How to Make Homes Ideal

Collection: London Screen Study Collection
ID No.: n/a
Title: How to Make Homes Ideal
Date: 08 March 1951
Film-maker: Pathé
Colour: Black & White
Sound: Sound
Duration of complete item: 1 min. 37 sec.
Themes: Post-war Reconstruction


A Pathé newsreel taking a light-hearted look at the model houses and gadgets on display at the 1951 Daily Mail Ideal Homes Exhibition.


The film begins with a general view of the interior of the Ideal Homes Exhibition, along with views of some of the model houses and people viewing them. The commentary states that the show could provide ideas on setting up home for “men whose fancy turns to thoughts of love”. The item features one of the model homes created by the Women’s Institute which has been designed to include ideas submitted by its members. Interior views of the house show the kitchen and dining room. The outside of a new bungalow on exhibition is shown and the commentary tells us that it would cost under £2000. Inside the bungalow the sitting room and dining room are shown along with a close-up of glassware on the table.

A wedding dress and an integrated kitchen are on display at the show along with a variety of domestic gadgets. The gadgets include a ‘flexaway’ ironing device, and a kitchen food mixer which has an attachment that turns the mixer into a furniture polisher. The final gadget shown is a fake champagne bottle that turns out to be a cigarette dispenser. A woman takes a cigarette from the bottle’s base and a man lights it for her from a lighter on the top of the bottle.


This film illustrates a change in mood in the post-war period, when some of the hardships of the war were beginning to diminish and a new optimism for the country and for a modern future began to emerge. The 1951 Ideal Home Exhibitions, since their first show in 1908 had focused on exhibiting innovations in design for domestic architecture and appliances. After a break during the war, the shows returned and in the year of the Festival of Britain, the 1951 show focused on presenting labour saving devices to the modern housewife.



View this film online
along with thousands of other newsreel films
on the British Pathé website.