While doing research for our show on marriage and the educated woman, guest Stephanie Coontz was kind enough to recommend a television series from 1954 that really captured the attitude of the era. Father Knows Best was an American radio and television comedy about middle class family life in the Midwest. In one gem of an episode, entitled “Betty, Girl Engineer,” the teenaged Betty attends a job fair at school.
She arrives home to tell her family that she’s finally found her direction in life (“Now I feel as though my whole future’s been crystallized!”): she would become an engineer!
Betty’s parents don’t take the news so well. Her mother thinks she’s joking and tells her to go try on a dress and her father suggests she take up crocheting instead. It’s probably best to take a look for yourself (you’ll hear some cuts from the episode in the show this morning). Enjoy!
-Alex DiPalma, assistant producer