120 posts tagged with 1950s.
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UNIVAC

To meet this need for high speed data processing, the scientists and technicians of the Eckert-Mauchly division of Remington Rand have created a miracle of electronic development: UNIVAC! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 7, 2011 - 8 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

Robert Aldrich's "Kiss Me Deadly"

At the core of Kiss Me Deadly are speed and violence. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 18, 2011 - 23 comments

A band of sisters and brothers in a circle of trust

Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 4, 2011 - 12 comments

Deterrent failed. Mission accomplished.

Only 60,000,000 citizens killed?! Success!!! A 1950s Air Force film on what might happen in the event of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear conflict has been declassified and is available in full, online, from the National Security Archive of George Washington University.
posted by markkraft on Feb 21, 2011 - 54 comments

Vintage household hacks

Home Kinks, part 1 and part 2 - for years, Popular Mechanics Press published a series of tips, many from readers, in a special edition format they called "Household Kinks." Scanning Around With Gene has posted a collection from 1940s and '50s editions.
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 20, 2011 - 40 comments

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Video footage of an experimental LSD session from the 1950s, which concludes with a short discussion with philosopher Gerald Heard.
posted by gman on Jan 16, 2011 - 138 comments

Look at (Vintage London) Life

IN Gear, swinging London of 1960s and SOHO bohemian Coffee Bars of London, 1959. These are a few of the 500+ vintage documentary shorts called "Look at Life" that ran at the Odeon and Gaumont cinemas during the 50s and 60s. (via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 29, 2010 - 15 comments

As opposed to 60s advertising execs

Back in May, Jen (but never Jenn) spent 2 weeks emulating a 1950s Housewife. [Results] [Lessons] Now she's back, this time, with a more husband-centric attempt at 1950s living.
posted by jacquilynne on Oct 26, 2010 - 64 comments

Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine

Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 20, 2010 - 10 comments

Life in Kodachrome

Michael Williams, the guy behind A Continuous Lean, buys Kodachrome slides from the 50's and 60's at flea markets, estate sales, and other sources. Then he posts his finds online: Part I, II, III, and IV. [more inside]
posted by defenestration on May 5, 2010 - 26 comments

TV, When It Rocked and Rolled

In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Feb 17, 2010 - 49 comments

eavesdropping on jazz giants

The Jazz Loft Project - From 1957 to 1965, celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith made 4,000 hours of surreptitious recordings and took 40,000 photographs in a loft in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where Roland Kirk, Thelonius Monk, Hall Overton, Charles Mingus and other jazz greats jammed until dawn. Archived in the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the project is now accessible via a book, a traveling exhibit, a 10-part Jazz Loft series on WNYC, NPR's Jazz Loft Project Sights & Sounds, and an interview with JLP author Sam Stephenson, which includes some images from the book. Via a Grain Edit post, which also has some great images. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 3, 2010 - 21 comments

Busking into your living room

Teenage rockabilly group Kitty Daisy & Lewis perform Going Up Country on German TV [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 21, 2009 - 26 comments

Everyone's On LSD!

Autistics on LSD Elephants on LSD British Troops on LSD Spiders on LSD Cats on LSD Argentinians on LSD Childhood Schizophrenics on LSD
posted by jonp72 on Nov 27, 2009 - 78 comments

Straight from the fridge

Speak like a 1950s hipster.
posted by mippy on Nov 16, 2009 - 30 comments

Dumb inventions

LIFE magazine presents: 30 Dumb Inventions of the 1950s and 60s. via laughing squid.
posted by serazin on Oct 6, 2009 - 82 comments

More Madness

The Footnotes of Mad Men explores and discusses the historic events, themes, and cultural mores of the show.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 15, 2009 - 33 comments

Shoutout To All My Eichler Homies

Eichler homes! Most Eichlers are located in northern California, but you can find a few developments in the southland. People restore and renovate their Eichlers, write magazine articles about them, and take lots of photos of them. Even Mr. Incredible owned an Eichler. But owning an Eichler is not for everyone. Want to buy an Eichler? Join the Eichler Network or tour an open house.
posted by mattdidthat on Sep 6, 2009 - 36 comments

Blood and Sex

Stagmags.com - vintage men's magazine cover scans. (slightly NSFW) [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 14, 2009 - 52 comments

Homo Superior!

How Nuclear Radiation Can Change Our Race. The excellent Modern Mechanix brings us Mechanix Illustrated's uninformed 1953 article on the effects of nuclear fallout.
But why, then, don't we have our superintelligent bobblehead beagles?
posted by dunkadunc on Jun 6, 2009 - 32 comments

Hey Kids, Ditko Comics!

