The 1950s – a summary.

This is just a fun post listing some of the things we kids of the 50s remember which were different. There are many similar lists and comparisons available on the Internet but this is my version.


Electric plugs were brown and the cables were brown, cloth-covered and some were plaited.

Postage stamps had to be licked.

Baby teeth were worth 6d when the tooth fairy visited – 6d in ‘old UK money’ is equivalent to 2.5p in the current money system.

Spaghetti, cream, salmon, pineapple and peaches only came in tins.

Macaroni could be a pudding or a savoury (macaroni cheese was the only pasta dish I knew!).

Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves.

Olive oil came in tiny bottles and was kept in the medicine cabinet to be used for earache.

We all listened to the same radio programmes. Then, when TV arrived, we all watched the same programmes as there was only one channel.


Your dishwasher was the person in your house who was doing the washing up at the time.

People put iodine on cuts and butter on burns.

Phones all had exactly the same ring tone . . . . and they stayed in one place . . . . . there was only one in the house . . . . but not all homes had them . . . . and they were only for making and receiving calls.

We went to ‘the flicks’ to see the latest film.

Soap was only came in bars.


Birthday cakes had icing or chocolate on the top and some candles.

Beds had top sheets, blankets, eiderdowns (quilts) and bedspreads (often candlewick).

Cars had three forward gears, no reversing lights and no seat belts.

Twitter was a noise birds made.

Many children’s toys were made from tin.

TV programmes couldn’t be recorded.

Gay was a word which meant happy and jolly.

8 thoughts on “The 1950s – a summary.

  1. Ah good person..ya really did touch buttons with this post. The fuzzy cloth on the old waffle iron cords..i swear I can both feel the ‘slide’ of the fabric..and then..the ‘twitch’..of an undoubtedly ..semi broken the actual iron. Being a waffle family..then giving it up..for pancakes or French toast..right after the war..was not esp. fun. LOVED the nooks and crannys..that waffle buttering/syruping..and then..digging into, entailed! The teapots were a finn ceramic..and also a royal Dalton (sp) tea pot. The fancy tinted mayfair pot..came out when mom was making jasmine tea, and having friends over. That picture of a carton bouy soap? Yuppers..our 105/7 yr. old house..has the two my upstairs we speak. Now then..the extra caused by YOU! Why? I looked at the radio..and then came out ..looking for a philco/crosley/gen/. motors.type fit the one I have had..sitting, gathering dust..MUCH dust..for some years. I bought it for about 6 a thrift store..ages ago..because it reminded me..of the..war years. On the bottem fiber board says 1942. It was an elect. cord these ..kinda markings: G(?) 1212 (5 or 7) 3. I went my jammys..after serving my husband a microwave..jimmy dean breakfast bowl..and..dug into the shelving. NO actual name..and no old, glue areas..indicating..where an ..explanatory plate..might have been. So..there was so much layers..that I am like an ..under bed..nest of mad! Off to send my for a bath, a hike..and..muse upon the treats you have brought us all..around the globe,,today. You make of us all..’mudlarks’..on the ..river of history!!.

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  2. My Dad was a QANTAS pilot and brought us back tin toys from Japan. Mine was a working concrete mixer truck. I loved it and still wish I had it! He took us there in 1957 (I was six) for two weeks (what a privilege in those days!). The lovely staff at the hotel used to put our teddy bears into the beds when they made them. I remember he was one of the first people to buy a Japanese car in our area, which was remarked upon by acquaintances. Dad was awarded the DFC in WWII but never held a grudge against the Japanese. He carried out bombing raids of the East Indies, so maybe there was a bit of remorse involved.
    Also, as a consequence of his job, Mum was quite experimental with her cooking as Dad bought her cookbooks from all over. I still have the big steel wok he got for her!

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