How The Typical American Home Has Changed

How The Typical American Home Has Changed

Things have changed dramatically over the years. In the early part of the 20th century, even a radio was seen as a luxury item restricted to those with the money to afford it. The changes seen particularly in the later period of the 20th century have meant that more and more things have become affordable for the typical American. You can easily see the the trends in how homes have changed here.

Not only this, but the range of things we now consider standard in a home has changed dramatically. But to get a real idea of just how much it has changed, it is necessary to look into the past. We have asked around and gathered images taken of the layout of early homes. We have also asked you to submit your own images. We received some fantastic submissions and there were some reoccurring themes that were obvious.

Of particular interest was the radiogram. This was something that appeared in many photos of homes from the 1930’s and has since become an antique item. It interests us the most for a few reasons. The living room is centered around entertainment. This is clearly how it is now and how it has always been, but the method of entertainment has changed from radiograms to TV’s. There is no longer an emphasis on using these spaces to talk and catch up but they are better used to watch TV and forget about life’s problems.

The typical American home now includes a computer. The personal computer was something that once could not even be envisioned, and the availability of it has now made it into a staple in the American home. So much so is it a staple that often we could not image living our lives without it. For example, you are reading this now with the use of a computer or other device.

Something that has remained the same is games. Children continue to play games today just as they ever did – although the prospect of getting outside if slightly less appealing in this technological age. GameRoomMania reports that one of the early games that has remained is karaoke – although now we can use the best karaoke machine. You can see them here. One of the oldest games, jacks, remained popular throughout the 20th century but has unfortunately lost its standing in recent years.

Furniture has also changed dramatically. This is something that was always been needed but the styles have updated to suit the current trends. Patch work and homemade sofa covers are no longer the norm. Furniture is now affordable enough to be replaced every few years, whereas back 100 years ago one piece would be crafted by hand and expected to last a lifetime.

And who could forget the kitchen. Although things like electric kettles never really took off in America, the entire kitchen and stove were remodeled to suit a modern lifestyle. The small changes are the most interesting and ones that we now take for granted in the simplicity of using a kitchen. There is a fantastic video of the 1950’s kitchen that you can watch below.

Back when ironing clothes was even more important, it was also more difficult. An iron would be exactly that – a piece of iron that was heated. This is a huge contrast to the irons of today which are not made of iron but of ceramic, and are as simple as to use as plugging it into a switch.

Lets not forget the layout of homes too. Kitchens were often placed at the back of a property and bathrooms could be seen as an outhouse which was detached from the main property. This is a vast contrast to the homes of today that not only include indoor bathrooms as standard, but often include a separate one in every room.

Carpet was something that was seen throughout the entire house. These days it would horrify some people to witness carpet in a wet area such as the kitchen or bathroom due to the growth of bacteria and mold. This was less of a concern in earlier times and the comfort in a cold room such as the bathroom was more important. This shows not only how our methods have changed but how our knowledge of the world around us grew exponentially in this period.

There are plenty of other changes that occurred during this time. One must not forget that the world suffered through 2 major wars – not to mention the other ones. Looking inside the home can give us an insight into the thoughts and feelings that were experiencing during that time, and the great technological changes of our age. The knowledge accumulated during this period resulted in major developments not only for the home, but for the entire world.

There are certainly things we have not mentioned and we want to hear about other changes from the homes of yesteryear to the homes of today. Comment below and share your ideas.


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