Sunday, October 9, 2011

9 October 1957 “Leave it to Beaver Premiers”

leaveittobeaver Leave it to Beaver was premiered this month on the 4th here in 1957. The show was created by the writers Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, who were both veterans of radio and early television. Leave it to Beaver was one of the first shows where in the plot was driven from the children’s point of view.

Leave it to Beaver has always had a special place in the hearts of those who either look fondly back at a time they recall or for those of us who, though never having been there, are inexplicably drawn to it. Certainly, one could argue this show was as accurate to everyday middle class life as any TV show, which is not very close. But, what is quite interesting is that this show is and was both entertaining and also very educational in learning of common sense and good human interaction. The children would often face situations where they would be drawn to try the easy way or the more exciting way, but if it lead to bad decisions or ill treatment of others, they eventually learned their mistakes with consequences from their parents.

It was also interesting that June and Ward, the parents, would often discuss and sometimes not agree on the ways to teach or punish or encourage their children, much like parents often and still do. In a way this show would be a great teaching guide for the masses of youth who are today mostly raised by TV/Computer and over crowded day care: That there are consequences for one’s actions, we should always think of others and of results BEFORE we act, and others feelings are as important as our own. Somewhere along the line, the need to satiate children into believing that they are the most important and special thing in the world over all others. The idea that we have value is a good lesson, but that others also are of equal import and should be considered as well as ourselves seems to be a main element missing in the modern children/TV programming.

beaverhouse1 Here is the house the Cleavers lived on in the first two seasons. It was meant to be on Mapleton Dr. I always thought it was rather an odd flat roofed affair. The little dog house dormers do make it more interesting and I like the front port has two facing bench seats.

beaverhouse2 This is the house they ‘moved’ to for the last four seasons. This image is from the 80’s but shows it pretty much as it looked then. I have to say, I rather appreciate the way it looks today.beaverhouse3  They beefed up the trim work, added a garage with dormers and a side porch and added side lights (the long windows next the door) and a transom (the window over the door) which gives it a much more colonial look. Especially the larger multi-paned window to the left of the door which would have been Ward’s office has a much more Colonial look. Although, I do believe the garage was there during the filming of Beaver.

Here is the first episode of Leave it to Beaver, aired on  4 October 1957. You can watch the entire episode on APRON TV under Classic TV. It is in 3 parts. 

Concerning lessons learned from this show, I think this episode from the final season when Eddie Haskell gets a credit card is so telling of what is to come to our economy and way of thinking. We ALL could learn a lesson from this episode. It can be watched HERE on TV land. I couldn’t find it on YouTube, but the entire episode is available just follow the link.

And just for fun, I found this great link HERE where in someone has taken the time to post pictures from each episode. It is an interesting way to view it, rather like looking through an old photo album of old friends or a remembered and treasured childhood, it is work a look.

Today I am off celebrating a friends birthday. We will be biking with a picnic, going into town later for bowling and dinner. It should be fun and the New England weather is giving us a lovely Indian Summer day of sunny weather in the low 80’s. I hope all have a wonderful day and Happy Homemaking.


  1. I gotta say, I'm old enough to have experienced watching Leave it to Beaver when the originals debuted. They might seem kinda corny now but they taught valuable life lessons that most shows don't today. Respect, honesty and morals were the backbone of a lot of the old shows, we need more of that today! Just my 2¢ worth! ;)

  2. Hey 50sgal! I've read your blog for a year or so now, and I absolutely love it! I got a magazine in the mail today called the "Good Old Days Store" and there are a lot of things from the 50s in there, including pantry items in their 50s-designed packages. I flipped through it today and immediately thought of you! Thanks for all your great posts.

