Table Model

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Frequently Asked Questions...

How does the show "I love Lucy" embody the life of the 1950's?

How does the show "I love Lucy" embody the life of the 1950's?

Best Answer...


I think you will find features of the show that influenced life in the 1950s. I remember seeing a radio, I think an AM-FM table model radio, that was black and white, exactly like one my grandmother and grandfather had. There were other features in the household that would also be found.

Lucy, was a stay at home wife and mother. This was fairly typical in the 50s and 60s, though it is also interesting that Lucy's urgent need to go to work, in show business of course, kind of reflects a sudden change from the war years. Many women who had been housewives in the 30s, were working in war industries during the war, and it must have been a big change for these women to return to the household, after earning a substantial income during the war years.

The fact that everyone smokes isn't really so much a reflection of the life styles of the fifties as it is of their sponsor, Philip Morris. Remember the scene where Lucy takes all the working parts out of the TV and gets inside wearing a bell hop's uniform and holding a pack of cigarettes? That bell hop character and his hotel lobby page "call for Philip Morris" was their trademark for years.

A lot of GIs had gotten the habit during the war, because cigarettes were included in their combat rations. Smoking tobacco will kill hunger pains, and it was included because the cigarettes would last longer than the chow, and if a unit wasn't resupplied regularly, like a forward unit might not be, the cigarettes would keep them from getting hungry.

I do seem to remember there was a lot of Brylcream around the house when I was little, so I suspect as much product as was seen in Desi's hair was probably the norm. If you've ever had that stuff in your hair, the first instinct is to wash it out, at least that was mine.

Styles were influenced by the show, and the styles of the time were also influencing the show.