As we all remember (or maybe don’t), school was not just about books and tests it was also about all the fun activities you could do outside of your regular classes. For example, I was in Drama club when I was in high school. I was terrible but I loved being part of something that made me smile and was my choice to be involved in. I also enjoyed the dances because I love to dance and dress-up and I got to do both a few times a year. Win!

Today’s “Vintage Photo Tuesday” is all about this “life outside of the classroom” and features students from various levels of education and schools from the 1920’s-1950’s.

Let’s take a look!

vintage image of students at university of Chicago
Source: University of Chicago Archives

October 1949: Paul Macdonald of Gananoque, Ont, 3rd year drawing and painting student, paints semi-abstract still life with fruit while 2nd year ceramics student Nancy Snider, of Islington, Ont, watches.

n student life. Image of students painting
Source: Library & Archives Canada

Boys and their portable radio-1948. Lineup outside the Athletic office for tickets for McGill football weekend.

1948 image of young men with a portable radio in suits vintage university of toronto
Source: University of Toronto Archives Image Bank

A group of dancing Dentettes in rehearsal for the 1946-47 Dentatics musical review. While I’m not sure what a “Dentette” is at the University of Toronto, I do know it looks like they are having fun.

1940s image of university students dancing in a kick line, women
Source: U of T Archives Image Bank

University of Toronto-Alpha Phi Fraternity – members singing at the piano (1952).

U of T Archives Image Bank

The Athletes Night Big Dance at University of Toronto-1952.

School Dance at University of Toronto Vintage Image 1952
Source: U of T Archives Image Bank

East York (Toronto) Student Panel-1949.

1949 East York Toronto Student Panel Vintage Image student life
Source Toronto Archives

The Jordan River Revue was a musical variety show written, produced, directed and acted in by Indiana University Students (Source). Here is a group performing “Peas and Beans”, 1946.

Jordan River Revue, "Peas and Beans" ," in Student Life at IU, Item #355
Source: IU Archives

The Book Nook Commencement was a mock commencement ceremony that took place at the Book Nook, a popular student hangout in the 1920s located at Indiana and Kirkwood Avenue.  A combination soda fountain and bookstore, the Book Nook was known for its music and the sometimes rowdy behavior of its customers.  For many years the Book Nook played a significant role in Indiana University student culture (Source).

Notable IU alum musician and composer Hoagy Carmichael was a frequent patron (Seen below at the piano, 1939), and it is said he composed his most famous songs, Stardust, at one of the Book Nook booths.

Hoagy Carmichael at the Book Nook University of Indiana 1939 Vintage Image
Source: IU Archives

Dorm Life at the University of Chicago, 1950’s.

Dorm Life at the University of Chicago 1950s vintage image
Source: University of Chicago Archives

Hanging out in the dining hall with friends and cokes-1940’s University of Chicago.

1940s student life at University of chicago dining hall vintage image
Source: University of Chicago Archives

I’m now going to end this week’s VPT with the most outstanding vintage student life image..ever! It is from the 1920’s at the University of Chicago. WOW! what style!

1920's vintage college image of 2 women and man vintage style university of chicago
Source: University of Chicago Archives


I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘Vintage Photo Tuesday’. For more photos on student life, make sure you check out my last VPT on School Clubs.

Have a super day friends!



4 comments on “Vintage Photo Tuesday: Student Life”

  1. Wonderful images! They aren’t exactly fitting the stereotype of poor uni students in that last one!

    I choose to imagine that the Dentettes are a dance group made up of Dentistry students 🙂

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