  3. 50s Gal,
    I assume that you are not being serous when you say "masses of youth who are today mostly raised by TV/Computer and over crowded day care." You could not possibly believe that is true. Do not buy into the mass media and TV sitcom & reality show portrails of modern families. There are plenty of decent, hard-working, 2 parent, single income, traditional families right here is Massachusetts. They are in the parks, and the churches and in the communities doing right and good. More people (and I don't mean you)should turn off the media and go outside for their "reality show" and I think that they would be pleasantly surprises by what they see.

  4. marilyn-my sentiments exactly. Though I was NOT there when it originally aired, when I watch it now I see that with the entertainment comes easy lessons. Easy in that they are not preachy but common sense notions of how we should treat one another, what is fair to all.
    Rebby-that sounds great, I would love to see what type of pantry products they have.
    Anon-you made my day! It is so NICE to hear that there are many hard working families that are raising kids with common sense and not just appeasing them with computer/ipads/texting/tv/video games. I was actually being serious, as I felt that was the truth for the majority of people, but if I am wrong, that is a wonderful thing to be wrong about.
    ON the way home this evening from our friends birthday dinner we were driving next to a huge SUV which had three rows of seats. IN the second and back rows were two flip down tv screens. They were both playing the exact SAME thing and the kids in both rows were staring mindlessly at them. I thought it odd that not even one screen with those in back simply looking at that one screen would not be enough but the decadence of the double screens with the same show and the amount of mindless 'entertainment' pumped into children (And adults) is often staggering to me.
    I hope YOU are right and that the majority are NOT this way.

  5. I've actually never seen an episode of this show all the way through, I think I've only encountered it while flipping through channels. Maybe the fact that the story centered around two boys turned me off of it. My personal favorite from the 50's is the Donna Reed Show, but will have to wait until next year 1958 for that. ;)

  6. I agree with you, 50's gal! It's considered politically incorrect to criticize day cares nowadays, but I believe that a parent at home is better than day care. Even a nanny or relative is better than day care! Some kids will of course turn out okay, but I think it is very hard for a mother to work full time and come home to discipline her kids as well as do all the homemaking...I could never do it!

    You make good observations about the media. The way kids act nowadays speaks for itself. There are of course still a lot of polite kids nowadays, but it is becoming the exception rather than the rule. Kids in general do not get the same amount of discipline they used to get.

  7. I remember Leave It to Beaver. I lived the 50s childhood and their life was in so many ways the way our lives were. The times he rode his bike all over,even alone, and visited the firemen and such and watched the workmen. I remember times like that. Life was so unscary back then. Many of the shows back then taught morals and consequences. Remember back then the bad men even wore black hats in the cowboy shows so you would be sure to know who was bad. :) Yes there were also some goofie shows even back then too! Thank you for the trip down memory lane :) Sarah

  8. The world really is not "scarier" than it used to be. It is just that It is just that people hear more stories now due to radio, TV and computer coverage. You could scare yourself witless if you expose yourself to too much media coverage. There were just as many perverts, rapists, murderers, etc in the 1950s as there are now, the coverage was just more limited. There were more alcoholics, unemployed and homeless families because there was no welfare. Don't think that the 1950s were all rosy and fun just because the "Leave it to Beaver" and "Donna Reed" show show them as such. The prisons were still full and people were on death row.

  9. Sorry, but I disagree, we didn't have many drugs as we have now, and by the way my grandma used to talk about her youth with me, things were much more peaceful than now. Of course things weren't perfect, but we didn't have that much of alchoolic or drug addicted teens as we have now.

  10. It is quite true that in ways we are safer today, but it is NOT true that there were MORE drugs and people in prison in the 50's. In fact the building of prisons and their becoming, themselves, a corporation in private hands has been increased 10 fold since the 1980s. The 1950's was just beginning to see the change in 'teen' atitudes more towards what they called 'juvenile delinquents'. This was mainly due to the increase amount of free time (less labor and less on farms) and more easy to buy things allowed the teen than ever before.
    And you cannot tell me that 1950's high schools had police at the door checking for guns and drugs every day!


 Search The Apron Revolution