Wake Up Little Susie: Vintage Photos That Show Styles of Teenagers in the 1950s
The term ‘teenager’ was first introduced to the American public in the 1940s as a moniker coined by advertising executives looking to sell their products to a new audience.
The concept of a distinct ‘youth culture’ had begun to develop in the 1920s, but throughout the Great Depression and World War II, young Americans were expected to put aside any frivolous activities or unnecessary spending for the sake of the nation’s well-being.
The 1950s were marked by the emergence of a distinct teen culture. Seeking to distance themselves from the culture of their parents, teenagers turned to rock and roll music and youth-oriented television programs and movies—all packaged for them through new marketing strategies targeting their demographic.