Monday, 5 June 2017

One hundred years of one house in Chorlton part 87 ......... the smart meter

The continuing story of the house Joe and Mary Ann Scott lived in for over 50 years and the families that have lived here since.*

Reading the smart meter, 2017
Now I wonder what Joe and Mary Ann would have made of our smart meter.

It arrived last month and does the business of telling me and the Gas Board just exactly how much gas and electricity we have used.

Of course Joe and Mary Ann could just have gone to the meters recorded the readings and then made some rough calculations, all of which would have been confirmed by the inspectors who arrived on their bikes, with torched and pads every three months and checked the meter before passing the information on so that a bill could be made up.

1915 electricity supply
The smart meter has done away with all that and in the process has meant another job has been lost, for once our usage zips happily every day off to our fuel user there is no need for the inspector with his torch and pad.

In the same way if Joe was still alive I’m sure he would have embraced bank transfers as an alternative to the weekly walk around Chorlton collecting the rents from his tenants.

And the Scott’s were quick to embrace each new form of technology.  By the mid 1920s they had a telephone, advertised that the new houses they were building had mains electricity with electric lights installed in the garages, and sometime around 1958 if not earlier had bought a TV.

Added to all this they seem to have skipped installing gas as a form of lighting when they built their own home in 1915.

Advertising electricity, 1935
Nor is there any evidence that they bothered with putting in a kitchen range.

There is a space for one but if it was installed it had been taken out a long time ago, and knowing what I do about the Scott’s I think they will have chosen a gas cooker from the outset.

These could be bought or hired from the Corporation who also undertook demonstrations of how to use a gas cooker and later did the same for the electric alternative.

I suspect that they still used coin operated gas and electricity meters in their older properties, which were a bind to use given there was always the chance you would not have the six pence for the slot and the money would run out at the most inconvenient moment.

Not that Joe and Mary Ann ever had to worry about that.

Location; Chorlton

Picture; our smart meter, 2017, and advert from Manchester Electric Supply and picture of an all electric kitchen 1935, Manchester Corporation,

*The story of house,

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