Expectations were lower then. The typical house had 2 or 3 bedrooms and often only one bathroom. Kids shared bedrooms with their same sex siblings. Most homes has a clothes washer, but no dryer, so laundry was hung outside on a clothes line to dry. Houses had no air conditioning and many had no garage. The family owned one TV, which the whole family shared. Many families had only one car. Meals were simple and inexpensive -- casseroles, meatloaf, hot dogs, etc. Most families in my neighborhood didn't take vacations except to visit relatives or to spend a weekend at the lake. A man could provide a decent middle class lifestyle for his family if he had a good factory job. But those factory jobs in the steel industry, auto industry, clothing industry, etc., have all been shipped overseas.