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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Utilities
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December 15, 1593 - Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgees, Dutch windmill owner from Uitgeest, received a patent from State of Holland on a windmill with crankshaft; converted windmill's circular motion into back-and-forward motion, powered saw; converted log timber into planks 30 times faster.

March 25, 1639 - America's first canal to provide industrial water power began (dug by colonists in Dedham, MA); ran from Charles River to Neponset River at Mill Creek.

July 25, 1698 - Thomas Savery received a British patent for a "New Invention for Raiseing of Water and Occassioning Motion to all sorts of Mill Work by the Impellent Force of Fire"; first application of steam for pumping water, intended for draining mines, serving towns and supplying water to mills; design had major problems containing high-pressure steam due to the weakness of available construction materials.

June 15, 1752 - Ben Franklin's kite-flying experiment proved lightning and electricity were related while flying a kite with a key attached; September 1752 - he equipped his house with a lightning rod, connected it to bells that rang when rod was electrified; October 19, 1752 - explained how to perform a kite experiment in the Pennsylvania Gazette.

August 26, 1791 - James Rumsey, John Fitch, Nathan Read, John Stevens and Englehart Cruse received patents for various uses of steam power.

1792 - William Murdock, an Ayrshire Scot,  invented coal-gas lighting.

1800 - Sir Humphrey Davy produced first electric light in England.

March 20, 1800 - Alessandro Volta, professors of physics at University of Pavia (Italy), Fellow of the Royal Society, sent letter to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society; outlined discovery of source of constant-current generation from "pile" of dissimilar metals (device capable of producing electricity 'by the mere contact of conducting substances of different species'); created voltaic pile (first electric battery).

Alessandro Volta - voltage (

January 28, 1807 - London's Pall Mall became the first street of any city to be illuminated by gaslight; 1809-1810 - Windsor established The Gas Light and Coke Company, first public gas company, which remained in existence until the company was nationalized in 1948.

March 18, 1813 - David Melville, of Newport, RI, received patent for a '"Gas Lamp"; gas streetlight.

June 11, 1816 - Rembrandt Peale and four other prominent Baltimoreans purchased patent for Dr. Kugler's coal gas manufacturing, formed country's first gas utility, Gas Light Co. of Baltimore. Peale calls the new gaslight technology a "ring beset with gems of light." A crowd gathers to watch the lighting of the city's first gas street lamp on what is now Baltimore Street.

June 13, 1816 - Peale Museum in Baltimore, MD was first U.S. public building to use gas lighting; installed for publicity value.

June 19, 1816 - Baltimore City Council approved laying of pipes by Gas Light Company of Baltimore, first city ordinance of its kind in U.S.; February 7, 1817 - company lighted first public gas street light.

February 5, 1817 - Rembrandt Peale, others permitted by ordinance to manufacture, distribute coal gas "to provide for more effectually lighting in the streets, squares, lanes and alleys of the city of Baltimore; incorporated first U.S. gas company in Baltimore, MD; February 17, 1817 - The Gas Light Company of Baltimore lighted first street.

May 9, 1825 - New York Post and Mirror reported first theatre lighted by gas in New York City, Chatham Garden and Theatre; previously seen in theatres as novelty, not illumination.

June 4, 1825 - A residence in Fredonia, NY used natural gas for illumination for the first time for a reception for General Lafayette; house was brightly lighted by about 30 burners.

November 9, 1825 - Thomas Drummond, inventor of limelight, provided new form of bright light used in theatres, lighthouses; heated a small ball of lime to incandescent in front of a reflector, set it up at Scotland's Slieve Snaght; light was seen from Divis Mountain, over 66 miles away.

August 29, 1831 - Michael Faraday successfully demonstrated first electrical transformer; wound thick iron ring on one side with insulated wire  connected to battery; wound opposite side with wire connected to  galvanometer; closed battery circuit, deflected galvanometer in second circuit (galvanometer needle jumped in opposite direction when battery circuit opened); current was induced in secondary when current in primary was connected; induced current in opposite direction when primary current was disconnected.

1838 - Investors formed Louisville Gas and Water to provide gas-fired street lighting mandated by Louisville's city fathers to deter crime (fifth city in United States to have gaslights in streets, homes); Leven Shreve as first president; sold gas from local coal plant to fuel gaslights; 1842 - dropped plans to build waterworks, changed name to Louisville Gas; 1890 - amended charter to buy stock in electric companies; acquired control of Louisville Electric Light; 1913 - Louisville Gas, Louisville Lighting (founded in 1903), Kentucky Heating merged; formed Louisville Gas and Electric; 1989 - founded LG&E Energy Corp.; 1944-1945 - city sought to acquire all of LG&E's physical properties; 1952 - one of 15 investor-owned utilities that formed Ohio Valley Electric Corporation to meet most of power requirements of Atomic Energy Commission plant in Ohio; 1957 - first general increase in electric rates in company's history; 1998 - LG&E Energy acquired KU Energy (owned Kentucky Utilities), entered into 25-year lease of Big Rivers Electric's generating facilities; more than doubled size of LG&E Energy; 2000 - LG&E Energy acquired by Powergen (UK).

May 17, 1839 - Lorenzo Dow Atkins, of Perry township, OH, received a patent for a "Spiral-Bucket Water-Wheel" ("for Propelling Mills and Other Machinery").

July 24, 1844 - Henry Rossiter Worthington received a patent for a "Steam-Boiler Water-Feeder" (new and useful improvements in the manner of constructing and governing auxiliary steam-engines for the purpose of supplying steam-boliers with water"); independent single direct-acting steam power pump, laid the foundation of the entire pump industry; July 24, 1855 - received a patent for a "Water Metre" (a new and useful Meter for Measuring the Quantity of Flowing Liquids"); one of the first practical water meters in the United States; July 19, 1859 - received a patent for a "Pumping Engine" (a new and Improved Combination of Pumping-Engines and Arrangement of the Valve Motion"); duplex direct-acting pump, perhaps the most widely used means for handling water by steam power.

1852 - Peter and James Donahue founded the San Francisco Gas Company; 1901 - California Gas and Electric Company formed as amalgamation of many smaller, scattered gas and electric operations; 1905 - merged with California Gas and Electric Corporation; formed Pacific Gas and Electric Company; 1912 - completed changeover from flat-rate billing system to installation of 116,000 meters to measure electricity used by customers; 1930 - began delivering natural gas instead of gas manufactured form oil; 1985 - Diablo Canyon nuclear facility went online; April 6, 2001 - filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization due to fallout from state's 1996 energy deregulation law ( high cost of energy purchased from outside suppliers, unable to immediately pass on price hikes to consumers, accumulated $9 billion in debt) (third largest bankruptcy filing in US history, largest ever for a utility); April 2004 - emerged from bankruptcy; oldest electric utility in the United States.

August 29, 1854 - Daniel Halladay of Ellington, CT, received a patent for an "Improved Governor for Windmills"; self-governing windmill.

May 19, 1857 - William Francis Channing (Boston) and Moses G. Farmer (Salem, MA) received a patent for an "Electromagnetic Fire Alarm Telegraph for Cities"; consisted of a circuit between a signal station, central station and alarm station, designed to give a local or general alarm in a town or city; June 1851 - city of Boston adopted system, spent $10,000 to test device; April 28, 1852 - began operation.

March 23, 1869 - W. Leigh Burton, of Richmond, VA, received a patent for an "Electro Heating Apparatus"; an electrical resistance heater.

May 16, 1872 - Metropolitan Gas Company lamps lighted for first time.

July 23, 1872 - Jonathan J. Hoyt, of Chelmsford, MA, received a patent for a "Lamp" (lamps constructed on the Argand principle - that is, with an air-passage leading to or communicating with the interior or center of the flame").

October 29, 1872 - James A. Risdon, of Genoa, IL received a patent for "Wind-Wheels"; all-metal windmill.

August 3, 1874 - Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans, of Toronto, ON, received a patent from the Patent Branch of the Canadian Department of Agriculture for an "Electric Light" ("art or process of obtaining Artificial light by means of Electricity"); 1875 - Woodward sold share of Canadian patent to Thomas Edison.

August 11, 1874 - Harry S. Parmelee, of New Haven, CT, received a patent for "Fire-Extinguishers"; sprinkler head.

