them an eerie feeling.

The original photo captions published in Life Magazine are below the pictures.

Teenage girl talking on telephone.

Teenage girl wearing tight sweater that is considered a breech of etiquette.

Teenage girl using clear nail polish to hold up her socks.

Teenage girl wearing standard outfit for school which is a wool skirt and shetland sweater.

Teenage girl wearing penny in left shoe for good luck.

Teenagers sitting in a booth and socializing.

Closeup of teenage girl's wrist covered w. six different identification bracelets which are as popular as the milk shake she is enjoying at a soda fountain.

Teenage couple "necking" in a movie theater.

Group of teenagers listening to 45 rpm. records as they shop for the latest hits at a record store.

Teenage girls wearing blue jeans hang out in friend's living room, eating and drinking Cokes, Des Moines, Iowa.

Teenage girl wearing multiple bracelets and a ring on a chain around her neck.

Teenage couple holding hands while watching a movie.

Teenage girl lying on bed and doing her homework.

Teenage girl wearing her brother's slacks and shirt.

Teenager Pat Woodruff pondering homework while listening to radio in living room.

Teenage girl wearing man's pajamas and rags in her hair.

Group of teenagers pushing an old car.

Teenage girl spending the night with a friend.

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