The 50-Year-Old Modern Home

The 50-Year-Old Modern Home

Jason Loper
Oct 20, 2010

Vintage magazines have the ability to act as a time machine to the past. When I came across this Popular Mechanics from January, 1960, I was at first interested in the cover story, a pictorial history of automobiles. Then, I dug a little deeper and found some home tips that are as relevant today as they were 50 years ago.

  • Under a section titled "What's New For Your Home" there are products that made it into the 21st century and a couple that should have. The wastebasket holder that slides into kitchen cabinetry was a new idea in 1960 and it's still in use today. The magnetic doorstop and the door chain that can be unlocked from outside are both concepts I'd appreciate in my home.
  • I love this idea for a DIY stool made from discarded items. While we may not all have the seat from an old cultivator laying around, it's nice to know there's a clever re-use for one should it ever come up. And I'm sure industrious minds will think of another discarded item to use in place of the cultivator seat.
  • It's easy to think that the trends of today are completely original. Take chalkboard paint, for example. It didn't occur to me that this 'new' kind of paint has been around for a long time. And as long as it's been around folks have been thinking of fun ways to use it, such as painting the inside of a toolbox.
  • Casement windows were a popular choice in mid-century houses. I once lived in a 1950's building with casement windows and they were so drafty in the winter! I wish I had seen this idea for using plastic to cover the window screens to create a storm window.

Images: Popular Mechanics Magazine January 1960

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