Just One More Post on the 1950s…


Maybe.  😉

I’ve come to think of Mr. Inge as my supplier.

He knows I can’t resist a good 1950s architectural book, and the most recent “hit” he’s provided is a bound volume of a years’ worth of “House Beautiful” magazines (1958).

“I’ve got too much to do,” I thought as I began to browse its many pages, and then I saw a 1958 pink Caddy.

You could have stuck a fork in me right then because I was cooked and done. You see, I’m also a real car buff, and in my personal opinion, American automotive styling hit its peak in the late 1950s.

Too many pictures for me to clog up the blog with words.

Enjoy, and please leave a comment!

To see pictures of 1950 kitchens, click here.

Want to see my Atomic Powder Room? Click here.



The image that hooked me, and then dragged me into the abyss. A pink 1958 Cadillac. *SWOON*


In 1966, our family piled in a 1957 Cadillac and drove from Portsmouth, VA to Santa Monica, CA, a 3,000 mile journey. I loved that car. And I still do.

In 1966, our family of six piled into 1957 Cadillac and drove from Portsmouth, VA to Santa Monica, CA, a 3,000 mile journey. I was six years old. For two weeks and 6,000 miles, I rode in the front seat, sitting on the fold-out arm rest.


I cant read this text without hearing the narrative in Don Drapers voice.

I can't read this text without hearing the narrative in Don Draper's voice, complete with dramatic pauses.


Our 1957 Cadillac was black, but I think I could have settled for blue if they were out of pink.

Our 1957 Cadillac was black, but I think I could have settled for blue if they were out of pink. Check out the rubber-tipped bumpers on the front. I could use a set of those on my Camry Hybrid.


While were on the topic of luxury...

While we're on the topic of luxury...


Is that Betty Draper in the back seat of the 1958 T-Bird?

Is that Betty Draper in the back seat of the 1958 T-Bird?


So you dont

In 1974, I was forced to sit through a HORRIBLE "Driver's Safety Class" that mainly consisted of a sadistic gym teacher forcing us to watch gory films of people being turned into bloody hamburger meat via Detroit steel. As a sensitive soul, I was truly traumatized. I'd close my eyes whenever possible and then the gym teacher would screech at me to "pay attention." One of the stories was a paralyzed woman who had not buckled in that fateful day because she didn't want to wrinkle her dress. I guess society really did judge you by the wrinkles in your dress.



I love this caption. It's from Bing Cosby's song, "Did you ever see a dream, walking..."



Poor hat boy. He knows that this is the closest he'll ever come to a new T-bird. And look at those pedestrian souls admiring that shiny new thing. They're such simpletons in their plain-jane clothes. But at least they have a shot at the shiny new thing - one day - if they marry well. I'd like to caption this, "Envy."



Well, it's good of her to give the two Plain Janes a ride to the bus stop.


My husband tells me that hes secure enough in his masuclinity to wear a pink shirt.

My husband tells me that he's secure enough in his masculinity to wear a pink shirt. Back in the day, apparently men were secure enough in their masculinity to show up in a pink Chevy.



Looks like Mom and Dad are driving home from a party with Timothy Leary.


Many of these car ads have a random plane.

Many of these car ads have a random plane. And Junior is playing with planes in the back seat.



Nobody in these ads have their eyes on the road. Maybe she's looking for low-flying aircraft. It seems to be a big problem in 1958.


And I had to look up two words in this text.

By 1958, we were using sex to sell cars. "Come hither look?" I guess the car is inviting you to "slip into something more comfortable" such as its "smart fabrics."


Looks like shes hailing a cab.

"We knew Mildred had lost her mind when she started trying to hail a taxi from her new Chevy."


Ive no idea whats happening here, but of course, Mother has baked goods in her left hand.

I've no idea what's happening here, but of course, Mother has baked goods in her right hand. OOOH, edited to add: Shari (see comment below) observed that it was The Boy in the yellow helicopter and in this shot, the helicopter is behind The Boy. He and Mother have both "landed" here.



That's one fine-looking car. Love the two-tone paint job.


More random airplanes.

More random airplanes.



Looks to me like someone's making a run for it. Lots of luggage there.



When I bought my new Camry in 2012, no one said a word about "gay silk pillows."



Tufted leather bench seats. Be still my heart.



Wait til you see this Vicuna lap robe.



There's the Vicuna lap robe.


And heres a Vicuna.

And here's a Vicuna (still wearing his lap robe).



"Iridescent leather features channeled insets of darker blue." Wow.



My Camry has a "symphony in gray" going on, but it's a really quiet symphony.


To see pictures of the kitchens from this era, click here.

Want to see my Atomic Powder Room? Click here.

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  1. Sue

    Station wagon !! *sigh*

  2. Shari D.

    All those “random aircraft” ~ including that apparent “personal helicopter” in the Chevy ad served a definitive purpose in the advertising world of late-50’s automobiles!

