Vintage photos can tell us a lot about what life was like decades ago. Once upon a time, we didn’t have smartphones to be glued to, iTunes for instant music downloads or Google to look things up. Once upon a time, people had picnics, wrote letters and used maps instead of a GPS. The following are 12 photos taken throughout Ohio during the 1950s—and they’re delightful to see.
1. Picnic in Columbus
"A family picnic assembles in Columbus, Ohio. Circa 1950."
2. Lehman's Hardware (Kidron, OH)
"The store front of Lehman's Hardware in Kidron, Ohio. Circa 1955."
3. Rapid Transit (Shaker Heights, OH)
"A three-car train of 1,200s stops at Drexmore station along Van Aken Boulevard in Shaker Heights, Ohio in 1956 as a PCC car approaches."
4. Post Office (Oxford, OH)
"Old brick post office in Oxford, OH. Circa 1950."
5. Lane Avenue in 1950 (Columbus, OH)
The photographer writers: "This was a new theater and strip mall when I took the photo for the developer, as I recall. I haven't been back there for several years, so I don't know whether the theater still exists.
The cars appear to be 1940's General Motors and Chrysler brands, plus a Studebaker. I recognize only one Ford. "
6. Kroger store in 1950 (Clitonville, OH)
The photographer writes: "I took the photo of a new Kroger store on the west side of High Street in Clintonville during early 1950, as best I can recall.
At that time, rubber-tired electric buses ran quietly to Beechwold Blvd. where they connected with a bus that ran to North Street in Worthngton. These replaced the street cars than ran down the middle of the street.
The electric buses made almost no noise, were comfortable, and emitted no fumes--Especially when compared to the present diesela They got power from the two overhead wires. . And that was more than 60 years ago!
I note most cars were GM makes. And I spot one 1949 Ford."
7. "Man Casting Net" (into Lake Erie)
Date taken: October 28,1950.
8. Ohio marines in Korea (Circa 1951)
"A group of Ohio Leathernecks serving with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea. Left to right are: M/Sgt. Robert T. Hunt, 1st. Lt. David W. Bowman, M/Sgt. Thomas H. Allom, Lt. Arnold J. Hammons, Lt. Walter J. Waldo, Capt. Leland A. Gaug, Capt. William G. Diar, Jr., M/Sgt. William R. Goodall III, and Maj. George A. Hanna."
9. Childhood memories in Marietta (circa 1959)
The sharer of this photo writes: "My sister sent me this polaroid photo taken in about 1959. It is of my first home in the subdivision of Marietta Ohio called Devola. I am standing in front of the split rail fence. I remember Dad digging the post holes for the fence. I also remember the 1955 Ford very well. Dad insisted on buying two lots with the house on one lot and a large in-ground pool built shortly after this picture was taken on the other. This is the same home where Dad built a 'recreation' room with a shuffleboard court in one half of the basement. It was a wonderful place to live."
10. Ohio University Library (Athens, OH)
"Reference desk and reading room, Chubb Library, Ohio University, ca. 1950; students studying at night."
11. Crosley Field (Cincinnati, OH)
"Circa 1955: Crosley Field, Cincinnati Redlegs."
12. Downtown Dwight D. Eisenhower address (Cleveland, OH)
"Dwight D. Eisenhower and Downtown Cleveland address in 1956."
Do you (or anyone you know) remember what life in Ohio was like in the 1950s? Share your memories and any photos you may have with us in the comments below!