1950s Vehicles

Sixty years ago, Baxter became a dealership when Johnny Baxter purchased Briley Motors in Benson. Now the Baxter name can be found all over Omaha and Lincoln, as well as a few other states.

The 50s saw a lot of advancements in cars. It was the decade the auto industry really started experimenting with the sports car. By the end of the decade, Americans were in love with this new concept. The 50s saw the first Corvette and first hard-top convertible.

In 1957, Baxter Plymouth probably saw quite a few station wagon sales. The larger vehicle was gaining popularity and picking up steam within the family market.

For the first time, Ford sold more new vehicles than Chevy during the 1957 calendar year.

1958 was the first year in history the US imported more vehicles than it exported. Volkswagen was the most popular import brand that year.

And that’s the year convenience features started to become a standard. Power brakes, power steering and air conditioning all made their way into vehicles. Plus, more than 80% of 1958 models came with an automatic transmission for the first time.

50s Pop Culture

The 1950s was the decade of the Baby Boomer. With the biggest stars of the time having M.M. initials: Mickey Mantle, Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse.

50's Mickey Mantle
Mickey Mantle in 1951
50's Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
50's Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse

Sports in the 50s

In the world of sports, baseball and boxing were America’s most popular sports throughout the 50s. The big boxing names were Rocky Marciano and Floyd Patterson. And the Yankees dominated for most of the decade.

But, the time also started to see football and golf grow in popularity; college football had a larger following than pro football. The 1958 Rose Bowl between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Oregon Webfoots attracted more than 98,000 fans.

Movies and TV in the 50s

Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Sophia Loren were the faces gracing the silver screen. The Oscar winner for Best Motion Picture the year Baxter went into business was Around the World in 80 Days. And the drive-in movie theater hit its peak in popularity as the new, cool spot to hang out.

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse continued to gain momentum throughout the decade. Disneyland opened in 1955 and started gaining success with movies again. Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan were all successful. Disney also released its first all live-action feature film, Treasure Island, in 1950.

As color tv started to take over, the 50s saw lots of sitcoms and game shows. Westerns were also the big genre. In 1957 there were as many as 20 western tv shows airing every week.

50's James Dean
Photo credit: Beltmann/CORBIS
Teenagers at a drive-in restaurant in Tallahassee, August 1957
50's Disneyland
Arial View of Disneyland in 1956

Music in the 1950s

Music continued to evolve and blow up in the 50s. Rock ‘n Roll was quickly gaining popularity. Elvis signed his first record contract in 1955 and began recording his first songs the next year.

Classical music continued to have a large following. Plus, Jazz, Swing and Blues were all still going strong.

Toys in the 50s

If you grew up during the 50s, you probably wanted a Barbie, Hula Hoop or Play Doh. All these became popular during the decade. The Barbie was actually manufactured for the first time in 1959. The original Barbie doll was introduced as both a blonde and a brunette on March 9. 1959, which is recognized as Barbie’s birthday.

50's Barbie
First Edition Brunette Barbie

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