September 21, 1875 - Professor Thaddeus S.C. Lowe received a patent for a "Process and Apparatus for the Manufacture of Illuminating and Heating Gas"; carbureted water gas process was soon most important manufactured gas in  United States of its time.

1876 - Charles F. Brush invented new type of simple, reliable, self-regulating arc lamp and new dynamo designed to power it; April 24, 1877 - Charles F. Brush, of Cleveland, OH, received a patent for "Improvement in Magneto-Electric Machines" ("apparatus for the conversion of mechanical into electrical energy...consists of improvements in the armature and in the arrangement of communicators"); May 7, 1878 - received a patent for an "Improvement in Electric Lamps" ("carbon sticks usually employed are automatically adjusted, and kept in such position and relation to each to each other that a continuous and effective light shall be had without the necessity of any manual interference"); economic, efficient source of electricity for arc light, key factor in developing commercially viable system of lighting; February 11, 1879 - received a patent for "Improvement in Electric-Light Regulators" ("by means of this simple device an electric light may be uniformly maintained for many hours, the only limit to the time being the length of carbon rods employed"); September 2, 1879 - received a patent for an "Improvement in Carbons for Electric Lamps"; received a patent  for an "Improvement in Electric Lighting Devices"; December 20, 1880 - Telegraph Supply Company (Cleveland) restructured, renamed Brush Electric Company; successfully demonstrated arc lighting along Broadway ('Great White Way'), built New York's first central lighting station; June 1882 - acquired Joseph Swan U.S. patent rights; August 22, 1882 - received a patent for an "Electric-Arc Lamp"; arc lamp and generator that produced variable voltage controlled by load and constant current; suited to applications where bright light needed (street lights, lighting in commercial and public buildings).

Charles F. Brush Charles F. Brush - Brush Electric (later part of GE) (

October 15, 1878 - Thomas Edison opened Edison Electric Company in New York City; syndicate of leading financiers (J.P. Morgan, Vanderbilts) advanced $30,000 for research and development; created the first incandescent lamp.

Thomas A. Edison (; October, 18, 1931 Obituary:  http://www.nytimes. com/ learning/ general/onthisday/bday/0211.html

October 18, 1878 - Edison made electricity available for household usage.

December 26, 1878 - For the first time in America, electric lighting was installed in a store at the Grand Depot, owned by John Wanamaker; eight dynamos provided the electrical power to run 28 arc lamps.

February 3, 1879 - Joseph Wilson Swan demonstrated his invention of the first practically usable incandescent filament electric light bulb to an audience of 700 at the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne; established the world's first electric light bulb factory at Benwell in the western suburbs of Newcastle; Swan's bulbs were used to light up Mosley Street in the Newcastle city centre, the first street in the world to be lit by electric light; 1881 - Swan introduced bulbs in London where 1,200 of them were used in the lighting the Savoy Theatre in front of an astonished audience.

April 29, 1879 - First use of electric arc lamps (Brush arc lamps) in U.S.   took place in Cleveland, Ohio.

June 30, 1879 - George H. Roe (27) incorporated California Electric Light Company in San Francisco; first electric company in U.S. formed to produce,  sell electricity; September 1879 - central generating station supplied power for lighting Brush arc light lamps; first electric company in PG&E family tree; 1891 - acquired by new Edison Light and Power Company (exclusive rights to Edison patents within radius of 100 miles); Roe as president.

September 6, 1879 - Telephone Company Ltd opened first public British telephone exchange in Lombard Street, London using Edison's system; served just eight subscribers with a two-panel Williams switchboard.

October 21, 1879 - Thomas A. Edison invented  first durable and commercially practical electric light bulb for home use (an incandescent lamp with a filament of carbonized sewing thread) at his laboratory in Menlo Park, NJ; lasted 40 hours in a vacuum inside a glass bulb before burning out; tested over 6,000 vegetable growths (baywood, boxwood, hickory, cedar, flax, bamboo) as filament material - spent 1 1/2 years, $40,000, performed 1,200 experiments.

December 20, 1879 - Thomas A. Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, New Jersey; December 31, 1879 - first public demonstration of incandescent light, lights up a street in Menlo Park, NJ; first lamp to be practical (solved problems with short-lived filaments with carbonized filament); socket mount - the Edison screw base - is still in use; Pennsylvania Railroad ran special trains to Menlo Park to enable the public to view demonstration. 

December 23, 1879 - Thomas A. Edison was issued a patent  for a "Electro Magnetic Machine" ("increase the effectiveness and cheapen the construction of the revolving armature"); armature of cylinder made of wood with two iron heads, fine iron wire wound on cylinder between them; disks of hard rubber or other insulating material outside iron heads at end of cylinder; wires formed induction helix, wound lengthwise of cyclindres into notches in edges of disk.

January 27, 1880 - Thomas Edison, of Menlo Park, NJ, received a patent for an "Electric-Lamp" ("an electric lamp for giving light by incandescence...light-giving body of carbon wire or sheets coiled or arranged in such a manner as to offer great resistance to the passage of the electric current"); electric incandescent lamp.

March 31, 1880 - Wabash, IN turned on first electric street lights installed by a municipality; completely replaced gas lamps; four 4,000 candle-power Brush arc lamps, suspended 50 feet above the business district were powered by a small dynamo connected to a threshing machine's steam engine outside the courthouse (where one of the original lamps is still on display); strange, weird light, exceeded in power only by the sun, rendered the square as light as midday.

April 27, 1880 - James P. Mauzey, of Blackfoot MT territory, received a patent ("227,028) for "Solar-Heater" ("apparatus for concentrating and focusing the rays of the sun to utilize the heat").

May 4, 1880 - Thomas A. Edison received three patents for an "Electric Light" ("to economically apply electricity to lighting and to insure uniformity of action in the different lamps"); electricity distribution system connected lights in parallel circuit (vs. series circuit in arc lights); failure of one light bulb would not cause whole circuit to fail; company flush with profits, and competitors; J. P. Morgan advised Edison to: 1) adopt aggressive tactics of vertical integration, 2) buy his rivals, ) transform company into modern enterprise; re-christened the General Electric Company, dominated field with just one major competitor, Westinghouse Company.

July 23, 1880 - First commercial hydroelectric power plant began operations in Grand Rapids, MI.

October 1, 1880 - Edison Lamp Works opened first electric incandescent lamp factory in U.S. in Menlo Park, NJ; manufactured more than 130,000 bulbs before moving plant to Harrison, NJ. on April 1, 1882.

October 19, 1880 - Joseph W. Swan, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, received a patent  for an "Electric Lamp" ("in which light is produced by the incandescence of a continuous conductor of carbon inclosed in an exhausted glass bulb, and provides means for increasing the durability of the said kind of lamp"); carbon filament incandescent lamp; November 9, 1880 - received a second patent for an "Electric Lamp" ("in which light is produced by passing an electric current through a conductor of carbon, so as to render it incandescent, said conductor being inclosed in an air-tight vacuous or partially-vacuous glass vessel").

October 26, 1880 - Lester A. Pelton, of Camptonville, CA, received a patent for a "Water-Wheel" ("that class of water-wheels known as 'hurdy-gurdy' wheels...the whole reactionary force of the water is utilized"); Pelton Water Wheel increased water power almost six-fold.

December 17, 1880 - The Edison Electric Illuminating Company incorporated for purpose of providing electric light to New York City; capitalized with $1,000,000; September 4, 1882 - opened first central electric station in U.S. at 257 Pearl St. in lower Manhattan (one engine capable of generating power for 800 light bulbs); November 1883 - service had 508 subscribers and 12,732 bulbs. 

February 1881 - Joseph W. Swan formed Swan Electric Light Company; 1882 - formed Swan Incandescent Electric Light Company of New York to market Swan lamp filament system in United States under patents of Joseph W. Swan; June 1882 - sold U.S. patent rights to Brush Electric Company; October 1883 - Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company ("Ediswan") established to sell lamps made with cellulose filament that Swan had invented after Swan successfully sued Edison over infringements of his patent rights. 1885 - Swan Lamp Manufacturing Company established in Cleveland, OH (dissolved 1885); 1885 -1889 - "Brush-Swan" group (Charles Francis Brush) manufactured lamps; 1889 - Brush Electric Company acquired by Thomson-Houston Electric Company.

