Promotion of electricity in the home

Explores electric lighting within the home and how it made a difference to improving people's lives. It describes life before electricity, early developments in lighting and how the benefits of electricity were promoted.


Cover of Hammond's 1884 book The Electric Light in our Homes

In order for the producers of electric lights to win the battle as the dominant power supply within the home they needed to be pro-active about educating their potential customers. Books explaining the benefits in layman's terms were published to explain to the ordinary reader the wonders of this new technology without the scientific jargon of previous works.

In 1884 Robert Hammond published a book, simply entitled The Electric Light in our Homes, based on a series of lectures given around the country. It was his aim to provide a resource that was easy for his readers to understand.


By the 1930s, electric lighting was becoming not only more affordable but more fashionable within the home. Books were published to reflect this trend and to advise the discerning homeowner on how to get the best out of their lighting. Books such as Lighting the Home, by A.B. Read, published in 1938,  tells the reader how to optimise on their lighting techniques, the different styles available and what are the best lights for each room.

The illustration below is from an anniversary booklet produced by the EAW to celebrate their 21st anniversary. It is for an EAW Electrical Exhibition at Dortland Hall, London in 1945. This page concentrates on a display on home lighting. 

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Image of home lighting from an EAW booklet produced for an Electrical Exhibition 1945 ref. NAEST 93/9/17