Awesome 1950s

The Ultimate Space Race

The Ultimate Space Race

Jake Wegesin of Ambient Press created this wonderful CG short film about the space race of the 1950s and 1960s, offering a playful reinterpretation of the competition between the USA and USSR. Benjamin Widawksi’s music and the accompanying narration perfectly complement the black-and-white animation.

Raygun Bookends

Raygun Bookends
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These metal bookends from Pendulux look like the rayguns that astronauts and aliens might have used to battle each other in a 1950s sci-fi movie. They’re made from cast aluminum, iron, and brass and are perfect for displaying vintage comics, books, and magazines.

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Mid Century Modern Switch Plates

Mid Century Modern Switch Plates
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Love the look of mid-century modern design? Spring River Studio makes 1950s-inspired light switch and outlet plates. The plates come in boomerang and blobby trapezoid shapes, with colorful and kitschy patterns sure to take you back in time. The interchangeable patterns are sandwiched between two layers of acrylic.

The Terrifying Mr. Potato Head

The Terrifying Mr. Potato Head

Since the 1960s, Mr. Potato Head toys have come with a fake potato body made of plastic. But when they first came out in the 1950s, they were strictly bring-your-own tuber. Vintage TV Commercials dug up this 1952 Hasbro promo that shows just how creepy and weird looking the original Potato Heads could be.

Crosley Sterling Turntable

Crosley Sterling Turntable
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We dig the trapezoidal 1950s styling of this retro record player. Like other Crosley turntables, it’s portable and has built-in speakers, but we think it looks best parked on its matching legs. It also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker and has an AUX input for connecting external audio sources.

Orbit Table Clock

Orbit Table Clock
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Go back to the atomic age with this 1950s-inspired table clock from Pendulux. Weighing in at a hefty 5.75 pounds, it’s made with a solid cast aluminum body and a thick convex glass lens that sits atop its green gradient face, held in place with brass clips. Measures 8″ H x 8″ W x 5″ D.

The First Drum Machine

The First Drum Machine

We always thought that drum machines came along sometime in the 1970s, but it turns out that there was one model you could buy as early as 1959. Look Mum No Computer opens the doors to his personal museum for a look at the Wurlitzer Side Man to see how the ingenious way it made rhythms with electromechanical systems.

Martin Metal Atompunk Lamps

Martin Metal Atompunk Lamps
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Dig the look of objects from the early days of the Nuclear Age? UK-based Martin Metal Art creates unique lamps with an Atompunk aesthetic, incorporating objects like 1960s battery chargers, perforated metal, and glass for a great retrofuturist vibe. The Davenset Atomic Reactor is our favorite, but it’s also the most expensive.

Down with the Doo-Wop

Down with the Doo-Wop

There I Ruined It continues to live up to their name with another cursed reimagining of a popular song. This time, they took the Disturbed track Down with the Sickness and made it sound like a bubbly 1950s Doo-Wop tune. Love it or hate it, consider supporting their fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Ride

Ride

(Flashing images) Motorcycles take the spotlight in Paul Bush’s stop-motion short film, which pays tribute to the motorcycle design and culture of the 1950s and 1960s. Bush created the effects by swapping bikes between frames, and featured quite the assortment of motorcycles thanks to Jose Pereira‚Äôs Museu das Motas in Portugal.

Restoring a Toy Cash Register

Restoring a Toy Cash Register

Fully-mechanical cash registers are relics of a bygone shopping era. But there was a time that they were so popular that they even made a version for kids to play with. Watch as Rescue & Restore takes on the challenge of tearing down and rebuilding a rusted-out Tom Thumb model that dates back to the 1950s.

Smart Home, c. 1950

Smart Home, c. 1950

Take a trip back to the 1950s, when appliance company Westinghouse shared their vision for the “all electric” house of the future. While some of the user interfaces are incredibly dated, there are some ideas here that would find their way to homes in the 21st century – and yet others we’d still love to see.

Repairing a Wondergram

Repairing a Wondergram

Retro gadget expert Techmoan fixes up a wonderful gizmo from the 1950s, a turntable about the size of a book, known as the Wondergram. It doesn’t sound great, and clearly isn’t good for vinyl, but it’s a nifty bit of engineering for its time.

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Disney’s Magic Highway U.S.A.

Disney’s Magic Highway U.S.A.

Back in 1958, Disney envisioned the future of America’s highways and automotive tech. While we still don’t have flying ambulances or self-building roads, backup cameras and traffic apps are everyday items, and autonomy is closer than ever. Watch the full movie here.

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