‘Lots of hot water all the time’

Quick and easy access to running water at home and on the farm was one of the less obvious but more valuable benefits of the Rural Electrification Scheme.

We’ve digitised a selection of pamphlets produced by ESB’s Public Relations Department in the 1960s, educating the Irish public on the benefit and cost of installing a water pump on their premises.

What water means to you, c1960

Produced around 1960, this ESB pamphlet outlines the benefits of running water in detail.

Are you still toiling to the well? … Remember hand pumping and carrying water is a heavy and costly burden… make a decision now to rid yourself of this unnecessary and wasteful labour.

For the housewife, running water meant she could do her daily chores faster, and more thoroughly: ‘water on tap means more to her than any of the other modern labour-saving devices at her disposal.’

For the farmer, the benefits, as well as the profits, brought along by running water were endless, from improving irrigation of crops and weight gain of livestock, to increasing milk and egg production. The pamphlet also highlights how running water and associated increase in hygiene and sanitation was vital for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis.

Using a case study of one farmer’s needs, the pamphlet estimates that he spent 550 hours a year, hand pumping 99,000 gallons of water – all of which could now be done for just 8d a week.

We can take all these worries off your shoulders.

ESB’s PR department offered free advice to their consumers, relating to: the availability of government grants to partially cover the cost of installation; the best water pump for their needs; quotations for installation and maintenance; group water schemes; the installation of septic tanks; and the addition of chlorine to water sourced from rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. For customers without access to their own well, ESB also offered to conduct a geographical survey free of charge to source the nearest water supply.

click any image below to begin slideshow, or click here to download a PDF of the full pamphlet

Electric water heating, c1967

By the late 1960s, over 100,000 Irish families used electric water heating in their homes. As more homes were built to be fully wired for electricity, the cost of installing such luxuries continued to fall – this pamphlet offers a price of just £13 for a dual immersion and lagging jacket.

All you have to do is switch on… The thermostat sees to it that you have a constant supply of hot water to clean the dishes, wash the children, enjoy a bath… No trouble.

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Hot water, c1967

For older houses which were not fully wired for electric water heating, this late 1960s ESB pamphlet advertises the total cost of installation as £21.

Lots of hot water all the time. Bath time is bliss. Kid stuff, in fact.

click any image below to begin slideshow, or click here to download PDF

View more PR pamphlets from ESB

Click the images below to view more pamphlets produced by ESB between the 1920s and 1960s.

View pamphlets: 1920s-30s
View pamphlets: 1940s-60s