Whether you preferred the term “housewife” or “homemaker,” if you were a woman in the 1950s, it was a job without parallel. (Well, to be fair, it was the only job around for the majority of ladies.)

Take a trip down memory lane with this lighthearted look back at how advertisers seemingly portrayed the sunny days of yesteryear, when a woman’s home was her castle — and her kitchen was the heart of that home.

As a housewife, the kitchen was the center of your life



Always make enough to feed a small army

A full oven equaled a happy family. (Dinner for six, coming up!)

Always make enough to feed a small army


Make your own all-you-can eat buffet

Below might be a typical weeknight dinner: Rotisserie-cooked ham, mashed potatoes, asparagus, a nifty frankfurter casserole, salad, fruit and an angel food cake. (There’s also a pot of Bearnaise sauce simmering on the stove.) Important note: Never forget to wear an apron. And pearls.

Make your own all-you-can eat buffet

“Thank you, darling”

For the ’50s housewife/chef, your cooking was often so appreciated, you were given a golden crown — because you were just that wonderful.

How to be a perfect '50s housewife: In the kitchen

Cleaning up is half the fun

As if the food wasn’t impressive enough, well, the dishwasher was truly something worth sharing with guests.

Showing company your new dishwasher

Your husband even knew that the fancy counter-height dishwasher got you in the mood.

fancy counter-height dishwasher

Fun with your kitchen

Appliances aside, decorating your beloved lair with joyful little flourishes was one of the greatest joys of kitchen ownership.

Housewife decorating the kitchen

Housewife making shelving pretty!

Extra fun times

When you were down, there was nothing quite so uplifting as reorganizing the whole room. Since it was your lair, you could even use the oven and the floor to store items. When you have everything positioned just so, relax with a nice crossword puzzle!

Reorganize your kitchen

“Well, Betty – you would not believe…”

Every now and then, your adoration went so deep, you completely ignored what the kids were doing in lieu of describing your homemaking happiness to the person unfortunate enough to be on the other end of the telephone.

50s housewife talking on the kitchen phone


And when things get really, really incredible? You cook some bacon, take off one of your penny loafers, then gaze gratefully toward the heavens as you call your dad to thank him for working that 9-to-5 job so you and your mom can have the kind of gift that keeps on giving: A fabulous fifties kitchen.

The joy of kitchens

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Filed under: 1950s, Culture & lifestyle, Entertainment, Vintage advertisements

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One Response

  1. Diane

    You would be happy, smiling and showing off your kitchen too if you no longer had to wash dishes by hand and use other old fashioned appliances or kitchens.


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