A variety of explanatory pamphlets were published by the Rural Electrification Office (REO) in the 1940s, 50s and 60s to educate the Irish public. By addressing contemporary concerns and priorities relating to the installation, cost and benefits of electricity, they offer a unique insight into life in rural Ireland – a life that was undergoing rapid change.
We have digitised a number of surviving rural pamphlets to create the below library.
The above photograph shows a selection of rural pamphlets on display in January 1956.
Pamphlet library: 1940s-60s
This pamphlet, ‘How you can get electricity to your rural home’, is one of our key surviving documents from the Rural Electrification Office.
It gives us an excellent introduction to how the Rural Electrification Scheme worked, while the rest of the pamphlets in the library below outline a range of benefits on the farm and in the rural home.
Click on any pamphlet cover in this library to open, or to download PDF.
In order to bring the advantages of rural electrification to the consumers, a special publicity campaign was launched to advertise the many appliances available to the home and farm.
One of the most successful series of the campaign consisted of a poster with an overall basic design, featuring “Johnny Hotfoot;” a jovial character in dungarees, whose head was an electric plug top.
These designs were the idea of Norman Penney (pictured below) of the Advertising and Display Section. They were an instant success and made an impressive contribution to the sale of appliances in rural Ireland and appeared in the towns and villages where the rural development was under way.
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