The 1950’s are often viewed as a golden era in U.S. history, a time of happiness and prosperity, despite the threat of nuclear annihilation, racial segregation and the looming Cold War.
While most photos from the time are in black and white, color photography was still a relative novelty at the time and the film was quite expensive for regular people, the photos below are in glorious color. This means that they are more relatable, and makes the period feel closer to us than ever.
Many of the photos were collected by Denis Fraevich, a New Yorker of Russian descent who loves to bring the era back to life. “The pictures were found at auctions, flea markets and yards, digitized and posted on the Internet,” he told Bored Panda. “Someone’s happy life, someone’s dreams, important events, holidays and travel, for some reason were thrown into the garbage and became penny goods in a neighborhood sale. Seeing this is incredibly sad, but thanks to enthusiasts who buy and digitize old slides, we can raise the curtain of time and look at that era through the eyes of ordinary Americans.”
It is Denis’ hobby to search for these photos, he is fascinated by all things Americana and loves history, abandoned places and as you can see in many of the photos, classic American cars. “I am amazed at how often a car is present in the frame,” he said. “They obviously occupied a much more important position in the life of an American than in our time. Today, it is much less likely that someone would take pictures of their car or television.” Denis works as a Russian-speaking tour guide in NYC and has a fascinating blog.
Scroll down to check out the pictures below, it might just inspire you to dig out that old leather jacket and the Brylcreem!
#1 Colored Entrance, Alabama, 1956
#2 Ladylike In NYC, 1958
#3 My Very Cool Grandpa In The 1950s Holding A Fish, Smoking A Cigarette, With A Book Tucked Into His Pants And Cigarette Pack In His Sleeve
#4 A Drink, A Cigar And Not Giving A Good Goddamn, 1950s
#5 My Grandma Had Such A Gorgeous Smile. 1950’s
#6 An Officer With Hot Foot Teddy, The Real-Life Inspiration For Smokey The Bear, 1950
#7 Daytona Beach,1957
#8 James Dean At A California Gas Station With His Silver Porsche 550 Spyder, Named “Little Bastard,” Just Hours Before His Fatal Crash. September 30, 1955
#9 Store Front, Mobile, Alabama, 1956
#10 Girl And Her Grandmother Window-Shopping In Mobile, Alabama, 1956
#11 Anne St. Marie, New York City, 1959
#12 Alabama, 1956
#13 The Streets Of San Francisco. 1957
#14 Girl Portrait. Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956
#15 At The Party, 1956
#16 Showgirls Playing Chess Backstage At The Latin Quarter Nightclub – New York, NY (1958)
#17 Outside Looking In, Mobile, Alabama, 1956
#18 A Slightly Surrealistic Photo Of My Grandma And Some Dude Somewhere In Florida, 1957
#19 South Side Snack. 1953, Chicago
#20 Child In A Car Seat