Fashion bomb live

1950s Timeline 1950-1960

By Pauline Weston Thomas for

1950s Timeline

The scientific and mass production fashion bomb live advances made during the second World War, meant that the fifties changed forever the way people lived, for example, technological changes in fibres, communication and medicine.

The fifties changed all our lives so that we do live differently now. Take a look at some 1950s events that have had a long term effect on society.



War in Korea.

Confirmation of Hydrogen Bomb Programme by President Truman.

Credit card system introduced in America.

Pucci opened the Fashion House of Emilio Pucci.

Mass production of computers began.

First organ transplant takes place.

The world population numbers 2.52 billion. (World population now estimated at  6,442,515,501 (CIA))

1 in 7 UK families owned a car.

Average UK annual salary £101.

USA average annual salary 92 - when dollars were to £1


Festival of Britain and nationwide celebrations in UK.

Rock and roll and colour TV starts in USA.

Identity cards made essential for South Africans to identify race.

Dresses without waistlines were shown by Balenciaga.

Ready to wear boutiques from designer Balmain, opened in New York.

A new beauty competition: Miss World.

The still camera is given a built in flash.

UK population was live 50,290,000, by May 2005 it was estimated at 60,422,986.

USA population was 154,877,889, by May 2005 it was estimated at 295,376,287.

In 1959 the population of India was approx 364.127,000.  India in 2005 is now estimated at 1,078,432,720 persons.


New USA president Dwight Eisenhower elected.

The Neo Edwardians, Teddy Boys or Teds are seen around London.

Churchill became Prime Minister in UK under Conservatives.

Identity cards and then food rationing ended.

Givenchy showed his first collection in Paris.

Salk polio vaccine used to save humans from poliomyelitis infection.

In UK the family norm was 2.2 children, compared to 3.5 children in 1905 and 1.7 children in 1997.

Clean Air Act 1952 - UK compulsory use of smokeless fuels eventually end smogs and winter deaths.

In London John Cavanagh and Victor Stiebel open fashion salons.


Queen Elizabeth II crowned in June 1953.

Mount Everest conquered by Hillary and Tensing.

DNA the secret of life discovered by James Watson and Frances Crick.

McCarthy witch hunt hearings took place in USA.

A new regime took over in Russia when Stalin died.

Dupont began commercial production of Dacron at a plant in North Carolina, to produce Dacron (polyester)


French power and dominance in Vietnam ended when French forces were defeated at Dien Bien Phu.

US segregation made illegal in USA.

The four minute mile is broken by Britain's Roger Bannister.

54% of American homes had television sets.

Coco Chanel reopened her Paris fashion salon after a long closure.


In the USA the civil rights campaign got underway.

Warsaw Pact agreement signed.

In England, the felt-tip pen was introduced.

Tests begin on fibre optics for future mass digital communication.

Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" rocks the world.

In UK Mary Quant opened boutique, Bazaar, in Kings Road London.

Film idol of teenagers James Dean dies in a car accident.

60% of Americans were in the "middle class," having incomes between,000 and,000 per year.


The Suez Crisis. The Suez Canal was nationalized and control taken from Britain and France.

Elvis Presley became an international, world acclaimed star with Love Me Tender film.

IBM created the first hard disk drive.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco married film star Grace Kelly.

Velcro fastening introduced to public.


Sputnik 1 the first satellite to orbit the earth launched into space by the Russians.  The space age becomes a reality.

European Economic Community established and Channel tunnel (the Chunnel) between England and France seriously proposed.

Christian Dior dies.

Givenchy launched famous sack line a forerunner of 60's shifts.

Lasers developed.

Average price of a UK house was £2170.

Premium Bonds and Ernie monthly money draw started in UK.


De Gaulle became President of France.

NASA Founded.

Stereo LP records first sold.

Experiments first began in a desire to create the modem.

Paris fashion dictated shorter skirts above the knee.

Yves St.Laurent introduced the Trapeze line.

Last debutantes presented at Court in UK.

USA annual family income reaches 00.


Castro took power in Cuba and became the new Dictator.

Barbie dolls invented for children.

The microchip was invented, making way for future home computers.

Mary Quant designed suit shapes that later hallmark the sixties fashion look.

Alaska and Hawaii join the USA and become states of North America.

1 in 3 UK families owned a car.

Average UK male annual salary £190.

USA population reaches 177,829,628.

Motown Records start up setting new styles of music in the sixties.


Almost 60% of American families owned their own homes.

By the end of the fifties most American households owned their own car and washing machine.

Approximately 90% of Americans owned at least one television set.

World Population in 1960 grown to 3 billion.

CIA estimated World population in 2005 at over 6 billion at 6,442,515,501


Obviously this 1950s timeline will always be incomplete, but it give you a flavour of the decade. If you have very interesting one liner 'important or relevant' to the site facts about the era, please post them in the forum here - looks at women's costume and fashion history and analyses the mood of an era. Changes in technology, leisure, work, cultural and moral values, homelife and politics have all contributed to lifestyle trends which influence the clothes we wear. These are the changes that make any era of society special in relation to the study of the costume of a period. can take no responsibility for the information above and any outcome which may cause you error, loss or costs incurred from use of the information and links either directly or indirectly.

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