USA in the 1950s

Consumption and entertainment

After World War II, the USA experienced a strong economic growth. Instead of tanks, warships, and airplanes, cars, refrigerators and televisions were now produced. The middle class benefited from low interest rates. In the 1950s, the US bourgeois social class was primarily concerned with private happiness, with consumption, and pleasure.

A technical innovation, the television set, triggered the greatest changes. It quickly established itself in more and more U.S. households in the early 1950s. At the beginning of 1951, there were already around 10,000,000 television viewers in the USA.

The cinema, a very popular medium, was facing declines in attendance. The living room was being assigned a new role: It was no longer just the gathering place for all family members, but it became the room to enjoy entertainment and receive information.

Television played a particularly large role for housewives, w...

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