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The Way We Were: Life Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s

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As previously reported, the Life magazine photo archive is now available online. The collection is estimated to consist of more than 10 million photos, many of which were never published in the magazine and only exist as negatives, slides and etchings. You can search the collection for historical images, and if you want to purchase framed prints, you can do that, too. We'll be taking a look at women in several decades (previously: the '30s) and today, the war-torn 1940s. The photos begin after the jump.

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Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s

Model showing off Lafaurie corduroy coat to group of admiring women. Paris, France, 1948. God, I love the giant, poufy hair here. And the collars on all of the dresses.

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Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s

Women & children models wearing inexpensive fashions. New York, 1945. "Hey Margaret, I'll be having a stiff drink later, can I interest you in one?" "Why yes, Doris, I'll need a double!"

Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s

Women protesting for a raise. UK, 1949. I certainly hope they got what they wanted.

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Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s

Crew cuts for women. US, 1949. Any of these would work now, no?

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Crew cuts for women. Alternate view!

Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s
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Two women riding their bicycles. France, 1940. Everything about this looks awesome, despite the cobblestones.

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African American women and white women working in the "Dead Letter" office. US, 1944. Uh-oh, the dead letter office, where mail checks in and never checks out.

Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s
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Student Carol Newcomb displaying the new American Look in women's fashions. US, 1945. Her swimsuit is great, but is that pavement really the best she can do? No sand or grass to be found?

Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s
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Women working in a gas mask factory. US, 1940. Thank you for all your hard work, ladies!

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Women jockey's leaving jockey's quarters for track. US, 1940. Giddyap!

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Chinese girl holding currency. China, 1945. This is completely out of context, but sort of amazing.

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American women playing bridge. US, 1947. An incredibly early version of "Bish, plz."

Illustration for article titled The Way We Were: iLife/i Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1940s
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Women sitting at a bar and having drinks. US, 1947. Margaret and Doris finally get some booze!

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Women truck drivers. US, 1942. Tough, tough ladies. And the boots! And the trousers!

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Nurses aboard Hospital Ship "Relief." Hawaii, 1940. That game doesn't look very fun, but I am loving the wide-legged jumpsuit and the polka-dot dress.

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University of Hawaii girls who are chosen by the student body to serve as Princesses and Queen in annual May Day ceremony held at the University. 1945. So gorgeous. How I wish this photograph were in color.

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People dancing at Rainbow Club U.S.O. Hawaii, 1945. Hmm, they're not really jumping and jivin' — must be a slow jam.

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Women's Club,Westport, 1947. Gossip & gin!
Life Photo Archive [Google] Earlier: The Way We Were: Life Magazine Photos Of Women In The 1930s

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DISCUSSION

brendastarlet-is-on-it-old
brendastarlet is on it

I have always had tremendous sympathy for the Brits after WWII. Unlike the States, things didn't bounce back for a decade. There was still food rationing and all kinds of shortages for years. Plus they were bombed, which we weren't.