New photo library shows off the household gizmos that shaped our lives

Julian Gavaghan
An early central heating system, 1880. (Image: Mirrorpix)

An online photo archive documenting the history of household devices has been launched with the help of Time Team presenter Tony Robinson.’s new collection encourages web users to add snaps of important – but often forgotten - gadgets that have transformed lives.

The Remember how we used to… archive includes pictures of devices such as TVs, phones, fridges and vacuum cleaners.

Users can also post their stories about these revolutionary gadgets on the site, which has been supported by energy giant nPower.

Mr Robinson, who played Blackadder buffoon Baldrick and hosted the recent Channel 4 archaeology show Time Team for 18 years, has even uploaded a few of his own snaps to the site - including one of him bursting out of a TV set on stage in 1967.

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The 66-year-old actor and amateur historian, who was born in Hackney, east London, a year after World War II ended, said: ‘The site reveals just how revolutionary the post-war era has been.

‘Yet people may not realise that many of the innovations they now cherish or take for granted were actually invented more than a century ago.

‘It is the increase in incomes combined with the additional harnessing of power sources that allowed this great post-war surge in technology.’

Mr Robinson also exclusively revealed to Yahoo! News the household appliances that have had the biggest impact on his – and our – lives.

Below is a timeline, which chronologically some of the greatest innovations for our homes, along with commentary by the actor.


Gadgets from 1929Various vintage inventions are demonstrated in this film, including an egg timer, a floor polisher, and a special kind of mirror.

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