From the 1940s when homes across Ireland started to be electrified, it changed the lives of women dramatically, taking a lot of the drudgery from daily household chores.

An exhibition entitled “Kitchen Power” examining the effect of rural electrification on women in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s was launched by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, in Turlough Park, Castlebar on Friday last.

The exhibition, which has been developed by the Museum in partnership with Kingston University , is the flagship temporary exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life this year.

Along with artefacts and the oral history recordings, it also features a reconstruction of a 1950s ESB/ICA model kitchen and its hoped visitors will be transported back in time with objects and adverts from the 1950s.

Kitchen Power is on exhibition now in Turlough for the next 12 months.

Mary Ann Egan from Keelty, Athlone and Josephine Scannell from Clondalkin in Dublin are just two of the many woman, now in their eighties who have contributed to the exhibiton, giving first hand accounts of how their lives changed for the better with electricity many decades ago.

They spoke to Midwest News about their memories, Mary Ann spoke fondly of the impact of “light with a switch”, and the kettle, while Josephine is still grateful for the invention of the twin tub washing machine.

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