Thursday, May 26, 2011

You Can Be Sure

This storybook cottage looks like it's from the 1920s, but the ad is from 1951. Every light in the house is on, which felt right for folks in the post-war era, following blackouts. The 50s may have been dry culturally, but it certainly was a time of plentitude.


Anonymous said...

"The 50s may have been dry culturally..."

I can't believe someone with your appreciation of the past could write such a thing.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Hey, c'mon, I loved the 50s for the simplicity and post-war optimism.

But realistically, it was the beginning of the decline of many cultural aspects—the ridicule of realism in the fine arts, the sterility of advertising, the minimalism of popular graphics, the comics code authority that neutered comic books, the sterile newspaper comics, the death of the pulp magazines, the avant-garde elitism, the rise of wasp moral values, so on and so on.

Sure there were exceptions, there always are on both sides of the cultural coin. I mean yay for rock 'n' roll and stuff like that.

But the Eisenhower 50s was in no way a golden age of culture, even though it was a great time for the American family—almost every baby boomer has a shared nostalgia for the great time it was to be a kid. But since the 30s, MOST decades were a great time to be a kid.

Above all, I'm not saying the 50s were horrible culturally—just compared to earlier decades, it was . . . dry.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I misunderstood. I'm just sooooo tired of seeing the '50s trashed as a sterile Ozzie & Harriet wasteland until oh-thank-God the '60s came along and real life began.

And I'd agree with you on growing up in every decade except the one I grew up in: the 1970's. As Gary Trudeau once called it, "A kidney stone of a decade".

Love your site, by the way. You and Mr. Door Tree are daily stops for me.

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

It seems every decade had its share of kidney stones— sorry yours wasn't so hot as a kid, but the 70s were pretty good for me as a young turk let loose on the world.

Anyway, thank you, and yay for Mr. Door Tree.

Will o'the Glen said...

The 1950s have always fascinated me, for all of the reasons you tick off for their "cultural dryness"; mind you, I'm not saying that I LIKE the decade for those changes, just that I find it to be a fascinating (and somewhat troubling) era. There was a sea change in culture and technology in the immediate post-WW II era, and times of significant change are always interesting.

I also love this ad for the nostalgia connection to Westinghouse products. I am an engineer with a company which was part of Westinghouse Electric Corporation before the technology components were stripped away and sold off by CEO Michael Jordan in the 1995-1996 timeframe. For over 100 years the name "Westinghouse" stood for quality and reliability -- now it's just a cover for cheap foreign-made products.. so sad.