July 1st, 1988  Delta Lakeside Hotel, Penticton


1950 to 1959 

The decade of the fifties was a revolutionary decade in the automotive world. It is probably fair to say that the decade of the fifties saw more changes in the automobile than in any other decade before or since.

The fifties brought the modern overhead valve V8 engine in to the popular model cars. By the later fifties very few cars were sold that were not equipped with automatic transmissions. Power steering and air conditioning were common optional accessories by the late fifties. The suspension systems changed drastically with advances such as ball joint suspension, coil springs on all four wheels, common on popular models in this decade.

The styling, of course, changed even more drastically than the engineering of the cars. From the relatively high boxy type styles of many early fifties models to cars that resembled rocket ships. Of course, one can't forget the beautiful styling touch of tail fins. We were also introduced to the two-tone paint jobs in a maze of colours.

Another new experience in the automotive world in the fifties was the invasion of import cars in large numbers. First from England, we saw many different models of compact cars. Later on, the invasion of the Volkswagen Beetle.




This bridge is unique in its construction. Built on a series of pontoons, it spanned approximately 7/8 of a mile. The lift portion was 265 feet long and could be raised to provide 60 vertical feet of clearance. It took two years to be built, and was officially opened on July 19, 1958 by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret and Premier W.A.C. Bennett. In 1985 the bridge was widened into three lanes.

The engineering of this bridge provided for the rise and fall of the Okanagan Lake, and also responded to movement from wind velocity.

An anchor, formerly used in securing the bridge, can be seen in the Anchor Park at the corner of Richter Street and Harvey Avenue. This is adjacent to the current Visitor Center.

Fashions 1950-1959:

The look of the fifties was made up of many components. Sheath dresses, straight, plain and sleeveless with a low cut neckline, back and front.

Straight skirts were popular. Straight and slim with a short slit in back. Pleats, including sunray pleating and one sided effects at the hip were popular.

Full skirts, gathered or gored as in the poodle skirt. These were quite often worn with cinch belts and crinolines.

Strapless gowns, tailored suits, rolled up blue jeans, peddle pushers worn with boat-neck blouses or tube tops were all part of most wardrobes.

Around 1951 waists were small, above hips rounded out by a basque or drape. Skirts were wide and reached mid calf. Sleeves were short, 3/4 length or sleeveless. Collars were either so wide and high as to almost hide the chin or merely narrow rolls around the neck.

The second half of the fifties, waistline began to wander, both above and below its normal position.  

New shapes such as cocoon like dresses (sack) were evolved, obliterating the natural curve of the female body.

See thru nylon blouses with puffed sleeves and raglan sleeves were also very popular.

Shoe styles varied from saddle shoes, white bucks, penny loafers to spike heels and pointed toes.

Tara and Linda

Pony tails and a short bob were popular hair styles.

Ernie and Pam - (1947 -1953)

Lloyd and Jean - (1952)                     Lindsay - (1956)

Margaret - (1954)                                  Dawn - (1955) and Laurie - (1954)

Lil - (1950)   and Olga - (1954)                 Maureen Graduation Tea Dress

Marjorie in red, Arlene in blue - 1955 to 1957 Graduation Gowns

Marjorie - (1955)  Arlene - (1953)                Diana - (1955)  Dorothy - (1955)

Anne - (1953)  Ann - (1953)                               Jean - (1954)

Joyce - (1955). This suit is a reproduction of the one Grace Kelly's wore in her Civil Wedding Ceremony to Prince Rainier of Monaco. 

The decade of the 1950's changed the world forever. Politics, Religion, and Censorship. A new craze that swept the world, a craze that was so strong that thirty years later it lives on, remember  . . . "when greasers were slick, hot cars were hip and God we loved the chicks."

Dr. Jonas Salk of the USA developed an anti polio vaccine.

1955 Canadian troops withdrew from Korea.

Marilyn Bell became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.

The Canadian Football League was established.

The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik I & II.

1956 Ellen Fairclough became Secretary of State and the first woman in Canada to be appointed to a Cabinet Post. She was a member of the Progress Conservative Party.

Vancouver opened it's first Drive-In Bank.

Vincent Massey became the first Canadian born Governor General of Canada.

1952 The Social Credit Party under WAC Bennett formed the government of B.C..

CBC completed cross Canada micro wave network.


Dawn - Graduation gown (1956)                                 Tara - (1955)     

1963 Bridesmaid's gowns - Polly and Laura