The year was 1948. In postwar America gasoline was 16 cents a gallon, and a postage stamp three cents. The average price of an automobile was $1,250, a home $7,700, and annual income was $2,900. Several inventions that would revolutionize the world had just been announced: the transistor radio and Velcro. Kitty litter arrived on the scene, and The Ed Sullivan Show aired on CBS.