Life in 1947

Set in 1947, “All My Sons” focuses on events that took place between 1943 and 1947, as the world dealt with the end of and after effects from WWII. But what was life like in 1947 America?


Average salaries were:

  • Teacher: $2,589
  • Lawyer: $7,437
  • Doctor: $10,700
  • Factory Worker: $2,793

Average prices were:

  • New house: $6,600
  • Gallon of gas: $0.15
  • Loaf of bread: $0.13
  • U.S. postage stamp: $0.03
  • Heinz cream of tomato soup: $0.23 for 2 cans
  • Oranges: $0.49/dozen


Seeing a show at a Broadway Theatre would run you between $1.20 and $4.30 (those were the days!), pop records were available for 4/$0.99, and a night at the San Moritz hotel in New York started at $4.50.

  • Miracle on 34th Street opens in theatres.
  • Meet the Press makes its debut on NBC.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy, opens on Broadway.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank is first published.
  • The first Tony Awards are awarded.


Roswell Daily Record / Public domain
  • Bikinis go on sale, Tupperware hits the market, and the first transistor radios and commercial microwaves are made.
  • Winston Churchill coins the phrase “Iron Curtain”, and the Cold War begins (it would not end until 1991).
  • The Roswell UFO incident sparks intrigue around extraterrestrials.
  • The first VW Beetle arrives in the U.S.
  • Fruitflies become the first animals to enter space, traveling aboard the Blossom I rocket.
  • Jackie Robinson signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African American to play major league baseball since the 1880s, and Wataru Misaka joins the New York Knicks and becomes the first person of colour to play in modern professional basketball.
  • A moth is found to be the cause of a malfunction in the Harvard Mark II computer, the first case of a “computer bug” (though the word “computer”, referring to a digital machine, wasn’t used until later in the year).
  • The National Security Act of 1947 becomes effective, creating the United States Air Force, National Security Council, and Central Intelligence Agency.
  • President Truman delivers the first televised White House address.
  • The Bell X-1 rocket plane flown by Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier for the first time, and Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose takes off (but never goes into production).
Farrah Fawcett / ABC Television / Public domain

Born in 1947

  • Stephen King
  • Hillary Clinton
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • David Bowie
  • Tom Clancy
  • Farrah Fawcett
  • Elton John
  • David Letterman
  • Meat Loaf
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • O.J. Simpson
  • Danielle Steel

Get your tickets now to see “All My Sons”, a play with unbearable power and a conclusion that is one of the most electrifying in theatre.