Summer fun for the fifties family! Vintage Doughboy above-ground swimming pools & backyard wading pools

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to Amazon or other companies, and purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

Remember vintage Doughboy-style above-ground swimming pools? A look back from 1954

Ever dream of having your own family swimming pool but switch to another thought because of the anticipated cost? Get hep, brother. It’s not as expensive as you may think.

In fact, for $175, you can purchase a giant inflatable plastic pool with a capacity of 5,500 gallons of water that a half-dozen adults can comfortably enjoy at one time: double that number of youngsters can swim and splash to their hearts’ content without a kick in the eye.

This backyard pool has been created by Doughboy Industries Inc. of New Richmond, Wisconsin, and it measures 57 feet around, 18 feet in diameter, and is nearly 3 feet deep. It is supported by a decorative galvanized steel mesh wall, and the pool itself is made of strong laminated Krene plastic film, with the seams heat sealed with the firm’s exclusive heat sealers.

The firm — which also turns out a $50 pool which is 8-1/2 feet in diameter and a $100 pool 12 feet in diameter, both supported by rigid, ribbed walls of thin slats of wood — decided to engineer family pools after surveys and reports showed the trend was toward homes with more yard space and the need for pools in new residential districts.

It joined with well-known landscape artists and engineers to work out plans that permit families to make their own luxury setting for the pool, using sod, slabs of stone, and rock.

Of course, this pool is just one of the many types now being manufactured. It’s singled out merely to show what sizes are available and how cheaply they may be obtained.

MORE  40 vintage backyard ideas so fab, you'll want to re-create this relaxing sixties-style outdoor living vibe

If you’re interested in the smaller types, which accommodate two or three youngsters but no grownups, or concrete pools of whatever size you want, there are many firms in northern New Jersey ready to serve you. This article is only intended to undoubt the Doubting Thomases!

But say it’s not solely swimming you’re after. Instead, you’d like to use some or all of the rear yard for competitive games. How do you go about it? Here’s just a partial list of games that fit the average yard: croquet, badminton, 9-pins, shuffle-board, quoits, tetherball.

Larger yards, of course, will accommodate a tennis court. But it’s not necessary to transform the yard into a playground. A few simple, movable games, possibly accompanying a mobile pool, with the proper landscaping for privacy and beauty, makes any one’s yard as good as — maybe better than — any vacation area. And you don’t have to battle traffic!

Vintage Doughboy above-ground swimming pools: Giant 22-foot pool

Low cost fun for the whole family… Big enough to swim in…built to last for years!

A real full-size swimming pool you can enjoy all summer long … for season-after-season of wholesome family fun!

This new 22-foot Doughboy Family Pool is a full 42 inches deep — BIG enough for the biggest adult; gives youngsters plenty of room to practice their swimming where you can keep an eye on them.

And you can put it up yourself in an hour or less on any level ground — no digging; no expensive installation; no costly servicing or maintenance. At summer’s end, just fold it up and store in the convenient shipping carton. Steel-mesh sides and Dough-boy’s exclusive Forti-Plyed construction with heat-sealed seams guarantee year-after-year of the toughest use.

MORE: A Coleco pool for the backyard: Above-ground swimming pools (1970)

See this new Doughboy 22-foot Family Pool at your dealer’s now! (Doughboy rigid-side pools also available in 18-ft., 12-ft., and 8-1/2 -ft. sizes; prices begin at $50.00.)

1955's vintage Doughboy swimming pool

Vintage Doughboy above-ground swimming pools & water toys

Doughboy water playmates: Inexpensive fun for the whole family

Jun 7, 1954 Doughboy pools and backyard fun

Vintage swimming pools: Oceans of fun… right in your own backyard!

The whole family’s getting in the swim this summer with pools and playthings made of wonder-wearing, waterproof KRENE, Sturdily built for fun and action, they inflate quickly and easily … can be compactly folded for easy packing and winter storage.

