Exhibition Taster: Digital Copy of Electrical Housekeeping

We will have hard and digital copies of the periodical Electrical Housekeeping on display at our exhibition, but in the meantime why not browse our digital copy below from summer 1939?! Check back every second Monday for a new taster in the lead up to the opening of the Electric Generations exhibition.

Burnley Express, 7 April 1934
Burnley Express, 7 April 1934

Electrical Housekeeping (mentioned in the advertisement to the left) was a promotional periodical launched by the British Electrical Development Association (EDA) in 1933 as ‘the first home electrical magazine’. The EDA was founded in 1919 to promote the consumption of electricity and electrical appliances, and ‘produce advertising material of common value to bodies within the industry’. It was funded at first by appliance manufacturers and later by the Central Electricity Board. Production of the magazine was suspended during the Second World War, and then started up again as a free publication in 1950 under the editorship of G.A. Thompson. It was now distributed via the showrooms of the Regional Electricity Boards, which were created as part of the nationalisation of the electricity supply industry in 1948.[1]

 

The periodical was very much aimed at housewives and adopted the style and content of women’s magazines of the era, with its short romantic stories, recipes, household tips, beauty advice, and puzzles. Our digitised edition from 1939 even includes a horoscopes page, a feature that had only appeared in the British press for the first time a few years before. The editors of Electrical Housekeeping did not bombard the reader with product advertisements, but its purpose was to promote the great benefit of the electrical house and garden. Warmth, cleanliness, time saving, comfort, and leisure were the magazine’s bywords.

[1] World’s Press News and Advertisers’ Review 43 (1950); Berwickshire News and General Advertiser, 25 April 1950.

Electric Generations: The Story of Electricity in the Irish Home will be at dlr LexIcon in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin from 2 October until 2 December 2017 and at the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester in spring 2018. Learn more about the Electric Generations team here.

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