Boing Boing has a cool flash back to the turn of the century, A little girl vacuums, with electricity! when electricity in the home wasn’t commonplace and electric utility companies where pushing consumers to consider electricity as more than just a novelty toy. I really liked the way Maggie described what was so important about this shift:

    “Forget about simplifying housework. Centralized electricity changed energy production from a difficult, in-home process that kept the messy by-products of progress literally in your face, into something magical that happened when you threw a switch. The choking smoke was still there, but not at your house. There was still heavy labor involved, but it wasn’t done by you or your children. For the first time, people were able to pretend that their standard of living was provided, free of downsides, by little elves that lived in the wall. All benefit, no detriment. Action without consequences. In other words, this is the point where everybody went a little bit bonkers.”

Read the whole Boing Boing post, and click through to read the pamphlet (which is a little tedious to page through but the poetic verse is pretty great) at the link below.

1916 electric utility propaganda – via Boing Boing.