1950s: Building the American Dream

Explore 1950s pop culture, a Lustron steel house and more!

Ohio History Center 800 East 17th Avenue, Columbus, OH, USA Open in Google Map
10 AM - 5 PM
Adult - $16 Senior (60+) - $14 Student (with ID) - $14 Child (4-12) - $10 Child (3 & under) - Free Ohio History Connection Member - Free

Experience life in the 1950s by putting your feet up on the couch, playing a record, peeking in drawers and rolling in the grass in a full-size prefabricated Lustron home built inside the museum at the Ohio History Center.

Expect to see items like a 1957 Chevy Bellaire, an Airstream trailer, Roy Rogers toys and decorations, a bomb shelter hatch, 1950s television news and programs, and a combination clothes and dishwasher! Stop by at the right time and you may get to meet a Lustron salesperson on the front lawn, a doctor making a house call or a mother making a cake in the kitchen.

With the Lustron home as the literal frame to experience the decade, the exhibit invites visitors to explore the complex social environment of a “real” nuclear family from Central Ohio living in a Lustron home during the 1950s: a father, mother, boy, and new baby girl. Through this family, visitors can encounter three themes that define the decade:

Family and Gender Roles: Traditional roles for men and women and fathers and mothers were redefined by the post-World War II boom and vastly different from previous and later generations.

Social and Political issues: From segregated housing to the Civil Rights movement to the Cold War to McCarthyism, the 1950s was anything but ideal for so many Americans.

Popular Culture: The popular music, literature, art, and design of the 1950s is undeniably alluring and retains devout followers 60+ years later.

Exhibit Sponsors

1950s: Building the American Dream is supported by generous contributions from Conestoga; The Longaberger Foundation; The Ohio Humanities Council; The Greater Columbus Arts Council; The Gordon Chandler Memorial Fund of the Columbus Foundation; Columbus Truck & Equipment, Inc.; and Ronald J. Ungvarsky & Susan Tomasky

                                                                               Gorman Family Foundation

                                                                          Gordon Chandler Memorial Fund

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