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Median Age at First Marriage
  Men Women
195022.8 20.3
195122.9 20.4
195223.0 20.2
195322.8 20.2
195423.0 20.3
195522.6 20.2
195622.5 20.1
195722.6 20.3
195822.6 20.2
195922.5 20.2
Source:  US Census: Estimated Median Age at First Marriage, by Sex: 1890 to the Present

Weddings Of the 1950s

"Two beauty baskets of yellow gladioli and white snapdragons and altar vases of white snapdragons decorated the altar. Two seven branch candelabra completed the setting."


Given in marriage by her father the bride wore a Diane Rose original of ice blue faille. The fitted bodice was fashioned with a scalloped neckline and cap sleeves. Tiny self covered buttons closed the front. Unpressed pleats fashioned the full skirt of the floor length gown.

 Attached to her headpiece of braided satin was a shoulder length veil of Illusion. Nylon mitts completed her ensemble. She carried a colonial style bouquet of tiny pink rosebuds and white narcissi showered with pink ribbon.

 Mrs. R. E. S.,  Jeromesville, was the bride's only attendant. Her gown of coral nylon tulle over taffeta was fashioned with a formal draped bodice, worn with a removable jacket of coral faille.

 She wore a crown headpiece studded with rhinestones and trimmed with net. Her colonial bouquet consisted of blue irises and shower ribbon.

For her daughter's wedding, Mrs. O. chose a brown crepe dress with beige accessories. The bridegroom's mother was attired in a blue crepe dress with navy accessories. Each wore a corsage of white hyacinths.

Married Life in the '50s

49 Ways to Make Marriage More Exciting: Fun of being together fading a bit? Want to know what to do about it? January Reader's Digest reports 49 practical suggestions from a brainstorming session held by happily married people . . . Might be an idea here which would put spring in your spouse's spirit. Get January Readers Digest today!
December 29, 1958

The Single Life In the '50s

Apartment Size Gas Range - City or Bottled Gas for $195.95If you were single and had your own apartment, you would probably be cooking your meals on something like this!

Apartment Size Gas Range - City or Bottled Gas for $195.95


1950s Romance, Courtship & Marriage

1957 Picture Of Woman Waiting for the phone to ring..."If you are 30 years old and aren't married, something is wrong."

Tired of waiting by the phone on a Saturday night? Yearning for that special man who seems nowhere to be found?

Take a closer look at how you stack up with this weeks article:

"A Check List on Marriage Rating"

Is This Love? (1957)

Three Lincoln Girls Are Affianced
What exactly are they talking about here? Did this happen late at night? Are the girls going to be OK? Don't worry...this is just an engagement announcement from 1956. These three girls are simply engaged, spoken for, off the market...

According to my mother, who is becoming the ultimate authority on all things 50s, times were innocent in the 50s. Men and Women could pal around as friends, go skiing together, and there was "never any hanky panky".

On those aforementioned ski trips, the gals bunked together and the guys did likewise. Nice thing about the 50s was that the boys always picked up the tab, whether they were dining out (steak) or swishing down the slopes at Mammoth.

Week-ends, folks back then always had a date; the man would call up the woman and say something like "Say, how about going out with me on Saturday night for a steak?" If this invitation was accepted, then the man paid for the steak too.

But there was never any hanky panky.

But then there is this: The Dark Side of Dating in the 1950s

"This was in the fifties. For some reason I started thinking of my little apartment over a one car garage---which would also make interesting telling. But my main recollection was of the many abortions I was privy to while living there.

There were two women in the main house: one was in her thirties, the other was my age (early twenties), The older one was a call girl for her company. When they had visiting business men, she would be their "date"--(smirky face). I learned about this because the younger one (CJ) was talked into going along for "dinner" and found to her chagrin why she was invited. Of course she declined to participate (she had a boyfriend and also didn't need the money). Of course the older one ---Samantha---of all things, regularly got pregnant (I got this all from CJ) and went as regularly to Watts to a nice black lady who performed the abortion for $25.

One night Samantha came home and brought me a present of the harpsichord recordings of Wanda Landowska---she must have gotten a bundle that night.

CJ poor dumb kid also got pregnant several times. Once she had to wrap herself in several sheets and taxi-it to the hospital leaving quite a bloody cab. Finally she decided to go home to South Carolina, and we heard of another abortion and the birth of a baby boy. Boy was she fertile. There must not have been any contraception then. Another close friend of mine also had an abortion. but got infected and spent a week in the hospital. As I look back on this it seems to me that pregnancy was rife and so was access to shady abortions."

Recollection of the 1950s, Name Withheld Upon Request


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Attitudes Towards Dating in 1950
  • Of 900 teenagers surveyed, the majority said their generation starts dating earlier than a generation ago.

  • The youngsters were inclined to blame modern society in general for encouraging early dating through school and youth club activities and what one boy termed "community togetherness."

  • Even more than the teachers (surveyed), teenagers were inclined to point a finger at the easy accessibility of the family car on date nights.

  • Parental emphasis on dancing lessons, acquiring social graces, establishing status in the community by joining the local teen-age social whirl and similar evidences of  coaxing by Mom and Dad were cited as contributing factors to the early dating trend.

  • "Jealousy is a problem," conceded a 15-year-old student. "You can't even look at another girl without your steady getting mad."

  • "When you break up with a steady, it's hard to get back in the social whirl. You've kind of lost touch."

  • But where the teachers were concerned about such things as pregnancy, early marriage and fist fights in the school yard, the kids were faced with such. problems as jealous love, finding the right steady and unloading the wrong steady.  "The big problem is how to get rid of a steady that you don't want to go steady with anymore,"

  • Of the entire group interviewed (both those going steady and those playing the field), 45 per cent thought the habit was bad for their set, 17 per cent thought it good and 38 per cent hadn't made up their minds.

      Purple Flower