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A production of the Southern Foodways Alliance, GRAVY tells new and complicated stories about the changing American South.

Nov 24, 2021

In this episode of Gravy, "The Kitchen Electric: Selling Power to Rural America," producer Katie Jane Fernelius looks at the role of women in campaigns for electricity and electrical appliances. She speaks with scholar Rachele Dini at the University of Roehampton about how advertising portrayed and defined the modern housewife in print ads and commercials. Then, she speaks with Hal Wallace at the Smithsonian about the government-funded campaign for rural electrification, which featured home economists like Louisan Mamer. Altogether, she learns that industrialization and electrification may have been more transformative of women’s lives than any others––for better and worse.