Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! 1955!

Well, here I am, January 1 1955. Well, at least that is what I am going to tell myself.

I am not sure if it is a good idea to choose a particular year. In fact, I may find I need to use things up to 1959, merely due to the quanity of items I can find. But, for all intents and purposes it is 1955. I think by trying to ground myself into that year, it will allow me to have a sort of solid framework to each day. I can read magazines up to that time and anything from that year I can imagine they are now just happening, the news if u will.

I see from some research that this month in 1955 will result some of the following: Scrabble will be introduced this month. We will see our president, Eisenhower, for the first time televised. Russia will end it's 'state of war' with Germany. The submarine Nautilus will begin its first nuclea- powered voyage. The "Ballad of Davy Crockett" becomes the number one hit in march. Churchill resigns as British Prime Minister to be replaced by ANthony Eden. Ray Kroc starts McDOnald's chain this year in Illinois in April. In May Micky Mantel will hit three consecutive home runs. The list goes on. Perhaps with this research I can mention what is of 'note' for a day that I am blogging to coincide with 1955. IF that would be of interest to anyone?

I also have a quandry. I, obviously have to use the computer to blog, but am wondering if I might not be wiser to have my husband type it in for me. Oh, yes, someone asked if my husband was on board, and yes he is. He is quite supportive in all things. He currently works while I stay home, so that will be the same. I will be preparing ALL meals and doing all laundry and housework, unless he wants to pitch in, but honestly I am going to probably only have him help occasionally with drying dishes. I often saw this done on 'leave it to beaver', not that that is a very accurate portrayal of the 1950's, but in my magazines I have also seen that a husband would have helped to be nice. Many men were around the home more in the 1950's. Another cultural phenomena. I am going to watch any relevant 'tv' on a dvd player on our small tv. I have burned copies and also bought copies of various shows. I have also burned copies of old commercials from tv, as I think the advertising of the time was rather important. It was really the beginning of such propaganda that still exists into today.

I want to share photos as well, but not sure how much I should do that. I do realize it will be more interesting with such things, so I think I will again, defer to my husband. He can take a photo of anything I want and then insert it into the blog for me. I will type up my blogs on an old 1950's manual. I have an electric typewriter as well, but I am not sure if it is from 59 or not, so I will stick with the manual. That will help with the technology part of it. I think not being able to browse online will affect me more than tv, which I rarely watch. As far as magazines, I will keep with the mags I have at present and my husband has said he will buy more for me on ebay as I need. (He is a sweetheart if u haven't guessed.)

All my cooking will be done with old appliances. I think my next blog will be pix of the various appliances I will be using. I am torn on my dishwasher. I think I will leave off for now, tho I know that dishwashers were available, and then I think mid-year enjoy the novelty of having one. It would be as if my husband has surprised me with the new appliance and I will appreciate in a way that a 1950
s wife would have. Let me see, Oh, I even have a vintage iron, and tho I NEVER iron now, it will become part of my routine.

My clothes will also be as vintage as I can afford. Mostly new things made with vintage patterns, tho I can sew new thigs with these patterns as the year progresses, as sewing was an affordable source for a middle class housewife. No Old Navy to pop down to with 10 dollar skirts for me!

Wow, this seems all over the place. I should enjoy this as this is the (hopefully) only post I will be doing on the computer.

Oh, yes, I also do not want to feel that I am alone in an unpeopled world of 1955, so I have a couple friends who are into the 1950s. We have been wanting to have 50's nights for awhile and now they have promised me to TRY to do one night a week that is 1950's. We will gather, dressed appropriately (of course I would be anyway) and play bridge or any board games relevant, listen to old records, drink (of course) etc. This will allow me to still feel relevant as an indivual.

Well, I seem to be all over with this blog, do let me know if u would like me to try or to explain any paritcular aspect of this project. I am off to plan my weeks menu and have my husband take some photos of my 1950's appliances.

Happy new year, Tomorrow is the first night of the 'new' Bob cummings show. I will let you know what I think of this new television program.


  1. Hi,

    I hope all goes well and you don't find yourself feeling like you are going round the twist.

    I like the idea of what happened today in 1955, it gives you something to blog about everyday, even if it is just the fact.

    I think you should type the blogs yourself after all we did have computers in the fifties and knowing that you are getting comments and responding should make the whole experience feel rounded. I know that there are some very good resources on the net to help you flickr for instance, great photos from the fifties, covering almost everything you can think of.

