1955 inventions that never caught on

This continues my perusal of the 1955 American Home magazines. I have been delighted by some of the finds, aghast at some of the decorating ideas, and plain ol’ astounded by some of the products.

I have always marveled at the need for hiding our basic entertainment components. I grew up in a house with this feature; one did not see a TV in any room but the basement, which usually wasn’t occupied by guests. No TVs existed in bedrooms, either. TVs were essentially out of sight, and possibly out of mind. I always found it a curious habit, as if families were content to live in denial: nooooooo, they didn’t watch TV! How preposterous that you might think so!

Looking back, I can honestly say that it wasn’t worth watching TV when I grew up, for we got exactly 3 channels, and there was seldom anything of interest on any of them. Funny how my parents got satellite TV the year I moved out and went to college.

I’ve noticed other houses like this, though — the ones that barricade their stereo and TV behind a gigantic entertainment center. All I could ever think about when I saw those was the grunting and sweat loss that would occur whenever one of those monsters had to be moved. I, however, am content to let my TV, DVD, and Wii hang out in the open and congregate with the rest of us. We like to think of them as one of the family, really.

I see in my American Home magazine that TV-hiding was in place well before my time. Oddly enough, I don’t think this idea ever caught on:


It’s actually rather ingenious: a footstool and a TV in one. Of course, it doesn’t help solve the dilemma of where to put one’s feet when the footstool has been transformed into a TV.

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2 Replies to “1955 inventions that never caught on”

  1. Practically, I have no choice but to put my tv out in the open b/c I watch so much of it that any attempts to hide it would be entirely futile. That said, I absolutely love the ottoman tv and would totally have designed my entire house around it if I could have purchased a modern version. Assuming I cuold convince my husband that a sub 40 inch television was actually okay in an industrialized country.

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