Krene identifies the amazing, modern-day material made by Bakelite Company, leader in the industry for 43 years. Every step in its making is carefully controlled to ensure high quality, excellent performance.

Whether you’re shopping for swimming pools, nursery needs, rainwear, shower curtains… you’ll find it always pays to look for the “Made of Krene” label… at better stores everywhere.

LIKE DUCKS TAKE TO WATER! No wonder water playthings made of KRENE are popular as summer itself with boys and girls… even grown-ups!

In sunny colors and bright, imaginative designs, there’s a variety wide enough to appeal to everybody. Watertight and lasting, they resist ripping, cracking and mildew. Each buoyant, bouncy toy is easily and quickly inflated …so compact when folded, you can take it anywhere!

Jun 7, 1954 Bakelite Krene backyard swimming pools

MORE  A Coleco pool for the backyard: Above-ground swimming pools (1970)

Inexpensive fun for the whole family

LOOK! DOUGHBOY’S 12 FT. FAMILY POOL. No digging, no installation costs. Large enough for young and old to swim in clean safe water. 1600 gal. capacity, 2 ft. depth. Valves for water circulation. $100. Other Doughboy “Family” Pools from $50 to $175.

Tough and terrific… Doughboy… These giant inflatable beach toys are easy to inflate, deflate, carry. And they last and last, because they’re made of rugged FORTI-PLYED® Vinylite two layers thick.

Backyard beach with your own wading pool

They’re happy and safe at home, with a sturdy Doughboy inflatable wading pool. It’s easy to inflate, fill and drain, Illustrated: Deluxe 6 ft, Poot (155 gal., 10-in. depth), $15. Other wading pools from 38 in. to 7 ft. Priced from $3 to $30

Jun 8, 1953 Doughboy backyard pools

Smaller vintage Doughboy inflatable swimming pools


with Doughboy inflatable plastic toys and pools. All are built to last season-after-season with Doughboy’s exclusive Forti-Plyed film (two layers of tough plastic, permanently bonded together) and patented heat-sealed seams. Colors and decorations are part of the plastic — won’t wash or fade out.


A sturdy, roomy pool youngsters will be content to play in for hours! Tubular steel frame goes together in minutes without screws or bolts. Heavy-duty pool liner lasts for years; nothing to inflate.

Plenty of fun-filled extras, too: four steel “clip-on” corner seats; die-cast aluminum “shower” attaches to any garden hose; decorated “Waikiki” pattern bottom. See this new type pool at your dealers now. Prices begin at $10.00.

1955 Doughboy swimming pool - Backyard beach

1954’s “Miss Universe”, Miriam Stevenson, wearing new 1955 Catalina bathing suit exclusively created for this photo.

Doughboy Pool accessories

BULGY the whale. 44-in. long, 21-in. wide. $2.25
AQUA-PUP the Dog. 15-in. wide; 13-in. high; cute floppy ears. $2.00
RIGID FRAME POOL, 4 ft. x 6 ft. Tubular steel frame is easy to assemble (no screws used); vinyl-impregnated canvas pool. $20.00. Others at $14.00 and $35.00.
TIPPY the Sailor Buoy. Weighted bottom keeps him upright. $2.00
SWIM PADDLES –Junior-size frog men’s special! Only $1.00 a pair!
SWIM VEST. Kapok-filled for real buoyancy. Wonderful idea for “beginner” water toy. Four sizes; prices begin at $5.00
2-RING POOL, 9:2 in. deep, 65-in. diameter. 3-color decorated bottom; repair kit; filling and inflating device. $10.00
3-RING POOL, 14!, in. deep, 90-in. diameter. 3-color decorated bottom; repair kit; filling and inflating device. $30.00
SPLASHER the Frog. 48-in. long, 30-in. wide. S3.00
BEACHBALLS. L6 in., $1.00; 20-in., $2.00; giant 28-in. $4.00.

More stories you might like

See our books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Because the fun never ends:

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.