The 1970s: Fun at home, at craft fairs and with figures

A look at funky new furniture, leisure trends, and the challenges of grocery shopping the metric way.
The CBC's Paul Soles, seen at left, tries out some stylish new furniture in 1971. (CBC Archives)

It's one year into the 1970s, and there's a new trend in furniture. 

John Hambly, a furniture merchandiser for Eaton's, has brought some samples of "mood type of contemporary merchandise" to the Take 30 studio. Seated on "mono-triplex" units, he and host Paul Soles discuss current offerings. 

Paul Soles demonstrates a bean bag chair, one of the new pieces of fun furniture available at Eaton's. 2:20

There's an "intriguing piece" on the high-pile rug that Soles re-shapes from what he describes as a "limp ketchup bottle" into a chair that "fits you from every angle." It's a bean bag, a "lot of fun" for $49.

Video consoles were a preview of the world to come of home video games. (CBC Archives)

Once you've found your favourite living room chair, there's more fun than ever to be had in front of the television.

Until recently they've only been available at bars and "private clubs" but Canadians can now buy video games to play on their home televisions. 2:04

Video game consoles, "one of the biggest items to hit the home entertainment scene in years" can be purchased for between $40 and $140, and hooked up to the home screen.

Crafting is catching on

Craft markets and fairs are flourishing as making a living selling handicrafts becomes more possible as well as desirable. 2:03

The decade also sees the rise of the antidote to the "alienated, mechanized society of the seventies." 

Craft fairs are flourishing, and making a living through handicrafts offers a lifestyle alternative for those seeking more meaningful work than as, say, a riveter or "even a doctor."

How much is that in kilograms?

CBC reporter Norman Depoe surveys a grocery store for opinions on the new metric system of measurement. 2:08

But it's not all fun and games for the homemaker. 

In January 1970, the government tabled "The White Paper on Metric Conversion", heralding Canada's adoption of the metric system and the retirement of imperial measure. 

As CBC News reporter Norman DePoe tells us in this 1973 report, rewriting the labels is tricky, because the old sizes come out to "odd figures" under the new system and manufacturers are working on new packaging.