When we hear the word technology now we think of computers, mobile phones and tablets amongst other things. In the fifties, and then the sixties, new technology was emerging but at a very different level and a slower pace than today.
In the early 1950’s, in the countryside where I grew up, electricity was established in homes but appliances were limited to lights, a cooker, a radiogram (a large wooden item of furniture housing a record player on one side and a radio on the other) and a vacuum cleaner. Our vacuum cleaner was this model and it was old in the 1950’s!
There was big excitement in the family upon the arrival of our first fridge. Milk could be kept fresh for longer in warm weather. Previously, my mum used to hang bottles of milk in the stream in a string bag. Best of all, there was an ice-box. Mum used to pour orange squash into the ice cube tray with a cocktail stick in each cube. Result – our first home-made iced lollies!
The phone came next. First the lines had to be extended out as far as our house. How exciting it was to watch the workmen putting in the wires and telegraph poles! There is more about telephones in the village in my earlier post Shops and Brands Part 1.
We didn’t have television until I was 10 in 1961. I have covered TV in more detail in an earlier post. We had seen televisions previously a few times when staying with relatives who lived in towns but to have one of our own at last was hugely exciting.
Later, in the 1960’s, we acquired a hair dryer, a hand whisk, our first portable ‘transistor’ radio, a washing machine (a very early model with a single tub which had a heating element and was filled using a hose connected to the kitchen tap and with a mangle on the top) and a few electric fires to take the edge off cold bedrooms in winter – no central heating!