Timeline: The 1950’s
1950 In Quincy, Mass., Bill Rosenberg changes the name of his doughnut shop to Dunkin’ Donuts. In 1955 he sells his first franchise.
1951 former Marine Glen Bell, 28, introduces the first fast food taco at his hamburger and hot dog stand in San Bernardino California. Bell, looking for unique product spots tacos at an area restaurant. He comes up with a contraption that will hold tortillas in hot oil to form the now classic U-shaped taco shell, enabling him to fried tortillas and offer fast Mexican fare.
1951 The defense industry needs aluminum for the Korean war effort, so Reynolds curtails production of it for home use. By 1953, it back in production and Saran Wrap is introduced.
1952 Col. Sanders sells its 1st first Kentucky fried chicken franchise.
1952 Lipton food company Rolls out a dehydrated onion soup mix that will earn its fame as a base for onion dip: two envelopes of the mix +1 cup sour cream. Lipton eventually prints the recipe, “California Dip” on the package.
1953 Fritos introduces the Frito kid, a mascot the company uses until 1967.
1954 the C. A. Swanson Company has a problem: the holidays are over but they still have railroad cars full of frozen turkeys. Employee Gerry Thomas has an idea (although fellow workers nearly laughed him out of the Omaha plant): package the turkey along with some dressing, gravy, corn bread, peas, and sweet potatoes into partitioned metal trays. Sell it frozen, and consumers could heat it up for dinner: his name for the leftover meal: TV dinner. Swanson made 6000 of the $.98 meals. Within a year, they had shipped 10 million more.
1954 The first Burger King opens in Miami. A burger is $.18, as is a milkshake. The whopper is introduced in 1957 and sells for $.37.
1954 Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine it Is proven safe an effective, And the first successful kidney transplant is performed.
1955 Milk shake- machine salesman Ray Kroc tries to persuade Dick and Mac McDonald (owners of the original McDonald’s in California to franchise their concept. They aren’t interested, but they tell Kroc to go ahead and try his hand. Kroc opens his first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois and eventually buys out the McDonald’s.
1956 More than 80% of US households have refrigerators. By contrast, only eight percent of British households have refrigerators.
1957 Better Homes and Gardens prints its first microwave cooking article.
1957 Margarine and sales take the lead over butter.
1958 Eighteen – year- old Frank Carney sees a story in the Saturday Evening Post about the pizza fad among teenagers and college students. With $600 borrowed from his mother, he opens the first Pizza Hut in Wichita Kansas.
1959 Hagen – Dazs ice cream is introduced.