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The Secret Life of the Home–groups

Whether it's washing and ironing clothes, preparing and cooking food, cleaning, lighting or entertainment, this gallery explores how everyday domestic activities and appliances have changed over time. Recommended for KS1 upwards (ages 5+).

Alongside the historical objects, cartoons are used to illustrate how they were used and interactive exhibits help to explain how some of the machines work.

Use the gallery to explore the following ideas relating to Science and Design and Technology:

  • Appliances have been developed to assist a range of domestic chores.
  • The design of appliances (including the materials used to make them) has changed, especially in the last hundred years.
  • Electricity has replaced other forms of power used to operate many domestic appliances.

This gallery is open access and you can explore at any time during your visit. We do not allocate specific time slots so you can fit it around other activities that you may have booked.


This page is for educational groups; for general visitor information, please see the main gallery page.

Ideas for encouraging discussion

Gallery guide

Download the gallery guide to support your visit. It includes a map of the gallery, discussion questions and a list of key exhibits.

Part of the Science Museum Group