The Team

Electric Generations is a collaboration between members of the History Group at the University of Hertfordshire and ESB Archives, in association with IET Archives.

Professor Owen Davies

Owen Davies is Professor of Social History at the University of Hertfordshire. While interested in modern social history broadly, much of his work concerns the belief in the supernatural, witchcraft, magic, ghosts, and medicine in local, national, and global contexts. His interest in the popular reception of electricity stems from work on technology and the supernatural in popular culture, which he is currently investigating with Dr Ceri Houlbrook as part of the Leverhulme-funded Inner Lives project.

Dr Ceri Houlbrook

Ceri Houlbrook is an Early Career Researcher in Intangible Cultural Heritage at the University of Hertfordshire. Her research interests include early modern and contemporary folklore, ritual practices, and the material culture of popular beliefs. Ceri is exploring the ways in which electricity was linked to the supernatural, in both public advertising campaigns and private beliefs and fears.


Dr Ciara Meehan

Ciara Meehan is Head of History at the University of Hertfordshire. Her interest in electricity stems from research into the everyday lives of housewives, and the difference that electric devices made to their daily routines. This formed the basis of Modern Wife, Modern Life: an Exhibition of Women’s Magazines in 1960s Ireland, which opened at the National Print Museum in Dublin in summer 2015. She is currently completing a book on the expectations and representations of women in 1960s Ireland.


In collaboration with

Deirdre McParland

Deirdre McParland joined ESB’s Archives in October 2015 and has been working in the archives sector for the past 17 years. Deirdre has a Higher Diploma in Archives and Records Management from University College Dublin and has specialised in business archives since qualification. Deirdre is passionate about archives inspiring our future and loves utilising  the content of archives through exhibitions, seminars, specialised events, publications and new collaborations.


ESB is Ireland’s foremost energy company and the largest supplier of renewable electricity. Through innovation, expertise and investment, ESB is leading the way in developing a modern, efficient electricity system, capable of delivering sustainable and competitive energy supplies to our customers. Every day, ESB works for a better energy future by investing in low-carbon generating technologies in Ireland and Great Britain, building smarter electricity networks in Ireland and working with others to find innovative solutions to today’s energy challenges.