Author Topic: Electricity In Victorian Houses  (Read 48280 times)

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Offline Clemence

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Electricity In Victorian Houses
« on: January 05, 2014, 06:44:50 AM »
What I'd like to find out is: what was the first use of electricity in victorian houses? I always thought it was for illumination, but did really go that way or was it for some other uses even before? In other words, when do you think the first sockets were placed in victorian houses and what for?
'' It used to be all girls without clothes. Now itís all clothes with no girls. Pity.''

Offline edubs31

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 07:54:54 AM »
I'd like to know the answer to that as well. I can tell you that electricity was first installed in the White House in 1891 during the Benjamin Harrison administration. It was said that he and the First Lady didn't get much use out of the new innovation because they were deathly afraid of touching the switches.

Electricity was also originally intended only as a supplement to gas lightning, but in a few short years proved to be far more efficient. I'm guessing also that if the White House (compliments of the Edison Company) didn't receive electrical wiring until 1891 that it was probably at least a couple of more years before electricity became commonplace in the Victorian homes and palaces of Europe.
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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2014, 10:38:35 AM »
Electricity was first used for lighting only.  In San Francisco in 1879 and New York City 1880.  The reason was that the first electric providers could only produce Direct Current (DC) which wasn't really suitable or stable enough for other uses.  When Tesla and Westinghouse came up with Alternating Current and the necessary equipment around 1888-89, it quickly became the favored usage and small motors and coils were finally possible for devices other than lighting run by electric.  The first building with electricity in Russia was the Alexander Palace, with the equipment and power generating station built and designed by Tesla personally in 1894-5 for Nicholas II.


Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 10:47:40 AM »
I can't comment on palaces, but certainly the use of electricity spread quite slowly in Britain. My father tells me that his parents' house (in a middle-class part of Liverpool) didn't have electricity until the 1950s. Early in 1947 bad weather resulted in problems getting coal to power stations, and various coastal towns received assistance from the Royal Navy. Non-nuclear submarines use their diesel engines to charge up the electric batteries they use under water. Apparently, connecting up one or two submarines to the town electricity supply was enough to deal with any shortfall from the power stations. Quite apart from the ingenuity involved, it does suggest that demand for electricity was quite low compared with that of today.

However, it doesn't surprise me that Nicholas got an electric generator for the Alexander Palace.

Ann

Offline edubs31

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2014, 12:11:27 PM »
Great info FA. Just as I suspected, a few short years after it had been installed in the White House it was placed in Alexander Palace.

As Ann said, not at all surprising that Nicholas had electricity placed in Alexander Palace. Right at the start of his reign no less. One of the many amazing technological innovations during the reign of the last Tsar.
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Offline Kalafrana

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 02:02:59 PM »
Nicholas also took to cars with enthusiasm.

Did he ever show any interest in flying? His brother-in-law Heinrich of Prussia qualified as a pilot before 1914.

Ann

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 04:52:48 PM »
There is a picture of Nicholas with one of the big 4 engine IM aircraft pre _WW I. I believe he gave the designer Igor Sikorsky a gold watch. As for electricity at the palace I think it was first installed under Tsar Alexander III. At balls were his wife Maria Fed wanted to dance all night and he wanted to go to bed he just went our and turned the newly installed electric lights out! At least that's what I remember reading somewhere I will back with the sources.

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 06:15:50 PM »
The book where Alexander III is turning the lights out was "Tide at Sunrise" on the Russo-Japanese War.

Offline Clemence

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Re: Electricity In Victorian Houses
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2015, 10:01:27 AM »
There is a picture of Nicholas with one of the big 4 engine IM aircraft pre _WW I. I believe he gave the designer Igor Sikorsky a gold watch. As for electricity at the palace I think it was first installed under Tsar Alexander III. At balls were his wife Maria Fed wanted to dance all night and he wanted to go to bed he just went our and turned the newly installed electric lights out! At least that's what I remember reading somewhere I will back with the sources.

I thought he used to sent the musicians away one by one!
'' It used to be all girls without clothes. Now itís all clothes with no girls. Pity.''