While suburbs had originated far earlier; the suburban population in North America exploded during the post-World War II economic expansion. Returning veterans wishing to start a settled life moved en masse to the suburbs. Levittown developed as a major prototype of mass-produced housing.
In the U.S., 1950 was the first year that more people lived in suburbs than elsewhere. In the U.S, the development of the skyscraper and the sharp inflation of downtown real estate prices also led to downtowns being more fully dedicated to businesses, thus pushing residents outside the city center.
Here is a little film by Redbook from 1957. I hope you enjoy it!
Note in the first picture there are no fences, driveways, lawns, sidewalks. That’s the way you bought your house! In 1952 my parents bought a house in one of Sacto’s first suburbs. All the neighbors got together and helped each other build fences & pour driveways, then at whoever’s house was being worked on, the owner would provide a big outdoor dinner & it would usually end up a great celebration at the end of the day. I so remember all the little front yards with the little wooden stakes and string to protect the newly planted grass seed (no delivered sod back then) & people hand watering those seeds every day & evening (no sprinkler systems either!) and the great pride when the seeds turned into a beautiful green lawn. I can smell the clipings in the push lawn mower catcher now! Ahh, such sweet memories you drag up. I SO WISH others would join in here ( I KNOW they’re out there!!!) and share their memories and knowledge of such a precious time and the feelings your “labor of love” evokes. Another beautiful job Hepcat. And….the rest of you old cats enjoying this – JUMP IN and share!
Vic, thanks so much. Yeah, anybody else out there who can share some memories and knowledge feel free to join in :).