Victorian Teenagers: 1870-1901

Long before the term ‘Teenagers’ was coined in the 1940s, Victorian teenagers were beginning to get noticed for their adoption of fashion, or their working lives. Various photographers of the era set out to capture the youth of the time.

Two teenage girls in a countryside setting.

A fashionable teenager reading a book as she walked along.

Young lovers in rural England.

A group of teenage girls in the latest fashion. ‘Mutton-chop sleeves’.

Two demure young women posing for studio photos.

Three teenage girls having fun with a bicycle.

A group of teens on a woodland retreat.

Teenage girls working in the fishing industry in Whitby.

Three teenagers with a small dog.

A cigar-smoking teenage boy and his shy girlfriend.

47 thoughts on “Victorian Teenagers: 1870-1901

  1. All very fashionable. You Britains really having a feel for elegance and fashion. It’s missed here in Germany. Here in the area they are now back with leather pants and Dirndls, since some years. But in a very simple style. Not what is called traditionell valuable clothing. xx Michael

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  2. (1) If the teenager sitting on the branch thinks the photographer is going to take her out on a date her, she’s barking up the wrong tree.
    (2) That fashionable teenage girl is reading an old edition of “Fanny Hill” written by John Cleland.
    (3) Teenage girl: “You said you wouldn’t touch me with a ten-foot pole, so I’ll just keep carrying this one until you finally change your mind!”
    (4) When it comes to fashion, some girls are like sheep. They just wear what everyone else wears, like mutton-chop sleeves.
    (5a) “I ain’t Rapunzel, but I ain’t repugnant either!”
    (5b) Overheard:
    John Beadle, the handsome photographer: “I wanna hold your hand.”
    Virginia Grant, being coy: “No thanks. I’ll hold my own!”
    (6) “Wow! This is twice as much fun as my old penny-farthing. And it only cost me half as much!”
    (7) Those teenagers on a woodland retreat were happy campers until Leatherface came after them with a chainsaw…
    (8) Teenage girls desperate for a boyfriend:
    Teenager #1: “There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but so far I haven’t been able to hook one.”
    Teenager #2: “Maybe try a dating site?”
    Teenager #3: “Yeah, we should try to hook up online.”
    (9) Dog: “How did I get stuck with this secretive bunch, anyway?”
    (10) Back in the day, before Bill and Monica.

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  3. Climbing a tree in a long skirt…that’s enterprising! Some of those girls have a twinkle in their eyes. They remind me of my mum and her sister Kay. They were naughty. When I look at those faces I want to know their stories. Nice collection and glad you included a dog!

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