Remembering the things of the 50s and 60s… 230



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Today I’m feeling a little nostalgic, so I decided to go on a hunt to seek out as many of your memories from the 50s and 60s that I could find. I asked my mum; I asked my dad; and I got the in-laws in on it too and we came up with the most fantastic list of things that people of the 50s and 60s in Australia will surely remember with fondness.

And when you think about it, many of these things will never be known to younger generations now the world has changed so much.

But more than just reading my insights and looking at the pictures; I want you to share today. Please share on the Facebook page the pictures of the things that you find most memorable; and tell us in the comments what memories come flooding back when you look at these.

peppermint bullseyes

Peppermint Bullseyes – How much was it for a bag when you were a little kid at the corner store?



pippi longstocking

First published in 1945, Pippi Longstocking was a staple of every young girl’s life in the 50s and 60s… Have you taught your grandchildren about her?


happy days


Does the soundtrack to Happy Days play in your head whenever you see a picture of the cast like this… And do you think about The Fonze, or Chachie or who else?





Viewfinders… The olden day iPod for the kids born in the 1950s and 1960s. Did you have one; and how many film strips did you have for yours?


The tale fo peter rabbit


Peter Rabbit – No childhood would have existed without him.  In fact I still have an heirloom set of early editions from my Grandparent’s old bookshelf.








How about SPAM? It was an afternoon delicacy for my granddad, and therefore something everyone in the house grew quite used to as it was so important to cheap dining of the era.





Ladies in aprons – every woman in my family wore an apron in the 50s, 60s and 70s I think. And they were beautiful too. Do you remember your mother having a swag of beautiful homemade aprons or bought from fetes and fairs?


etcher sketch

Sketch and Lift – I am assured by my mum that there was always one of these for long car trips as a child.




It came along a bit later, but Grease was crucial to the lives of almost every single person who grew up in the 50s and 60s. Which was your favourite character?

matching mother daughter dresses

Mother-daughter dresses. Do you remember when this was the most fashionable way to go out and about?


our first tv



A TV that was a standalone piece of furniture. Put one of these puppies in front of your grandkids and they’d probably have no idea what it is. What year did you get your first TV?


roller skates


Rollerskates – Real, strap on ones that we skated on the path in, and enjoyed very often.





Your own personal record player.



pin curls


Pinning our curls in place with bobby pins to have them set in place, and covering them with a net to go to bed at night, so we’d wake with beautiful curls.


coin telephones

A public telephone with a dial and a coin slot. No one in this generation will ever know what one of these was.


doin the twist

Doing the twist, come on baby – the 50s, 60s and 70s would never have been the same without it.


the kitchen radio

The state of the art kitchen radio, AM only.


paper dolls

Paper dolls that you popped or cut out and dressed or redressed in outfits for hours. It was the ultimate in girls’ entertainment.


lava lamps

Lava lamps – particularly in the teenage years.


cap guns


Cap guns – loud shootin, gun powder-smelling ones with sheets of red cap paper


vintage glass marbles

Glass marbles – ones that looked really special and we could collect and swap as commodities.



Pennies – and how much you could get for a penny at the local sweet store.



Heading to Queensland for our holidays –  they make it look so beautifully inviting.


Musk lifesavers.

The Bee Gees

The Bee Gees:  Do you remember The Bee Gees as youngsters, or just as an older person?




The airline we all so fondly knew: TAA, long gone now. My mother in law was a hostess with them. Did you used to fly TAA?


phones with cords and dials

More phones with dials and cords, and this system above was considered luxurious!
sewing patterns

Sewing patterns – making your own clothes, budgeting your money to stretch for a special piece of fabric that you could cut to the perfect shape and tailor to your own body.  Such a sense of achievement in sewing back then.



Firecrackers were legal and so much fun, in some places.



exclusive to australia fordAnd cars… real, tough, grunty cars, specially made for Australia like this Ford Prefect A493A Coupe Utility

Which of these things brought back the most nostalgia for you?  I can’t wait to hear from you today with a bit of Sunday joy.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. used patterns to make own clothes, always had Musk lifesavers somewhere and coloured balls everywhere

    1 REPLY
    • My mother & I made all our own clothes, a habit I continued until I had children

  2. Bought some Choo Choo bars??? yesterday. Let’s see if they are as good as the originals

    1 REPLY
    • I think they’re just as good, Gail. I get them whenever I see them … usually in Chinese $2 shops or at service stations. And 1″ block liquorice! Yummo!

  3. marbles, omg they bring back memories, I used to play marbles with boys beind the lunch shed in Primary school. I had a big bag of marbles that I won

  4. Simplicity patterns and fabric stores with so much lovely fabric not the limited choice nonsense we gave today from places such as Spotlight and Lincraft.

    8 REPLY
    • Boy do I agree with this one!! I still prefer to make my own clothes but finding suitable fabric is a major mission! I remember in Auckland where I grew up, fabric stores were everywhere!

    • I didn’t like making my own clothes, it was a chore. We would make a dress on Saturday and then wear it to the dance that night. Would spend all day on it. Finish the hem, iron and then wear.

    • I can remember sitting in the bath, sewing self covered buttons on to the dress I was wearing that night

    • Yes real drapery stores and clothes which were sewn with decent cotton and lasted so much longer

    • Simplicity patterns!!! What a joy and sense of achievement making your own and the children’s clothes. Still love to sew, I have a stash of fabric I have gathered over years.

    • Never had much money but my little daughter was always beautifully dressed. End of roll remnants could always be made into a garment, cost around a shilling or two..:-)

    • We here in Toowoomba have a very lovely store that has been around been in the same place for years he still has fantastic personal service. Rather go there to get fabric although I really do have enough to use for a long time. Saba’s is the best out does Lincraft and Spotlight they have no idea on very little.

    • I still knit and sew although during our recent move we lost the bobbin plate to my Janome Mystyle 16 and I am really find it hard if not impossible to source a replacement. Ideas / suggestions welcome.

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