The internal dynamics of Hi and Lois haven’t changed much over the years. The basic rituals of family life remain relatively constant. But, since the strip was introduced in 1954, the external effects of technological progress have been considerable.
Consider the Sunday page above. Chip is chatting online with his girlfriend Kristen and Trixie steals the show. Personal computers did not exist until Hi and Lois had been around for almost three decades.
In 1950, there were TV sets in only 3.1 million homes. Within five years, the number jumped to thirty-two million. By 1959, the average family spent six hours a day, seven days a week in front of the “boob tube.”
In this strip from 1955, Dot and Ditto find it hard to comprehend life before television.
A clock radio must have seemed like a fresh concept in 1957. Today, our phones can wake us up in the morning and, of course, do much, much more.
In this strip, Lois is showing Hi a dial phone that has been installed. Long distance direct calling was a innovative service the phone companies had just introduced.
Of course, Hi is always concerned about the family budget and decides to limit access to the new device. Some things never change.
We hope you have enjoyed this journey back to a time before computers and cell phones. Check back next week for more classics from our collection.
– Brian Walker