Popular Culture Artifacts


Explore the different cultural artifacts from the early 1950s below!


Image depicts 4 girls in modern fashion from 1950's by Retrowaste

The younger generation has heard of the tweed aesthetic in fashion but it seems to have drawn inspiration from fashion trends in the 1950s. Synched waists by belts, shorter hemlines in dresses, and anything and everything giving "shape" was all the rage.

Image depicting Gloves and prices in early 1950s by Retrowaste

Aside from main outfit items, accessories were also significant, specifically gloves. Men wore leather gloves which enhanced masculinity, women wore many different types of gloves, notably silk gloves, to make the outfits appear more elegant.


Tutti Frutti by Little Richard (1955)

This song is considered one of the classics for many rock and roll fans, different renditions and covers are still being made to this day. For the newly changing America, people couldn't get enough of the then unique genre.

Rock around the clock by Bill Haley (1954)

The band was historically one of the first rock and roll groups/Artists to go viral and be heard by millions of Americans. The youth loved this type of music because of the surge of energy they'd get when heard on the radio, they wanted to express their need for independence and what better way to do it than with music.


Original Walt Disney Cinderella Poster (1950)

Going to the cinema was an important event in the early 1950s. Culturally it was more special than it is now because technology was limited. It was less casual, people would dress up to attend the cinema and only one or two movies would play a night. Usually cinemas would only one or maybe two showing rooms. Themes of movies ranged from romance to action and the idolism of celeberties was an effect of the avaliability of film.

Original iron man Cinema poster (1951)


Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger book cover art (1951)

The catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger was published in 1951 and it is a piece of text that still gets recognition to this day. It's considered timeless. Though there are many interpretations of it, it is important to have context and understand that the book was written by someone who witnessed WWII. According to Lithub.com, many believe it was a "war novel disguised as a coming of age novel."


Slang from the 1950s is still heard to this day. Even though when we hear it now we think it may sound somewhat "old school" it is still intelligible and understandable, either way, some of the slang from then has kept its post in our modern vovabulary.

Common Slang and their meanings

Kick- Something fun

Bash- a party or celebration

burn rubber- to speed in a car

radioactive- very popular or trendy

Flip your lid- being wild or crazy about something

Ain't that a bite- saying something is unfortunate


Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing by John McHale and Richard Hamilton (1956)

Pop art

Although pop art reached its peak in the 1960's it began to emerge in the 1950s, people wanted change and the country was constantly doing just that, younger artists felt like it it was time to quit the classics and began to create what they thought art should be.


We never really think about how long a brand has been around or if their recipes have changed or not. Many products found in the grocery store today got their start in the 1950s or earlier. Obviously with the advancement of healthcare knowledge as well as food regulation laws products change but they still remain a popular product because of their significance price and taste. American families being able to afford luxuries such as sugary cereals and ready to mix cake boxes might have been the reason for certain brands success.

Kellog's frosted flakes original box art (1952)
Betty Crocker cake mix commercial explaining the new novelties convivence (1951)
Peanut m&m candy wrapper (1954)


Enovid, the first oral contraceptive, known as "the pill" (1960)

Development of the pill

Although the birth control pill wasn't FDA approved until 1960 its important to note that the creation began in 1953. Katharine Dexter McCormick was a philanthropist who provided the funds for the development of the pill which would need to be tested later on.