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Exhibition of pre-war and Soviet-era electrical appliances “Electricity Does Everything” at the Museum of Energy in Ķegums

27.06.2017.

The Museum of Energy of Latvenergo Group in Ķegums presents a renewed exhibition “Electricity Does Everything”, which includes artefacts that have not been displayed before. The exhibition provides insight into the electrical appliances used in Latvian households, a large part of which was produced at Latvian factories in different historical periods. The exhibition showcases not only household testimonies, but also vividexamples of industrial designs of their time.

Do we remember the first TV set, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, refrigerator,hair dryer or curling iron bought in the family? Do we know how and why electricity consumption has increased and have we thought about how people were warned about safety when working with electrical equipment in the old days?

The exhibition “Electricity Does Everything” serves as a reminder of the past, displaying the most interesting household appliances used through generations in the 20th century, as well as photos, old electricity payment slips and bills and various posters. The renewed and expanded exhibition includes new items and testimonies that have not been displayed before, such as the series of posters on electrical safety created to the order of Latvenergo by Juris Dimiters, the most famous poster artist in Latvia, in the 1990s, prepay electricity meters which could be activated, just like payphones, by inserting money in order to use a certain amount of electricity, etc. The exhibition will let the visitors take, perhaps, a humorous look at the things that were part of daily life not so long ago through the prism of time. Some of those things are still well-known and used, while others have long been forgotten and can be found as today’s rarities only in museum collections.

The 20th century is called the century of electricity. Electric light and household appliances have gradually become an integral part of daily life, establishing a certain standard of the wellbeing of society. In 1926, the first Exhibition of Electrical Appliances was held in Riga, with the slogan “Electricity Does Everything”. Soon households started acquiring home appliances, such as vacuum cleaners, electric kettles, irons and hair dryers. At the end of the 1930s, 76% of households in Riga and 66% of households in Liepāja used electric light.

In the middle of the 20th century, the production of household electrical appliances was especially thriving in Latvia. High-quality consumer appliances, which met the mass production requirements of the Soviet state and were in line with the current industrial design trends, were created in the 1960s and 1970s. They brought in new life dynamics with their interesting shapes and colours. Nowadays, many of these household items are not only seen as vivid examples of industrial design, but also as a historical value of their time.

The exhibition “Electricity Does Everything” represents a look back at the 20th century, showcasing the household electrical appliances used in Latvia, creating a more complete picture of the past and revealing stories about the diverse use of electricity. The exhibition is made of the collections of household electrical appliances and meters from the Museum of Energy, complemented by the most interesting exhibits from the collection of posters and documents.

You are kindly welcome to visit the Museum of Energy in Ķegums. The museum is located at Ķeguma prospekts 7/9, Ķegums, in the Ķegums HPP-2 premises on the left bank of the River Daugava.

In summer, the Museum is open every day from 9:00 to 17:00; entrance to the Museum is free of charge.

Contact information for inquiries: muzejs@latvenergo.lv.

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