Dads Through The Decades: Meet ’50s Dad

Dads Through The Decades

We’ve been thinking about dads. While no two dads are exactly alike, our memories of them – what they looked like, what we watched together, the music they played in the car – are a product of their time.

With that in mind, we embarked on our Dads Through The Decades project, asking you to share your memories of your Dad in the decade of your youth.

Those stories (combined with a few of our own) are helping us to create some fantastic paper doll style illustrations of ‘Dad’ stretching back from the ‘00s to the ‘50s – just in time for Father’s Day.


Meet ’50s Dad

‘50s Dad was a traditional chap. His home was his castle and providing for his family was his focus.

He took his job as breadwinner seriously and would work from dawn until dusk to make sure there was enough food on the table, even when rationing was still the norm.

He didn’t necessarily help much with housework, but his word was law when it came to deciding who did what chores and judging how well they’d been done. After all, “Father knows best”.

And when he had saved up enough money, ‘50s Dad would invest it in newfangled technology to make life that little bit easier. From the vacuum cleaner to the coffee percolator to the microwave oven, he carefully considered the practical benefits of investing in them all.

And his practicality didn’t stop there. ‘50s Dad was the living embodiment of DIY and the font of all knowledge when it came to getting his hands dirty. He’d show you exactly how to repair the engine when the family’s trusty Ford Anglia didn’t feel like getting going.

And he was positively green-fingered when it came to the garden or the allotment. Each weekend, the lawn was immaculately cut and the flower arrangements tidied. No matter what the season, vegetables so fresh that they only travelled a few meters to get to your plate were always being planted, watered and protected from hungry creatures.

Quality time with ‘50s Dad might mean dreaming up fantastic sculptures you’d make together out of plasticine. Or maybe you were trying to find the perfect speed to take into the corners of your first Scaletrix track so that you took the chequered flag.

He’d play the Silver to your Lone Ranger and the Captain Hook to your Peter Pan. When it was time for the kids shows on television, you’d catch him singing along to the theme of Muffin The Mule or rolling his eyes as Bill & Ben spoke “gibberish” to Little Weed.

‘50s Dad wasn’t sure why teenagers needed to be rebels – with or without a cause. He’d virtually stood to attention during the Queen’s coronation and saw authority as something to be respected and admired. He was pretty sure that the new fashions (like dressing as a Teddy Boy or wearing jeans casually) would lead to trouble.

And as far as he was concerned, the less said about Elvis’s dancing, Jerry Lee’s singing about ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, and the birth of rock and roll, the better. He thought that the big band sound still swung… even even as Buddy Holly was telling everyone to ‘Rave On’.

He might have been forever worried that you’d become a beatnik… but all in all, ‘50s Dad was pretty cool.


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