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This article appeared in a 1951 issue of the Adams County, Ohio REA (Rural Electric Association) magazine. The story is an account by Ida May Ailshire Polly, my grandmother, telling how electricity has improved her life.

We bought our 155 acre farm twenty years ago, when kerosene was used for all conveniences as well as necessities. We used the oil lamp that required quite a bit of cleaning and care; also the oil burner stove and refrigerator, each morning requiring a certain amount of care.  The lantern was very important, too, for feeding and tending the live stock, especially when our stock needed attention during the night. We marveled at the light kerosene made and it's no wonder. Just think back to the days when our great-grandmothers melted sheep tallow and molded it into candles for their lights. The 20th century surely has ushered in wonderful things for rural people. One of the greatest things made possible was the use of electric power.

When electricity came our way, we put it to work helping us do our work. We soon quit milking by hand and made dairying one of our occupations. We made plans to sell grade A milk. In order to do this, we had to build a new milk house, equip it with all the electric appliances; mild cooler, water heater, milking machine, along with numerous other items necessary for care and cleaning. These things had to be sanitary and electricity has made it a pleasure to operate with less labor.

Later on we had an electric water system put in the house. This was another step that makes chores much easier, requiring fewer motions and shorter hours of work which means a lot to the housewife.

Not long ago, I had a kitchen party to show my neighbors, as well as myself, the advantage of cooking on the surface range. Esther Brown demonstrated this Westinghouse range completely. Every feature was talked about, giving us a better understanding of what the electric range could do. I had used my gas range for quite a while and thought no other could ever take its place, but since the electric range came into my home, the gas range will have to move out. Our motto - "Go All Electric."

Last year we bought a food freezer and have benefited by using it. I was able to save several pints of fruits and vegetables that would have wasted or would have been a waste of time to make a special trip to the food locker. We enjoy having the fruits and vegetables out of season. They seem to taste better than ever and require such a short time for preparing them for the table. I am holding a quart of sliced peaches ready for pies; also corn on the cob. Each product is sealed in moisture vapor proof containers. Every home should have a food freezer.

Mrs. G. C. Polly

Note: Ida was born, the daughter of James Nelson & Mary Ellen Blythe Ailshire on 18 September 1884. She married Grover Cleveland Polly, son of James & Florence Adell Crawford Polly on 23 September 1906. Ida died on the 16th of November 1980.

Submitted by Pauli Driver Smith
pauli1028@aol.com