In 1901, Queen Victoria died. Her son Edward VII became King and started the Edwardian period. After Queen Victoria's death and the rise of a new King sparked inventions to go rampant. In this period there was the Department store, Asbestos was everywhere, Electricity, Refrigeration, the first permanent hair curler machine was invented in 1906 (after he burnt his wife's hair off twice..), Radium was put into everything as an energy booster (there was even Radium spas you could go and have a soak in), Lighting, telephones, indoor plumbing, private vehicles and the Vacuum.
This era was a great period for modern inventions and definitely was a great rise from the previous era. But it didn't come without its terrible dangers..
We most definitely take for granted that we can just flip on the light switch and have light. When Electricity first came around there was a rush of new modern inventions, exciting for home life and of course everyone "needs" these things to show their status and class.
Gas was used for heating and lighting in the Victorian period until the necessary components for households were invented later in the 19th century by Thomas Edison in America and Joseph Swan in Britain, which was the incandescent light bulb.
At the time Electricity was much more expensive then Gas was, but the companies promoted it intensely (as many places to now) because they could see how profitable it could be with all the new possibilities. With the pressure to be "with the times" and of a middle or higher class, having an electric lamp was definitely a must.
When installed, the Electric wires were absolutely bare. They didn't understand that they needed to be insulated. One touch and your electrocuted. When they realized that they need to be insulated, it took awhile to get it right. They started just lining it with paper and lead, they wrapped the wires in cloth, in wood. Grounding the wires wasn't even a thought at this point.
At home, with their new light bulb, they would plug in different electric household appliances directly into the light fixture. One of top of the other until there's a string of adapters.. which would lead to overheating and potential fires. Overloading can easily spark a fire. They didn't have fuse boxes like we did, when it got overloaded the electricity just kept feeding in. With nothing to shut it off.
There was a bombardment of different electric companies all with different plugs that would work, amps and what not. These electric times were very competitive. Eventually the household would be able to have a wall outlet. Unfortunately, both the socket and the plug contained metal, so it would spark every time something was plugged in. Also many homes still had gas as well as electric. But then a rubber cover was later put on the plug and wires, stopping the sparks and the possibility of an explosion with the gas. Unfortunately for Gas companies to save money, they would turn down the gas at night so lamps may go out which would release a steady slow stream of gas into homes. You wake up in the morning, go to light the lamp or plug in a lamp or unplug something and boom.
Lack of Knowledge
Unfortunately for everyone wanting to stay with the times. Having this new Electricity in their home. The really had no idea about its dangers, they weren't told either. There was just a lot of promotion for it, stating how save it is! This really shows with the Electric Tablecloth. Fabric with wiring running through it and little lamps plugged into it. They idea itself is so interesting! I personally would love one, but the reality of it is awful. Goes to show that people weren't aware of the actual dangerous of many things they used.
Electric curling iron
Electric sun ray lamp
Hot Air Bath
Electric Massage Machine
Robert Rono from Kenya on August 12, 2019: