Oh, How Homes Have Changed Since The 1950s


Back in 1978, my wife and I bought a split-level home with a basement in the suburbs of Cleveland.

We were very excited about the neighborhood and the large lot.

As everyone should, we had a home inspection that showed the home to be sound.

We had my mom and dad come look at the home and share our excitement, but instead, we were told right off that the house was no good.

Why? Because the walls were drywall instead of plaster.

Changes happen slowly, but look what has changed in homes over the years.

Insulation was not a big concern before President Jimmy Carter’s energy crisis years.

Many homes were built with minimal ceiling insulation and no wall insulation.

The common eight-foot ceiling of those days may feel confining by today’s standards. Even the manufactured homes of today have higher ceilings.

No doubt in the decades to come, solar power will become a mainstay in homes.

What has made life easier in the home? Many of us grew up without clothes dryers with the backyard clothesline quite common.

Closets were small by today’s standards and when someone referred to the dishwasher, they were referring to me.

Remember the dash for the bathroom? Many pre and post World War II homes had a single bathroom.

Today you may only see a bathroom in a vacation cottage or a one-bedroom condominium.

Nevertheless, it was a big improvement over the outhouse.

Today, home air conditioning is common, but in 1950 it was considered a luxury to have a window-mounted room air conditioner.

The two- and three-car garage is now more common, but in the 1950s, a single-car garage was the norm.

How about home entertainment?

We would huddle around the 19-inch television with rabbit ears and grainy, black and white picture and pick from three television channels.

What a luxury it was in the mid-1960s if you had a color TV. Remember trying to set the colors on those sets?

Today we have home theatre rooms with surround sound and flat screen 3D, LED high-definition screens approaching 70 inches.

Not only that, but with homes wired for the Internet, homeowners can download movies right to their “media centers.”

If only they would invent self-washing windows.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker with Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (982) 474-2216.


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