I (think) I remember when I was a kid, some of the houses in my
neighborhood had a brass medallion mounted next to the front door that
had some sort of picture on it and "living better through electricity",
or something similar, written on it. This would have been around '71;
with the house(s) probably built in the 50's.
I always thought they were odd, as electricity was guaranteed. When you
are 7 you don't think that maybe there are people around that didn't
have the things you take for granted. I couldn't understand why someone
would be proud of the fact that they had electricity in their house.
Anyone else remember these?
To keep demand high, the electrical industry launched the Live Better
Electrically, or LBE, campaign in March 1956. It was supported nationwide by
300 electric utilities and 180 electrical manufacturers.
The campaign got then-actor Ronald Reagan, the popular host of "General
Electric Theater," to take his television audience on a series of tours of
his and wife Nancy's all-electric Pacific Palisades home.
An in-house GE sales pitch declared that "by Thanksgiving, there should not
be a man, woman or child in America who doesn't know that you can 'Live
Better Electrically' with General Electric appliances and television."
In October 1957, LBE launched the "Medallion Homes" campaign, which sought
to sell 20,000 all-electric homes nationwide by 1958, 100,000 by 1960 and
970,000 by 1970.
To earn a gold medallion-a decal affixed to a home's entryway and considered
the apex of modern, all-electric living-a home had to have an electric
clothes washer and dryer, waste disposal, refrigerator and all-electric
The Medallion Homes campaign was a huge success. By some estimates, the
nationwide goal of about 1 million all-electric homes was achieved,
according to the Edison Electric Institute, although data on the actual
number built is unavailable.
Didn"t DuPont or somesuch use "Better Living Through Chemistry"?
IIRC, the company dropped the slogan after it was usurped by dopeys cooking
there own drugs.
If you remember the 60's you weren't really there.
IIRC, the gas utilities had a similar program, with a similar door seal.
Back then, many local gas companies had an appliance sales floor. Entire
subdivisions had gas 'charmglow' lamps halfway down the sidewalk to the
Wow... I've been reading up tonight on the LBE campaign - I'm not
surprised that the NG people countered with their own campaign.
The house I grew up in had no LBE medallion, most on the block did
though. I always wondered why....
Now I know.
My dad had the house built to use electricity for what it is good for -
lighting and small appliances. The oven and stove were electric as
well - but that was probably only because his parents' cooking
appliances ran on NG or LP.... using electricity to cook back in the
50's had to seem like owning a Pentium 59000 running at 2.5 kabillion
giga bazilion khz.
Water heater - gas. Home heating - gas.
Air conditioning wasn't an option........ I think I was in the last
generation that relied on an attic fan for house cooling in the summer.
Anyway, from what I read tonight - it sounds like the electricity
gestapo had to approve your home to be an LBE home. Electric heat,
cooking, laundry.... electric EVERYTHING or, NO MEDALLION FOR YOU.
If I remember my father correctly - it's no surprise my house didn't
have an LBE medallion.
Lectricity first came to our area of Canada in 1956 and i remember the 30
amp service powering just a lightbulb in the kitchen and many years later a
Dad and grandad put hydro in the log cabins and paid the two or three bucks
every 3 months because being modern meant you had electricity. Of course we
and everyone around us had kerosene lamps because the supply of hydro was
Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!!!
Remove the obvious to reply. Experienced and reliable
Concrete Finishing and Synthetic Stucco application in the GTA.
Well, you were later than we by about 8 years--Mom and Dad begin
collecting signatories for the formation of the local rural electric
co-op (REA) the day after VJ Day. The power was turned on for a
3-county area in 1948. Dad then served on the board for 50 years until
Grandad had everything wired when he built it on the farmstead (he
started here in 1912, not the first but this place had been left idle by
previous homesteader). They then put up a Delco "WindCharger" 32V DC
system and ran the house lights and appliances from it and a few lights
in the barn and other outbuildings. I remember vividly the old radio
with the zillion knobs and dials--my cousin the EE has it now and has
restored it to working condition.
One last memory is the noise the gas-powered auxiliary generator used to
charge the storage batteries when the wind didn't blow exhausted between
our house and my grandparent's and was quite noisy. When very young and
summertime, I recall waiting until it ran out of gas so I could sleep...
Again, great memories! :)
There was also "Ready Kilowat" the little electric bolt figure and TVA
had a massive compaign when their first generation became available. I
presume Bonneville (BPA) did something similar. There was another major
"all-electric" push by TVA in the 70's.
I can remember a large outdoor billboard near our home in 1940 or so that
"ICE NEVER FAILS"
This to hold on to sales of ice based home refrigeration via buying the
company's ice as opposed to those new-fangled electric fridge
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