Before Mr. A, The Question, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, or, well, anything, there was Steve Ditko's 1953 debut, Paper Romance in Daring Love #1. It was soon followed by creepier fare such as Ditko's first professional work, 1954's Stretching Things, A Hole in His Head, and Buried Alive! Shortly after, Ditko illustrated the cover for Space Adventures #10 and the story Homecoming, which began (Or didn't, depending on who you believe) a decades-long association with Charlton Comics that would soon yield Von Mohl Vs. The Ants, If Looks Could Kill, You Are the Jury, Doom in the Air, The Worm Turns, Day of Reckoning, and Car Show, a rare humour piece for Charlton's MAD clone From Here To Insanity. All these, and many more, courtesy of the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog's It Stalks the Public Domain!
posted by Alvy Ampersand on May 31, 2009 - 17 comments

vintage cutaway illustrations

Frank Soltesz was a master of fascinating cutaway illustrations depicting "modern businesses" in the '40s and '50s - from hotels and hospitals to breweries, grocery stores, and more. (via Telstar Logistics Blog) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on May 3, 2009 - 50 comments

Strings, not Threads, nor Duct Tape

Nuclear puppet shows: Atomic survival PSAs by the U.S. Civil Defense
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 5, 2009 - 14 comments

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

Keep watching the skies - The New York Times looks back at 50s Sci Fi films in anticipation of Alien Trespass, the new film from X-Files veteran R.K. Goodwin. One or two of those classics haven't even been remade yet!
posted by Artw on Mar 28, 2009 - 19 comments

Will it last six more months?

It's been 50 years (on Tuesday) since Buddy Holly died. He still has some rabid fans who will be celebrating his life and work, but should the rest of us still care? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 30, 2009 - 38 comments

The Fifties: an invention of Sha Na Na / Scottish Highlanders / Rondald Reagan

Remember the Fifties? For a certain generation, who could forget those golden innocent days as depicted in shows like Happy Days, Grease and the band Sha Na Na. But it turns out that vision of the 50's is mostly fantasy and never existed, largely invented by a group of Columbia U students around 1969. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Oct 3, 2008 - 61 comments

(Internetworking Frequency, 2.4 gigacycles.)

The Early Television Foundation and Museum Website covers the nascent days of the nation's pastime, with interesting items like mechanical TVs and programming schedules from 1939.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sep 9, 2008 - 11 comments

Antpocalypse!!!

Today's date? Why, it's...July 11, 2052, and man has been cowering in terror, self-sealed in his own living-tombs since that day of horror in...1952. Remember? 100 years ago, the sky above America turned black...with the dread flight of millions of ferocious, gigantic ants! [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Sep 5, 2008 - 56 comments

Comics Artist Jack Kamen Dies at 88

EC Comics great Jack Kamen (probably best known today as the father of inventor Dean Kamen) has died at 88. [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Aug 7, 2008 - 11 comments

buum bom boom bonk!

Retronomatopeya - cute collection of comic book images and language conveying sound and motion. Also see anastasiav's prior post: Ka-BOOM, the Dictionary of Comic Book Words on Historical Principles. (via oink!) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 17, 2008 - 11 comments

The American Look, 1958

If you can make it through the glacially paced intro and can put up with the typically clunky, often laughable and jingoistic fifties-style narration, this 1958 film from Chevrolet, The American Look is worth viewing. Chock full of futuristic telephones, toasters, blenders, office machines, architecture and more, it's a mid-century design lover's dream. The film is visually striking and elegant, and presented in widescreen format. Here's part 2 and part 3. Or see it here in its entirety. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 12, 2008 - 15 comments

Vault of McCarthite Terror

The pictures that horrified America - how comic books tipped 50s America into a moral panic. [more inside]
posted by Artw on May 8, 2008 - 51 comments

The Mike Wallace Interview(s)

"My name is Mike Wallace. The cigarette is Philip Morris." Before there was 60 Minutes, there was The Mike Wallace Interview. Thirty minutes with Steve Allen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Kirk Douglas, Pearl Buck, and Salvador Dali, to name just a few.
posted by steef on Apr 4, 2008 - 16 comments

Is that what's botherin' ya, bunky?

Lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with dignity and stick-to-it-ive-ness and you'll show the world, you'll show them where to get off! And never give up, never give up... that ship!!!
posted by wendell on Mar 5, 2008 - 19 comments

The People's Singer

"If Communists liked what we did, that was their good luck," said Lee Hays, founding member of the Almanac Singers. A fascinating portrait of one of the linchpins of the politically engaged folk movement of the '40s and '50s. Hays sang beside the more celebrated (and, on one important day in Bob Dylan history, infamous) Pete Seeger on such classic Almanac albums as Talking Union. [Listen here.]
posted by digaman on Feb 18, 2008 - 9 comments

Would I like it? What a DREAM! But hey, what happens if I push this red button?

