SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Flirty Dancing: 1943

Flirty Dancing: 1943

April 1943. Washington, D.C. "Jitterbugs at an Elks Club dance, the 'cleanest dance in town'." Photo by Esther Bubley, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

More Stockings

Silk wasn't the only material from which stockings were made. Nylons had omade their appearance before the War, although by this time were already unavailable. Rayon, on the other hand, was available in limited quantities, and women would forgo daily stocking wear during the week, or wear "cosmetic stockings" by painting their legs with a special leg makeup and drawing the seams on with either an eyebrow pencil, or a purpose-made seam pencil to simulate the presence of stockings, saving their one precious pair for weekend date night wear.
One of the major cosmetics manufacturers, Max Factor, even designed and sold a special holder for the pencil, so that one woman could draw on her own seams while keeping the line fairly well centered on the back of her leg, in case she had no sisters, roommates, or friend available to help her. It was rather ingenious, as we are generally known to be, and shaped like a spur holder on a cowboy's boot, holding the pencil in the center of the arch, and the holder shaped to keep it centered on the back of the leg.

Curly Hair

Must have been hot, dancing in all that wool. He reminds me of a young Benedict Cumberbatch.


I was going comment that since silk was rationed, young women would draw lines on the back of their legs to simulate the seam. Viewing the full size picture shows the young lady does have hosiery, see the small rip at the left ankle.

Ticket pocket

Nice tweed jacket with rarely seen ticket pocket. Proper length too.

919 H Street NW

The best-known Elks Club in Washington in that era was an impressive four-story building at 919 H Street NW, pictured here in 1947. I was razed in 1982, to make room for a convention center that itself only survived for fifteen years.

Young Kramer

teaches a young Elaine Benes to dance.

Wartime Employment

My late mother worked and lived in Washington during the same time period as these Esther Bubley photos were all taken. I keep hoping I'll see her in one of them.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.