  2. Hi! Your project is really interesting and I can't wait to see how it will develops! I have oh so many questions... On a silly side, I was wondering what happens if you have to go to a restaurant: you plan to go to a place that "fits" your 50s life or it's ok to choose a modern one too? Also, do you own a 50s car or you're planning to use only public/alternative transportation?

  3. I WISH I owned a 1950's car, that would be heavenly, but I will have to use my own modern car (a volvo station wagon) to do my marketing. As for restaurants, I think I will do things like chinese and basic 'american style'. Tho mcdonalds has just started as a chain I do NOT live in illinois, so no fast food. I will not do japanese (which is sad for me) and thai food, as that would probably not have been readily avialable. I would love to do public transport but I live in the burbs.
    And I am still deciding about computer. I think maybe I will consider the computer my little private confessional. I know in the other period reality shows (1900 house manor house etc) they had video diaries, otherwise, what is the point if I cannot share it, right?

  4. Will you please tell your husband to update his 5th turtle blog? :P

  5. I'm excited for you. This SHOULD be fun for you--make that choice each day. Don't allow it become a punishment!

    My mother was a teenager in the 50s and my dad was an adult (17 year age difference). My dad DID help around the house when he was home, but since he worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, my mother did the bulk of the housework. He wanted her to be able to stay home with us and take care of us. He died in 1995, but I made sure to thank him for his sacrifice.

    It sounds like you've gotten your ducks in order and are prepared. ENJOY it!

    I vote with the others--you probably should do your own computer stuff as you are actually reporting on an experiment. Hey, it's your experiment. That means you get to make the rules!


  6. A good resource for to-date magazines would be your library or using your library's ILL services. I work for a university library and we have a very expansive collection of Ladies Home Journal which are available to be loaned and checked out. We definitely have 1955 - if you request it through your local library it would be a good way for you to keep with your reading on the cheap (ILL is normally free to the patron requesting the item). LHJ specifically has some interesting fiction short stories, good home tips and lots of recipes. I currently am reading the 1940 volume of it, it is wonderful.

  7. Boy you sound prepared and balanced. I LOVE the this day in 1955 idea. I would wager alot of people "know" about the fifties, but lack a lot of historical perspective. I know I do. I didn't know mc donald's was started in the fifties. learn something everyday :0). Good luck with your experiment.
    christina oursler

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. We decided to raise our kids as if they were growing up in the 50s, then 60s until the 70s. We cut our cable, only watched DVDs and Videos of shows from that period, we played family board games, went on family picnics, took summer trips to the beach, dressed in more conservative and traditional clothing. Especially the girls, on Sundays the family attends church together and the guys wear hep sweaters (ala Perry Como or Andy Williams) and the girls wear the vintage dresses or skirts with crinolines. We listen to vintage music, watch vintage movies, and didn't expose the kids to the current news or things on tv or radio. We always listen to the Oldies stations though.

    What have we learned from our experiment? Well our kids are a throwback from yesteryear we're told. They're polite, respectful and appreciate things that most modern kids growing up don't. The video games they play are vintage old time like Pong and Space Invaders (and that was when they became teens) as well as pinball.

    What you're doing is not only an experiment but a lifestyle change that you won't regret. You may never want to "end" the experiment. Good luck! And have a ball! We sure did! And we're still doing it.

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  12. I've just now discovered your blog and I'm off to start reading. I grew up in the late 50s.....really looking forward to reading of your day-to-day experiences.

  13. Hi There,

    I found this blog a few months ago but have just gotten around to reading it right from the start. What a wonderful project to have embarked on. I look forward to reading every entry :)

  14. I too, want to catch up from the beginning - My dad helped around the house a lot, as we had such a big family. A gift to my mom in 1955 was an Ironrite mangle, which she loved (one of those huge ironing machines) and she worked for years to help out by demonstrating them, I think in 56 or 57 at Dayton's in MPLS. She could bring her own ironing and then helped women get started using them in their homes. You can read about the family life on my family website with his journals uploaded, which coincidentally started in 1955 -

  15. Hello,
    I just came across this and cannot wait to read it through. I would love to do what you're ding and have been researching for sometime, hence how I found you :)

    Im Pam sorry will have to look into how to register.

  16. SO excited to read from the beginning! I am such an "oldie" at heart. I Love cooking, cleaning, my aprons. Thanks so much!

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  18. I'm happy to have found your blog again; I really love this project. I started reading it years ago now but am going to start from the beginning as a refresher x


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