150 years, 10 people
February 8, 2013 3:22 AM   Subscribe

The London overground is celebrating 150 years. There are these posters hanging around. Can you help me identify the different decades that each person is supposed to represent?

So, the girl in the flower dress is the 60s, and I guess the guy with the mohawk is the 80s but then everything else I have questions about.
- The guy in the green parka could have been the 90's (a la Oasis) but he's behind 80s guy so I don't know how he alludes to the 70s.
- The woman in print dress and the guy in front of her seem like they could both be 50s.
- Is the soldier from the first world war (1910s) or the second (1940s)?
- I guess the hologram is supposed to be "the future", so is the guy in the baseball cap supposed to cover both the 90s and the 2000s or just the 90s?

I know they must have skipped some decades since there isn't 15 people so I'm just trying to pin down which decades they are most likely covering.
posted by like_neon to Society & Culture (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
BTW, here's the image on the TFL site.
posted by vacapinta at 3:27 AM on February 8, 2013

Aren't they just in order, left to right oldest to newest? Working back, Matrix guy is 2000s, blue baseball cap guy is 1990s, punk is 1980s, green jacket Oasis guy is 1970s, etc.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:34 AM on February 8, 2013

Oh sorry I realised you said they HAVE skipped some decades, I didn't count them so didn't realise there aren't 15. For me it works for them going back to 1910s though, starting at 2000s on the right and going back, as above.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:36 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: EndsofInvention - Oasis is from the 90s, not 70s... so I'm not sure who that is alluding to?
posted by like_neon at 3:38 AM on February 8, 2013

The Mod (green parka) could date from the late 1960s - Mods originally wore them to protect their expensive suits from the elements (same reason they rode scooters - you were less likely to get dirty).

The mohawk ('mohican' in the UK) wearer is likely to be 1980s, but could be from the late 70s.

The soldier looks 1930s/40s to me.

Top-hat man would seem to cover much more than a single decade. And since this poster is about '150 years', why would they just stop at the 1910s anyway?

Is there any reason why these have to be emblematic of particular decades, as opposed to representing particular notable eras?
posted by pipeski at 3:39 AM on February 8, 2013

Best answer: I've spent a decent amount of my morning commutes pondering this.

The guy in the blue hoodie is wearing an Adventure Time baseball cap (AT first aired in 2010) and carrying a Miscellaneous Music Device with white headphones, so I'm guessing he's supposed to be "the present"/2000's.

The punk lady could be 1980's but could just as easily be 1990's or later (especially if she is headed to Shoreditch).

I agree that the Oasis guy is probably meant to be a Mod, in which case he does belong closer to the 60's. Although my dad (born and bred Mod) would have issue with the state of his haircut.
posted by fight or flight at 3:51 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

The soldier looks like WWI to me, from the helmet, so 1910s
posted by richb at 4:05 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think pipeski suggest a different way to look at it - dont think of decades as such, more eras.

For me the guy in the mod/oasis coat is about the whole (lamely named) period of 'cool britannia' which is when sad sack tony blair was cosying up to the likes of noel gallagher, so thats late 90s. But you would see that style in the mod period which is way ealier (someone said about their Dad and i'd agree with that, when i wear a parka he always goes on about the old mod days....)

mohican is about punk so is crossover from 70s/80s but youd also find it around now in certain areas.

the guy in the hoodie looks kind of hipster/urbanite so i'd say he's from 'now' but its also a look i assoicate very much as 80s intro to hip-hop look.

i think maybe its one of those things where the people behind the concept want people to talk about it and relate it to their own experiences/interpretations.

i really like it - thanks for sharing!
posted by moreteaplease at 4:40 AM on February 8, 2013

Best answer: Mohawk will be 70s for the UK. Punk started in 1976 here. The soldier is wearing a Brodie helmet which came into service during WWI but was still standard in WWII. However, the people are clearly in sequential order, and given that the Mod (parka) is definitely sixties and the lady in the orange dress is fifties that soldier probably is intended to represent the WWI years. Guy at the back is a random Victorian, I guess.
posted by Decani at 4:55 AM on February 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

