On May 10, 1951, the Forest Park Review pages were filled with ads for flowers, chocolates and perfumes, for people to purchase to celebrate moms on Mother’s Day.  This ad for the “bright new maroon and grey beauty,” the Triple-action Hoover cleaner was $87.95 (over $1,000 today adjusted for inflation) from Trage Bros. at 7440 Madison St. This vacuum was styled by Henry Dryfuss; its triple-action cleaning principle really released the dirt and grit — “It beats, it sweeps, it cleans.” It sucked.

 After the Second World War, pent-up demand for electric household appliances was at a peak. Not only were American factories able to produce goods rather than supplying military equipment, returning soldiers had brides who needed kitchen furnishings. The simple, clean, futuristic mid-century modern movement was everywhere from Sunbeam toasters to egg cookers to a new Kalamazoo gas range to help make cooking easy and tastier, therefore making women’s lives easier.  

Jill Wagner