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Youth Culture - 1930s - 1940s

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Jade Dowling

on 15 September 2015

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Transcript of Youth Culture - 1930s - 1940s

Youth Culture - 1930s - 1940s
1930s Youth Background
The 1930s saw the evolution of the youths, after a relatively stable period between 1900 and 1930.
Rates of juvenile crime began increasing in the 1930s along with the negative opinions. The youths sought independence and broke away from the 'norm' in their way of dress and music taste.
The youths were at the prime aftermath of the Wall Street Crash (1929) and were at the face of the great depression, because of this their ambition was lost and they began developing their own culture.
Hemlines were made differently to save material. Sports balls were made of inferior rubber. Rubber soles were a luxury.

But after the war, everyone’s spirits focused once again on extravagance and pop culture. Movies were pumped out, fashion changed drastically and sports got all of their athletes back.

Post WWII, cars started becoming very big and luxurious. When you look at them you can tell that late 40s cars were the baby stages of the awesome 50s cars we love so much.

The Great Depression,
FDR, the rise of Hitler and jazz.
The start of the second world war began in 1939 and progressed into the mid 1940's, the upheaval of World War II freed many young people from conforming to traditional parental expectations for their lives. Many youth left school to join the labour force or the military; others, especially younger male teens, turned the distracted state of many adults into an opportunity to explore the world on their own terms. Men that joined the forces also left a huge impact on the teens they left at home, this meant that they were growing up without full parental control, this then resulted in them doing a lot of the wrong things as they had limited people around them to keep them in line.

1940s Newspaper Headlines
To great fanfare, Winston Churchill becomes the leader of Great Britain in 1940.
Marvel Comics introduces Captain America in March 1941.
In 1944, multi-talented singer-actor Bing Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the movie Going My Way.
Ingrid Bergman won an Academy Award in 1944 for her portrayal of Paula Alquist Anton in the movie Gaslight.
In 1945, the atomic bomb was first tested in New Mexico.
German forces in Berlin surrender: The Battle of Berlin ended on May 2, 1945.
The end of World War II in Asia occurred on August 14/15, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.
Velcro was invented in 1948 in Switzerland by George deMestral.
In 1948, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
In 1949, George Orwell wrote a classic novel about a dystopian future. The book was titled 1984.

Change was prominent in the 40s. This can be seen explicitly through the headlines thta appeared. To racial movements, to popular novel being released, many things were there that easily influenced the youth of the time.
1930s Newspaper Headlines
King Kullen, the first supermarket in the United States, opens on August 4, 1930.
Bette Davis won an Academy Award in 1934 for her portrayal of Joyce Heath in the movie Dangerous.
In 1935, The Delaware company uses a thermal interrupter to invent turn signals for cars.
In 1936, Jesse Owens angered Adolf Hitler at the German-hosted Olympics by winning an unprecedented 4 gold medals.
In 1936, Joe Louis pounded the big German, Max Schmeling, to retain the heavyweight boxing title.
Volkswagen starts producing the Beetle in Germany in 1938.
Future utopia novel Brave New World was written by Aldous Huxley.
Kristallnacht: The name of Hitler’s order to Nazis to commit acts of violence against German Jews.
James Cagney stars as Rocky Sullivan in the classic 1938 film, Angels With Dirty Faces.
On April 20, 1939, Commercial TV made its debut.
Judy Garland made history singing about a rainbow on a farm in Kansas.
World War II begins in Europe in 1939 when Germany invades Poland.

This shows just how modernized the world was becoming, a world more adapt and practical for teenagers and youths.

1940s Youth Background
1930s Cars
1940s Cars
Cars in the 1940s were much more streamlined than cars in the 30s. Also many improvements were made to conserve materials.

Because of WWII, many changes had to be made. Shortages in materials like aluminum, zinc and copper forced carmakers to go back to cast-iron and steel. However, the cars still got bigger and more luxurious.

You can clearly see the transition auto manufacturers went through to get from the 30s to the 50s. And even though they were beasts, cars in the 1940s typically got between 15 and 20 MPG.

