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DECADE STUDY: 1950's by Mind Map: DECADE STUDY: 1950
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Teenage fashion trends devloped

Cinema and Television effected fashion trends

Marlon Brando, Blue jeans and leather jacket, The Wild One (1953)

James Dean, Jeans, leather boots, white t-shirt, Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

Music effected fashion trends

Elvis Presley, slicked back "duck-tail" hair style, side-burns hairstyle, brighter clothing colours, sharp, flashy suits, unbuttoned shorts with upturned collars

Both men and women became more fashion conscious

Men's Fashion, more acceptable for men to dress "for show", Adult Men's Style remained conservative, plain fabrics, darker colours, blues, browns and greys, Video Clip - 1950's Men's Fashion - [follow the arrow symbol, for access]

Women's Fashion, Young Women's Fashion, influenced by rock 'n' roll, full skirts, bright colours, pants pinched at the waist to emphasise the waistline and bust, tight-fitting blouses, 'Capri', 'Pedal Pushers" pants, short ankle socks, scarves tied around the neck, cropped cardigans, Ladies Fashion, influenced by Movie Stars, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, tiny waistlines, full skirts and full busts, Slim-line pencil skirts, Stiletto-heeled shoes, came in a huge variety of colours, matched to any outfit, Video Clip - Fashion in the 1950's - [follow arrow symbol for access]



The most popular form of entertainment, 1955 - 97% of Australian households owned a radio

Broadcast a variety of programmes, Music shows, News, Quiz Programmes, Drama serials

changes due to television, people began to watch previously radio only programmes on television, Changes in radio programmes, News, Music, Sport

New Radios, by the end of the 1950's radio had become portable, Portable Transistor Radios, Video Clip - 1950s Vintage Commercial for Sylvania Radio Receivers - [follow arrow symbol for access], Car Radios


new technology, Vinyl LP (Long Playing) Records

"Rock 'n' Roll" Genre, New genre, American musical style origins, quickly became vastly popular, Rock Around The Clock (1955, Bill Haley), New node, Elvis Presley, known as "the King of rock 'n' roll", appealed to the young teen audience, Video Clip - Elvis Presley "Blue Suede Shoes" 1956 - [follow arrow symbol for access], Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye, Dances to match the genre invented, 'the jitterbug', 'the boogie-woogie', Video Clip - World Champions Boogie-Woogie 1991-2009 - [follow arrow symbol for access]



affected by the invention of television, attendence declined

attempted to bring audiences back to cinema

New features!, Technicolour, Wide Screens, Stereo Sound

Cinema still remained the choice leisure activity

Drive-In Cinemas, the first drive-in cinema in Australia opened in Melbourne in 1954, Within 2 years 23 drive-ins opened around Australia, has been linked as a cause of the increase in carsales and carownership that occurred at this time, Web Link "Drive-Ins Downunder" [follow arrow symbol for access]


low point in Australian film-making

some noteable Australian films did appear in this decade, The Glenrowan Affair (1951), Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1959)

1955 - the first Australian film released in colour, Jedda (1955), Video Clip - Rare Original Movie Posters for the film Jedda - [follow arrow symbol for access]

1955 - first Australian film to star Indigenous actors


first introduced in Australia in 1956

televised the Melbourne Olympics of 1956

by 1959, over 50% of Sydney families owned a television set

black and white only

broadcasts were limited to only a few hours each night, watching television was considered a 'special event'

variety of broadcasts, News, Sporting Events, Quiz shows, Music Programmes, Movies, 'Radio with Pictures'


a big decade for sport

Sport evolved from a past-time into a professional industry in Australia

Increase in participation in sport

Cricket, Australian team played 57 test matches throughout the decade, Won 29, Lost 12, The Ashes, After holding the Ashes for 19 years, Australia lost to England in 1953, Won the Ashes back in 1958, New International Rival teams appearing, West Indies, Pakistan, India

Tennis, Australian success in Tennis in the 50's, New Tennis Stars, Ken Rosewall, Frank Sedgman, Lew Hoad, Australia won the men's singles title at Wimbledon from 1952 to 1958, Won the Davis Cup 8 times, new 'serve-volley' style of play, Air travel made international competitions easier to compete in and more popular

Football, All codes of Football held huge spectator interest in the 50's, planning and construction of many new football fields, New international rivals, Fiji, 9 visits of rival Rugby League teams to Australia, 5 Australian Rugby League team international tours

Soccer, Important for the migrant communities of Australia, Many migrant communities formed local teams based on their home-countries, New teams embraced and soccer becoming a more popular sport in the country, Some hostility towards the sport, Some who believed migrants should be 'assimilating' into Australian culture rather than starting their own new sporting communities

The 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games

First Olympic Games to be hosted in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia's rapid recovery from WW1 is thought of as a contributing factor to the Melbourne winning bid for hosting the Olympic Games, Equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden instead of Melbourne due to Australia's strict quarantine laws of the time, With horses unable to be brought into the country, this was the first time an Olympic event had been held outside the hosting country

First Olympic Games to be televised on the newly introduced televsion, Events televised live, Bidding wars for broadcast rights, official broadcasting rights eventually given to Channel 9

In the lead up to the Olympics Cold War tensions increased violently when the USSR invaded Hungary, The Melbourne Games proceeded anyway, Only issue was a violent clash in a water polo event between the USSR and Hungary, The event was eventually called off with Hungary declared the winner

Great Australian success in Olympics, Australia finished third overall, 35 medals total; 13 gold, Australia won every men's and women's swimming freestyle event collected 8 gold medals in the pool, Stand out Athletes become household names, Dawn Fraser (Swimming), Video Clip - Dawn Fraser Images - [follow arrow symbol for access], Murray Rose (Swimming), Betty Cuthbert (Track - Sprinter)

Video Clip - Melbourne Olympic Games (1956) - [follow arrow symbol for access]