Girl Gangs UK & US
November 16, 2017 4:41 PM   Subscribe

Teddy Girls and Drag Racers. The Teddy Girls had their own style but were often overshadowed by the Teddy Boys. This is a short photo-essay on the girls. Next, we have a photo-essay on a girls' drag-racing team, the Dragettes of the Kansas City Timing Association drag strip in the 1950s. They preferred convertibles and they worked as their own mechanics, too. The Dragettes
posted by MovableBookLady (6 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Photos by Ken Russell!
posted by jonp72 at 4:52 PM on November 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

Cool links. My mom, who is 76, was in a "girl gang" or club back when she was in High School, called the Deb-Ettes. They were a social club, but wore club affiliated insignia. They did dance routines, and performed at talent shows, in high schools along with 100 other, different but similar "girl gangs" back in Chicago in the late 50s. They even had calling cards, which the clubs traded back and forth.

According to my parents (my dad was a greaser, cigarettes rolled in his sleeve and everything) almost all high school kids belonged to some sort of organized gang/club that had nothing to do with the school. Maybe some were naughty, some criminal, some totally pure. But the whole idea of a gang (like in West Side Story, but those were rough neighborhoods) was different then it is today.

This is an interesting topic.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 4:54 PM on November 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

Adding to that: My grandparents and great grandparents all belonged to one sort of service group or another. My G Grandfather was a Mason (some subset) and his wife, my G Grandmother was an "Eastern Star" which was equivalent type of organization, but for ladies. She even has — and I swear I'm not making this up— an "inverted" 5-pointed star on her tombstone:

Anyway, I think the idea of self-organized "gangs" or clubs was far more widespread back then. I'm sure there was some post WW2 youth-panic that decided to call the young ones "bad" gang members.

The Teddy Girls thing is great, and I hope I'm not thread shitting, but there were probably thousands of these different "gangs" back then, each with its own quirks, interests and personality.

All lower middle class folks, BTW
posted by jeff-o-matic at 5:02 PM on November 16, 2017 [2 favorites]

My entire life, I have aspired to starting a movement that provokes a response which requires signs reading something like:

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:02 PM on November 16, 2017 [8 favorites]

The Queen of England also tinkered with auto mechanics when she was young, different context.
posted by ovvl at 8:06 PM on November 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

What cool pictures! Thanks for posting!
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:17 AM on November 19, 2017

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