Persuading the housewife to use electricity? An interpretation of material in the Electricity Council archives

British Journal for the History of Science 26 (1):55-65 (1993)
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The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has recently acquired the Electricity Council archives, a body of material of national scope and a major resource for researchers into the electricity industry. The Electricity Council had previously transferred its collection of electrical artefacts to the Museum to be used in the development of the National Electricity Gallery, opened in March 1986, which it co-funded with Greater Manchester Council. In order to illustrate the content and value of these archives, this paper focuses on the promotion of the domestic use of electricity during the inter-war period, a choice of subject which relates to a strong area of the Museum's object collections. The first section outlines the acquisition and scope of the archives and describes the records therein of the Electrical Association for Women and the British Electrical Development Association ; the second section uses the relevant records of the EAW and the EDA to investigate the chosen theme, with particular reference to women's involvement and perceptions of women



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