This may be my favorite of all the Decades Projects sites.

I wasn't there for any of this - except I was. This was the culture that swirled around my noggin in the formative years.

The 80s site, that was my time. The 70s, site, that was the tween and teen time, and it was ugly and dumb. The 10s, 20s, 30s, 40s sites - anthropological projects. The 60s, though - my parents' time, and mine as well.

The first version was called "Up, Up, and Awry - the Twilight of the Grownups." You know, the Mad Men types, the ones who enjoyed a remarkable level of comfort and technological advances, only to cede the whole thing to the counterculture in the end.

How's that for a simplistic reading of a complex era?

Well, this isn't a history site. It's a pop-culture compendium. I should note that it ignores by design the "counterculture" elements of the era, unless they spill into the mainstream square culture. This is about mandatory ties and supper clubs and cottage-cheese reducing and Pepsi and ramblers and all the other things the WW2 generation took as their just reward.

It was, after all, their just reward.

This site has the usual usuals - lots of ads, which aren't as strenuously organized as the 50s site. Two catalogs, a collection of ads from a trade magazine catering to the drug store industry, house plans for the golden age of the rambler, and so on.

Miscellany is a catch-all for liquor brochures, hardware store circulars, trading-stamp booklets, and more interesting bits of ephemera.

Not everything is here now, since I add items every year.

Are you still reading? Hmm. Interesting. I'm not sure what else there is to say, except that this 20th century project is quite the thing, isn't it? I didn't intend to do it. Over the years, I accumulated stuff, scanned it, set it aside, put it online. Eventually the additional material cohered into decade-specific sites, like stars forming from gas. I've seen some sites devoted to various decades, but they were plagued by the usual problems of the early-ought internet. Small images, bad design, janky layout, and a tendancy to ignore the small everyday things that really make the era come to life.

I'm not saying that the 20th Century Project is more complete or instructive or valuable, but I am saying that it is more complete or instructive or valuable, in its own way.

Thank you for visiting, and if you'd made it this far you know you that this whole damned thing is free. A sou or lire or shekel would be appreciated.

JL

09.11.2020