June 14, 1881 - Thomas A. Edison received two patents for an "Incandescent Electric Lamp" ("supporter made of glass or other insulating which the carbon [filament] loop is held erect"); received a patent for a "Magneto or Dynamo Electric Machine"; received a patent for "Electric Lighting" ("method for one multiple-arc or derived circuit a series of lamps, each giving the same amount of light as the standard lamp of the that the lamps in such a circuit could be controlled by one circuit-closer"); received a patent for "Manufacturing Carbons for Electric Lamps"; received a patent  for an "Electric Meter" ("which shall indicate exactly the amount [of electricity] supplied to a customer").

June 21, 1881 - Patrick Clark, of Rahway, NJ, received a patent ) for a "Process of Cleaning Filter-Beds" ("...the novelty of the process consists in the employment of j; ets of water for the purpose of agitating a bed of sand or other suitable granular material which forms the upper part of the filter bed. By this means the silt and other impurities are separated from the sand, and, being of inferior specific gravity, rise above the filter bed, and are removed preferably by a natural current of water in which, when practicable, the apparatus will be immersed"; assigned to Newark Filtering Company (incorporated by Clark, John W. Hyatt, Albert Westervelt in December 1880); origin of modern rapid filter; June 21, 1881 - John W. Hyatt also received a patent for a "Filter"; could be cleaned mechanically; assigned to Newark Filtering Company; prototype for rapid filtration concept.

September 13, 1881 - Lewis H. Latimer, of New York, NY, and J. V. Nichols, of Brooklyn, NY, received patent for an "Electric Lamp"; electric lamp with a carbon filament.

1882 - Western Edison Light Co. founded in Chicago; 1887 - name changed to Chicago Edison Co.; 1892 - Samuel L. Insull became president; 1897 - Insull incorporated Commonwealth Electric Light & Power Co.; 1907 - two companies formally merged to create the Commonwealth Edison Co.

1882 - Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti (18) established Ferranti, Thompson and Ince; focused on Alternating Current power distribution; 1885 - established S. Z. de Ferranti, new business with Francis Ince, Charles Sparks as partners; electricity meters as key product; October 1890 - completed first modern power station for London Electric Supply Corporation in Deptford, UK (building, generating plant, distribution system); supplied high-voltage AC power that was "stepped down" for consumer use on each street; 1903 - went into receivership; 1905 - bought out of receivership, renamed Ferranti Limited; 1910 - promoted effort to standardize power supply (culminated in National Grid in 1926); manufactured high voltage power transformers; 1979 - transformer division closed; last link with heavy electrical engineering); World War II - major supplier of electronics, fuses, valves, heavily involved in early development of radar; 1950s - developed airborne radar; subsequently supplied radars to most of UK's fast jet, helicopter fleets; February 18, 1958 - Ferranti Electric, Inc. registered "Ferranti" trademark first used September 10, 1926 (electric transformers, etc.); 1960s-1970s - inertial navigation systems became important product line; established itself in electro-optics arena; 1987 - acquired International Signal and Control (Pennsylvania-based defense contractor); changed name to Ferranti International plc; restructure: Ferranti Computer Systems, Ferranti Defence Systems, Ferranti Dynamics, Ferranti Satcomms, Ferranti Technologies, International Signal & Control (ISC); 1989 - UK's Serious Fraud Office started criminal investigation of alleged massive fraud at ISC; December 1991 - James Guerin, founder of ISC, co-Chairman of merged company, pleaded guilty to fraud committed both in USA and UK (illegal arms sales); December 1993 - Ferranti entered bankruptcy.

January 17, 1882 - Engineer Lewis Latimer, of New York, NY, received patent for a "Process of Manufacturing Carbons" ("carbonizing the conductors for incandescent lamps"); assigned to United Sates electric Lighting Company.

March 3, 1882 - First steam distribution plant of importance in U.S. made first distribution of steam to United Bank Building on Broadway; operated by consolidation of New York Steam Corporation and Steam Heating and Power Company of New York; plant had a 225-ft high chimney, generated steam from 48 boilers each rated 250-h.p., output served 62 customers nine months later.

September 4, 1882 - Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York City initiated Pearl Street electric power station in New York City; first electric central station to supply light and power; one generator produced power for 800 electric light bulbs to 85 customers; November 1883 - 508 subscribers, 12,732 bulbs.

September 19, 1882 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an "Electric Distribution and Translation System" ("method of equalizing the tension or "pressure" of the current through an entire system of electric-lighting or other translation of electric force, preventing what is ordinarily known as a `drop' in those portions of the system the more remote from the central station"); feeder system solved problem related to equal distribution of current on large scale over extended areas.

September 30, 1882 - Paper manufacturer H.F. Rogers (Appleton, WI) opened world's first hydroelectric power plant in U.S. at riverside paper mill on Fox River, in Appleton, WI (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company); powered by water wheel, provided 12.5 kilowatts, enough for 180 lights (ten candlepower each) to light Rogers' home, plant.

October 25, 1882 - San Antonio Water Company, Mutual Water Company, incorporated (natural waters of area part of ‘The Cucamonga Rancho', 1839 land grant, portion of original territory granted to San Gabriel Mission); statement of purpose: "Acquiring by appropriation, purchase, or otherwise, water, water rights, water privileges and right of way in the Counties of Los Angeles and San Bernardino and to furnish, lease or sell the same for irrigation, milling, manufacturing and other purposes. To own, hold, construct and maintain canals, ditches and all structures, lands, easements and rights appertaining thereto for the purpose of taking and conveying water as herein mentioned to owners of lots and blocks in the Village of Ontario and to stockholders in this Corporation and none others. To make improvements, borrow money and transact any and all business and things connected with the business of the Corporation and relating thereto"; development of water rights, delivery services initiated as migration of people resulted in development of agriculture, business, residency; 1890s - irrigation by Zanjeros (ditch walkers; derived from Spanish words "zanja", meaning "deep ditch or irrigation ditch", and "zanjon", which means, "ditch rider or overseer"; employees who constructed acequias (canals) to provide controlled, dependable water supply to farmers; gave way to automated systems.

November 20, 1882 - Thomas Edison received patent for an "Incandescing Electric Lamp", three-wire incandescent-lighting system to supercede the distribution system used at first commercial central generating station in New York; saved over 60 per cent in copper used in conductors, smaller investment which made it economically possible to build generating plants in many smaller communities.

December 22, 1882 - Edward H. Johnson, Thomas Edison's associate, created first string of Christmas Tree lights (previously decorated with wax candles); December 1901 - Edison General Electric Co. (Harrison, NJ) produced first commercial Christmas tree lamps in strings of nine sockets, advertised in Ladies' Home Journal; average citizen didn't use lights them until the 1920s or later; character light bulbs became popular in the 1920s, bubble lights in the 1940s, twinkle bulbs in the 1950s, plastic bulbs by 1955.

January 30, 1883 - Edison formally signed first contract to construct 3-wire system in Brockton, MA (completed October 1, 1883); March 20, 1883 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "System of Electrical Distribution" ("system in which currents of high tension can be used, while at the same time each lamp is entirely independent of all the others, the lamps being also each of the standard or usual resistance"); three-wire system vs. feeder system (September 19, 1882 patent); resulted in saving of 62.5% of amount of copper over that which would be required for conductors in any previously devised two-wire system carrying same load.

April 30, 1883 - First U.S. three-wire central station for incandescent lighting opened in Sunbury, PA; July 4, 1883 - started operations (built by the Edison Electric Illuminating Co.); Armington & Sims steam engine drove two 110-volt direct-current generators; electricity delivered by overhead wires. 

May 29, 1883 - Thomas Edison received two patents for a "Regulator for Dynamo Electric Machines"; received three patents for the "Manufacture if Incandescing Electric Lamps"; received a patent for an "Apparatus for Translating Electric Currents From High to Low Tension"; received a patent for a "Dynamo-Electric Machine" ("will not require in their operation and adjustment the attention of a person skilled in the working of electrical apparatus").

