MURAL

Ontario Through the Years

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The Future Takes Flight

(1950s)

 

The Future Takes Flight defines a new post-war era filled with hope and prosperity.  Ontario shifted from an agriculturally based to an industrially based economy; mass production housing was constructed; manufacturing jobs became increasingly available; and the population swelled from 22,872 in 1951 to 46,627 by 1960 placing a demand on existing medical, police, fire, and educational services.  As the country began to “rebuild” after the end of World War II, the 1950s brought on the Cold War Era and a growing concern to prepare for an atomic bomb attack.  The defense industry maintained funding and the aeronautical industry began to flourish either at, or adjacent to, the Ontario International Airport.  Manufacturing plants, such as General Electric, returned to household appliance production to serve American consumers.  The 1950s saw a rise of the middle class and the beginning of suburban sprawl. Standardized production of modest single family homes with modern amenities made the “American Dream” of homeownership affordable and possible.  By 1957, Ontario was served by three railroads, the Ontario International Airport, the San Bernardino Freeway (I-10), California State Highway Route 71, and U.S. highways 60, 66, 70, and 99.