Chrome revered wheels were very popular in the 60's; all of the 60's. My first car, a 1957 Chev, got chrome reverse as soon as I bought it. Chrome or any other material used on wheels, and the reverse, was not what made them hard on bearings. Initially the wheels were very hard to get in anything wider than 7", and even reversed they had about 3" backspacing, so 4" out. That didn't cause any bearing issues at all. It was when makers of steel and mag wheels began to gradually make wider wheels, and wider tires that the bearings became an issue. That was late 60's and 70's that the 10" and even 12" wheels blasted onto the car scene and people wanted as little backspacing as possible to maximize the effect.
The wider wheels and extreme offset, compounded by the older cars of pre '64 with their ball type bearings created a lot of bearing failures. Around '64 all the makers began to change from ball to roller bearings, which helped. Still those extreme offsets and wide wheels can create the same ill effect on roller bearings, even today. It had little to do with the old narrow reversed wheels of the late 50's and early 60's.