1884 - Frank J. Sprague established Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company (no railway, just idea to combine electric energy, spring-loaded trolley pole, wire-and-wheel suspension system, his electric motor to provide horseless street transportation; February 2, 1888 - Richmond Union Passenger Railway (Richmond, VA), built by Sprague in 90 days, began regular service; 1889 - acquired by Edison General Electric (eventually became General Electric); 1890 - contracts to build 113 street rail systems; designed multi-unit train control system in Chicago, built first Chicago elevated "L" electric railway; engineered electrification of Grand Central Station (New York City), co-invented, with William Wilgus, "third rail" system of powering electric trains for New York Central Railroad.

February 12, 1884 - Thomas Edison received three patents for an "Electrical Generator and Motor", "Incandescent Electric Lamp", "Electrical Meter".

May 13, 1884 - American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) formed; predecessor to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).

June 14, 1884 - New York first state in U.S. to enact legislation requiring burying of utility wires (in any incorporated city with population over 500,000 "all telegraph, telephonic and electric light wires and cables ... be placed under the surface of the streets, lanes and avenues"); November 1, 1885 - required that telegraph poles be removed.

July 28, 1885 - John B. Mitchell, of Portland, ME, received a patent for a "Ready Light or Taper" (to provide a ready light which shall be of such small cost that it may be discarded after being once used").

1886 - James S. Kuhn, W.S. Kuhn (brothers) founded American Water Works & Guarantee Company in McKeesport, PA; operated 6 water works, 2 glass plants); 1917 - renamed American Water Works & Electric Company; 1936 - reincorporated as American Water Works Company, Inc.; 1947 - acquired by John H. Ware, Jr.; 1963 - merged with Northeastern Water Company; 1987 - Marilyn Ware Lewis (daughter) named chairman; 1998 - surpassed billion dollars in sales (operating revenues of $1.02 billion); 2001 - acquired by RWE Group (electric power, natural gas public utility company based in Essen, Gedrmany; founded 1898); April 23, 2008 - spun-off in IPO; largest publicly traded U.S. water, wastewater utility company in U.S.; more than 7,000 employees, approximately 16 million customers in 35 states and Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.

March 6, 1886 - George Westinghouse demonstrated transmission of America's first alternating current power plant (vs. direct current generated by Thomas Edison's ventures) in Great Barrington, MA; March 20, 1886 - power came from the first AC power plant in the U.S. to begin commercial operation;  subsequently damaged by an accident and abandoned; ability to use transformers at the source for transmission at higher voltage decreased energy losses so that transmission distance could be increased by miles; November 30, 1886 - Westinghouse opened first successful A.C. generating plant in Buffalo, NY.

April 8, 1886 - German scientist, Dr. Carl Gassner, received a German patent for the first "dry" cell (used zinc as its primary ingredient); 1896 - Nation Carbide Company, later Union Carbide and Eveready, produced the first consumer dry cell battery; 1898 - company made the first D cell.

June 1, 1886 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent  for a "System of Electrical Distribution" ("to reduce the number of dynamos necessary for such a system").

April 26, 1887- Huntsville Electric Co. formed to sell electricity.

November 15, 1887 - Carl Gassner, Jr., of Mentz, Germany,  received a patent for a "Galvanic Battery"; dry cell battery.

February 14, 1888 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Telephone-Transmitter".

May 1, 1888 - Nikola Tesla received patents for: a "Electrical Transmission of Power" (2), a "Electro Magnetic Motor" (2), a "Method of Converting and Distributing Electric Currents" and a  "System of Electrical Distribution"; May 13, 1890 - for a "Pyromagneto Electric Generator"; March 20, 1900 - received a patent for a "System of Transmission of Electrical Energy" (wireless transmission of electric power).

Nikola Tesla at the age of 39




Nikola Tesla (

August 14, 1888 - Oliver B. Shallenberger, of Rochester, PA, Westinghouse's chief electrician, received a patent for a "Meter for Alternating Electric Currents" ("measuring electric currents and recording the amount of electrical energy consumed in any given circuit or portion thereof"); electric meter; critical element in the Westinghouse AC system; received a second patent for a "Method of Measuring Alternating Electric Currents".

September 4, 1888 - Edward Weston, of Newark, NJ, received a patent for the "Art of Utilizing Solar Radiant Energy" ("to transform radiant energy derived from the sun into into electrical energy or through electrical energy into mechanical energy").

December 11, 1888 - Black American inventor, Henry Creamer, of New York, NY, received patent for a "Steam Trap and Feeder"; 1887-1893 - received five steam trap patents.

February 12, 1889 - Thomas Edison received a patent for a "Method of Winding Field-Magnets" ("winding the field-magnets of dynamo-electric machines with their wire-coils whereby I am enabled to cast the magnetic-cores with their pole-pieces and yokes in one place instead of making them separately and afterward bolting them together").

April 24, 1889 - Edison General Electric Company organized; April 15, 1892 - General Electric Company formed by merger of Edison General Electric Co. (Schenectady, NY; founded 1878 as Edison Electric Light Co.) and Thomson-Houston Company (formed in 1883 to produce dynamos and arc lighting, succeeded American Electric Company), incorporated in New York State.

June 2, 1889 - Willamette Falls Electric Co. (Portland, OR) hydroelectric power plant made alternating current electricity available to consumers for the first time at a significant distance from its origin (made possible long-distance transmission that overcame problems of direct current); 13 mile power line linked power plant to Portland, OR; September 30, 1882 - first hydroelectric power plant (without alternating current) demonstrated in Appleton, WI; 1886 - AC generators driven by steam power in use elsewhere.

June 11, 1889 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for an "Electrical-Distribution System" ("main conductors are placed in pipes or tubes and laid produce a box for connecting the feeding-conductors with the mains").

October 15, 1889 - William Calver, of Washington, DC, received a patent for a "Solar Reflecting Apparatus"; solar reflector.

1890 - Edison combined several businesses, established Edison General Electric Company; April 15, 1892 - merged with Thomson-Houston Company (formed in 1883 from merger of Elihu Thomson's American Electric Company and interests of Edwin Houston), renamed General Electric Company; Charles A. Coffin, former shoe manufacturer and head of Thomson-Houston, president.

September 29, 1891 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Process of and Apparatus for Generating Electricity."

February 16, 1892 - Thomas Edison received a patent for a "Commutator-Brush for Electric Motors and Dynamos".

June 7, 1892 - Thomas A. Edison received series of U.S. patents for a "System of Electric Lighting," an "Incandescent Electric Lamp," a "System of Electrical Distribution," an "Incandescent Electric Lamp," an "Electric-Lighting System",  respectively.

June 14, 1892 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Pyromagnetic Generator" ("generation of powerful electric currents more economically than heretofore and more directly from the combustion of coal"); received a patent for an "Expansible Pulley" ("power-transmitting pulleys"); received a patent for a "Lightning-Arrester" ("protecting electrical circuits and instruments from the destructive effect of lightning and abnormally-high-tension currents"); received a patent for an "Electric Meter"; received a patent for an "Incandescent Electric Lamp"; received a patent for an "Electric Arc Lamp".

July 11, 1892 - U.S. Patent Office decided that Joseph Wilson Swan in England, not Thomas Edison, was inventor of electric light carbon for incandescent lamp; 1878 - Swan received British patent ffor first carbon incandescent lamp with side pin twist-lock lamp base (invented by Swan's brother Alfred); evolved with name "bayonet" base, became standard on house lighting in Britain; used for a century in most tail lights of every car or truck in the world; more secure with vibration than the Edison screw base; 1879 - Edison received patent; Swan and Edison later set up joint company to produce first practical filament lamp.

October 11, 1892 - Thomas A. Edison received patent for an "Electrical Depositing-Meter" ("current is measured by the weight of metal deposited by a suitable electrolyte through which the current measured is passed").

January 10, 1893 - Thomas W. Lane, of Boston, MA, received patent for an "Electric Gas Lighter"; assigned to Electric Gas Lighting Company (Portland, ME).

January 31, 1893 - Thomas A. Edison received two U.S.  patents: 1) for the "Art of Generating Electricity", described a cell made with positive and negative electrodes in a heated chamber containing dry chemicals which is exhausted to the point that gases generated in the reaction become good conductors of electricity; 2) for the "Manufacture of Carbon Filaments for Electric Lamps", described taking slips of fibrous vegetable material, such as bamboo, to be heated in a suitable furnace until partially carbonized, then soaked for several hours in sugar syrup to fill the pores with more carboniferous material before reheating until completely carbonized.

