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  1952
 
In the headlines

US President: Harry S. Truman

US Vice President: Alben W. Barkley

Ike gets elected!

Elizabeth is crowned Queen of England

Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing US Commonwealth.

The hydrogen or H-bomb is exploded in the South Pacific.

American Bandstand debuts.

Mohawk haircuts come in style.

Dragnet captures the attention of TV viewers.

MAD magazine makes its debut.

1952 Mile Posts

In The United States

  • The Korean conflict limits auto production; the National Production Authority sets a total of 4,342,000 cars
  • Chevrolet output drops to 818,142 cars but Ford builds only 671,733
  • Ford Motor Company is the only Big Three automaker to fully restyle its car; Chrysler and GM field lightly face lifted 51s
  • Automotive gadgets proliferate as general prosperity continues
  • More than two million automatic transmissions are installed during this model year
  • V-8 engines go into one-third of all 1952 automobiles
  • For the first time, more motorists register more cars in Los Angeles than New York City.
  • First Holiday Inn opens in Memphis Tennessee
  • Disney cartoon. Susie the Little Blue Coupe has an humanlike car
  • Business Week  reports that hot rodders spend $50 million a year on parts

US Auto Manufacturers

  • Hoping to regain the number one spot from Chevrolet, Ford begins a price war that will lead to bankruptcies of Hudson, Nash, and Packard.
  • Studebaker celebrates its 100th anniversary
  • Lincoln is the first US make to spend $100 per car in advertising
  • Sears Roebuck markets a new compact Allstate, a Henry J with a different grille and badging
  • Cadillac installs dual exhausts outlet tips in the rear bumper
  • Crosley production ceases in July as the company merges with General Tire & Rubber
  • All-steel Ford station wagons debut, including a woody-look Country Squire
  • Ford's all-new cars get new "Power-Pivot" suspended brake and clutch pedals
  • James Nance takes the helm at Packard
  • overdrive transmissions is available in Plymouths and DeSotos
  • Packards get power brakes for 1st time
  • Chrysler introduces hydraulic shock absorbers

And From Around the World

  • Ford attempts to buy into Toyota fail.
  • Suzuki Loom Works produces its first motorcycle, three years before its first car.
  • Moscow Beltway, first limited access road in the USSR.
  • Ferdinand Porsche dies.
  • Last trolley in London. London killer smog: 4,000 dead
  • Germany ends speed limit on the autobahns. Frankfurt adopts staggered traffic lights,30 years after they become commonplace in the US.
  • Blaupunkt (West Germany) develops push button FM car radios.
  • Berliet family regains control of its truck firm, operated by a workers' cooperative since the end of the war.
  • Austin and Morris merge to form British Motors Corporation (B.M.C.). The new firm continues to under invest in plant improvements, spending one-third less Ford of Great Britain.
 

1952 Production figures

  1. Chevrolet...........................................................818,142
  2. Ford..................................................................671,733
  3. Plymouth............................................................396,000
  4. Buick.................................................................303,745
  5. Pontiac..............................................................271,490
  6. Oldsmobile..........................................................213,490
  7. Dodge...............................................................206,000

Some figures are estimates

By the Numbers

US Population.......................................................156,954,000

Average Yearly Income..................................................$4,457

DOW Average..................................................................292

New Births..............................................................3,913,000

New Home (median price).............................................$ 9,050

New Car (average cost)................................................$1,493

Gas gallon).....................................................................27

Milk (quart)....................................................................24

Bread (loaf)....................................................................16

Eggs (dozen)..................................................................73

Steak (pound)..............................................................$1.11

Stamp.............................................................................3

New in 1952

Holiday Inn - Memphis Tennessee

Pocket-sized transistor radio (Sony)

Mad magazine

Sugar-free soft drink (No-Cal ginger ale)

Soviet Union's participation in the Olympics

Pez - Edward Haas brings the Pez mint dispenser to the United States. It was initially unsuccessful, but gained popularity after Haas changed the original lighter-like design by adding a cartoon head and replacing the mints with fruit-flavored candy.

Matchbox Cars - Jack Odell creates the original Matchbox car when he makes a small brass model of a Road Roller and put it into a matchbox so that his daughter could bring it to school. Today, 100 million Matchbox cars are sold each year.

Mr. Potato Head - Banking on the idea that children like to play with their food, Hasbro introduces Mr. Potato Head. The original MR. POTATO HEAD toy consists entirely of pieces...consumers use a real potato for the body! The MR. POTATO HEAD toy is the first toy ever advertised on network TV.