Home and Hearth. Gender and Energies within the Domestic Space, 19th-21st C.


Households, gender, and energies: Issues and perspectives

Université Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne


CNRS, UMR Sirice


Sorbonne Université, UMR Sirice

By connecting two historiographies that, with a few exceptions, have generally ignored one another—gender history and the history of energy—this introductory article for the special issue “Home and Hearth: Gender and Energies within the Domestic Space, 19th-21st Centuries” highlights the…

Making coal sharp: Gendered consumers and users of mineral fuel in the 19th Century United States

Department of History University of Florida

At the same time that urban American hearths and kitchens became dependent upon coal, proscriptive accounts of gendered domesticity grew in popularity. Buying coal was a man’s world, full of sharp dealings, underhanded sellers, and cutthroat competition. Using coal, on the other hand, was women’…

Networks of power? Rethinking class, gender and entrepreneurship in English electrification, 1880-1924

School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science, University of Leeds, UK.


School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, UK.

Traditional energy histories have treated electrification as an inevitability: the assumption has been that making cheap energy supply readily available for the masses required the energy efficiency uniquely attainable by large-scale networked electricity grids. While our account does not…

Commercial strategies to promote domestic gas and electricity consumption, and the role of women (Lisbon, 1891-1970s)

Universidade de Évora- CIDEHUS


Universidad Nacional de Rosario

By the 1870s the gas industry had no competitors for lighting, turning it into a near monopoly. However, by the 1880s the possibility of using electricity for street lighting changed the equation and the threat for gas industry was huge. This new promising competitor caused some people to…

Electricity and the changing contours of masculinity in Los Angeles, 1900–1930

Department of History, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

The electrification of households in Los Angeles provides an instructive window through which to study the changing contours of masculinity between 1900 and 1930. By examining advertising materials for electricity and electrical appliances by the two major power utilities in Los Angeles (…

What a housewife should know: popularising electric devices in the Barcelona of the nineteen-thirties

Independent scholar

In the advanced countries, the electrification of houses was one step further in the wave of modernization resulting from the sudden arrival of electricity in all areas of daily life at the beginning of the 1930s. However, in the case of Spain, this process did not occur in a generalized way…

Relieving the housewife: Gender and the promise of geothermal district heating in Reykjavík, 1930s–1970s

Maastricht University
twitter : @odinnmelsted

Between 1939 and 1944, the City of Reykjavík in Iceland built a geothermal district heating utility that enabled the inhabitants to transition from coal to geothermal heating. One of the promises that geothermal proponents made to the inhabitants was that the utility would relieve the housewives…

The uptake of new domestic energy technology in the 1950s-1960s: how women got involved in France and the Netherlands

University of Twente


Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE)

Access to clean and affordable energy services and technologies is a global concern as stated in global conventions and goals. Different energy needs and interests are identified between men and women. In the search for a just energy transition, the question emerges how to design an energy…

The breakthrough of the 21 degrees culture in Denmark. Undoing and doing gender in Danish home making after 1945

Aalborg University, Denmark
Twitter: @MogensRudiger

The energizing of Danish homes after World War II introduced a new heating culture, which paved the way for new lifestyles. Modernist architects tried to implement the dwelling as an ‘objective’ or non-gendered space – in contrast to the Victorian home - or at least they pursued the possibility…