Scandinavian Life in the 1950s

Every year I take part in a Half Marathon in Gothenburg in Sweden which gives the opportunity to see something new.

Kortedala is a suburb of Gothenburg in Sweden. There you find the Kortedala Museum which is a flat in a compartment building created in the 1950s with everything needed at the time: Shops, parks and playgrounds. After some years the tram from Gothenburg ran to Kortedala. Factories like Volvo and Saab required workers and the Swedish king came to inaugurate the new area. We would call it “The State Home”, the idea that everything was taken care of by the State.  The families enjoyed it though, finally being able to live in beautiful surroundings with the luxury of having central heating and refrigerator. The houses and flats were placed to fit into the rocks and trees in the surroundings. The apartments are small, and the family members had to share bedrooms. The dresses were hand sewn for girls were extended to be used for two or three seasons.

The Bedroom and children’s clothes


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The bathroom

What made the visit so memorable for me was to meet an old guide Linnea showing me the many items in the flat. The guide was born in 1927 and just a few years younger than my mother had she lived. Linnea told me that as a young lady moved from another part of Sweden to get a job in a coastal city called Helsingborg. From there she could look over to entirely dark Denmark during the years of German occupation.  A Danish singer would entertain as the Jewish population, and the resistance people had to flee to Sweden.

The Kitchen

I was a child in the 1950s, so many of the things in the flat was recognisable for me even though Denmark and Sweden did not share too much at that time either.


From the living room

I forgot to take pictures of the living room as it was soon full of visitors. Linnea showed me a catalogue of things for the families to order. In my childhood, we had the same kind, and especially the pages with baby clothes had my attention both at the museum and as a child in Denmark. As a child, I was annoyed that the creators of the catalogues repeatedly folded the sleeves of the baby clothes to fit in more on the page. I would cut them out to become paper dolls.

The Catalogue


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  1. Not only the green fixtures in the bathroom showed their age, but the Brylcream on the shelf was a dead give away!! Loved to see the white gloves in the children clothes – why doesn’t anyone wear gloves any more?
    Great post, Maria!! (say hello to Henry for me).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much. We are exploring Washington DC, walking many hours. So much to see. Good to be in contact with you. We enjoyed seeing things from our childhood at the Swedish museum. Thanks to the Marshall help we in Denmark recovered too. The Swedish were more well off not having been involved in WWII

      Liked by 1 person

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