Baby Boom in the 1950s

Oops. Sorry, Amy. Didn't know you were babysitting again in 1950-something.

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You can't believe how many kids there are?

   You see them ...

EVERYWHERE?

Of course you do.

You are currently living in the midst of the BABY BOOM.

First of all, the term, "baby boom" simply means a significant increase in birth rate within a certain area.

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And in the United States and Canada, the end of World War II contributed to the explosion of the population, along with  a strong post-war economy. Couples were eager to marry after the end of the war.

From 1946 to 1964, seventy-six million children were born in the United States alone, peaking in 1957.

In Canada, the birth years peaked in 1959. During  1947 to 1966 more than four hundred thousand babies were born each year.

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Moving to the suburbs to raise a large family was affordable, and contributed to this rise in population.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first recorded use of "baby boomer" occurred in 1970 in The Washington Post.

Baby Boomers in the 21st century are widely thought of as growing up in a time of affluence, thanks to government assistance in post-war housing and education. 

Yes, you know I'm doing everything I can to get you back to your own generation, Amy. 

For better or worse.

Toys in the 1950s

Oh hey, Amy. Thought I'd see what you're up to in 1950-something. 

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You're helping out the neighbours?

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Oh, you're babysitting.

And you have a splitting headache?


Well, just wait until you get the kids into bed.

Because that's when ...

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You can check out all their cool retro toys!
And even play with them if you feel like it, which I'm pretty sure you will. 

The most popular toys in the 1950s are:
Play-Doh
Gumby
Hoola Hoop
Mr. Potato Head
Slinky
Pogo Stick
Spinning Top

And, of course, BARBIE.

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Manufactured by the American toy company, Mattel, Inc., Barbie was launched in March, 1959.

Ken was released for sale in 1960.

Dark haired Barbie came out for sale in the early 1960s.

Mattel has sold over one billion Barbie dolls.

In 2009, Barbie celebrated her 50th birthday.

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Midge is a character first released in 1963. According to Wikipedia, Midge was created along with Skipper to counteract criticism that claimed Barbie was a sex symbol.

Ken's friend, Allan, was released in 1964.


Look who's waving! Why, it's Skipper and her friend Scooter!


Don't forget Slinky! 

Invented by Richard James in 1943, Slinky's tricks included travelling down stairs, end-over-end. It was first demonstrated at Gimbels department store in Philadelphia in November, 1945. Its entire inventory of 400 sold out in 90 minutes.        

Or Mr. Potato Head!


Mr. Potato Head was invented by George Lerner in 1949, and first manufactured and distributed by Hasbro in 1952. Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television, and has been in production ever since.


So, Amy. Why not try and have some fun with these original toys, since you're stuck in the 1950s and may never get the chance again.

All you have to do is let loose the child in you.

Easter in the 1950s

Amy? Just want to say Happy Easter and see how you're doing in 1950-something.

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Hmmm, looks like you're tired from working long hours at the diner. 

Well, the good news is that a diner in the 1950s would never be open on Easter Sunday. That's a day all the relatives gather for a special dinner. Looks like you're finally going to get a day off to spend with the family you live with. It's Easter Sunday! 

You just want to spend Easter Sunday  with chocolate?


Or have a burger with your greaser boyfriend, Tony?

Seriously, Amy.

Easter Sunday is considered a revered time in the 1950s.

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There's church in the morning ... Easter egg hunts for the children in the afternoon ... and then dinner with the family.

                      The ENTIRE family.


Brothers and sisters...

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         Grandparents..




 

Kids...

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...and generally weird relatives and their pets.


The 1950s brought with it Easter Sundays focused on the religious meaning of Easter. Neighbours and families were all included in the holy and benevolent spirit of the day. 


It was a day when Hot Cross Buns were served for breakfast, still fresh after being purchased at the local bakery the day before. The frosting was a reminder of Jesus and the cross itself.

Still, the Easter bunny wasn't far behind. As a matter of fact, an Easter egg hunt for the children was normally in full swing on the church property immediately after the service. Eggs were collected in baskets the children brought from home.

So, get in there and try to enjoy this time with the family you live with in the 1950s, Amy.


You may think it's not very cool to be stuck in the 1950s with a mid-century family having Easter Sunday dinner.

But it might turn out to be one of your greatest memories ever.

Slang in the 1950s

Hey, Amy. Still having trouble with the lingo in 1950-something? 

