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Coeducated: 1942

Coeducated: 1942

May 1942. Lincoln, Nebraska. "University of Nebraska during final exam and commencement week. Bob Aden studying with his wife in their apartment." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Family Circus

The Family Circus comic book just peeking out in the magazine holder is perfect. I'm sure these adorable co-eds weren't reading it. Leaves me wondering, who was the Family Circus fan?

[Comic book? - Dave]

I stand corrected ... never heard of Family Circle mag, though Wikipedia says it continued to be published until 2019.

Domestic dreamy

I'm crushing on the understated romance in this photo, since I'm sure Mr. Aden was covertly admiring Mrs. Aden's gorgeous gams, leg makeup or no leg makeup. (And I LOVE leg makeup ... I'm wearing Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs as we speak.) Another thing I love is Mrs. Aden's cute glass shelf and the charming little lay-abouts placed just so both there and on the sill beneath. And I want that Bakelite radio.

That sofa!

My great aunt had a sofa with upholstery like that, and it's very unusual. The pile is almost wiry, yet you could push it from side to side with your hand. Strangest feeling upholstery ever.

[It may have been some sort of scrunchy nylon. My grandparents had a swivel chair upholstered with the same stuff. - Dave]

Leg Makeup Did Exist.

I was an urchin during WWII. My aunts did buy leg makeup in a bottle that to my untrained eye did look like the real thing.

Those Old Phones

Could weigh a ton. My grandmother had one (from the 30's) and holding that handset for longer than a few minutes would give her cramps. They were not all that good at fidelity either.

A few observations

It must have been a nice day with the window cracked. Bob's shoes need a shine (the Navy will fix that) but otherwise the happy couple seem to be fairly comfortable. I note their own telephone which was a luxury not within the budget of your typical college students. Even a party line hookup cost more money than most students could afford. I am guessing that come graduation Bob will be off to the Navy per a comment on the previous discussion thread.

Apologies to Dali, a melting radio?

Being a native Floridian my experience with radiators is minimal but I'm told they can get really hot.

Keeping track of John Vachon

Over past months on Shorpy, we've been following John Vachon as he moved around photographing military preparations and military environments during the lead-up to U.S. entry into World War II. Now the war is on and Vachon is assigned to the Office of War Information. Here he is in the farm belt, photographing university students, one an MBA candidate, the other a liberal-arts major. The connection to War Information? The Adens' lives, like almost everyone's, are about to change radically.

Looking forward to following Vachon's further movements. (He stayed with OWI until it was shut down in 1943. He was drafted near the end of the war.)

A better caption

I don't know what this says about me, but my first thought for a new caption was "Bob Aden mansplaining the concept of in-group dynamics to his wife, Marion. Both are students at University of Nebraska." (I'm pretty sure that's a social psychology textbook.)

Nice leg makeup

She either bought the premium stuff or really had a good tan; silk stockings were NG by that time. Needed for the war effort.

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