Category: 1970’s Trends

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1970’s)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (RHPS) is a 1975 film adaption of the British classic rock musical stage play written by Richard O’Brien. The movie, a parody of science fiction and “B” grade horror films, was a popular cult movie that developed a tremendous following during the mid to late 1970’s. Following on the success of the stage play version, the movie carried over many of the actors from the stage production, including Tim Curry (Dr. Frank N. Furter), Little Nell (Columbia), Patricia Quinn (Magenta), and Jonathan Adams (narrator), who rose to stardom riding the waves of the Rocky Horror Picture Show mania.

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Bell Bottom Pants (1970’s)

Trousers with legs that became wider from the knees downward were very popular in the 1970’s. Called “bell bottom pants” because of the bell like flare at the bottom of the pants leg, the bell bottom pants craze began in the late 1960’s but bell bottom pants were wore by Navy personnel as early as 1810.

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Pet Rocks (1970’s)

In April 1975, Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising executive, was in a bar listening to his friends complain about their pets. Although adorable and loveable, barking, dirty litter boxes, tearing up furniture, and constant feeding and care made messy pets somewhat of a nuisance at times. Gary said, jokingly, that a “pet” rock would be an ideal pet to own. He explained that a pet rock did not require feeding, walking, grooming, would not die or become sick and would not be disobedient. In short, they would be the perfect pet. When Gary arrived back home, he began thinking – maybe a pet rock was not such a bad idea after all. If it were marketed well, it just might work.

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Lemon Twist (or Footsie) Toy (1970’s)

Rarely has a toy reemerged over and over again as a hit “new toy” as the Lemon Twist (or Jingle Jump, Footsie, Skip-A-Roo, or Skip It) has done. First introduced in the late 1960’s as the Footsie toy, it became very popular for several few years before gradually fading away into obscurity. Then in the mid-1970’s the toy reemerged as the Lemon Twist toy and became one of the top selling toys of the decade.

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The Frisbee Flying Disc (1970’s)

Flying disc toys have been thrown by people about as long as flat round objects existed. In the United States, two simultaneous “inventions” of the flying disc occurred on opposite ends of the country while a major tweaking of the disc design and a hearty dose of marketing set off the 1970’s Frisbee craze that lasted for nearly two decades.

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Streaking (1970’s)

On July 5, 1799, a Friday evening at 7 o’clock, a naked man was arrested at the Mansion House in London. He was promptly arrested and upon questioning, admitted to authorities that he had accepted a wager of 10 guineas to run naked from Cornhill to Cheapside. Streaking was by no means a novel idea when it became a fad in the 1970’s.

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Mood Rings (1970’s)

In 1975, jewelry designer Marvin Wernick accompanied a physician friend to an emergency and marveled when his friend applied thermotropic tape to a child’s forehead to take her temperature. Using this premise, he took a hollow glass shell and filled it with thermotropic liquid crystals. He then attached the glass shell to a ring so that when worn on the finger, the thermotropic material would change temperatures and color. Mood rings became very popular during the 1970’s and for a few years, were considered a serious piece of jewelry. The mood ring fad peaked in the late 1970’s and are now seen as an icon of the 1970’s culture.

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The CB Radio Craze (1970’s)

The CB radio was invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie, who later started the Citizens Radio Corporation. By 1960, the costs to produce the 23 channel radio came down enough that everyday Joes could afford to buy the radios. It became popular with small businesses and blue collar workers like carpenters, plumbers, and electricians who used the radio as a tool to communicate with coworkers. By 1973, it moved into the private sector and with the onset of the oil crisis, the CB Radio craze erupted.