PLEASE UNDERSTAND, DISHWASHERS MEAN YOU NO HARM. They will not suck you in. You will not be cooked.

Note how 'Europe' and 'Britain' are treated as totally separate entities; in 1983 33 per cent of the electorate voted for the Labour Party, whose manifesto that year promised a total withdrawal from the EU (as well as unilateral nuclear disarmament). Note also how the pesky Europeans are so ahead of us in the dishwasher stakes. They might not wash very often, but they keep their plates clean. In 1983 it was hard to believe that people in Spain and Greece and Turkey and the like actually used plates.

"The 2116 ... has all the features of highly expensive machines. At a price that literally, will leave you with enough change to buy a video recorder."
This is a fairly bad line of copy. For a start, the advert doesn't come out and actually state a price. And video recorders were very expensive in 1983; if the price of a video recorder is 'change', what hideous sum must the dishwasher cost? And there's a comma that shouldn't be there.

Note the use of 'automatic washing machine'. In those days, there was such a thing as a 'manual washing machine', and indeed I can remember watching my parents using one. A lot of kitchen equipment that we take for granted nowadays came 'onstream' in the early 80s. Automatic washing machines, microwave ovens and dishwashers are the most obvious. Even today dishwashers remain something of a luxury, slightly pointless unless you have lots and lots of dishes and you don't need them done as quickly and easily and cheaply as just running a sponge over them in the sink.

Note the smiling - deranged - woman doing the dishes. In 1983 women did the dishes. They still do, in the real world. Whilst writing this page in August 2001 I read an article in the Guardian about Ruby Wax (who, in 1983, was just embarking on her career as a television presenter), and how, in her household, it's her husband who does the dishes. The implication being that this is unusual, and that in 'normal' households, women do the dishes. And this was the Guardian.

(c) Ashley Pomeroy 2001