Mission High School, 1938-1941


Mission High School is something of a historical landmark here in San Francisco. Built in 1896 (and re-built in the mid-1920s after a fire) it sits across the street from Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District. My grandma, who grew up in Noe Valley, attended Mission from 1938 – 1942, and I recently came across her yearbooks.

mission high school girls

Many of you already know that high school and college yearbooks are a great way to get a taste of real, every day fashion (and hair!) and see how normal folks went about their lives in their clothes. Classic films and old movie star magazines are obviously great, too, but there’s always that perfection factor and aspirational quality that isn’t entirely realistic. One doesn’t always spend dawn to dusk in silk bias cut gowns and marabou slippers.



So from these photos we can observe that in the late 1930s and early 1940s in San Francisco, it was all about tight curls for teenage girls. So many of them have a variation of a similar hairstyle: curls on top (maybe from a wet set) and more curls at the bottom. Rare is it that hair is longer than the shoulders.







And now for some menfolk.

mission high school boys


Oh boy, do I love old baseball uniforms. And the guy in the middle row on the far left is giving me some Buster Posey vibes.


Sharing a bottle of Coke with two straws. Who does that? These two, obviously.


Seeing this ad in the back of one of the yearbooks was a full-circle moment for me. Once upon a time San Francisco did indeed have a Coca Cola bottling plant, almost in the middle of town. In present day, that building is now a giant thrift store where I sometimes find things for the shop.


6 thoughts on “Mission High School, 1938-1941

  1. Pingback: 1940′s Bridal Book | dronningvintage

  2. My grandfather went to Mission high school the same years. If you could scan his photos for me, I will pay you for them. I can’t not find this yearbooks any where. This name in Frank Fuentes. Thanks, Kristen krimps@yandex.com

  3. The photo of the men folk combing their hair, the one on the left is my father. His name is Peter Misserian. He starred on the men’s basketball team and was student body president. It would be nice to know if there is still someone out their who knew him. I still can’t believe you chose that photo.

    Thank you

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