Demons of Domesticity

Women and the English Gas Industry, 1889–1939

By Anne Clendinning

© 2004 – Routledge

370 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780754606925
pub: 2004-12-24
$154.95
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About the Book

Demons of Domesticity offers a social history of the English gas industry from the 1880s to the late 1930s, with an emphasis on the corporations that served London and the Home Counties. It documents the hitherto unexamined role that women played in the development of the industry by considering two major interlocking themes: the expansion of sales occupations for women in the English gas industry, and the parallel growth and diversification of the industry's marketing strategies. During the late-nineteenth century, the home became the focal point for a number of debates concerning female employment and gender roles. As an increasing number of labour saving domestic devices came onto the market women found themselves targeted by manufacturing companies and utility suppliers, both as consumers and advocates. Foremost among these companies were representatives of the gas industry who actively addressed domestic issues. As the promoters, purveyors and consumers of domestic technology, Demons of Domesticity suggests that English female employees and consumers were not the hapless dupes of corporate marketing, but instead had clear ideas about how domestic technology could and should be used to reconfigure the public and private spaces of work and home.

Table of Contents

Contents: List of figures; General editor's preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; The Victorian kitchen revolutionised; Exhibitions and the spectacle of selling; Lady demons and 'well-dressed men': gender and sales in the Edwardian gas industry; 'Keep the gas fires burning!': war and reconstruction; Marketing modernity: gas versus electricity between the wars; 'A women's industry': demonstrations of difference and equality; Conclusion; Biography; Index.

About the Author

Anne Clendinning, Nipissing University, Canada.

About the Series

Modern Economic and Social History

Modern Economic and Social History
Modern Economic and Social History encourages the publication of scholarly monographs on aspects of modern economic and social history. While emphasis is placed on works embodying original research, the series also provides studies of a more general and thematic nature which offer a reappraisal or critical analysis of major issues of debate. Economic and social history has been a flourishing subject of scholarly study during recent decades. Not only has the volume of literature increased enormously but the range of interest in time, space and subject matter has broadened considerably so that today there are many sub-branches of the subject which have developed considerable status in their own right.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General