A Dangerous Novelty? The Age of Electricity

Punch cartoon of a boy holding an electric light leading the crowd through the fog

Explore the history of electricity in this brand new exhibition for 2020, and discover the impact that this revolutionary invention had on the lives of the Beales at Standen. Saturday 18 January until Tuesday 31 March.

Philip Webb light fitting at Standen
A light fitting dangling in the darkness at Standen
Philip Webb light fitting at Standen

Electricity was a revolutionary yet mysterious and somewhat dangerous technology, which was embraced by the wealthy who could afford to dabble in the unknown, this included Mr and Mrs Beale along with their architect Philip Webb who built Standen with electricity in the 1890s.

" We were inspired to tell the story of electricity at Standen because it is such an important element of the house’s history. Standen was one of the first houses to be designed for electricity from the start, and this bold forward looking decision was down to the owners and architect. "
- Ruth Howard, House Manager
Discover the history of electricity at Standen in this exhibition
Punch magazine clipping showing an electricity cartoon
Discover the history of electricity at Standen in this exhibition

The design of Standen House included the use of electricity, and when you discover the house interior you can see this in the features that were new and innovative at the time, from original fittings, to electric bell calls and electric lights. You can find out more about the history of electricity itself and its move into society use in the exhibition room.

" Visitors can discover the original Punch cartoons which not only show how new and innovative electricity was at the time that Standen was built, but they also reveal what people thought about electricity at the time."
- Ruth Howard, House Manager

A Dangerous Novelty? The Age of Electricity is on display at Standen House and Garden from Sat 18 Jan until Tue 31 Mar 2019. Opening times are 11am-3:30pm (last entry 3pm) until Fri 31 Jan, and from Sat 1 Feb to Tue 31 Mar the exhibition is open 11am-4:30pm, last entry 4pm. Please note the house is closed weekdays in January but the exhibition is open.