About the Exhibition

Electric Generations shows how the reception and understanding of electricity by different generations varied across the twentieth century, reflecting the shift from an unfamiliar power to a fundamental feature of everyday life.

The exhibition begins by exploring how people initially feared that this new power could be harnessed to cause harm to neighbours and enemies. The next section focuses on the campaign for popular acceptance of domestic electricity. The final section illustrates how the electrical home was marketed as desirable and empowering for women. This story of the electrical transformation of Ireland is illustrated through inter-generational responses and the experiences of the diaspora in Britain, offering visitors an insight into the similarities and differences in the timelines of electric innovations and consumption in both countries.

The exhibition will feature previously unseen material from ESB Archives and the Institution of Engineering and Technology archive.

Electric Generations is generously funded by the University of Hertfordshire.

Images, unless otherwise stated, are courtesy of ESB Archives.



  • “This looks like it will be fantastic. On in dlr LexIcon in September”.

    Maria (via Twitter)

  • “Looks to be a great exhibition on its way to Dún Laoghaire”

    Hurdy Gurdy Museum (via Twitter)

  • “Can’t wait for this exhibition in dlr LexIcon in October/November”.

    Marian Thérese (via Twitter)