3. Electrification
A nation accustomed to rising and retiring with the sun was inexorably changed when the electrified house left the midnight hour as bright as day. "You had electric lamps in upper-income houses before 1900, but everything else comes after, and it completely changed the home as we know it," says Goldstein. Eventually fuses and breakers led to increased levels of safety in comparison with candles and oil lamps. Today, everything from sprinklers to your favorite appliance depends upon internal wiring, and only blackouts hint of the after-dark nature of homes from just a century ago.
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