I was born in the early 50s and fondly remember Leave It to Beaver, The Lennon Sisters on The Lawrence Welk Show and an earnest yearning for a poodle skirt. I believe one of my older sisters had one and I wanted to wear one just like it. The poodle skirt was designed by Juli Lynne Charlot. She placed a poodle applique on a circle skirt (great twirly swirly potential) and the fad took off with all of the teenie boppers.
Poodles were all the rage back then. Ceramic companies were creating what we now call spaghetti poodles and costume jewelry designers were creating all kinds of elegant to zany poodle pins. Dishes, textiles and graphic designs were placing poodles in positions of honor.
John Steinbeck wrote Travels With Charley in the early 60s. Charley was his wife’s standard poodle and a great companion on Steinbeck’s Search for America. It is no surprise that Charley was a poodle. By the mid 1950s poodles were the most popular breed of dogs in the USA, holding that position for the next 20 years.
Standard poodles are so trainable you might have even seen a dog act at a circus starring poodles. They are highly intelligent, energetic and sociable have a kindly disposition with children and have a love of playing games and of making their owners laugh.
Hope you will look on those 50s poodles again with fresh eyes. Please give a shout out if a poodle is in your household.