Vintage High School Photos From The 1950s Show How Different Life Was Then Compared To Now

Talk about a blast from the past! Though these 1950s high school photos are only from a couple of generations ago, they could so easily be from another planet altogether — that’s how much the world’s changed in the past seven decades or so. Read on to find out just what it was like to be a teenager 70 years in the past.

40. Drum majorettes

Here’s that staple of 1950s high schools: the drum majorette troupe. These ones are representing the Oak Ridge High School. Oak Ridge and its school have a particular, and secretive, back-story. Both city and school were founded during WWII by the Army Corps of Engineers. Its scientists were working on the Manhattan Project — the massive confidential research effort that went into the manufacture of atomic bombs.

39. Monterey Union High School

It’s 1950, and we’re at the Monterey Union High School in the Californian city of that name. The occasion is a dance held in the school gym, and it looks like it was time for a slow number. The stylish outfits and smart hairstyles resolutely scream 1950s. We wonder how many of the dancing couples ended up as long-term items?

38. Brooklyn High School

When we first uncovered this bizarre shot from 1953, we thought we’d stumbled across an old image of a fun fair. But we were entirely wrong. In fact, this is a deadly serious driver’s ed class. Sat in the weird immobile cars, these students of New York’s Brooklyn High School are looking at a screen showing a highway with traffic. The stationary vehicles were Aetna Drivotrainers. How effective this method of learning to drive was remains on open question.

37. Some very spruce students

These beautifully scrubbed and fastidiously dressed students hang out in front of their unidentified alma mater. A white blazer, Argyle socks, a bow-tie, and a plaid dress make for a flawless picture. We have to ask: was this photograph posed for the school prospectus? That’d explain the almost painful perfection of the image.