Rocking chair

ca. 1950

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

Say, kids! What time is it? Rock in this child's rocker and there can be no doubt: the music box attached to its base intones a melodious version of "It's Howdy Doody Time," the theme song for the popular 1950s TV show. Hosted by "Buffalo Bob" Smith and his marionette sidekick, "The Howdy Doody Show" was broadcast live on NBC five days a week from 1947 to 1960. It was the first nationally televised children's program and likely the most popular children's show of all time. Debuting at the dawn of the Television Age and in the early years of the postwar baby boom, "The Howdy Doody Show" highlighted the tremendous economic potential younger viewers promised for the new medium. "Howdy Doody" helped familiarize millions of Americans with television, as TV ownership increased from fewer than 1 million households in 1949 to more than 20 million in 1953. With its large illustration of the show's title character, this chair was also one of the early attempts to connect television to advertising. In fact, the show's wild popularity spawned a host of merchandising promotions that depicted the title character on everything from puppets, games, and toys to lunch boxes, paint sets, and furniture.

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  • Title: Rocking chair
  • Date Created: ca. 1950
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: Howdy Doody
  • Type: Character Products
  • Medium: painted, maple, wood
  • Object ID: 93.1001