EDWARDIAN LIGHTING

The hugely popular ‘Downton Abbey’ TV series ran from 2010 to 2015. Viewers eagerly tuned in to watch the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants unfold in Edwardian and post Edwardian Britain. This era also saw great advances in the world of lighting with the introduction of new electric lighting. Homes gradually moved away from oil lamps and gas lighting to embrace this new, cleaner electric light. However, at the time, not everyone was initially convinced by electric lighting. This wonderful quote from Downton Abbey’s Dowager Duchess, played so brilliantly by Dame Maggie Smith, shows there were some misgivings – ‘I couldn’t have electricity in the house. I wouldn’t sleep a wink. All those vapours floating about.’