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January 2, 2020

Vintage Photos Capture Dapper Teddy Boys From the 1950s to the 1970s

Teddy Boys, or Teds, were a subculture of young adults wearing smart clothes partly inspired by dandies in the Edwardian era. Began in London in the early 1950s, it rapidly spread across the United Kingdom and became closely associated with rock and roll music. These vintage photographs will transport you back to a time when zoot suits, velvet collars, drainpipe trousers, beetle-crushers and Brylcreemed quiffs were all the rage:

London gang member Colin Donellan wearing fashionable Edwardian-style clothing on Clapham Common, October 1953. Photo by Charles Hewitt for Picture Post.

A group of teddy boys enjoy an evening out at the Mecca Dance Hall in Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.

A 'Teddy Boy' at the Mecca Dance Hall, Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Alex Dellow for Picture Post.

A 'Teddy Boy' dances with his girl at the Mecca Dance Hall, Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Alex Dellow for Picture Post.

A 'Teddy Boy' dances with his girl at the Mecca Dance Hall in Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Alex Dellow & Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.
A Teddy Boy lights a cigarette at the Mecca Dance Hall in Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.

Alec Cruikshank, a clerk in a City of London shipping office wears the full 'Teddy Boy' outfit to the Mecca Dance Hall, Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Alex Dellow & Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.

A young Teddy Boy takes a moment out from the Mecca Dance Hall in Tottenham, London, to show off his Teddy suit, May 1954. Photo by Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.

A young Teddy Boy showing off his Edwardian-style suit in Tottenham, London, May 1954. Photo by Joseph McKeown for Picture Post.

A teenage boy is captured lost in thought while leaning on a lamppost on Gough Street in London, 1950s. Photo by Times Newspapers Ltd.

A group of Teddy Boys sitting on a park bench by a huge tree as they watch girls walking by, 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

A gang of Teddy boys hanging out on the street, circa 1955. Photo by Keystone.

A 'teddy boy' shows off his suit to friends, 1955. Photo by Juliette Lasserre.

Two Teddy boys, one with striped waistcoat and the other with a velvet collared jacket, 1955. Photo by Juliette Lasserre.

A group of three young men stand on a street corner and model the latest in Teddy Boy fashions, London, 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

Teddy Boys hanging around on a South London street near the Elephant and Castle ABC cinema with nowhere to go, 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

A teddy boy wearing a typically smart jacket and quiff giving his train ticket to a ticket collector at the station, 1955.

Teddy boy Tony Reuter, leader of the Elephant Boys gang, 1955. Photo by WATFORD.

Teddy boy Tony Reuter, leader of the Elephant Boys gang, seen here having a pint, 1955. Photo by WATFORD.

A Teddy boy jiving at a jazz and hot gospel concert in Leeds town hall, May 1955. Photo by Carl Sutton for Picture Post.

A group of Teddy Boys congregate around a jukebox, London, England, July 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

Teddy Boys at the Thirteen Canteen, Elephant and Castle, London, July 1955. Photo by Daily Mirror.

A Teddy boy enjoys a cigarette the Elephant and Castle area, South London, July 1955. Photo by Popperfoto.

Youths modelling the latest fashion Edwardian suits, November 1955. Photo by Daily Mirror.

A British ‘Teddy Boy’ wearing the ‘drape’ suit, 1956. Photo by Daily Herald.

A group of Teddy Boys smoking cigarettes at the Rodney Youth Centre in Liverpool, April 1956 Photo by Daily Herald.

Teddy Boys attending the service for youth held by American Evangelist Renee Martz at Kensington Temple, Notting Hill Gate, London, July 1956. Photo by Keystone.

The Gateshead teddy boy gang playing classical music on the violin, April 1958. Photo by Daily Herald.

The boys of Stevenage in Hertfordshire beating their nightly battle with boredom in the town square, October 1959. Photo by Terry Fincher.

Youths in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, October 1959. Photo by Terry Fincher.

The fish and chip shop, the youths main meeting place in the new town of Newtown Aycliffe, Durham, October 1959. Photo by Finnigan.

Teddy Boys at a Rock and Roll concert at Wembley, 1960. Photo by PA Images.

A group of Teddy Boys on the front at Lowestoft, 1962. Photo by Popperfoto.

Young Teddy Boys posing at the Wembley Rock and Roll Festival, 1972. Photo by Evening Standard.

A teddy boy in Dublin, circa 1973. Photo by Independent News And Media.

A crowd of teddy boys and their girls meet at Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London, May 1976. Photo by Wesley.




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