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Family Handyman: What Innovations Were on Homeowners’ Minds in the ‘50s?

As part of our 70th Anniversary celebration, Family Handyman takes a look back at home innovations we've showcased to our readers over the years. Some have stood the test of time. Others, not so much.

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Family Handyman

The Pegboard Revolution

Today, we have so many ideas and tips for organizing with pegboard that the thought of a board with holes being an “innovation” seems strange. But in the 1950s the pegboard craze spread like wildfire across the country, resulting in what Family Handyman called “one of the most sweeping conquests of modern times.”

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Family Handyman

The Dimmer Switch

The dimmer switch created quite the breakthrough in home lighting halfway through the 20th century. Where else can you get lighting that ranges from “brilliant to intimate… or anywhere in between”?

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Family Handyman

A Bar in Your Home

We have to hand it to whoever came up with this project. Though designed more than a half-century ago, this buffet bar wouldn’t look out of place in a modern living room.

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Family Handyman

In-Wall Package Receiver

With food delivery services more popular than ever, now might be the perfect time for this idea to make a major comeback.

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Family Handyman

Make-Your-Own Rider Lawn Mower

Let’s just say we’re glad rider lawn mower technology has progressed since the 50’s. While the convenience of a riding lawn mower must have been appealing back in the day, something about bolting a lawn mower to the back of a tricycle seems a little too DIY.

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Family Handyman

Patios With Plumbing

Of all the innovations on this list, the trend of patios with running water didn’t stick Maybe people with fully-plumbed kitchens inside their homes realized they didn’t need outdoor plumbing, regardless of how “enormously convenient” it was.

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Family Handyman

A Doorbell With Options

A doorbell with four customizable options for alarm sounds must have been cutting edge back in the era of greasers and poodle skirts. Though primitive compared to the feature-packed modern doorbells of today, this doorbell and its built-in intercom system would have been quite the convenience 70 years ago.

For more of our amazing vintage Family Handyman content, visit our 70th Anniversary Page.