Home appliances mirroring society
Advertising reflects developments, wishes and desires of the society. Everyday life is compressed, and the immediate future visualized. The advertised products promise an idealized, perfect world that is made even easier and more beautiful. Dietmar Bittrich, the Hamburg-based satirist and author, dares a nostalgic and a little ironic look back on decades of enthusiastic home appliance communication.
1933: The pantry makes way for the refrigerator
A housewife wearing a stylish apron is in the depths of morning depression. Although she has laid the breakfast table with great care, something seems to be missing. Where is the food? It’s waiting in the electric refrigerator, at the time still sporting a round shape. This resulted in limited practical use, but it was simpler to manufacture and the contents easier to cool.
1955: Fitness while vacuuming
In the 1950s, Siemens vacuum cleaners were like early fitness equipment. Lifting a Rapid above shoulder height to vacuum the curtains without allowing the fabric to disappear into the nozzle could replace several gym workouts. On top of that, it seems the work had to be done in stilettos with your legs in a graceful pose to entice your husband to look up from his newspaper every now and then. No wonder the cardboard lady in the display window looks a little strained.
1958: Housework is relaxing
The good old days, when balloon silk sweatpants had not yet been invented! Women went about their household chores in a pleated skirt, one-handed, lightly strolling with casual elegance. Vacuuming was a kind of meditation, especially since the appliance could also be “emptied hygienically in the apartment”. A generation later, the daughter of this 1958 expert is still having lots of fun – because now the device follows her around like a well-behaved pet. Her shoes are flatter, her clothes a bit more casual. Her duties have increased – now the multitasking mother also has to supervise homework as well.
You can find more historical examples here.
Photos: ©Robert Bosch GmbH Corporate Archives, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH Corporate Archives, Siemens Corporate Archives
Very interessting article on the develpment or rather evolution of home appliences.