When the Bean Bag emerged in the late 60s and 70s it was heralded as the furniture of tomorrow for the well-heeled of today. It also started life with a far more chic name than "bean bag". Originally designed in Italy by Piero Gatti, Cesare Paolini and Franco Teodoro in 1968, the bean bag was(...)
In the late 60s and early 70s, the Black Light brought a new dimension to our world. White T-shirts and teeth suddenly would glow in the dark, and gaudy fluorescent hippy posters would come alive with secret symbols and slogans. The so-called black light comes from ultraviolet rays that are invisible to the human eye.(...)
The Dansette record player became an iconic artefact of the youth culture of the 1950s and 1960s, and the name became a generic term for many different makes of small record player. A small, portable record player became very popular during World War I. Its spring motor turntable an acoustic horn fitted into a suitcase.(...)
Newton's Balls (pictured at right) were the first widespread executive toys. These were a series of chrome ball-bearings suspended from a metal frame, which could be pulled back and released to cause the balls to move in rhythm and make a (supposedly soothing) repetitive clicking sound.
An abundance of disposable income combined with Hawaii's entrance into the Union in 1959 manifested itself in the US as a mania for all things Hawaiian . . . Polynesian restaurants and bars like Don The Beachcomber's and Trader Vic's had been serving mai-tai's since before World War II, but now "Tiki" bars - usually(...)
The suburban spread in the 1950s predictably led to fads in home decorating and design. Interior white woodwork was in and out again by 1950, and the living room now featured three walls painted in one colour with the fourth in another colour, or covered with wallpaper. In the US, picture windows were a fad(...)
Plastic chairs, blow-up furniture . . . If it's meant to be 'space age', how come it looks so old-fashioned? The majority of homes in the 1960s were furnished with an eclectic mixture of furniture from a variety of periods, but the increase in the number of young people setting up home in their own(...)
Until the 70s, interior design was simply a DIY pursuit. Once the seventies hit, it was a lifestyle statement. The dominant colors were Puce, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green (sorry, Avocado), Purple, Gold and Brown. If it moved, it had to be sprayed with metallic paint. Cars, shoes, hair, shirts, guitars, Y-fronts and faces. To be(...)
Walls and fabrics in grey, neon hot pink and teal with accessories made of fashionable black plastic. mmm... nice.
K-Tel were famous for their TV commercials pitching their mass-market compilation LPs and tapes and their household 'gadgets'. Everything they sold was labelled "As advertised on TV" as if that were a big selling point. K-Tel compilation albums had groovy titles like Dynamite, Soul Motion and Super Bad. . . all with "20 Original Hits(...)
The Lava Lamp was created in the early 60s by a British engineer by the name of Craven Walker in an experiment gone awry. Nobody can remember what Walker was trying to create, only that he started a craze like no other. It was, and still is - the popularity of the lamp has endured,(...)
In 1951, Don Featherstone designed the first plastic lawn flamingo for Union Products of Leominster, Massachusetts. The hollow, steel-legged bird soon became the lawn ornament of choice for taste-impaired American homeowners.
Even in the 1970's most of the cool set thought macramé was only for hippies or bored convicts. But you could make loads of groovy and useful stuff with macramé, like . . . erm . . . er . . . plant hangers and . . . er . . . um . .(...)