LIFE

12 Things Americans Did Better In The 1950s Than Today

by Phil Mutz
Phil is an Editor at LittleThings. He loves writing and the outdoors. You can often find him at the movies or the park.

Modern times are great for a lot of reasons: advanced medicine, the latest gadgets, the ability to travel across the country in a matter of hours.

And while I love the modern comforts that come from living in 2016, certain things used to be better back in the day, like manners and home-cooked meals.

Sure, it’s fun to think back to the 1950s. We had poodle skirts, beautiful cars, and Elvis even got his start. It’s hard not to look back without getting nostalgic, like with these bizarre beauty queens of the ’50s.

However, for me, the ’50s are about more than a trip down memory lane. There were just certain things that our country did better back then.

I’m not sure I would want to go back and live 60-some-odd years ago, but when I take a look at these 12 simple things that Americans did better in the ’50s, it definitely makes me consider it!

What did we forget from our list? Let us know in the comments and make sure to SHARE with anyone who misses the ’50s!

1. Build Things

1. Build Things

Whether working on assembly lines or building model airplanes at home, we just don’t seem to build things the way we used to. Even our furniture from IKEA comes with a seemingly foolproof set of instructions to minimize our creativity and DIY skills.

2. Whip Up A Home-Cooked Meal

2. Whip Up A Home-Cooked Meal

Many folks can look back fondly at the ’50s, remembering times spent with the family around the dinner table over a delicious, home-cooked meal. With so many of us on the go today, it’s become a fast food world where we don’t even take the time to enjoy our food before swallowing.

3. Make Music

3. Make Music

Many would argue that they just don’t make music like they used to. After all, can Britney Spears really stand up against Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Chuck Berry?

4. Twist The Night Away

4. Twist The Night Away

I bet today’s youth would disagree, but people sure knew how to bust a move in the ’50s. Which of today’s dance moves could compare to the jitterbug or the hand jive?

5. Make Time For Family

5. Make Time For Family

Alright, so maybe Leave It to Beaver isn’t exactly what family life was like. But back in the ’50s, parents at least carved out time for the family unit to spend with one another.

Video games, text messaging, and the internet seem to have taken over for board games and nights gathered around the television together.

6. Mind Their Manners

6. Mind Their Manners

Would you ever have considered talking back to your parents or your teachers in the ’50s? Not a chance! Kids definitely knew how to mind their manners better back then.

7. Keep A Tidy House

7. Keep A Tidy House

Now things might not have been the best in the ’50s with women often expected to keep a clean house. But back then, even kids knew to clean up after themselves when they were done playing.

Today, far too many houses look like an episode of Hoarders when you walk inside!

8. Fix Stuff

8. Fix Stuff

They say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But nowadays, it seems like people don’t fix things at all. Instead of going out into the driveway to work on the car, we simply drop it off at the mechanic and pay whatever price they decide to charge.

Whatever happened to fixing things ourselves?

9. Do Their 'Do

9. Do Their 'Do

Okay, maybe Grease wasn’t filmed in the ’50s, but it sure reminds us how great the hair was back then!

10. Make Jell-O

10. Make Jell-O

If you grew in the ’50s, you definitely recognize one of these babies. For better or for worse, they definitely don’t make Jell-O molds like they used to!

11. Dress Up

11. Dress Up

People were also way better at dressing up. You wouldn’t have spotted ripped jeans, a stained T-shirt, or running shoes on a first date back then!

12. Make A First Impression

12. Make A First Impression

And last, but certainly not least, people understood the importance of making a good first impression. Meeting your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s parents for the first time was a crucial test — one that many teens would be likely to fail today.

While things were far from perfect in the ’50s, and while today’s comforts sure are nice, we can certainly all agree that there were quite a few things Americans did a whole lot better back in the 1950s!

What did we forget from our list? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your ’50s-loving friends!