Teen Life in 1947 Iowa

Photo: George Skadding/LIFE Archives

Ah, the life of a teenager. Long before the era of Facebook, texting, and clubbing, there's the hopping soda shop scene. LIFE photographer George Skadding documented the lives of Iowa high school teenagers in the late '40s. Gosh darn it! They're so wholesome!

From Teenagster:

... when I saw these LIFE Magazine photos of teen life in Des Moines, Iowa in 1947, I was pleasantly surprised to see cute sweater sets, co-ed mingling (in cars!), slumber parties and even spin the bottle. (Granted, Des Moines is “the city” in Iowa, so, there ya go.) I stand corrected! That soda shop is bumpin’.


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A time when girls were sent away if they had babies out of wedlock. When being abused by your husband was blamed on the wife. When staying in said relationship was preferred to divorce...

I'm not trying to say there weren't the good things, everyone remembers the nostalgic stuff and touts the 50's for being the good old days. It's important to recall that the past wasn't the wholesome utopia.
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Ah, yes. Wes and RD must have attended a very prestigious university's history seminars. Their revisionist history - focusing entirely on the negative features of any age - has warped a generation by obscuring the positive ideas and culture that should be carried on from our predecessors. They've let the perfect become the enemy of the good and the West has suffered for it, forgetting who we are and who we truly could be.
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