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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.


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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.

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