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19 Photos That Only Kids Who Grew Up In The 1950s Will Understand

The 1950s arrived shortly after World War II ended, and many thought of it as a chance to begin again. Some look back on it as one of America’s greatest decades. Teenagers were rocking and rolling, families would pile in the car and watch movies at the drive-in, and TV was finally in color.

Though political problems were still prevalent, the time period is usually remembered fondly by those who lived through it. Children of the ‘50s love to reminisce about that time, and these photos are sure to bring back fond memories to folks who grew up in that decade …

Photo: WikiMedia Commons/Tom Roy Hobbs

No, It’s Not A Dog With Tight White Curls

If you were a girl growing up in the ‘50s, there’s no doubt you wore one. The youth of the last few decades might have put one on for a themed school dance, or a Halloween party, but the ones who truly enjoyed seeing the poodle skirts in action again were their parents and grandparents.

Photo: Bradford

The Pastel Bathroom

There aren’t too many houses left with pastel bathrooms. Hot pink tile with white grout just isn’t as meaningful to today’s youth. But just as they’ve all been remodeled away, the trend will inevitably come back.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons

Swivel Away

Another trend that’s coming back – with a fury – is the Hula Hoop. All you have to do is walk down the block to see a hipster with a Hula Hoop. Kids of the ‘50s might just shake their heads and smile.

Photo: Gjerdingen

Coolest Cars

Cars in the ‘50s were statements. Parents showed them off to their neighbors, and kids bragged about them to their friends. Some had chrome-accents and others had candy-colored paint jobs, but nobody can deny the coolness-level of a 1950s car.

Photo: *Adam*


The sunken living room is another ‘50s feature homeowners of today are still trying to come to terms with. But, if you were a kid of the ‘50s, you’ll likely (and fondly) remember lounging in your perfectly manicured sunken living room, distant from the other, less-appealing areas of the house.

Photo: Kuchling

Jiggle And Wiggle Device

Before the treadmill, or the stair climber, or the elliptical, there was something else to tone the muscles. That something was a belt that jiggled and wiggled a woman’s body, until the fat just melted right off. Only ‘50s kids know if this machine actually worked.


Mc-50s Fix

There’s a McDonald’s on practically every corner these days. Maybe you don’t eat there regularly, but you’ve probably had food from there many, many times before. It’s a brand that pretty much everyone at least knows about. Back in the ‘50s, however, McDonald’s was just coming into fashion, and kids were dying to get their McDonald’s fix.


No Outfit Was Complete Without Bobby Socks

Cuffed, white socks might seem far out to the kids of today, but at one point, they were the height of fashion. Kids wore their bobby socks with shorts or dresses, and everything in between.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons/Karl Heinz Hernried

The King

Girls loved him. Guys wanted to be him. And he was the king of more than just rock n’ roll. He was a legend in looks, moves, style, and coolness – and he changed how those things were defined. If you don’t know his name, you’re definitely not a ‘50s kid.

Photo: State Archives

The Flooring That Will Never Be Forgotten

Many new homeowners are still wondering what to do with the patterned laminate-flooring covering most of their 1950s houses. At the time, it was the best. 50s kids remember it being installed in their kitchens or pantries. It was inexpensive going in, impossible to damage (or get rid of), and is still probably hidden under half the new floors in houses today.

Photo: Smith

The Rise Of The Color TV

We take them for granted now, but kids of the ‘50s could not get enough of the color TV. Every new program that went from black-and-white to color was a special treat, and any kid whose parents had a color TV was instantly popular.

Photo: Teutsch

Sporting That Letter

People were still wearing letterman jackets into the ‘90s, but if you sported your varsity letter in the 1950s, you were the real deal. And if a boy lent his girl his jacket, everybody knew they were definitely an item.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons/20th Century Fox

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

If Elvis Presley was “The King,” Marilyn Monroe must have been “The Queen.” She had it all, from beauty to glamour to the perfect figure. She was the epitome of ‘50s style.

Photo: WikiMedia Commons/Michele Hassinger

Drive It In

Today you can flip on the TV, click Netflix, and pick from a list of a thousand movies. Back in the ‘50s, it was a treat to see a movie, and you just couldn’t wait to see it at the drive-in.

Photo: Goad

What Is A Soda Fountain?

Today’s youngsters might wonder what the heck a soda fountain is. They might think it’s the thing you jam your plastic cup into, at McDonald’s, hoping to retrieve the soda you want. But ‘50s kids remember soda fountains as the best place to hang out, or take a date to, on a Friday night.


How About Some Tree With That Tinsel

Maybe Christmas Trees haven’t changed that much in 70 years, but there is one tree decoration that doesn’t make an appearance quite so much these days, and that is tinsel. Back in the ‘50s, families would douse their trees in the stuff.

Photo: Peretz

The Ants Go Marching

Ants are fascinating creatures. The work so hard, digging and digging away. You were probably young in the ‘50s if you remember having an ant farm to watch the little ants at work.

Photo: Brown

Spinning That Dial

Grabbing your smartphone and telling it to call someone is a bit different than spinning the dial on a rotary phone in the ‘50s. Though it took a lot longer to dial the number, there was a sort of rhythm and fluidity to the whole process that you can only understand if you’ve done it yourself.

Photo: A. Hernandez

Make Those Shoes Shine

If you grew up in the ‘90s, you’ll likely remember saddle shoe making a comeback, but it didn’t quite take like it did in the 1950s. Back then, entire families wore outfits with perfectly polished, matching saddle shoes.