February 21, 1893 - Thomas A. Edison received three patents: 1) for a "Cut-Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps", 2) for a "Stop Device", 3) for a "Process of Coating Conductors for Incandescent Lamps".

October 9, 1894 - Melvin L. Severy, of Boston, MA, received a patent for an "Apparatus for Generating Electricity by Solar Heat" ("utilization of the sun's heat for the production of electricity as a source of heat, light and power").

May 10, 1949 - registered "Lincoln" trademark first used January 1, 1915 (welding wire and metallic welding electrodes)

January 29, 1895 - Charles P. Steinmetz, of Schenectady, NY, received a patent for a "System of Distribution by Alternating Currents"; A/C power; assigned to General Electric Company.

February 12, 1895 - Thomas A. Edison received four patents: "Filament for Incandescent Lamps," "Manufacture of Carbon Filaments", "Induction-Converter", "Incandescent Electric Lamp.

August 26, 1895 - Electricity first transmitted commercially from first large-scale utilization of Niagara Falls power (Pittsburgh Reduction Company used current in electrolytic production of aluminum metal from its ore); November 15, 1896 - Buffalo received power for commercial use as result of October 24, 1893 contract by which Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company (Pittsburgh, PA) agreed to install three 5,000-hp generators producing two-phase currents at 2,200 volts, 25 hertz (first tuboalternator unit completed within 18 months; prior capacity had been limited to generators no larger than 1,000 hp).

August 11, 1896 - Harvey Hubbell, of Bridgeport, CT, received a patent for a "Socket for Incandescent Lamps" ("to provide a practical and inexpensive pull-socket for incandescent lamps"); electric light bulb socket with on-and-off pull chain.

March 17, 1896 - Charles B. Brooks, of Newark, NJ, received a patent for a "Street Sweeper" ("involves a revoluble brush, elevating mechanism and refuse-receptacles"); May 12, 1896 - Charles B. Brooks, of Newark, NJ, received a patent for a "Dust-Proof Bag for Street-Sweepers".

August 11, 1896 - Harvey Hubbell, of Bridgeport, CT, received a patent for a "Socket for Incandescent Lamps" ("a practical and inexpensive pull-socket for incandescent lamps"); electric light bulb socket with a pull chain.

November 15, 1896 - First long-distance transmission of hydroelectricity from Niagara Falls Power Company (founded March 31, 1886) flowed to Buffalo, NY, 26 miles away; August 26, 1895 -  company made the first large-scale utilization for commercial purposes when it began supplying power to an aluminum production plant;  October 24, 1893 - contract with the Westinghouse Electric and Mfg. Co. for three 5,000 h.p. generators.

August 17, 1897 - Harry C. Reagan, Jr., of Philadelphia, PA, received a patent for "Application of Solar Heat to Thermo Batteries" ("to concentrate the sun's rays to a focus and have one set of junctions of a thermo-battery at the focus of the rays, while suitable cooling devices are applied to the other junctions of said thermo-battery").

1898 - Russian immigrant Conrad Hubert; salesman for Joshia Lionel Cowen, founder of American Eveready Battery Company, bought Cowen's idea for decorative lighting fixture for potted plants (self-illuminating flowerpot powered by dry cell battery), founded American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company (AENMC) to market battery powered novelties; May 20, 1902 - received a patent for an "Electric Lamp" ("improvements in electric lamps and in batteries adapted for use in connection therewith"); August 25, 1903 - received a patent for an "Electric-Circuit Closer" ("to provide a construction in which the same part may be used at will to close a circuit permanently or only momentarily...particularly applicable to the class of electric lights known as flash-lights"); cylindrical casing containing lamp, batteries, on/off switch; 1906 - sold half-interest to National Carbon Company for $200,000.

August 9, 1898 - Henry F. Cottle, of Boston, MA, received  patent for an "Apparatus for Storing and Using Solar Heat".

1899 - Florida Power incorporated in Florida to generate, purchase, transmit, distribute, sell electricity primarily in State of Florida.

1899 - William Mackenzie, Frederick Stark Pearson, others founded he São Paulo Railway, Light and Power Company; 1904 - founded The Rio de Janeiro Tramway, Light and Power Company; 1912 - incorporated Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Company Limited ("The Light") in Toronto as public holding company for the two previous companies to develop hydro-electric power operations, other utility services in Brazil; 1916 - incorporated Great Lakes Power Company Limited to provide hydro-electric power in Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma District in Ontario.; 1966 - changed Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Company Limited name to Brazilian Light and Power Company Limited; 1969 - name changed to Brascan Limited; 1979 - transferred Brazilian assets to Brazilian ownership (Eletropaulo and Light S.A.); 2005 - name changed to Brookfield Asset Management; 2011 - $120 billion in assets (concentrated in office property, renewable power generation, infrastructure, private equity).

June 6, 1899 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Filament for Incandescent Lamps and Process of Manufacturing Same" ("will be of a high resistance, and hence suitable for use on high-tension currents")..

March 20, 1900 - Nikola Tesla, of New York, NY, received a patent for a "System of Transmission of Electrical Energy"; wireless transmission of electric power.

July 16, 1901 - Thomas A. Edison received first patent for a "Reversible Galvanic Battery"; used insoluble active elements in an alkaline solution which remained unchanged during all conditions of use; made of great permanence and of remarkably light weight per unit of power.

September 17, 1901 - Peter Cooper Hewitt, of New York, NY, received 8 patents for an "Electric Lamp" ("methods and apparatus for electric lighting"); mercury vapor lamp; light was produced when electric current passed through mercury vapor; December 1902 - lamps manufactured by Cooper Hewitt Electric Company in New York City.

February 4, 1902 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Reversible Galvanic Battery"; design for a permanent battery with a large capacity per unit of weight; June 3, 1902 = received a second patent for a "Reversible Galvanic Battery"; both assigned to Edison Storage Battery Company.

1903 - 400 gas, electric and transportation companies in New Jersey merged, formed Public Service Corporation (Thomas McCarter named first president); 1916 - provided more than 451 million passenger trips on its trolleys; 1928 - Public Service Railway Company merged with Public Service Transportation Company, formed Public Service Coordinated Transport (dominated trolley, later bus travel in New Jersey; 1930s - owned more than 100 utility subsidiaries throughout Eastern, Central and Southern United States; 1934 - Public Service engineers designed first diesel-electric bus; 1937 - operated first diesel-electric bus fleet (27 vehicles) in world; gas and electric interests consolidated into Public Service Electric and Gas; transportation interests consolidated into Public Service Coordinated Transport (later Transport of New Jersey); 1943 - Public Service became stand-alone company; 1948 - renamed Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G); 1985 - created Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) as holding company; 1989 - formed Enterprise Diversified Holdings Inc. (EDHI), now PSEG Energy Holdings to consolidate unregulated businesses; 2000 - PSE&G split into PSE&G, regulated gas and electric delivery company in New Jersey, PSEG Power, unregulated US power generation company.

November 8, 1904 - Harvey Hubbell II, of Bridgeport, CT, received a patent for a "Separable Attachment-Plug" ("so that electric power in buildings may be utilized by persons having no electrical knowledge or skill in the use of tools in attaching lights. fans, motors..."; first manufactured by Harvey Hubbell, Inc.

1905 - I.B. Perrine (Idaho farmer, rancher, businessman), other investors constructed, developed Twin Falls Canal Company System, country’s largest private irrigation system; paid Twin Falls Land and Water (founded 1900) for water, developed 20 acres with irrigation water, paid state fifty (.50 ) cents per acre, obtained patents for land; most successfully developed Carey Act project in the West; 1909 - Twin Falls Canal Company operated canal system.

December 2, 1905 - Norsk hydro-elektrisk Kvælstofaktieselskab (Norsk Hydro) founded; provides the solution to one of the most pressing problems of the day - industrial manufacture of plant nutrients to increase food production throughout the world; Sam Eyde, appointed managing director for a 10-year period, Marcus Wallenberg, elected chairman of the board, Frenchman Edmond Moret - three most important people in the new company; managed by a French-Scandinavian board of directors.

