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15 Things All 1950s Kids Remember

If you grew up in the 50s, these things will bring back some memories.

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family playing board games vintage photoCourtesy Jimmy Rosen/Reminisce

Board games

Board games like Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Tactics were popular in the 1950s. Jimmy Rosen shared this photo of a family playing Carrom. “The two-sided square board features a checkers side and crokinole side,” says Jimmy Rosen of Duncannon, Pennsylvania.

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vintage photo car without seatbeltsCourtesy Lois Crites/Reminisce

Cars without seatbelts

“When my husband got a new job with an insurance company in Midland, Michigan, he was told he should look successful. So he bought new clothes and this baby blue 1957 Chevrolet convertible that our daughters Nancy and Debra are posing in,” says Lois Crites of Punta Gorda, Florida. Volvo introduced the first three-point seat belts in cars in 1959.

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first television set vintage photoCourtesy Joan Meyer/Reminisce

First television set

Sharply dressed and ready for church, here is my father, Jim Heyboer, brother Jimmy and I, with the newest member of our family—our first television set. It was really a TV, radio and record player all in one.

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air raid drill vintage photoCourtesy Paul Kutta/Reminisce

Air raid drills

Students and teachers at Franklin Township School in Quakertown, New Jersey, “duck and cover” while practicing an air-raid drill in 1954.

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vintage hair salon photoCourtesy Carol Thompson/Reminisce

Hair perms

“A friend of our mother’s gave my sister, Cheryl, and me back-to-school perms in 1952 or ’53. That’s Cheryl in the chair with the odd-looking machine,” says Carol Thompson.

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roy rogers show vintage photoCourtesy Charlie O’Brien/Reminisce

The Roy Rogers Show

“Here’s a picture of my wife, Cathy Tantillo, in 1951, in front of her childhood home in Stanton Island, New York,” says Charlie O’Brien. “She was five-years-old at the time and thought that if she dressed up like Dale Evans, just maybe she could appear on TV with Roy Rogers!”

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good humor man vintage photoCourtesy Edward Lang/Reminisce

The Good Humor Man

The Lang family was happy to see the Good Humor Man this August Day in 1958 in Belmar, New Jersey. Neighbourhood kids kept an ear out for the “ting-a-ling” so they could go get Mom and her purse.

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poodle skirts vintage photoCourtesy Mary Brown/Reminisce

Poodle skirts

“My three daughters, Anita, Patty, and Christine, are wearing the pink poodle skirts and navy-blue tops they got from their grandparents one Christmas in the 1950s,” says Mary Brown of Prophetstown, Illinois.

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davey crockett vintage photoCourtesy Genevieve Catina/Reminisce

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett was all the rage in 1955 when a five-part serial starring Fess Parker was airing on ABC as part of the “Disneyland” series. Genevieve Catina of Duncansville, Pennsylvania, shared this photo of brother, Bob McDonald, age two, showing off his tot-sized Davy Crockett costume outside the family home in nearby Loretto.

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howdy doody vintage photoCourtesy Mary Suominen/Reminisce

Howdy Doody

“It was about 1955, and we were at a fair in Waterford, Connecticut,” says Mary Suominen of Scottsdale, Arizona. “We walked around the large stage and there was Howdy Doody! A man lifted my daughter, Sue, onto the stage and let her hold Howdy on her lap for this photo.”

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3D comic books vintage photoCourtesy Don Prieser/Reminisce

3-D comic books

Rainy days were prime time for some reading time when comics went 3-D in the 1950s. This Mighty Mouse comic book came with a pair of Space Goggles.

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family album vintage dance photoCourtesy Mary Ann Gove/Reminisce


Walt Disney released the movie Cinderella in 1950. Mary Ann Gove of Cottonwood, Arizona, recalls, “In 1955, our dancing class performed the story of Cinderella. My sister, Jo Ann (wearing the top hat) played Prince Charming because she’d cracked a bone in her foot and couldn’t toe-dance with the rest of us.”

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family boardwalk vintage photoCourtesy Janet Powers/Reminisce

Zip the Monkey

“Summers in the 1950s were great fun. One of my favourite toys was Zip the Monkey. He had a black plush body with a rubber face, ears, and hands. He wore a yellow shirt with ‘ZIP’ printed on the front, red corduroy pants with suspenders, a red hat, and white rubber shoes. Zip went almost everywhere with me, including this trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1954.”

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woman shoes vintage photoCourtesy Colleen Isaacs/Reminisce

Saddle shoes

“Here’s a wonderful picture of my mother, Elizabeth O’Neil Glockner, in 1957. She is polishing shoes for six of her children before getting us ready for Sunday church on Mother’s Day,” says Colleen Isaacs.

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street games playing in street vintage photoCourtesy John Hilpert/Reminisce

Street games

“Many of the games we played in my old neighbourhood, in Queens, New York, were in the street, especially diamond ball, stick ball, and war,” says John Hilpert. “When the occasional car came, we would just stop and then re-start. If a parent ever tried to get involved in our games, or even come to watch, we would have thought that terribly strange. Fathers worked away somewhere, and mothers kept to the house.”

Next, check out these glamorous vintage photos of life in the 1950s.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest