Bride's four showers. With this practical haul Peggy Cross is set to keep house.
Caption from LIFE. Bride's four showers. With this practical haul Peggy Cross is set to keep house.Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Bride's four showers. With this practical haul Peggy Cross is set to keep house.
Cleaning mitt that looks like strange tribal headdress was the first gift Peggy opened at her cleaning shower. Friends competed with fancy wrappings.
Peggy wearing one of her gifts.
Peggy testing out her new vacuum cleaner.
Headshot of the bride-to-be.
Peggy trying on clothes from one of her showers.
Shower guests signing a book.
Peggy and Fiance Steve, brining home all but the bacon from the kitchen shower, need only an apartment and groceries to set up housekeeping.
Caption from LIFE. Bride's four showers. With this practical haul Peggy Cross is set to keep house.
Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
1 of 8

Here’s What a Bachelorette Looked Like in 1950

May 18, 2015

If you were to take a time traveler from 1950 and plop her down in front of Monday night’s premiere of the 11th season of The Bachelorette, she’d likely notice a few key differences between the contestants' lives and those of unmarried women in her day. The dresses are a little more risqué, the sexuality more overt and the plastic surgery comparatively rampant.

When LIFE featured a bachelorette in 1950 — or rather, a “bachelor girl,” as the term bachelorette hadn’t yet taken off — the story's subject, 21-year-old Peggy Cross, unlike The Bachelorette’s bachelorette, had already found her betrothed. Until their wedding day, of course, she would formally remain a bachelorette, but she was busy making preparations.

By all appearances, these preparations did not include a bungee jumping expedition or a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, but something altogether more practical: an accounting of all the accoutrements of housewifery.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.