Step back to the decade post World War II, when poodle skirts twirled at sock hops, Elvis Presley ruled the radio, and television was in its infancy – welcome to the fabulous 1950s. This era left an indelible mark on those who lived through it; they can still recall the unique sights, sounds, and experiences of the time as if they were yesterday.
This article is a nostalgic journey, chronicling the 15 quintessential things only those who lived in the 1950s will remember. So, let’s get on our penny loafers and walk down memory lane.
Calling Your Friends on a Rotary Phone
Rotary phones were the only way to make a call in the 1950s. You would dial by turning the rotary dial and waiting for it to spin back before dialing each number. It could take a while, and you had to ensure you dialed the correct numbers, or else you wouldn’t get connected.
Watching TV Without Remote Control
In the 1950s, TV sets didn’t have a remote control. To change channels, you had to get off the couch and manually adjust the dials on the back of the set. These televisions seem stressful now, but they were considered more advanced, ideal, and fun.
Driving Without Seatbelts
Seatbelts did not become mandatory in cars until the mid-1960s. People drove without any seatbelts or other safety features, leaving passengers vulnerable to serious injury in the event of an accident. Drivers in the 1950s had to be extra cautious, as even low-speed collisions could cause bodily harm.
Watching TV in Black & White
The first color television broadcasts were available in the 1950s, but most people still had to make do with a black-and-white set. While some shows like “I Love Lucy” were broadcast in color, these sets were too expensive for most Americans until the 1960s.
Dressing Up in a Poodle Skirt
The iconic poodle skirt was one of the most popular fashion trends in the 1950s. It was designed with an embroidered poodle appliqué, a wide waistband, and a full circle skirt made from wool or felt fabric. Girls could choose to accessorize their skirts with colorful scarves and bobby socks.
Going to Drive-In Movies
Drive-in theaters were a popular entertainment destination in the 1950s. People would drive out to the theater and pack their cars to watch a movie projected on a large outdoor screen while still in their vehicles. Theaters usually sold snacks like popcorn and candy, making it an all-around fun experience.
Getting Your First Color Television Set
Color Televisions were expensive during the 1950s, so it was a big deal when someone got their first color set. These first models were bulky and costly, with a limited selection of channels, but they allowed people to watch their favorite shows in full color for the first time.
The Hula Hoop was one of the biggest toy crazes of the 1950s. It was a simple toy with an inexpensive plastic hoop that you could spin around your body to create a rhythmic pattern. Kids and adults enjoyed this simple yet exciting pastime and often gathered in groups to see who could keep the hoop spinning the longest.
Cars in the 1950s were often decorated with shiny chrome accents, from bumper guards to grille inserts and more. These chrome accents gave cars a flashy look that was popular at the time, although it was not always practical. The chrome could rust or corrode quickly, leading to repair costs down the line.
Going to McDonald’s for the First Time
McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast-food chain, began in the 1940s with a single restaurant in San Bernardino, California. It quickly gained popularity for serving affordable and delicious hamburgers to hungry customers. For many Americans, their first fast food experience was at McDonald’s in the 1950s.
Worshipping All Things Elvis
Elvis Presley, the “king of rock and roll,” rose to fame in the 1950s. He instantly impacted popular culture, becoming one of the most famous people in the world. Elvis was worshipped as a god by some of his devoted fans, and his music has continued to influence generations even today.
Proudly Wearing a Varsity Letter
Varsity letters were a popular accessory in the 1950s. Students who had earned one for their academics, athletics, or other activities wore them proudly as symbols of achievement. They were often made from felt or wool with bright colors to make them even more noticeable.
Being in Awe of Marilyn
Monroe Marilyn Monroe was one of the most iconic stars of the 1950s. Her beautiful face and memorable performances made her a Hollywood legend, and she inspired generations of women to pursue their dreams. People worldwide admired her beauty and charisma, making her a beloved figure even today.
Spending Weekends at Your Local Drive-In
Drive-in movies were a popular activity for people in the 1950s. People often spend their weekends at the local drive-in, having a picnic dinner with friends and then settling in to watch the latest blockbuster on the big screen. It was an affordable and exciting outing that all ages could enjoy.
Local Soda Fountain
Soda fountains were the go-to place to get a sweet treat in the 1950s. Customers could choose from various sodas, milkshakes, and ice cream sundaes. Live entertainment, like piano players or jukeboxes, added more fun and relaxation to the atmosphere. Many still remember these classic soda shops fondly today.
More From Inspired by Insiders
Everyone wants respect, yet only some earn it. Your attitude and behavior can be the deciding factor in whether or not people respect you. Respect isn’t just about what you do; it’s also about how you present yourself and interact with others. Don’t do these things, and people will respect you.
11 Things Boomers Need to Stop Saying to Millennials
The generational differences between Baby Boomers and Millennials can often make communication difficult. Even with the best of intentions, there are certain things that Boomers should avoid saying to Millennials to maintain a respectful relationship. What are they?
15 Things Only People Who Lived in the 1970s Will Remember
Whether you grew up in the United States or abroad, there was something special about this time that many people fondly remember. From extraordinary fashion trends to iconic music, here are 15 things that only people who lived in the 1970s will remember.
10 Things to Never Buy at a Thrift Store
Thrift stores offer excellent opportunities to find unique and valuable items at a bargain, but they also can be a source of unwanted items and expensive mistakes. To help you avoid the latter, here are ten things that should never make their way into your home from a thrift store, no matter how low their prices are.
25 Bad Habits to Quit Now
We all have bad habits, some of which can be incredibly difficult to break, but it’s possible with the right steps. The first step is recognizing the habit you want to quit before resolving to make a change. Here are 25 bad habits you need to quit right now!
This article was produced on Inspired by Insiders.