Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Electricity Offers An Easier Life

I was reviewing the oral history collection at SHC.  This particular passage from the Carl Aubol Oral History reminded me of how far society has come.  In just 80 years, electricity has given the United States an abundance of luxury items and made life so much simpler.  I wanted to share some of that with you.

Aubol TV and Appliance has been operating in Big Lake, MN since the 1930s.   Even before the opening of the store, dating back to the early 1920s, Harold Aubol was working on radios in his home to give isolated farmers greater access to news and information. 

The entire oral history is fascinating.

“My dad started a store in 1934.  Dad started out building radios because people didn't have access to the news and things in their homes at that time except with battery pack radios.  As electricity come in, then they replaced the battery type radios with electric.  That made quite a change.  Then also with the appliances, they used to have, like, the gasoline engine wringer washers.  As electricity come in, it replaced gasoline motors with electric motors so the ladies could do their wash in the home.  A lot of them, when they'd run those gas engines, they'd take them outside on the porch and run them.  So, the electricity made it much better for the lady of the house to do her washing.  Of course, after the wringer washers were out with electric motors, then they started to get dryers in; so, that the ladies didn't have to hang their clothes outside.  They could put them in a dryer and dry them electrically.  Then, it kind of made the transformation from, basically, the wood stove for cooking to electric for cooking also.  Therefore, the ranges changed considerably from the big old cast iron ones to the more modern ranges that we see today of porcelain and electric burners.”

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