May 29, 1906 - Thomas Edison received a patent for a "Process of Cleaning Metallic Surfaces" ("process of cleaning long continuous metallic surfaces or strips preliminary to subsequent treatment by which the surface is coated with another metal or material"); electroplating, etc.; received a patent for a "Storage Battery Filling Apparatus"; received a patent for "Gas Separator for Storage Batteries"; received a patent for a "Process of Treating Alkaline Storage Batteries"; received a patent for a "Process of Making Metallic Flakes or Scales" ("particularly for use in connection with my improves storage battery as a conducting substance for admixture with the positive material [nickel hydroxid] in the positive electrode").

December 10, 1907 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Reversible Glvanic Battery"; storage batteries using an alkaline electrolyte with an oxygen compound f nickel as the active de-polraizing material and in which an oxygen compound of bismith is added to the nickel mass so as to result in a substantial increase in the capacity.

1908 - George A. Tuck and a partner founded small sheet metal shop; grew into Atlas Heating & Ventilating Company; leader in converting homes heated by pot-bellied stoves or kitchen stoves to central heating systems; oldest heating, air conditioning, and ventilating company in the Bay Area; family-owned, operated.

February 18, 1908 - Thomas A. Edison received patent for an  "Alkaline Storage Battery"; reduced foaming of electrolyte in such batteries while in operation.

May 1, 1909 - First of five generating units started in power plant at Minidoka Dam on the Snake River in Idaho; first hydroelectric power plant built by U.S. government. 

October 16, 1909 - Consolidated Light, Power and Ice Company, Spring River Power Company, The Galena Light and Power Company, Joplin Light, Power, and Water Company combined, formed The Empire District Electric Company (under parent company, Cities Services), incorporated in Topeka, KS (109 miles of transmission line, 8 megawatts of generating capacity, 2,400 customers); represented history of mining development in area; 1910-1943 - purchased 27 power companies, became dominate provider of electric service in region; 1944 - separated from parent company; 1946 - listed on New York Stock Exchange; 2006 - acquired natural gas distribution rights from Aquila, Inc., formed The Empire District Gas Company, wholly owned subsidiary (serves the natural gas needs of approximately 48,000 customers in 44 communities in northwest, north central, west central Missouri; 2009 - over 1,200 miles of transmission line, over 1,000 megawatts of capacity to serve over 165,000 customers.

January 18, 1910 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Storage Battery" ("the oxygen compound of bismith can be more effectively added to the nickel mass and the addition can be under better control than by the specific practice suggested in [1907] patent...also...can be practiced for the addition of oxygen compound of bismith after the original electrode elements have been formed, and indeed, after they have been assembled in the usual plates or grids".

March 22, 1910 - James C. Dow, of Wilkinsburg, PA, received a patent for "Insulating Material"; insulator for electric circuits; assigned to Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.

1911 - Edmund O. Schweitzer, Nicholas J. Conrad, former chief testing engineer and generator-starting engineer at Commonwealth Edison Company in Chicago, formed Schweitzer and Conrad, Inc. in Conrad's home (had developed Liquid Power Fuse in 1909, after fire at company's Fisk Generating Station in Chicago; spring-loaded fuse inside glass tube filled with fire-suppressing liquid, carbon tetrachloride, to deal with overloaded, under-protected electric circuits and fires at utility substations); July 23, 1912 - received a patent for a "High Voltage Protective Device" ("...provision of an improved circuit opening device for use preferably in connection with high voltage systems in which the voltage may be six hundred volts or over and which is equally applicable for circuits in which the voltage may be ten thousand volts or even higher") - Liquid Power Fuse; 1914 - incorporated as S&C Electric Company; 1922 - expanded product line to transmission- and distribution-voltage offerings; 1930 - acquired by Cutler-Hammer, motor control manufacturer; August 1, 1939 - Schweitzer received a patent for a "Current Interrupting Means" (" provide for opening an electric circuit by the blowing of a fusible element followed by interrupting the circuit between two portions of a non-metallic conducting liquid"); interrupter allowed switching under load; 1946 - re-acquired by Nicholas Conrad; 1959 - introduced transmission-voltage switch (revolutionized transformer protection); 1961 - developed Circuit Switcher, new product line of switchgears for transmission breakers; 1999 - premier provider of power systems solutions; 2007 - became employee-owned; designs, manufactures switching and protection products for electric power transmission, distribution.

1912 - James Mitchell, formerly of Thomson-Houston Company, predecessor of General Electric, and Massachusetts engineer with connections to London investment house, 14 investor groups formed Alabama Traction, Power & Light, Ltd., holding company, in Canada to facilitate moving British funds to Alabama banks; hired Thomas W. Martin, Montgomery, AL attorney (Tyson, Wilson & Martin, law firm handling title work for hydroelectric developers along Tallapoosa River in Alabama) as general counsel; acquired Alabama Power Company from William P. Lay, owner of site on Coosa River at Gadsden, AL (organized in December 1906, secured congressional approval in 1907 for construction of dam on Coosa River at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock 12 site; couldn't raise funds); raised British capital for Lay's dam (completed in December 1913), thwarted competition (Alabama Power Company operated as subsidiary of Alabama Traction, Light and Power); World War I - British capital depleted, Alabama Power overextended; British bondholders deferred interest payments, authorized sale of new bonds, preferred stock; 1920 - Tom Martin took over as president; acquired small electric systems, sponsored industrial development, initiated rural electrification program; 1924 - Martin, Eugene A. Yates (Chief Engineer for Alabama Power dam building efforts) created Southeastern Power & Light Company, holding company to amalgamate, integrate utilities throughout state (folded Alabama Traction, Power & Light, Ltd. into company; 1928 - acquired in hostile takeover led by group backed by J. P. Morgan; folded into Commonwealth & Southern (billion-dollar holding company); 1935 - Public Utility Holding Company Act outlawed holding non-contiguous operating companies (Commonwealth & Southern in violation); 1947 - northern utilities divested; name changed to Southern Company; 1949 - began full operation, allowed to hold only Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Mississippi Power, Gulf Power; 1950 - Yates became chairman; 1969 - 21 steam-electric plants, 30 hydroelectric power projects; 1977 - completed first nuclear plant (on Chattahoochee River); 2011 - largest generator of electricity in U.S., among largest in world.

Engineer James Mitchell (1866-1920) was central to the founding of Alabama Power Company and served James Mitchell - Southern Company (

June 18, 1912 - Peter C. Hewitt, of New York, NY, received  patent for an "Apparatus for the Electrical Production of Light";  mercury vapor arc lamp.

August 20, 1912 - Thomas A. Edison received a patent for a "Storage Battery"; improvement on 1907 and 1910 patents.

October 28, 1913 - William W, Coblentz, of Washington, DC, received a patent for a "Thermal Generator" ("device whereby light rays may be utilized to generate an electric current of such a capacity as to do useful work").

December 30, 1913 - Dr. William D. Coolidge, of Schenectady, NY, received patent  for "Tungsten and Method of Making the Same for Use as Filaments in Incandescent Electric lamps and for Other Purposes"; Tungsten filament light bulb; assigned to General Electric Company.

January 19, 1915 - George Claude of Paris received a U.S. patent for a "System of Illuminating by Luminescent Tubes"; led to neon sign.

April 18 , 1916 - Irving Langmuir, of Schenectady, NY, received  patent for an "Incandescent Electric Lamp"; gas-filled incandescent lamp.

October 19, 1920 - National Carbon Company, Inc. registered "Eveready" trademark first used May 15, 1909 (Electric Batteries, Electric Flash-Lights, Electric Lamps for Automobiles and Flash-Lights, Dry Cells, Storage Batteries [and Electric Starters]).

November 23, 1920 - Thomas Edison received a patent (#1,359,972) for "Electroplating" ("electro-plating of metals on enable a metal electro-plated on a metal to be readily stripped or removed prevent the metal plated from strongly adhering to the metal plated upon").

May 24, 1921 - Thomas Edison received a patent for a "Storage Battery" ("to result in a greatly increased discharge rate").

December 27, 1921 - French Battery & Carbon Co. registered "Ray-O-Vac" trademark first used April 1, 1921 (Dry-Cell Batteries).

