Gone Fishing – Through the Ages – 1950’s America
The Second World War had finished. Men were back in the workforce and women were back in the kitchen.
Frilly skirts, a white blouse and a frilly apron were all the rage along with a perfect hour glass figure and a pair of stiletto heels. And don’t forget the red lipstick!
Any woman who wanted to please her man would be standing by her brand new oven, cooking up a nice apple pie to welcome hubby home with. Perhaps she would be listening to Tony Bennett crooning on the transistor as she baked or maybe she would be tuning in to the television set. Or flicking through the pages of a glossy magazine to see what new kitchen appliances were at the stores and what Marilyn Monroe was wearing.
A result of all this apple pie and homecoming was a baby boom. And a baby boom meant bigger houses. These were built in suburbs and Suburbia was born along with all the new babies. Cars were needed to get out of Suburbia and into the city. This meant more car factories and more jobs. The Economy was booming and Americans were spending up big time. After the rationing and the heartache of the War, people decided that they deserved to spend a bit on themselves.
Hawaii became a state of the USA and crazy cat young men started to wear Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts whilst Pop went to work in his grey flannel suit. That’s if the lads weren’t wearing the traditional boy next door clothes of pressed trousers, shirt and tie. The more rebellious youths such as Beatniks (poets and musicians) wore black turtlenecks and jeans whilst Greasers wore jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets.
Chicks could be seen in pedal pushers and tight sweaters or blouses and hooped skirts worn with bobby socks and the Oxford sandal (think Charlie Brown). Young people started going to fast food restaurants such as McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The Movie Industry started its decline. Many people preferred to stay in and watch their televisions. In fact, in 1953 two thirds of American households had television sets and by 1955 Americans were watching 4-5 hours of television a day. Comedies were very popular, and comics such as Jackie Gleason and Jack Benny were favourites.
There were still some popular Movies that marked this era and they include Vertigo, All About Eve, Roman Holiday and Calamity Jane.
Rock and Roll was just starting out whilst many people were getting into rhythm and blues. Parents preferred to listen to Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett and Doris Day.
Atomic war was a concern for Americans in the 1950’s as the Soviet Union began experiments with atomic bombs. Communism was also a real concern and Arthur Miller wrote the famous play The Crucible to portray his feelings on the matter (although the play was set in the Witch Hunting days of old America, the play represented attitudes and convictions of the 1950’s).
So, apple pie, bobby socks, giant refrigerators and winkle pickers. Those were the 50’s!