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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)

Household appliances that changed history

7 February 2013

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