January 10, 1922 - Thomas Edison received a patent for a "Storage-Battery Electrode and the Production of Same".

May 23, 1922 - Thomas Edison received a patent for "Production of Thin Metal Sheets or Foils" ("to produce thin sheets or foils of metal, preferably nickel, of any desired length by electro-plating").

February 10, 1925 - The first waterless gas storage tank was placed in service in Michigan City, IN.

October 21, 1925 - Westinghouse Electric and Mfg Co. publicly demonstrated first U.S. photocell or tube (used to count objects as they passed through and interrupted a beam of light, applied to open doors as a person or car approached) at the Electrical Show at Grand Central Palace in New York.

October 16, 1928 - Marvin Pipkin, of Cleveland Heights, OH (Incandescent Lamp Department of the General Electric Company), received U.S. patent for an "Electric-Lamp Bulb"; first electric light bulb frosted on inside with sufficient strength for commercial handling; advantages of frosting the inside of a bulb (versus the outside) are less absorption of light and less collection of dust.

June 19, 1931 - Wilcox's Pier Restaurant (West Haven, CT) completed installation on first commercial doors operated by photoelectric cell; a magic eye controlled automated swinging doors between the kitchen and main dining room.

May 9, 1932 - Piccadilly Circus first lighted by electricity.

November 22, 1932 - Robert J. Jauch, Ivan R. Farnham, Ross H. Arnold, of Fort Wayne, IN, received patent for a "Liquid Dispensing Apparatus"; first U.S. patent for a computer pump; accurately computed and indicated exact quantity delivered in gallons and the price in dollars and cents as the delivery was made.

June 13, 1933 - Balltown Road, in Schenectady, NY installed the first sodium vapor lamps in the U.S.

January 8, 1935 - Arthur C. Hardy, of Wellesley, MA, received a patent for a "Photometric Apparatus" ("particularly useful in colorimetry"); a spectrophotometer, electronic device capable of both detecting two million different shades of color, making permanent record chart of results; assigned to General Electric Company; May 24, 1935 - first machine sold.

February 12, 1935 - Robert Jemison Van de Graaff, of Cambridge, MA, received a patent for an "Electrostatic Generator" ("to produce direct current voltages of an order substantially higher than any previously obtained by influence machines and/or the rectification of alternating current"); assigned to Massachusetts Institute of Technology; direct-current voltages much higher than 700,000-V, state of art at time.

October 2, 1936 - First alcohol power plant established in Atchison, KS.

October 9, 1936 - First generator at Boulder (later Hoover) Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles (installed capacity of 2.08 million kilowatts from 17 main turbines over transmission lines spanning 266 miles of mountains and deserts); Initially named Boulder Dam, work was begun under President Herbert Hoover's administration but completed as a public works project during the Roosevelt administration (which renamed it for Hoover); electricity  was a secondary benefit; central reason for the dam was the collection, preservation, and rational distribution of water.

October 26, 1936 - First electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.

April 23, 1940 - Herman R. C. Anthony, of Madison, WI, received a patent for a "Leakproof Dry Cell" (type of batteries "used in flash light casings...improved protective casing for a cell which wil prevent fluids from leaking out"); flashlight battery (Ray-o-Vac).

April 11, 1941 - First General Electric hydrogen-cooled electrical generator for outdoor installation in the U.S. was put into operation; October 12, 1937 - first GE hydrogen-cooled indoor generator started operation started; advantage of hydrogen is a high thermal conductivity and lower friction than air-cooled generators, more efficient, lower fuel consumption, highest output capacity, lowest operating cost.

October 2, 1942 - First self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction demonstrated in Chicago.

January 10, 1944 - General Electric Company delivered first mobile electric power plant in U.S. to U.S. Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA; built within six specially designed railway cars oil-fired boilers powered a steam-turbine generating plant, accompanied by the switchgear and transformer apparatus; unit could be hauled at speeds up to 40 mph to a new destination where it could be set up within 24 hours, capable of generating 10,00 kilowatts of electric power.

December 24, 1948 - First U.S. house completely solar heated ("Dover Sun House") was occupied in Dover, MA; heating system, designed by Dr. Maria Telkes from the MIT Solar Laboratory, used black sheet metal collectors to capture solar energy, stored by the phase-change of sodium sulphate decahydrate in "heat bins"; fans distributed the heat as needed.

March 2, 1949 - First automatic street light installed in New Milford, CT.

November 17, 1951 - Britain reported development of world's first nuclear-powered heating system.

December 20, 1951 - First electricity ever generated by atomic power flowed when Walter Zinn and his Argonne National Laboratory staff of scientists brought the Experimental Breeder Reactor-1 (EBR-1) turbine generator to criticality (a controlled, self-sustaining chain reaction) with a core about the size of a football; December 1963 - decommissioned; EBR-1 is a Registered National Historic Landmark.

April 15, 1952 - Kenneth J. Germeshausen, of Newton Centre, MA, received a patent for a "Gaseous-Discharge Device"; hydrogen thryatron for high voltage switches.

February 11, 1954 - 75,000-watt light bulb lighted at Rockefeller Center in New York to commemorate 75th anniversary of Edison’s first light bulb.

June 27, 1954 - World's first atomic power station began producing electricity in Obninsk, U.S.S.R.

September 6, 1954 -Ground breaking took place at Shippingport, PA for first U.S. full-scale atomic electricity generating station devoted exclusively to peaceful uses; President Eisenhower remotely signaled a radio-controlled bulldozer.

June 1, 1955 - National Fabricated Products, Inc. (Chicago, IL) shipped a solar energy battery; first shipped from an American commercial factory; disc shaped, about the size of a half-dollar, with two terminals; hermetically sealed, provided about half of a volt of electricity.

July 17, 1955 - Arco, ID became first U.S. city lighted by nuclear power.

October 17, 1956 - The Queen opened Calder Hall, Britain's first nuclear power station which directed into the National Grid for the first time; March 31, 2003 - plant closed.

April 29, 1957 - First military nuclear power plant dedicated in Fort Belvoir, VA.

August 1, 1957 - Solar Building (Bridgers and Paxton Office Building), Albuquerque NM, first commercial building heated by sun's energy; constructed when active solar-energy systems still considered experimental.

December 2, 1957 - Duquesne Light Co. of Pittsburgh began operation of the first full-scale civilian atomic electric generating station in the U.S. in Shippingport, PA (15 years to the day after Fermi's experiment at the University of Chicago); December 18 - fed electricity into the grid for the Pittsburgh area; December 23 - plant reached full power, generated 60 megawatts of power for Pittsburgh; reactor plant designed by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in cooperation with the Division of Naval Reactors of the Atomic Energy Commission; May 26. 1958 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower opened it as part of his "Atoms for Peace" program; 1982 - Shippingport nuclear power plant was retired.

January 28, 1958 - Indian Point nuclear generating station, the first privately-owned thorium-uranium atomic reactor to supply power began construction; built at Buchanan, New York, Babcock and Wilcox Co. for the Consolidated Edison Co. at a cost of $100 million to produce 275,000 kilowatts of power.

August 19, 1960 - First commercial atomic energy reactor, third in U.S., achieved self-sustaining nuclear reaction at $57 million Yankee Atomic Electric Company's plant at Rowe, MA, on Deerfield River (company formed by twelve New England utility companies which signed a contract with the Westinghouse Corporation as the principal contractor); November 10, 1960 - began producing power for distribution; pressurized light-water reactor produced 125,000 kilowatts of electricity; February 26, 1992 - permanently shut down due to reactor vessel embrittlement.

November 10, 1960 - Yankee Atomic Electric Company's (formed by twelve New England utility companies with the Westinghouse Corporation as the principal contractor) plant at Rowe, MA, $57 million first commercial atomic energy reactor, third in the U.S., produced power for distribution; pressurized light-water reactor produced 125,000 kilowatts of electricity; February 26, 1992 - permanently shut down due to reactor vessel embrittlement, after more than 31 years of service; 1993 - decommissioning began.

February 10, 1961 - Niagara Falls hydroelectric project began producing power.

