While some might argue that children growing up today have it no different to when you were growing up in the 1950s, all times have the good, the bad and the downright rotten, and if you are a child of the ’50s – there are some things you might hold especially dear to your heart.
There’s a lot to like about the ’50s really. Even though there were difficulties and troubled times, and the world has made a bit of progress since, there’s nothing like a little bit of 1950s nostalgia to make you long for it. There are some definite signs you were a child of the ’50s, a few of which have been pulled together below.
Kids growing up in the 1950s quite enjoyed getting outside. There were bikes to ride, trees to climb, games to play, and — if luck wasn’t on your side — trouble to get into. You probably look at your children and grandchildren and wonder why they spend so much of their time glued to tiny screens or trapped indoors all day without a desire to feel the warmth of the sun on their skin and the freshness of the air breathed in their lungs.
If you were fortunate enough to have a television in your house, there was only one box. Every member of the family would gather to watch that week’s episode of whatever was popular in the household. You’d do it at the same time — none of this skiving off into another room or watching it on catch-up at a time that better suited. If you missed it, you missed out, it was as simple as that. There’s something to be said for families who did things together.
A lot of meals were based around mince and it’s highly likely the kitchen was your mother’s domain. Even if she wasn’t the greatest cook, her meals were infused with love and for that they’ll hold a special place in your heart.
You know exactly how strawberries are supposed to taste, and remember sneaking under old Mr So-and-so’s fence to steal yourself a watermelon or two. If your family indulged in takeaway meals, it wasn’t going to be anything from the ‘golden arches’ or some fancy Asian restaurant; it was fish and chips on a Friday picked up by your dad on his way home from work.
The music of the ’50s was rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, rockabilly and swing. Elvis had you ‘all shook up’ and Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and others revolutionised the way we listened to music. Chances are you probably had a whole stack of records that you’d listen to. While streaming music today is the ‘in thing’ and terribly convenient, there really isn’t anything that comes close to the crackle of a bit of vinyl working its way around the record player.
You probably had a heavy Bakelite model phone. There were a couple of models used by PMG/Telstra at the time. There was one with a blanking plate in place of a dial, one with curly cords, one with cloth-covered cords and a wall model. They’re collector’s items now, and probably unable to be used.
You probably wince when your grandchildren present you with toys that have more buttons, sounds and vibrations on them than a television remote control. That’s because in the ’50s, all of your toys were completely unfussy. The toys you played with encouraged creativity and imagination — exactly what the children of today are being deprived of. You’d run around with your hula hoops, your Play Doh, wooden cars and Tonka trucks, or head off with your fishing rod and a few worms to the nearest creek.