Seven Great Things That Came From 1955

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Great Happenings of 1955
Great Happenings of 1955

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2016
By: Dayco Inc.
Categories: Nostalgia and Heritage

We are proud of our company’s heritage and place in the industry. It’s amazing to see what else was going on in the U.S. that awesome year of 1955.

It’s no secret that Dayco, Inc. birthed our company infancy in the Industrial Air Heaters industry in 1955, when the TVs were black and white… as were most political and societal parameters! How refreshing, right? Oh my, how things have changed!

Understand we are certainly not advocating or embracing complacency or stagnation. Quite the contrary! As the great WWII U.S. General, George S. Patton exclaimed more than a decade before, “We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!

General George inspired a plethora of that line of thinking and American brevity to boot, which followed well beyond his pivotal years of saving our collective posteriors, and well beyond the confines of the U.S. Military. We are quite proud that a slice of that brevity still inhabits every product that leaves our loading docks today! But enough gushing about that. This go around we just want to take a moment to reflect on the fabulous 50’s when our seed first began to sprout!

So crack-open a cold one and take a look at our seven notable notables from 1955! Then, let the disputes ensue!

But That HAIR Though!!??

Hairstyles of 1955

Listen, you cannot talk about the 50’s without talking about the hair. The 1950s had a profound influence on fashion that continues today. Some of today’s most famous fashion icons regularly sport their hair or spoil in a style of fashion heavily influenced by that of the 1950's. Styles made popular by iconic legends like Elvis Presley, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen, Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and many more.

And That Music!!

Music Legends of 1955

Again, you cannot talk about the 50’s without talking about the music. Genres like rock and roll, doo-wop, pop, swing, rhythm and blues, blues, country and rockabilly dominated and defined the decade's music. Not only did they dominate, but many or most were born during this era and live on today, having influenced the vast majority of what garners (or disgraces) the airwaves today. Rock and Roll certainly dominated popular music, exploding out of its wild infancy and quickly spreading to most of the modern world… despite the inept command that, “Rock and Roll has got to go”. Well it did… straight to the top.

But enough of the Pop Culture already. We agree it’s cool and important and all. But here we are all about the Heavy Metal! No! Not the music! That came much later. We’re talking about the massive machines and monuments that terrorized, and became, the streets of 1955!

The ‘55 Harley-Davidson FL

The 1955 Harley FL

The Harley-Davidson "look" was established once and for all in the mid-Fifties. The big twin 1200cc FL would be a permanent fixture in the Milwaukee lineup, with only minor variations and changes over the coming decades. New cast tank and front fender "badges" arrived for 1955, boasting a high degree of detail and a prominent "V" in the background. In the decades since, this bike is widely considered as a national treasure! And a loud, beautiful BEAST!

The ‘55 Chevy

The 1955 Chevy

The '55 Chevy was the first successful Chevrolet with an optional V8 engine. It is considered a huge turning point for the manufacturer – which was the #1-selling brand of the 1950’s – and a major success. This has long been an iconic collector car and one of the first mainstream collector cars, in fact. Not to mention, an iconic chic magnet. It goes without saying, whether your parents informed you or not, that many readers of this article today are the product of the back seat of a ’55 Chevy. Rev your engine on that thought.

The Microwave Oven

Original Raytheon Microwave Oven 1955

Developed by Tappan in conjunction with Raytheon, the RL-1 was the first microwave oven designed for home use. With a retail price of $1,295 at the time (which equates to $11,579 today!), only 34 units were manufactured in 1955, the first year of production. When first introduced in the 1950's, microwave ovens were promoted as the wave of the future, the latest in modern electrical cooking. By 2000, microwaves were found in 90 percent of U.S. households. The same technology now used to pop popcorn, defrost a roast, or reheat a casserole originated as a method of detecting ships and planes, as well as tracking and coordinating Allied aircraft for the U.S. Military during World War II!!

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!”

The TV Remote

Original Zenith TV Remote of 1955

It marks the official end of humanity's struggle for survival and the beginning of its quest for a really relaxing afternoon. The first wireless remote, designed by Zenith's Eugene Polley, is essentially a flashlight. When Zenith discovered that direct sunlight also can change channels on the remote-receptive TVs (oops!), the company fortunately came out with a model that used ultrasound which lasted into the 1980's (until household dogs had enough!). The industry then switched to infrared.

The Tappan Zee Bridge

Tappan Zee Bridge 1955

This heavy-metal behemoth crosses the Hudson River in NYC at one of its widest points (not sure who thought that was the best plan of attack). It remains an integral conduit within the New York Metropolitan Area, connecting South Nyack in Rockland County with Tarrytown in Westchester County in the Lower Hudson Valley. Unlike other major bridges in metropolitan New York, the Tappan Zee was designed to last only 50 years due to material shortages during the Korean War at the time of its construction.

It still stands today, enduring an average of 138,000 vehicles per day! But in 2009 it was featured on The History Channel "The Crumbling of America" showing the infrastructure crisis in the United States. So, pass over it quickly and hold your feet up, but never fear (maybe a little)! A replacement bridge began construction in 2013 with a targeted opening date of 2018.

The Wrap Up…

Like I really need a wrap up after that case? Okay, I’ll throw this in as a completely-unnecessary caveat: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth, Whoopi Goldberg, Reba McEntire, Moses Malone, Howie Mandell, and Bruce Willis were all born in 1955! C’mon man!! The defense rests.

“Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way!”
(drop the mic)

Tagged:Heritage, History, Nostalgia, Industrial Air Heaters, Manufacturing, American Industry

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ADDRESS Dayco Inc.
325 Circle of Progress
Pottstown, PA 19464

CONTACT 1-800-438-4791
(610) 326-4500