Many musical styles flourished and combined in the 1940's and 1950's, most likely because of the influence of radio had in creating a mass market for music. World War II caused great social upheaval, and the music of this period shows the effects of that upheaval.
There were many types of fads in the '40s, like dances. One of the most popular dances was the Jitterbug, a dance which consisted of swift, complex movements and flips. Records were nice amenities, also. They varied in many types, and most people had large collections of every type and genre of record music. Any fads that were not easily accessible by manufacturers and/or consumers were subsisted from other places. If a certain item was too expensive to ship, then the manufacturers would have purchased a similar, less expensive type of the same type of that specific item. Flight technology was an instant success in the early 40s.
Frank Whittle built the first jet engine, which was successfully engineered in 1941. Igor Sikorsky invented the very first manual modern helicopter, which is still used today, William Shockley designed and created the first transistors in the mid-'40s, a necessity still used today for radios and other electronic equipment. The first computer was invented, also, in the 1940s, though it was only used in military facilities and bases, because it took so long and so much labor to build joust one, not to mention the fact that they were extremely large in size.
During this period there appeared one of the greatest toys that a boy could ever have asked for. Not only was it fun, but it irritated adults to no end. The "pea shooter" was a plastic tube about an eighth of an inch in diameter and about nine inches long. The ones I remember were opaque and of a bluish green color. They were perfect for use as a blowgun with dried peas.
Kilroy Was Here
During World War II "Kilroy was here!" start showing up where ever American soldiers had been. Eventually it became a great American symbol. Though no one really knows who Kilroy is or was. After a while a cartoon character was paired with the saying.
Betty Boop, the most famous cartoon from the 1940's and was the first female animation star. She had started out as a poodle in a Fleischer Studios animation series, but she slowly became a human. She eventually got her own series of animated shorts and Sunday paper comics that matched the popularity of even Mickey Mouse. She inspired Marilyn Monroe and her bubbly personality became a favorite of thousands of Americans. Betty Boop is still popular today.
A toy that children played with by placing on stairs and watching it slowly climb down. When he was 26, Richard James of Philadelphia invented the Slinky. It consists of 87 feet of flat wire coiled into 3-inch-diameter circles and stands about 2 inches high when stacked. The Slinky's ability to "walk" down stairs and open and close like an accordion made it a favorite toy, and it is still popular today.