    It was to subconsciously clue you into just how “supersonic” or “aircraft-like” the design lines of those cars were, and to get you to equivocate the cars with the sleek, super fast, oh-so-modern aircraft that were filling our skies back then.

    Yes, YOU could own your very own highway version of a post-WWII jet propelled transportation unit – just look at those wing-like body and fender lines, and the nosecone-like bumpers that grace the 4000 pounds of chrome and solid steel you’ve seen hurtling down the highways, being piloted by your friends and most importantly, your neighbors!

    I to, was subjected to the horror-filled trauma of those “hamburger-that-was-once-people-filled” National Traffic Safety Board films we were forced to view as part of our “Driver’s Ed” program in high school!

    Only mine was in 1972, and it was at Western Branch!

    I think they all must have been given copies of the same movies! It was pretty awful, but for some reason, for me it was more like the train wreck you can’t take your eyes away from! It must have been what prepared me to function so well in surgery for 15 years!

    I dated an Airman from Langley AFB my Senior year in High School, and the summer that followed. (He actually is responsible for introducing me to my husband, also an Airman at Langley!)

    Anyway, after I graduated, he wanted to take me to Kings Dominion/Lion Country Safari for a graduation present. But he didn’t own a car – yet. However, that did not stop him!

    He had a friend who lived in the same barracks who just happened to own a 1958 Cadillac Limo! It was in beautiful condition, all original, and everything worked ~ Air Conditioning, power windows, and cruise control among other things!

    SO, he agreed to be our transportation if we paid all expenses, including gas, food and his ticket in to the park. Since it was a present for me, I wasn’t responsible for any of it of course.

    I was told about the basic arrangements ~ that a friend of his was going to drive us, and that they would come pick me up the morning of, but not the details. I was surprised beyond belief (as was my mother!) to see this gorgeous shiny black Caddy Limo pull up in front of my house early on a Saturday morning, with a driver in a dark suit and tie and a limo driver’s cap!! (Did I mention the friend/driver was also black?? LOL! No, I don’t think I did!)

    But, we were quite a sight cruising up I-64 from Hampton to Richmond that morning and back again, in a fabulous vintage Cadillac Limo in the back seat with a cap and suit wearing driver!

    We got more surprised looks, and kids waving, and even a few horns honking at us from folks we passed, and some who passed US just to get a better look! It was surely a memorable trip!

  3. Shari D.

    That Buick Limited convertible is a busy little car! The golden carpet is busy consorting compatibly with the Thai silk and drapery leather (?) pillows, and your leather luggage keeps company with matching cases for your camera, typewriter and bottles? Wow!

    And it looks like Junior has just landed his personal helicopter in time to meet Mother, who just waved him down to a place to land, with his favorite donuts she is delivering to him in her new Chevrolet!

    At least that looks like a helicopter rotor sitting still behind him as he runs up to meet her!

  4. Sears Homes

    @Shari D.
    Shari, I just looked at the picture again and OH MY GOSH – you are right! It’s her son (I guess) running up to meet her) and it’s the helicopter rotor behind him!

  5. bfish

    Oh Rosemary, I think you have a future blogging about old cars — another great love of mine and my husband’s. I’m a 1959 Cadillac girl myself — give me the biggest, pointiest fins with the rocket-like lights “streaking” out the back of the fin!

    I loved that model when it came out and still do. My father was a Cadillac nut and one time (very briefly) we had a 1940 convertible, 1955 coupe, and 1962 models.

    My parents set up the super 8 movie camera on a tripod and took successive shots of each car driving out of the garage (making it appear that they left in rapid succession even though this took a lot of staging). So many fun memories!

    Of the family Cadillacs, the 1955 had by far the most luxe interior — the car was pearl gray and so was everything in side. It was so elegant .

    I enjoyed seeing each of the other car brands as well; wish they’d showed more of the Buick and the Packard.

    And your comments on the ads are hilarious — please score some more old magazines and come back and do this again (and again and again).

  6. Lyn

    Cars of the 50s were distinctive; Every year there was an obvious change in the body of each make.

    In the 60s they all started looking the same.

    In the 50s women wore hats. I still wear a hat when I go somewhere. Even in winter, I’m likely to be the only female in a store wearing a hat.

    Perhaps hats will come back into fashion. There must have been a run on hats for the KY Derby.

  7. Kerry

    I think as much as we have to cough up for cars these days, they should all come with a cashmere shawl.

  8. Sears Homes

    Personally, I’m still wondering why a Vicuna Lap Robe didn’t come with 2012 Camry XLE.

  9. Glen Camenzuli


    Can you tell me which issue of House Beautiful you found those Cadillac ads in? Just the first two, the 1958 Cadillac ads pictured above.