Decani has it- mod = 60's, punk = 70's.
posted by anagrama at 5:35 AM on February 8, 2013

Have a look here - very much the same haircut.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:41 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think the woman in the print dress is the blogger Jenni Yesterday - I saw a moving poster of her in the same outfit and recognised her. Her style is 1940s but that style of print dress was popular up until the early 1960s.#

The guy in the cap looks like an 80s b-boy to me, but given that sportswear as leisurewear has been hugely popular since the 80s, it's ambiguous - I can't see the headphones but if they are there we could take him to be 'modern dude'.
The punk couldn't be anythign other than the 1970s - as others have said, it hit London in '76 and was on tourist postcard racks by '77. It's fairly rare to see a full-fledged mohican these days - if he were a Shoreditch kid he'd have tunnels in his ears and probably a shaved head, or some kind of steampunk look, as the only people you'd see now dressed like this are tourists hanging around Camden Market. It's a look that belongs to a very specific era, and one that had flown by the time Thatcher was elected in '79.
The parka guy is a 60s mod, and the woman behind him is a 60s dolly bird - notice how similar her look is to someone like Dusty Springfield, Mary Quant or Cathy McGowan; that type of bob cut without evidence of a more formal shampoo and set is a 60s styling, and her dress is sleeveless and untailored rather than designed to fit around foundation garments.
The chap in the hat and the print dress could be any time from the 40s to the late 50s - given that the Underground had a pivotal role in protecting Londoners during the Blitz, it makes sense that they represented this era on the posta.
The soldier behind looks like a WWI tommy.
Behind him - I'm not well up on pre-30s fashion so I imagine they are representative of some period between 1863-1914.
posted by mippy at 6:00 AM on February 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

Also, I wonder if the green guy is someone in a morph suit?
posted by mippy at 6:02 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: Nice. Thanks guys. I had not really heard of Mod (hangs head in shame as she illustrates ignorant America) so that's cool to learn about. I like moreteaplease's idea that you can make your own interpretations so I guess there might not be any specific correct answer (unless the designer stops by) so I'm must marking as best answer whoever is introducing me to some new historical facts that make the poster a richer experience for me.
posted by like_neon at 6:11 AM on February 8, 2013

You can see a couple of the passengers as larger images (and an example of the moving posters being displayed at some stations) here.

Those are definitely iPod/iPhone headphones on the guy in the blue hoodie.
posted by fight or flight at 6:29 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

The guy standing behind the punk is a b-boy, not a Mod. A Mod would have been beind the Dolly-bird. Instead, he's early 70s. Mrs. Sepia is the 20s, in front of the toff in the top hat. They skipped some generations.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:08 AM on February 8, 2013

A b-boy in a parka? Not unless you're running on a different definition to mine. B-boys are kids in tracksuits and caps that go breakdancing, surely?

The Union flag on the back of his parka is the giveaway, that's classic Mod flair. The haircut is quite 70s-does-90s which muddies the waters but that guy is definitely a mod. Mods were early 60s but there was also a big revival in the late 70s concurrent with punk (Quadrophenia, The Jam) so it's hard to date. The zenith of the dolly bird was 64-67-ish, Mods kicked off in the late 50s (they were the sartorial children of the Teddy Boy), peaked early 60s and died off in the middle of the decade, pre the punk-era revival, so I think they just put two 60s-type people together just as they seem to have done for wartime. I'm not sure they've thought about it as much as the people on this thread, actually...
posted by mippy at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Here's their Facebook page. It would be worth an ask. There's a thread about this cover image, with a few potential IDs. It's incredibly frustrating how hard it is to find an artist credit or any other kind of statement about this.
posted by Miko at 10:02 AM on February 8, 2013

Response by poster: I just sent them a message, Miko! Would be cool if someone drops by.
posted by like_neon at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think the green semi-transparent guy is the future and he's semi-transparent because he's not exactly here yet.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Quadrophenia cover might have been the inspiration--anorak guy 1973.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:01 AM on February 9, 2013

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