The Cheerful Granny Keeps Cool, 1956

Better Homes and Gardens, June 1956

Better Homes and Gardens, June 1956

Since the weather is still hot, it’s a good time to share this ad for the Frigidaire “full house” air conditioning system featuring a cheerful granny. The text sells the central forced air system as a boon for family life, bringing “better relaxation and rest, healthier appetites, greatly reduced cleaning, increased family enjoyment twenty-four hours a day.” Although room air conditioners might help against the heat, the ad states, central air conditioning was quieter and more aesthetically pleasing.

Frigidaire3_56In this three generational household, the cheerful granny has her own room. It’s decorated in an old fashioned style with a rocking chair and an antique lamp, a stark contrast to the modern TV room on the first floor. Her clothes, a long sleeved dress with a high white collar and white cuffs, also look old fashioned compared to the outfit of the well coifed mother in the kitchen with her jaunty bow and bangle bracelets.

Everyone is smiling because they get to do what they want, even on a hot day.  Baby waves her rattle, Dad watches TV, Mom makes dinner, and the cheerful granny can knit what might be a winter sweater under the smiling portrait of dear departed granddad.

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3 Responses to The Cheerful Granny Keeps Cool, 1956

  1. Carol in Denver says:

    Nowadays, Granny often looks and acts more like the Mom in the kitchen than the knitting lady upstairs.

    What a blessing a window air conditioner was to my family in the 50s. Omaha’s summers were hot and thickly humid; we kids slept on the floor in the dining room near the window air conditioner.

    • Lynn says:

      I lived in New York and Philadelphia without any air conditioning at all! I can’t imagine many people had central air conditioning in 1956.

  2. Lizzie says:

    I’m beginning to suspect that the typical BabyBoomer aversion to aging was caused by over exposure to images like that “cheerful” granny!

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