Office of War Information Este Lauder and Max Factor
Post-War America The time after WW II typically classified in the late 1940s and all of the 1950s I. Changes in America A. Changes in Life Style 1. Urbanization begins to take hold a. People want to get out of country and into city-life b. What does urban life offer that rural life cannot? 2. Mass Consumption a. The rise of department store / malls b. Consumer goods are marketed to “average families” c. New and Improved… i. Planned obsolescence goes into overdrive 3. “Chic” a. Hollywood starts marketing make-up for women b. A new saying “From glab to fab” arises i. Everything from curling irons for women, washing machines for the family, to mustache guards for men
B. Changes in Industry 1. Farms to Factories 2. Unionization – To protect the “common” man 3. Automobiles – Restart production in 1945 / 1946 a. Extremely flashy, lots of chrome, and very sleek b. The jet age ushered in new aerodynamic designs i. Fenders were made to look like air plane wings ii. Rear quarter panels were fashioned after Rocket fins iii. Tail lights were remnants of aircraft afterburners 4. War Goods to Consumer Goods a. Ice Boxes – Refrigerator b. Woodstoves – Cooktop stoves c. Recreational Goods – Camping d. Anything that could be marketed to stay-at-home moms C. Changes in Housing 1. Levittowns – Assembly Line house production 2. Suburb developments – City moves outward 3. “American Dream” – House, dog, picket fence a. Critics: “Track housing is too similar, there is no diversity”
D. Changes in Transportation 1. Eisenhower Interstate System a. From DDE’s experience in Europe b. Links states to other states / Military use 2. Car Production Boom a. Cars of the 1950’s – CHROME / Lead Sled b. Extremely fast, and UNSAFE II. Changes in American Society A. Religion 1. Church attendance is up (b/c of Cold War) 2. In God We Trust / Under God added to coins / Pledge 3. Becomes mainstream thought of American society B. Youth Culture 1. Rebellion of parents teachings – Cool thing to do 2. Icons – Hot Rods, Rock ‘n Roll, James Dean 3. Rumble seats – No chaperones / Out past dark / Lovers Lane
C. Shifts in Society 1. Media explosion a. TV: 1950 – 8%1960 – 88% b. News is able to travel quicker c. Corruption is beginning to be exposed 2. G.I. Bill a. Loans from the government for veterans to go to college / College attendance up b. Could also be used to buy a home *Think of this as one of the early “stimulus” packages. What are we stimulating? 3. Breakdown of Nuclear Family a. Fast Food Frenzy i. Starts with the increase of women working ii. Families start losing time for mom to cook a meal iii. The McDonald’s Empire!
b. Whole New World for Teenagers i. Employers start looking for cheap, abundant labor sources ii. Less time at home with the family iii. More time out with girlfriend… c. Feminist Movement i. Women don’t have traditional roles anymore ii. More divorce / Single parent families 4. Social Norms a. Sexual Movement i. TV / Nudity ii. Birth Control b. Music / Television Shows i. Most music was adapted from Rhythm and Blues (Jazz) ii. TV shows were adapted from older Radio Broadcast 1. I Love Lucy = My Favorite Husband