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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made

story:Home comforts

scene:Conclusion

In the relatively short time-span of twenty years, from 1945 to 1965, Britain was transformed from a country emerging on its knees from the devastation of war to becoming an affluent consumer society. One outcome of the new prosperity was the modernisation of our homes, as outlined in this survey of home comforts.


Drawing. Woman in kitchen full of appliances, c.1958. picture zoom © NMPFT / Daily Herald/Syndicate International

In one sense it was an age of desire fulfilled – through the power of choice and innocent consumption. Underpinning it all was an unshakeable belief in scientific and technological progress mediated through national politics. It was an era of fair-weather consumerism. The horizon seemed crisp and clear, but just over it was to loom an economic and social backlash, the dark cloud of pollution, environmental degradation, exploitation and concerns about energy production and finite resources. Even the bastions of science and technology would come to be seriously questioned in the re-evaluation of what progress in the future actually meant.

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Drawing. Woman in kitchen full of appliances, c.1958.
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