Apartment

1950s

 

This apartment represents the last period of occupancy of what became known as the "old hotel." The decor is a sign of the times. Blond furniture was popular in the Fifties, along with orange and turquoise as colors. The previous names of the Waynesville House, Black Hotel, and Tourist Hotel were unknown to all but a few oldtimers. The last known occupants were several military families, which included Wayne and Marie Stafford during the winter of 1962. When interviewed, they were surprised to learn of the building's rich history and that it had been an antebellum stagecoach stop. It was just a rundown old hotel.

In the center of the room is a dining table that is set up with a vintage game of Monopoly, popular with adults and children during the Fifties and Sixties. The Parker Brothers version of the game that we know was developed in the 1930s during the Great Depression. This original game has wooden playing pieces. Board games and the radio were the favorite forms of home entertainment. Television reception in the Waynesville valley was weak to nonexistent during most of the decade.

The blond buffet provided storage and a serving surface. On top is a set of aluminum tumblers in a variety of colors which were very popular during the period. However, cold drinks made them sweat. Knitted booties made them easier to hold. The best coffee is made with the aluminum percolator on the right.

In the northwest corner of the room is a small desk with a dropdown writing shelf. On top of the desk is a Kodak Brownie Hawk-eye box camera with flashbulb attachment. The original Hawkeye was introduced in May of 1949 for $7.00. In September of 1950, the flash model appeared for an additional $4.00. Increasingly, young visitors to the museum are unfamiliar with roll film cameras, thinking cameras have always been digital or photographs are just taken with you phone.

Some of the best vintage photographs in our collection were taken with Kodak box cameras. The 620-size film provided relatively large negatives and the resolution makes for excellent scans and reprints today.

The metal bed is covered with a chenille (French for "caterpillar") bedspread, a cover with thick pile, plus a quilt. The King Heater at right was the fuel oil descendant of the wood burning sheet metal King Heater in the 1941 room.

The china cabinet at left holds the museum's collection of Fire King glassware with the "Peach Lustre" mirror finish. Below are individual pieces including small bowls, bowls with handles, saucers, plates, and the clam shell candy dish. The low cost borosilicate glassware was oven proof. The colors and patterns were especially bright.

This was also the era of the vinyl record. At left is a wooden console combination record player/radio. Positioned on top is a portable record player. Here we usually ask two questions. What was the number one record and the number one television show in mid-1955? Hint: coonskin cap hanging on the wall. If you still do not know or remember, play the first stanza of the song below, then you will know both.

Number one song and TV show theme.

Pole lamps made their appearance and became quite popular in the 1950s. There is a nice orange/white/turquoise one at left in the picture.

This photograph hangs on the west wall.

Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower, President of the United States 1953-1961.

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