Laptops, cars and jewellery: The 10 things we can’t live without in 2015

Lynsey Barber
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Gadgets and sentimental jewellery, these are the things we just can’t live without in the modern age - a far cry from what mattered most to Brits 125 years ago.

The laptop is our most crucial item today while the humble sewing machine was the essential thing we couldn't do without back in the 1890s

TVs and iPhone are also a must-have, according to research by UIA insurance which asked 5,000 people what they couldn’t live without.

Wedding bands, engagement rings and watches also came in the top 10 of items we treasure while 45 per cent of people were not willing to give up the modern luxury of a daily shower.

In Victorian times, items such as a teapot, piano and bike would have been the items of the day, says historian Ruth Goodman.

The things we can't live without in 2015

1. Laptop

2. Car

3. Wedding band

4. Engagement ring

5. Other piece of jewellery

6. Wedding photographs

7. TV

8. Watch

9. iPhone

10. Family portrait

Most treasured items in 1890s

1. Sewing Machine

2. China Tea Pot

3. Clock for Mantelpiece

4. Piano

5. Mirror

6. Pocket Watch

7. Fountain Pen

8. Silver spoons

9. Bicycle

10. Wedding band

“People past and present have often treasured most those things which they have had to go the extra mile for,” said Goodman.

“In the Victorian era, the sewing machine was an expensive bit of machinery but it could half a woman’s sewing workload and give a whole new class of people a chance to indulge in fashion. It soon came to be seen as a necessity amongst the middle classes - hard indeed to live without once you had been lucky enough to own one.”

While we may be more tech-focused than ever before, the wedding band and the watch were as important then as they are now - though that’s more likely to be a smartwatch these days.

Despite the importance of such high-value items as devices and cars, nearly half of people don’t insure them, the research found.

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