Convenience foods and modern appliances spare mom a few hours in the kitchen.
The 1950s is often referred to as America’s favorite decade. It was a time of great innovations in technology and growing economic prosperity. Many 1950s innovations for the home focused on relieving some of the burden for homemakers. In 1950 the average homemaker spent 3 hours a day preparing meals, cooking and feeding her family. In addition to that there was cleaning, errands and entertaining, so there was a need to make life a little easier on them. This new-found freedom from housework also gave women the opportunity to look for part-time work outside of the home.
Convenience was the name of the game for food companies and advertisers. Kraft Foods introduced the first pre-sliced cheese in 1950, saving time on lunch preparation. The rise of frozen foods, like Swanson’s TV Dinner, saved time on frequent shopping trips and money on spoiled ingredients. In 1952 Birds Eye began selling frozen peas and Mrs. Paul’s introduced frozen fish sticks.
The Magic Chef gas oven and range was introduced in 1954, promising to save women time because they only needed to put in the food and come back later for a “perfectly cooked dinner.” Refrigerators were remodeled to be “frost-free,” liberating women from the tedious work of de-frosting and cleaning them. Also that year, the first non-stick Teflon pans were introduced. Women could kiss scrubbing goodbye!
A few other 1950s innovations worth noting:
1950 – The first affordable home dishwasher is created by Jerry La Raus, available for just $169.50
1953 – Saran Wrap is created by Dow Chemical
1954 – General Electric introduces the first colored kitchen appliances
1955 – Tappan manufactures the first home microwaves, but with a $1300 price tag sales are low.