Paul, how would you think the UK numbers compared in those times?
I've tried a few searches, but not been able to find any data back as far as the 1950s. In general though, it's pretty safe to say that the U.K. percentages would have been quite a bit less than than the U.S. figures.
The following document contains a table covering 1970 to 2000 (table on page 27): www.dti.gov.uk/energy/inform/energy_consumption/ecuk.pdf
Notice that the percentage of British homes with a washing machine and refrigerator in 1970 was lower than the equivalent 1953 American ownership!
The one high-power appliance where the U.K. would lead is the electric kettle, practically universal here (something to do with tea
), but not a common feature in many American kitchens.
Air conditioning is still very
rare in homes here, but of course that's down to the climate.