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LINGO, Amy. L-I-N-G-O.  It means language and speech used at a particular time or by a particular group.

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Maybe I should clue you in on the slang used in the 1950s.
You know, so you can communicate with everyone  better.


To an outsider, 1950s slang can have a different meaning than what is actually intended.

Let's take your greaser boyfriend and his friends, for instance.


The term "greaser" stems from a guy who slicks back his hair. Of course, he needs to use a lot of greasy hair products to get this look. Make sense? Okay, let's carry on.


It would be quite acceptable for you to call your boyfriend Daddy-O next time you see him. He won't even flinch.

Yes, of course I realize he's not your father, or even a father at all.

And I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to be one yet, either.

SLANG WORDS IN THE 1950S

ANKLE-BITER  A young child 
BACK SEAT BINGO  Being intimate in the back seat of a car 
BREAD  Money
CRUSIN' FOR A BRUISIN'  When someone acts in a taunting manner 
DIG  When someone "digs" another person or thing,  they're really into you or it
BURN RUBBER  To hit the accelerator of a car and hit the road with tires spinning, like the term, FLOOR IT
CLOUD NINE  If someone says they're on cloud nine, chances are they're incredibly happy
COOL  Same meaning as the slang word "cool" we use today - someone or something is awe-inspiring
DIBS  To claim something, as in, "I've got dibs on that piece of cake"
FLICK  A movie
WET RAG  If you're told to stop acting like a wet rag, it means someone thinks you're boring and not willing to join in the fun
DRAG  See wet rag above. If you're being a drag, you're boring or tiresome
DRIP  A weak or annoying person
MAKE OUT  Pretty much means an innocent kissing and petting event
NEATO  Awesome
OUT TO LUNCH  If people think you're out to lunch, they think you're unaware of what's happening around you
RAG TOP  A car that's a convertible
SCENE  A place or quality that denotes who you are or what you do "It's not my scene"
PUT DOWN  To say something negative about someone
UNREAL  Amazing
OUT OF THIS WORLD  Also amazing
BIRD DOG  A guy who tries to steal another guy's girlfriend
GOT IT MADE IN THE SHADE  When everything is going just right
MY PAD  Your home, apartment, or bedroom
FAST  This word denotes a person who is easily engaged in sex, similar to the word LOOSE
ROYAL SHAFT  When you treat someone unfairly or dismiss them totally
HIP  A common slang term even in the 1930s and 1940s meaning contemporary, cool or modern

Now, go out there Amy and have an unreal and out of this world experience away from  your pad until you have it made in the shade!

And try not to be a wet rag.

Smoking in the 1950s

So, hey, Amy. I've been concerned about you this week. You know, because you've been feeling a bit anxious in 1950-something.

Uh, yeah, I get the point. Jeesh. Yes, I realize you are VERY concerned with time at the moment. And yes, I'm still working on the time machine so I can get you back to the 21st century. But, for now, let's return to the topic of your mid-century anxiety, shall we?

You went to see a doctor?

He was smoking cigarettes right in front of you?

So you took off after telling him you were late for a video chat?

Hmm, maybe telling him you were late for a home economic class would've been better - you know, where you learn to cook and sew and take care of a husband.


Even your new friends in 1950-something are trying to get you to start smoking?


And Tony, the greaser guy you're dating, smokes too?


Yes, well, you're not in Kansas any more, kiddo.


Let's look at some facts about smoking in the 1950s.


Smoking is considered glamorous in mid-century North America when you now exist. Teenagers like you are seeing their favourite actors smoking cigarettes on the big screen, and want to emulate them.


People are smoking in hospitals, in movie theatres, at meetings, at work, in restaurants during meals, in stores, at home, in cars, at parks, at funeral homes, at public swimming pools, in trains, on planes ... EVERYWHERE.

In the early 1950s, however, a British physiologist, Sir Richard Doll, has already connected cigarettes smoking to health issues.

And there will be progress in the form of a campaign against smoking.


By the 21st century, cigarette smoking rates will be cut in half.

A Ministry of Health nationwide Canadian survey conducted in 2011 will find that 20.6% of the population aged 21 or older are cigarette smokers.

And in 2016, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States will formulate that approximately 15% of U.S. adults ages 18 and older smoke cigarettes.

Smoking will no longer be considered glamorous.