In the early 1950's, Monsanto Chemical Company, MIT and Disneyland collaborated their resources and creative brainpower to build "the house of 1986." Using 30,000 pounds of plastic (The building's structure, carpet, chairs, sinks, appliances and floors were all plastic. About $7,500 to $15,000 worth.), the Monsanto House of the Future* was opened to an excited public in June of 1957. It was closed in 1967 as ideas of the future were beginning to change. Let's take a quick tour, shall we?
*(Not to be confused with Xanadu Homes of Tomorrow.) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 12, 2007 - 30 comments

The Unsung Joe: Where bit--part actors go when they die

The Unsung Joe: Where bit-part actors go when they die. Biographies of the most obscure micro-stars of 1940s and '50s cinema, all remarkably well-researched and richly illustrated.
posted by jack_mo on Dec 11, 2007 - 28 comments

Wally Deane: rockin' 'n' rollin' 'n' coppin' a cartoon riff.

Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiar riff, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane's Drag On. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 8, 2007 - 21 comments

Ripeness is All: Lustmord Portrayed in Oil

New York artist Ashley Hope's Ripeness is All exhibit at the Tilton Gallery recreates crime scene photographs of murdered women from the 1910s through the 1990s as oil paintings on huge 4' x 6' canvasses. [some nsfw art] [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Nov 30, 2007 - 48 comments

A 1950s Woman's View on Women and Sex

Sex and the College Girl, by Norah Johnson A view from an educated woman in the 1950s: "Two criticisms rise above the rest: people in college are promiscuous, for one thing, and, for another, they are getting married and having children too early. These are interesting observations because they contradict each other."
posted by shivohum on Nov 20, 2007 - 24 comments

Making a Cereal Killing...in Real Estate

In 1954, the producers of the radio show Sergeant Preston of the Yukon needed a gimmick to make sure its radio audience would watch the TV version of the show. Meanwhile, the show's sponsor, Quaker Oats, needed a follow-up to their ad campaign about how Quaker Puffed Wheat is shot out of guns. So Chicago adman, Bruce Baker (later the creator of Captain Crunch), dreamt up a wildly successful PR stunt for both Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and Quaker Oats by buying up one-inch plots of land in the Yukon (with legal assistance from future British Columbia senator George van Roggen) and giving away deeds to the land for free in copies of Quaker Oats cereal. (For a picture of the deed, click here and here) [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Nov 15, 2007 - 14 comments

Photographs of American Cities

Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
posted by jonson on Sep 29, 2007 - 37 comments

"The niggers are coming!"

Through a Lens Darkly - on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her. Photos. Dramatic news footage. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls the first day of school. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 25, 2007 - 48 comments

Retro space cowboys

For many kids, the space age made its TV debut years before Sputnik with 1950's TV space serials.
1950 - Space Patrol - The Hidden Treasure of Mars. (Part two)
1954 - Rocky Jones' Space, Space Ranger - Rocky's Odyssey. (Chapters two, three)
1954 - Flash Gordon - Deadline at Noon and Akim the Terrible. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 24, 2007 - 5 comments

Space Oddity

Mars and Beyond - 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 10, 2007 - 9 comments

Duck & Cover Film Festival! Wheeeeeee!

"For the quarter-century following World War II, a special kind of classroom film received wide circulation. These "mental hygiene" films thrived in a confused and nervous America. The rebellious behavior of young people challenging the social norms struck fear into the hearts of parents and educators, who saw dark futures for the teens who broke the rules and refused to fit in with society. These concerned adults embraced the metal hygiene film as a new means of delivering social guidance." Program One: Manners, Menstruation and The American Way; Program Two: Dating, Deliquency and Diversity; Program Three: Conformity, Safety and The Bomb

Special Bonus: Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello, Mitch Rouse & Steven Colbert re-enact How To Be Popular (from Program Two).
posted by miss lynnster on Jun 8, 2007 - 28 comments

Sorry, No Throbbing Gristle

Although Industrial Musicals and their jaunty odes to corporate pride and brand loyalty have seen the same fate as the values they espoused (mostly), goofily earnest and undeniable catchy tunes like Exxon's Up Came Oil, General Electric's Make a Woman Out of Your Wife, and The Monroe Calculator Company's 1660 & 65 are still as potent as all get out! [More songs and albums to help you get your gray flannel funk on inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand on May 31, 2007 - 24 comments

Lu Lu Lu I got some apples

Fruit Crate Label Art from the 1910s Thru 1950s (via)
posted by Kwantsar on Apr 14, 2007 - 34 comments

WELL SPACED SOUND STRAIGHT TEETH ARE BUILT BY BOTTLED SUNSHINE

Boilproof nipples — Girly pirates? — Hubris — Atomic nose candy — Pit paranoia — The gay mafia's beverage of choice — Mouthwash for flaky skin — Spam spam spam spamDead-fish eyes — and more American advertising from 1932 to 1959...
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 30, 2007 - 17 comments

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