Electric lighting is so much a part of modern life that
it is easy to imagine that everyone wanted it as soon as it became available. That was not the case. In May 1882, Sir William Siemens was questioned by a House of Commons Committee about the electricity supply that his company was then running at Godalming, in Surrey, to the south of London. Siemens had to admit—reluctantly—that after six months operation, only seven or eight people had been persuaded to take an electricity supply in their homes. Even that enthusiastic electrical engineer R. E. B. Crompton, writing in 1888, expected that only one third of households would adopt it. Those who wanted to sell electric lighting needed to be very vigorous and persuasive in promoting their wares.
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