Electric cooker, made in the 1930s

Contributed by Portsmouth City Museum

Electric cooker, made in the 1930s

Mrs Gladys Cossey worked as a cookery demonstrator for the City of Portsmouth Electricity Generating Department and hired this cooker to teach customers how to cook with electricity. The cooker remained in use by the family until the 1980s. Electricity was slow to catch on as a domestic fuel because of the need for towns to be wired for it. However, by the 1930s the technology had been perfected and electric cookers began to replace the gas stove. These new household appliances, with easy to clean surfaces and clean fuel contributed to the domestic revolution for women. The amount of time needed to carry out domestic tasks was greatly reduced and liberated women to take jobs and perform other roles outside the home. This change was to prove pivotal in the years of the Second World War that were not far away and has continued to contribute to the vastly changed role of women. Peoples' lives are still being changed by the arrival of electricity for cooking and lighting all over the world.

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