National Geographic : 1940 Feb
"Silk Stockings in the Morning? Imagine!" SILK stockings a luxury? Not today, but they were 25 years ago. So was an automobile, and a telephone. An incandescent lamp not half so good as the one you now get for 15 cents-then cost more than twice as much. And you couldn't buy a radio or an electric refrigerator for love or money. These are only a few of the things we accept today as commonplace. We expect wide, smooth, well lighted streets. We want automatic heat in our homes; we clean our rugs with vacuum cleaners. When we go to the dentist we expect him to use an electric drill; we accept without comment an X-ray examination as part of a medical check-up. Luxuries? Not at all; they're part of the American standard of living. How did they become common in so short a time? Not by some sudden change in our wealth and habits. It was through years of steady work by American industry-scientists, engineers,and skilled workmen devel oping new products, improving them, learning to make them less expensive so that more millions of people could enjoy them. And so, imperceptibly, luxuries have changed to necessities. More than any other one thing, the increasing use of electricity in in dustry has helped in this progress. For more than 60 years, General Electric men and women have pio neered in making electricity more useful to the American people-have led in creating More Goods for More People at Less Cost. G-E research and engineeringhave saved the publicfrom ten to one hundred dollars for every dollar they have earnedfor GeneralElectric GENERAL * ELECTRIC "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."