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

An online photo archive documenting the history of household devices has been launched with the help of Time Team presenter Tony Robinson.

The Thor washing machine from 1906. (Image: Science Museum)An online photo archive documenting the history of household devices has been launched with the help of Time Team presenter Tony Robinson.

Historypin.com’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.

 

The first central heating systems appeared in 1880 - but the technology took some time to become mainstream. Robinson says, "The idea of a warm house was a totally foreign idea to me while growing up.... more 
The first central heating systems appeared in 1880 - but the technology took some time to become mainstream. Robinson says, "The idea of a warm house was a totally foreign idea to me while growing up. When I was growing up, in the late 1940s and 1950s, we could only ensure one room was heated. I particularly remember the bite of the cold as I would rush – dressed in awful thick flannel pyjamas – from my bedroom to the bathroom at night. So central heating – which was actually invented in the 1880s but wasn’t properly introduced until the post-war era – made an enormous difference to people’s lives. " (Image: Mirrorpix) less 
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Yahoo News
Thu, Feb 7, 2013 10:00 GMT


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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