Cars from the 1940s in good condition, especially convertibles, are extremely valuable now. Simply put, they command attention rolling down the street.

Click on the plus sign beside the year you want to read more about below.

Fashion in the 1930s
Fashion in the 1940s
Fashion in the 1940s was a good mix of comfort and glamour. There were specific outfits that were meant for specific times of the day. Some of their designs look downright modern even by today’s standards.

Men were still pretty dressed up. Suits, ties and hats were commonplace in public. Women wore dresses and skirts — they still didn’t wear slacks yet.

Another thing that was common at the time was for women to wear were gloves. Preferably a pair that matched your outfit. Fur was very popular, as were animal skins. Crocodile purses, wombat collars, lambskin lining, and leather sleeves — no animal was off limits.

Clothes in the 1940s were very bright and colorful. The brighter the better. Women’s shoes were often one of three popular color choices: red, white or blue.

Cars in the 1930s began to become a bit more luxurious than their 1920s counterparts. For example, they included radios and heaters! The body design got a bit more sleek meaning youths were more interested in employment so they were able to fund cars.
Even though people were broke in the 1930s they still did not dress like it! Men still dressed up nice, sporting fedoras and double-breasted overcoats. The boys wore short shorts and tall socks. The women wore dresses and kept their hair close to their head. Fur was in and so were floral patterns. Makeup was chic and shoulder pads were very important until the late 1930s.This way of dress was a distinct way of identifying the youth, although money was very tight in the 1930s the youth still had a standard to maintain therefore their appearance had a large impact on people’s opinions of them.
Music in the 1930s
Music in the 1940s
Film in the 1930s
Music was a big part of the 1930 youth culture, it was a way of them to come together, the large influence of the music on the youth was a way for them to develop and finds other teens with shared taste in music. Many of the songs listened to by the youth became more popular than the artist who sung them, showing that music often had a larger impact on them than people.
The 1930s saw the development of technology, especially within the film department, the quality and quantity of films was much improved meaning young teens had more ways to keep entertained especially drawing the approach of the world war. Musicals became very popular for example The Wizard of Oz, his was a fun and appealing collection that enable youths to come together for enjoyment.
Sports in the 1930s
Sports in the 1930s were still as exciting as ever, with many records getting smashed. The youth were able to escape reality and the effect of the great depressions by joining clubs and teams. As with everything else, The Depression took its toll on sports. Everyone took a salary cut and all ballpark renovations were suspended. There was even talk of postponing the Winter Olympics. This meant that teens were limited even more as to what sports they could participate and watch meaning they turned to other activities to keep themselves entertained.

Because of the shortage money, sports became increasingly commercialized and took away the true purpose of sports for the youth.
The 1940s got swallowed up in World War II. Many celebrities went to war and this had a massive impact on the population.

Much of popular culture was entrenched in anti-German and anti-Japanese sentiment.

Still, the 40s brought us Jeep, the Slinky, Velcro, Tupperware AND Frisbee. And all of the Beatles were born in the 40s.

It is almost impossible to explain how much of an impact the war had on all aspects of life. You were not allowed to simply waltz into a store and buy as much sugar, butter or meat as you like. You also could not fill up your gas tank whenever you wanted.

Many items we take for granted today were rationed, meaning you could only buy the amount the government allowed. In some cases, rationing is the only way to make sure everyone gets access to thing they need to survive.

The 1940s were the decade of the crooner. Such household names as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como all made a very good living in the decade. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong dominated the jazz scene and were very popular among the youth.

People listened to music on the radio mostly, this was a popular thing for the youth to do when together and was a way for them to share interests and spend their time.
Films in the 1940s
Movies in the 1940s, like everything else at the time, were dominated by the war. However, instead of facing shortages like most people, the industry was well supported by the government thanks to its morale boosting qualities. This was positive for the youths in the 1940s as it still gave them something to do whilst their friends/family were at war.
Sports in the 1940s
Movies in the 1940s, like everything else at the time, were dominated by the war. However, instead of facing shortages like most people, the industry was well supported by the government thanks to its morale boosting qualities. This was positive for the youths in the 1940s as it still gave them something to do whilst their friends/family were at war.
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