It’s easy to look back on the past with rose-tinted glasses, especially when it comes to ‘the golden age’ and before, when most of us either were not here, or were too young to remember any of it.
But it wasn’t all rosy back then, folks. There were some terrible political troubles, and even in every day life there were things that were commonplace that now seem pretty horrifying!
Check out this gallery of images that are shocking now, but wouldn’t have raised a single eyebrow back in the day.
1. Radioactive toys
Yes, you read that correctly. That’s not a brand name, they really were radioactive. It might sound like something from The Simpsons, but apparently these kind of toy sets were all the rage in the 1950s, including this Atomic Energy Lab that contained actual harmful portions of radioactive isotopes. Thankfully, the toy was only on the market for around a year before pulling it from the shelves.
My favourite bit about this photo is the way is says “safe!” on the box, as if that actually makes radiactive junk safe. I guess regulation might have its place after all.
2. Lead paint
It’s been a well-established fact for a long, long time that lead is harmful to humans. In fact, it has been known to cause endless health complications such nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney failure and delayed development in children.
Lead-based paint was widely used in many households, which is bad enough in itself, but that’s not even the worst of it. See, apparently, lead also has quite a sweet taste, which led to many curious children eating lead paint chips like some kind of candy treat. Fortunately, in 1978, lead-based paints were banned from the market in favor of latex. It’s a wonder it took that long.