February 26, 2012

Connected to the electricity network

There used to be a time when having mains electricity was a selling point for a house.

These advertisements appeared in The Times of 18 September 1935.  As you can imagine, many of the advertised properties for sale are rather large with rambling gardens and situated in the Home Counties.  Each would need a whole battalion of servants to keep them in good working order - you could pick and choose a domestic servant from the small ads that covered pages 2 and 3 of the same newspaper.  Running hot water would make life a lot easier for housekeepers and maids.  The lady of the house wouldn't need anyone to boil up water for her morning bath anymore; she could just turn on the tap and out it would come.

I find it quaint that, even in 1935, people felt they had to mention the existence of an electricity connection.  I wonder when they stopped mentioning it.  It would also be interesting to learn when electricity in working-class houses finally became so common that people didn't need to mention it any more. 

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Digital Telephone Book by Elizabeth Chairopoulou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.