What would today’s teenager find different in 1946? How would she react if she suddenly found herself in that alien land? That’s the question I had to answer when I wrote Cherish, a mystery for young adults. (It’s now under consideration by a publisher so don’t look for it yet.)
One of the first things a teen might notice is—no seat belts in cars. None, not one. No car seats, no safety air bags, and nobody was in the least concerned about it. They were too excited about any new car, since there had been none during World War II, from the end of 1941 to mid-1945. And some of those new 1946 cars might look suspiciously like those pre-war models. Names of cars one might see were Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Lincoln, Mercury, Cadillac, Buick, and Chrysler, but the styles would be different. Then there were other autos no longer being built today. Among them are: DeSoto, Plymouth, Pontiac, and Hudson.
Of course, a teenager would notice the clothing styles right away. No one wore jeans to school. Girls wore skirts or dresses, except possibly on a specially designated casual Friday. Then she could wear nicely tailored wool slacks. Shoes were often saddle shoes or penny loafers. Sweaters were a given. In a large city school, the teen would want a different cashmere sweater for every day of the week. In a small country school, one cotton or plain wool sweater to wear with a skirt, and trade off with a blouse and skirt ensemble or a dress was adequate. Peasant blouses and dresses were quite the rage. And every girl wore bobby sox. For dress-up she wore the newly available nylons and pumps with Cuban heels with her dress. She did wear jeans after school and on weekends. Her jeans had slim legs that she rolled up to just under the knee. There were sometimes regional differences in clothing fads. One was bell-bottom jeans. They mimicked the sailor’s bell-bottom trousers. That craze traveled around the country, often popular in one area and completely out in another.
These are a couple of differences a teen would notice. There would certainly be others. What do you think a teen from 1946 would first notice about the year 2013?