Nowadays almost nothing is built to last, and just a few years after we've spent an arm and a leg on a fridge freezer, washing machine or TV, we can expect it to develop a fault.
So it's heartening to hear that one woman is still using a kitchen appliance that has given 60 years of faithful service.
When Professor David MacKay, a scientific adviser to the energy minister, warned this week that we ought to be mending things rather than buying new, a collective wail came from a population that's sick of appliances developing so many faults in a couple of years that it's not economical to keep patching them up. Even the Professor admitted that "the whole system could use significantly less energy if we designed things to last."
So it's cheering to hear that Gosia Stepien, a 33-year-old cafe worker from Plymouth, is still using a Kenwood Chef food mixer that is 60 years old. She told the Daily Mail that she bought it second-hand online for £15, and was surprised to see it was a model from the 1950s. However, it's still in working order, and she uses it regularly.
Test of timeIt's not the only vintage appliance which has stood the test of time. A couple in New York State are still using a fridge that's almost 85 years old. It was first bought sometime between 1929 and 1931.
Meanwhile Britain's oldest working television has managed 78 years in perfect working order. It was built in 1936.
Perhaps most impressively, as we reported in September, one British man still lives in the house he was born in 79 years ago, and in the last 50 years very little has changed. He still uses the oven his mother bought 65 years ago, the fridge from 1965, a wind-up gramophone from 1950, and an array of vintage sweeping implements. He said he didn't see the point in getting anything new when the old ones worked perfectly well.
Take a look inside the house that's frozen in time:
When you look at the long-lasting gadgets from the past, it's easy to see why we get frustrated when appliances aren't built to last nowadays, and are fit for the tip in five years or less.
It's worth bearing in mind that these incredible appliances were more expensive than their modern-day counterparts. The oldest TV cost the equivalent of £11,000 new, while the Kenwood Chef cost the equivalent of around £450. So you could argue that we still get what we pay for - it's just that we're paying much less.
You could also argue that the manufacturers are in a different era nowadays. In the 1950s there were plenty of people buying the gadgets for the first time, so they had a ready market. Now they are relying on replacements to keep their sales going. It's simply not in their interests to make things that will last too long.
But what do you think? Do you have any household appliances that have stood the test of time? Or do you find yourself having to replace everything far more regularly than you feel is right? Let us know in the comments below.