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Household Appliances and the Use of Time: The United States and Britain Since the 1920s

Sue Bowden and Avner Offer
The Economic History Review
New Series, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 725-748
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Economic History Society
DOI: 10.2307/2597714
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2597714
Page Count: 24
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Household Appliances and the Use of Time: The United States and Britain Since the 1920s
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Abstract

Electrical appliances used in housework have diffused at slower rates than those used for entertainment. Housework appliances did not shorten domestic working hours, until the introduction of television made large inroads into domestic time budgets. Television viewing appears tohave expanded up to the point where it no longer gave greater satisfaction than housework. Unlike the appliances of housework, those providing entertainment are not gendered, and have benefited from rapid technical innovation. The falling cost of electronic arousal has met a compelling need, which has given these goods priority in household appliance budgets.

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