Domesticating Electricity (Hardcover)

Technology, Uncertainty and Gender, 1880–1914 (Sci & Culture in the Nineteenth Century)

By Graeme Gooday

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9781851969753, 256pp.

Publication Date: July 1, 2008

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/1/2008)
Paperback (2/5/2018)

List Price: 45.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


This is an innovative and original socio-cultural study of the history of electricity during the late Victorian and Edward periods. Gooday shows how technology, authority and gender interacted in pre-World War I Britain. The rapid take-up of electrical light and domestic appliances on both sides of the Atlantic had a wide-ranging effect on consumer habits and the division of labour within the home. Electricity was viewed by non-experts as potential threat to domestic order and welfare. This broadly interdisciplinary study relates to a website developed by the author on the history of electricity.

Praise For Domesticating Electricity: Technology, Uncertainty and Gender, 1880–1914 (Sci & Culture in the Nineteenth Century)

"Gooday's valuable study brings new nuance to our understanding of the process of electrification and the diverse valences of electricity before World War I . . . a truly excellent book."
—Annals of Science

"Quotations from period newspapers and advertisements, numerous notes and references, some black-and-white photos and cartoon sketches, and a practical index add significantly to this book's value as a reference work. Recommended."

"A wonderfully interesting—and significant—story . . . a read worth undertaking for anyone interested in the diffusion of innovation in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods."
—British Journal for the History of Science

"An important book that historians interested in electrification and household technology—as well as the interactions of technology, consumer culture, and gender—will find insightful and compelling."
—Technology and Culture

"This work masterfully articulates an aspect of modern everyday culture that has been surprisingly overlooked from an interdisciplinary perspective."
—British Society for Literature and Science

"In his study of the domestication of electricity, Graeme Gooday has made an important contribution to the history of electrification and, more generally, to the history of technology."