Author Topic: Example of a 1950's home  (Read 675 times)

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Example of a 1950's home
« on: February 18, 2018, 08:13:57 PM »
These pictures were taken nearly two years ago after my Grandma passed away. It was a few days before the house sold, after everything had been cleaned up, wallpaper and carpet removed, and walls patched and painted. This house was built in 1959, and my Grandma and Grandpa lived in it since it was built. In fact, they had it built, and I believe that it was the first house built in the neighborhood. The Apricot tree in the backyard (to the left of the sunroom) was supposedly grown when a construction worker working on the house tossed out an apricot he was eating onto the ground. She never ate apricots before she moved to that house, and no tree was there when the house was finished, so the story fits.

My Grandma was very proud of her "Early American" theme, so not much changed over the years, and anything that was changed was replaced with something that had the same theme. I believe that other than her 2010-or-so dishwasher and TV, the newest appliance in the house was a 1979 GE Microwave Oven. The stovetop, oven, and washing machine/wringer (and backup washing machine) were all original 1959 appliances.

For us phone nuts, the phone of choice was a Black 500, used in the kitchen until sometime in the '70s or late '60s, when it was replaced with a White rotary wall Trimline. That was gone long before I was born, and they had a slew of cordless phones until 2016.

Definitely a great example of a midcentury home!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 09:31:57 PM by WEBellSystemChristian »
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline AE_Collector

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7504
  • AE 2 - AECo's 1st Self Contained Desk Phone 1925
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 08:33:23 PM »
Is the copper clock on the kitchen wall a 120 volt AC model with the always there in a 50’s-60’s home, AC clock outlet behind it?

Terry

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 09:03:47 PM »
Is the copper clock on the kitchen wall a 120 volt AC model with the always there in a 50’s-60’s home, AC clock outlet behind it?

Terry
It didn't have a standard outlet behind it..it actually was hardwired to a much larger metal box that contained the clock mech (that only failed once in almost 60 years) and also the circuit for the doorbell!
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline AE_Collector

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7504
  • AE 2 - AECo's 1st Self Contained Desk Phone 1925
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2018, 09:07:46 PM »
Oh that’s different!

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2018, 09:30:54 PM »
Oh that’s different!
I know! It must have been something my Grandpa insisted on!

They were also very frugal, but they weren't in certain areas. They had one main phone plus two extensions. That was pretty expensive in 1959. Yet, they wouldn't pay for color sets because that was too unnecessary.

Were there fees involved with extension outlets installed in homes? I believe there were three 4-prong outlets in the master bedroom and one each in the other two bedrooms, one in the kitchen, one in the living room, one in the study, one in the family room, one in the garage, and one or two in the basement. That's 10 or 11 outlets! Although some were updated to modular over the years, I was able to save the remaining original outlets and update them to RJ-11 for the new owners.
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline AE_Collector

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7504
  • AE 2 - AECo's 1st Self Contained Desk Phone 1925
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2018, 10:32:36 PM »
May have had to pay a small one time fee initially to get that many locations wired. Here they would have paid a portable phone fee which may have allowed for two locations and one phone, extra locations were something like 60c/month.

Terry

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2018, 11:45:05 PM »
Your grandparents' house may have been a Telephone Planned Home with wiring done by the local Bell installer crew. They promoted that in the 1950s and 60s and it was a free service for their customers with remodeling or new construction. Entire housing developments were pre-wired like that.

My aunt had that done by Southern Bell in a two-story farmhouse she remodeled in 1964, but she had two black 500 sets hard-wired to the wiring and blank faceplates everywhere else, some with junction pieces behind them. Like your grandparents, she was and is very frugal and wouldn't have paid extra for anything. I was the one who removed the faceplates and installed jacks in the 1980s after she bought her phones. I moved one of her 500 sets upstairs. Sadly about 1992 they were both burned in a housefire, which also destroyed her garage, her Buick Park Avenue and part of her bedroom and an upstairs bedroom and the phone wiring, among other things. It was arson and she was lucky to escape alive and call the fire dept. They got the fire put out without damage to some parts of the house. Her house was cleaned and parts were rebuilt and new cat5 wiring was pulled in the old conduit. She still lives there today, at age 91.

The phone company probably charged only the rent of the three phones your grandparents had. I don't think they would have agreed to pay extra for jacks everywhere when they were installed free. It's nice you have pictures of the place as it was when your grandparents lived there.
Jonathan

Offline WEBellSystemChristian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3468
  • Grandpa's 1955 Western Electric 500
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 12:16:55 AM »
I believe we have pictures of the house as it was when they lived there, but this was the house as we last saw it when it was put up for sale...after pretty much everything had been cleaned out, wallpaper taken down, carpet taken out, etc. For our purposes, this is actually close to how it probably looked when it was brand new in 1959, before it had that "lived-in" feeling.

We took the pictures just to remember how the house looked inside, but everyone here can draw their own conclusions as to how it looks with late '50s furniture and phones! ;)
Christian Petterson

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

Offline Haf

  • ****
  • Posts: 466
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 04:45:51 PM »
About a 1950s house, found that article some time ago, a real time capsule:

Quote
These vintage GE appliances are original to my house circa 1956. The house was never occupied and appliances were never used. I purchased the home in 2010 and I'm currently renovating

https://www.flickr.com/photos/27212557@N05/sets/72157623429185132/

(I don't know how to save pictures from flickr, sorry)

Haf
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743

Offline Babybearjs

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2098
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 09:50:24 PM »
funny to see these pictures. I remember the pushbutton cooktop controls... my brother-in-laws mother had that in her kitchen... I also remember that there was come duplexes built in the 70's with the same idea... GE used to have some interesting appliances back in the day...
John

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 10:24:55 PM »
My mom's kitchen had all GE appliances when the house was built in 1953. The dishwasher was the first to die. It was a poor design, as you can see from the pictures in the 1956 kitchen. It loaded from the top and you had to bend over to load the bottom before you loaded the top. The detergent dispenser was this little plastic cup that flipped over and it only had one dial on the outside to start and stop it. It got replaced in 1973 with a Kitchen-Aid.

The fridge lasted a very long time. It may still work--it's at someone else's house now and we've lost track of it. My grandmother used it for longer than my mom did. It was small and had a freezer that had to be defrosted, which was a pain. But it had this great blue GE logo that lit up when the door was opened. GE was great about designing in logos with lights on them.

Mom's 1953 40" pushbutton GE stove is still in service. A very dependable appliance for sure. I've replaced a few things on it over the years. Pulling a 40" stove out from the wall isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, but replacing a burned out Calrod unit is a piece of cake in those stoves. I did it a couple months ago with GE parts found on eBay and it works like new.

We had other GE stuff too--washer and dryer, B&W TVs, hair dryer, electric fans, portable radio, stand mixer, window unit air conditioners, canister vacuum, and our first color TV in 1969. My dad really believed in GE products and they didn't let him down over the years. He worked for a building contractor and they used GE products in all their houses. I've saved a lot of our GE stuff in my basement and could almost make a GE museum out of it.

I worked on my own GE stove this past January and changed out the oven timer, which was going off by itself at odd times. The first repair it's needed in 32 years.
Jonathan

Offline Haf

  • ****
  • Posts: 466
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2018, 04:56:16 AM »
I guess stoves, as they where one main important feature of every home, where build to last forever. At least in the past. Not 1950's  but here is my AEG 1934 stove in my kitchen. Working and in daily use. It has a special "Glühkochplatte", something more common in the US but here very rare. And expensive. 4 of those where more than the stove itself. Picture of a 1938 price list with explanation (in German).

Haf
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1947
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2018, 02:05:30 PM »
Haf, if you don't mind my asking, what were the other disc elements on the stove? A different electric element or was it another type like kerosene or coal? My grandparents actually had a combination wood cook stove with two electric units on one side. In the old days the wood cook stove was what heated the kitchen. They finally replaced it with a GE electric stove when they got central heating.

I can see the electric element in your picture has two elements in it, and in the 1930s that was also rare and expensive here. Often they were just one coil of nichrome wire, like on a hot plate, in the 1930s. GE called the dual elements "Calrod Units" and the buttons or knobs on the stove operated combinations of those elements for Wm, Lo, 3, 2 and Hi.

My mom's stove had a "high speed" Calrod unit (it said so on the GE logo in the middle) and I couldn't find anything like it when it blew out recently, so I had to replace it with a regular 6" GE unit. I don't know if it was just GE hype or if it truly was a higher speed, or if all units made in the last 40 years were high speed, so the name fell by the wayside. But mom was hard to convince. She always believed that one was faster, and it may have been when compared to the other 1953 units on the stove.
Jonathan

Offline Haf

  • ****
  • Posts: 466
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2018, 02:30:44 PM »
Jonathan
the other elements are electrical too. Those are the common form until today, except most stoves now have ceran or induction cooktop. Basically inside the common element there was a similar heating coil but covered with steel castings. If you have the heating coil uncovered, it glows. That is what AEG advertised in the 1930's, roughly translated: Becourse the housewife wants to check the heat develeopment with her own eyes" Those "Glühkochplatte" are kind of high speed as there is no steel cover to heat up first. The US type calrod were perceived as unsafe here, as objekts in contact can easily catch fire. That was why the Glühkochplatte never became popular here and was taken out of programm shortly after. And if you see the one element on top in my picture, this hotplate has a enamel ring around it, so you can put in different seizes into the opening of the top. All hotplates where pluagble. See example of plug in the AEG picture from the Glühkochplatte.
There where combined coal and electricity stoves here too, see the two models on right side of this 1930's Graetzor catalog.
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743

Offline Haf

  • ****
  • Posts: 466
Re: Example of a 1950's home
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2018, 10:41:30 AM »
Today I took the next weeks visit of Compubit as an inducement to do some basic cleaning of my oven again. Turned out nicely. It's dated  VII 34, so it's 84 years old. And it's my only oven and in daily use of course. Unrestored but with very few signs of use.

Haf
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 10:47:26 AM by Haf »
Telephone:
0049-030-55474418
001-415-449-4743