Spiegel Fall/Winter 1959 Catalog
Not in any medical sense. This is the “family that plays together, stays together” sense…you know, pleasant afternoons at home with Mom, Dad, Bud, and Sue all clustered around their Minshall Electronic Organ. The 1959 Spiegel catalog featured this hypothetical nuclear family on the back cover.
Organs for the home had been around since before the turn of the 20th century (see this Sears advert for example) but after World War II, vacuum tubes made possible easy-to-play electronic organs with a wider range of sounds and volume. And having everyone in the family learn how to play music – organ, accordion, zither, something – was a desirable cultural goal, at least until rock and roll came along.
The Minshall was considered a budget organ, but Spiegel’s still suggested a monthly payment plan – and no wonder, as that 1959 price works out to over $10,000 in modern currency. Big bucks, but if it brings the family together in weekly singalongs… well, that was the hope for their New Life anyway.
You may laugh, but how is it working out for your kids with their iPhones and earbuds?