The 1950s

Rock'n'roll in the 50s

Britain in the 1950s

The 1950s began with austerity and ended with affluence.

Britain in the 1950s

Bill Haley and his Comets (1955) (Wikimedia Commons, Mr. Klau Klettner)

1950s Music

Most people think Rock'n'Roll is the music of the 1950s, but it did not start until 1955.

Routemaster bus

Buses, umbrellas and the British class system

Should you use an umbrella to stop a bus?

Buses, umbrellas and the British class system

Teddy boy hairstyle, early 1950s

Teddy Boys

The Teddy Boy fashion started as an upper class reaction to the austerity of the socialist government, but became a working class cult.

The Ford Zephyr brought American glamour to Britain

1950s cars

Car ownership brought freedom to millions in the 1950s.

50s cars

Chanel style suite, late fifties

1950s fashion

Fashion in the 1950s brought glamour to austerity Britain.

1950s mens fashion often meant a trip to the tailor for a made to measure suit.

Early 50s Contemporary furniture

1950s furniture

1950s furniture was light, stylish and modern.

1950s TV set


Television was a luxury at the beginning of the 1950s, three quarters of people had a set by the end of the decade - Television in the 1950s

1950s valve radio


Bell laboratories invented the transistor in 1948. It had a huge impact on 1950s technology

Pan Am's Rainbow Tourist service, 1952

Air travel

Jet passenger travel began in the 1950s - Air travel in the 1950s.

1950s timeline


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