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Women in Vintage Ads Are Way Too Happy about Getting Appliances

Could it be? Is it really? Yes, it's a . . . toaster!

What is going to make you happy in life? Time-saving home appliances. Flashbak rounded up advertisements from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s showing women overcome with joy upon receiving or using new advanced vacuum cleaners, ovens, and refrigerators. As these paired ads from Toastmaster prove, the more pieces of toast that you can toast simultaneously, the happier you will be.


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Household income can add another factor of two. One example I can find is median household income for rural homes in Iowa 1949 is $2500, and in 1999 is $40k. A $400 1950s refrigerator would then be about 16% of the household annual income, which comes out to about $6k using the more recent income. That is still short of a new car, although a major investment (assuming the household bought a top of the line unit, and not one of the cheaper $100-200 ones). The toaster and sewing machines (~$20-$30) and vacuums (<$100) fall much shorter than that, as it is the refrigerators and washer/dryer combos that see to be the far more expensive end of appliances.
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