The troubled reality of youth during the 1950s is revealed in an article from The Spokesman Review of 23 January 1954.
The author tells how his junior-high daughter was accused by her younger sister of trading her former boy friend Ralph for a corduroy skirt. Molly (the older girl) denied doing such a despicable act. What she had done was to trade Allen for a ukulele. Far more reasonable thing to do. Upon being asked what Allen thought of this, the father was told that he didn’t know anything about the deal — boys are too dense about stuff like that. Apparently Carol thought Allen was worth a ukulele, so she could on-sell him to Christine for a radio — Carol wanted the radio so she could organise dancing at a family reunion which several distant male cousins were to be attending (cute ones, is seems). And what about Ralpf — poor guy; he just wasn’t worth a ukulele.