Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Media Influence

Photos from the Family Collection of Midge Frazel

Media Influence

Every family story about the 1950s and 1960s seems to revolve around the influence of television and the telephone and the snapshot photographs in my parents collection certainly is no exception. The living room or the den was the center of the young households taking emphasis off the past years of family gatherings in the dining room. Life was changing. Some people think this was not for the better. 

In this photo, I am listening to a "Peter Pan" storybook on a LP record. The spiral bound book has some of the story and some drawings. The photos to the right are the only ones from my family collection that show the "media center". The black and white one is dated, March 1952 and seems earlier than the one where my mother is talking on the phone. At this time, there was only one telephone in the house but later, a phone was in the kitchen and in my bedroom. 

If 1952 is the correct date, then that would make sense. The story is that my mother went to a house party in the neighborhood because someone bought a TV set. She could talk of nothing else! Grandfather Evans was so influenced, he went out and bought two television sets one for our house and one for his own. My mother's was special, it had a record player and radio in the left side. Since, there was limited programming for TV, the radio was still on all day. The record player was used for my storybooks and for the 1940s swing music records. I remember my parents jitterbugging in the living room. Many parents did this. I love asking people my age if they remember their parents dancing. Let me know if yours did too.

Soon "The Plat" was alive with the glow of the TV screen. You could see who had a TV when you drove the streets at night. It is hard to imagine life before TV but I still do!


Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Yes, my mom and dad did practice ballroom dances in our living room on occasion. Mom had been a champion dancer with a different partner before she married my dad so she loved daning. Dad just was so-so at it. Great post! Love the media center!

Anonymous said...

Make that "dancing". I saw that typo just as I pressed enter.

Anonymous said...

I remember when folks had "dens." I also remember when they were called "rumpus rooms." Not sure of the chronology of those! And yes, the 1940's Big Bands and swing dance records were part of my growing up as well. My dad loved music. He just couldn't carry a tune.

John said...

I remember those round TVs. My grandparents had one and it is my earliest memory of watching a television during visits to Cumberland, RI. Micky Mouse Club was a favorite. Thnaks for sparking that memory with your photo.