June 21, 1961 - President John Kennedy pressed a switch installed in his office in Washington DC to dedicate first practical plant for the conversion of seawater to drinking water; built in less than a year at a cost of $1.5 million at Freeport, Texas by the Dow Chemical Co.; capable of producing about a million gallons of water a day, supplying fresh water to the city of Freeport at a cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; May 8, 1961 - Office of Saline Water, U.S. Department of the Interior opened opened plant; reverse osmosis has replaced large-scale evaporation method used then as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.

September 12, 1961 - Kenneth R. Eldredge, of Palo Alto, CA, received a patent for an "Automatic Reading System"; for utilities.

January 1, 1963 - Kentucky Power Company placed first U.S. electric power plant to use hyperbolic-shaped cooling towers in commercial service at Ashland, KY (close to coal mines that fueled it); designed to cool 120,000 gallons of water per minute.

May 20, 1964 - First U.S. atomic-powered lighthouse put into operation in Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore Harbor, MD; designed and produced by nuclear division of Martin-Marietta Corp. to supply a continuous flow of electricity for ten years without refuelling; 60-watt nuclear generator generated heat from strontium-90 in the form of strontium titinate, a safe radioisotope;  heat converted to electricity by 120 pairs of lead telluride thermocouples; complete with shielding, unit only 34.5 inches high, 22 inches in diameter.

November 9, 1965 - Biggest electricity grid failure in U.S. history caused 13.5-hour blackout in northeast America, parts of Canada. At about 5:15 pm, a transmission line relay failed, insufficient line capacity for New England and New York (inter-connected on a power grid); affected - some 80,000 square miles, 25 million people, 800,000 trapped in New York City subways.

November 26, 1966 - President Charles de Gaulle opened the world's first tidal power station at Rance estuary, in Brittany; most powerful tidal power plant in the world, generates 500 million kWh annually.

February 16, 1968 - Nation's first 911 emergency telephone system inaugurated, in Haleyville, AL.

April 4, 1972 - First electric power generated in U.S. fueled by municipal solid waste produced at Meramec Plant of Union Electric Company, St. Louis, MO; cooperative effort with city of St. Louis, with financial support from Environmental Protection Agency; May - plant generated 200,000 kW-hr of electricity, wastes consumed at rate of 12.5 tons/hour or 300 tons/day.

March 28, 1979 - America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant (three-months-old) near Middletown, PA (on an island in the Susquehanna River about 11 miles south of Harrisburg); released above-normal levels of radiation into the central Pennsylvania countryside; officials of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said radiation outside the plant was far less than that produced by diagnostic X-rays; some of the 60 employees on duty were contaminated, did not require hospitalization; 15,000 people living within a mile of the plant were not evacuated, 'general emergency' was declared.

June 7, 1980 - First U.S. solar power plant, joint venture with MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Dept. of Energy., was dedicated at the Natural Bridge National Monument, Utah; over 250,000 solar cells arrayed in 12 long rows, 100-kilowatt output could provide the power needs for the buildings and facilities of that National Park.

July 25, 1983 - Washington Public Power Supply System defaulted $2.25 billion.

April 26, 1986 - World's worst civil nuclear catastrophe as one of the reactors at Chernobyl nuclear power plant (near Kiev in Ukraine) exploded; plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat; one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system; shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations; failed to stop the test even when warning signs of dangerous overheating appeared; Xenon gases built up; three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor. Pripyat’s 40,000 people were not evacuated until 36 hours after the explosion. Potentially lethal rain fell as the fires continued for eight days. Dikes were built at the Pripyat River to contain damage from contaminated water run-off and the people of Kiev were warned to stay indoors as a radioactive cloud headed their way.

March 1, 1990 - Seabrook, NH nuclear power plant won federal permission to go on line after two decades of protests, legal struggles.

June 1, 1992 - Pierre Villere announced creation of the E-Lamp, an electronic electrodeless 20-year lightbulb; technology licensed from Diablo Research Corporation (developed it in late 1980s, not approved for residential use in the U.S.); illuminated when radio waves excite a phosphor coating, an efficient process that can save as much as 75% of lighting costs. April 1994 - General Electric (G.E.) Lighting announced that "the world's first practical compact high-tech induction reflector lamp" would be on the market in Europe within weeks, used trade name Genura (smaller than incandescent reflector lamp it replaced).

November 7, 1997 - Chinese engineers completed blocking of Yangtze River, first step toward what will be the world's largest hydroelectric dam project.

July 24, 1998 - Enron Corporation, electricity and gas company in Houston, TX, signed deal to acquire British-based Wessex Water, PLC for $2.2 billion--which was reportedly paid in cash; signaled Enron's first move towards creating a global water subsidiary.

December 15, 2000 - Chernobyl nuclear plant permanently shut down in Ukraine; had provided Ukraine with around five percent of its electricity from its last working reactor. One by one, Chernobyl's reactors have shut down over the years; 1986 - reactor exploded; 1991 - fire stopped one of the remaining reactors; 1996 - third reactor shut down.

January 17, 2001 - Faced with electricity crisis, California used rolling blackouts to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of people.

March 19, 2001 - California officials declared a power alert, ordering first of two days of rolling blackouts.

April 6, 2001 - Pacific Gas and Electric filed for bankruptcy.

June 20, 2002 - Agreement signed to establish seawater desalination, heating plant (using atomic reactors) at coastal city of Yingkou, China; designed to address severe water shortages, burns used fuel from nuclear power stations under normal pressure giving 200 megawatts; initial phase, costing 35 million yuan ($4 million), would provide heating for a building area of 5 million sq. meters during winter; can also desalinate 3,000 tons of sea water daily when no heating is required; daily capacity is expected to amount to 80,000 tons; reactor in theory is able to replace about 130,000 tons of coal burned every year, reducing immensely waste gases.

May 29, 2009 -


January 26, 2010 - American wind power industry added 39% more capacity in 2009 (9,900 megawatts, largest on record, 18% above capacity added in 2008, also banner year); close to 2% nation's electricity comes from wind turbines (vs. about 5% in Europe).


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(AES Corporation), Peter Grose (2007). Power to People: The Inside Story of AES and the Globalization of Electricity. (Washington, DC: Island Press, 164 p.). Former Editor (New York Times and Foreign Affairs). AES Corporation--History; Electric utilities--United States. Electricity generation that sustains workers, consumers, environment; company built on healthy work environment, healthy natural environment, efficient electricity generation and delivery at affordable price.

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(Alabama Power), William M. Murray, Jr. (1978). Thomas W. Martin: A Biography. (Birmingham, AL: Southern Research Institute, 276 p.). Martin, Thomas Wesley, 1881-1964; Businesspeople--Alabama--Biography; Electric utilities--Alabama--History; Industries--Alabama--History.

(Alabama Power), Harvey H. Jackson, III (1997). Putting "Loafing Streams" To Work: The Building of Lay, Mitchell, Martin, and Jordan Dams, 1910-1929. (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 230 p.). Alabama Power Company--History; Dams--Alabama--History; Construction workers--Alabama--History.

(Alabama Power), Jim Noles (2001). Alabama Power Company. (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 128 p.). Attorney - Balch & Bingham LLP. Alabama Power Company--History.

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(American Water Works Company), Gilbert Cross (1991). A Dynasty of Water: The Story of American Water Works Company. (Voorhees, NJ: American Water Works Co., 309 p.). American Water Works Company--History; Waterworks--United States--History.

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(Arkansas Power & Light), Stephen Wilson (1986). Harvey Couch: An Entrepreneur Brings Electricity to Arkansas. (Little Rock, AR: August House, 128 p.). Couch, Harvey Crowley, 1877-1941; Arkansas Power & Light Company--History; Reconstruction Finance Corporation--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Electric utilities--Arkansas--History; Railroads--United States--History.

(ASEA), Sven Bergquist (1991). Ledstjärnor för Ledarskap: Tankar Från Curt Nicolins Kraftfält. (Stockholm, SW: Sellin, 236 p.). Nicolin, Curt; ASEA (Firm); Electric utilities--Sweden.

(ASEA), Olof Ehrenkrona (1991). Nicolin: En Svensk Historia. (Stockholm, SW: Timbro, 376 p.). Nicolin, Curt; ASEA (Firm)--History; Executives--Sweden--Biography; Electric utilities--Sweden--History; Engineers--Sweden--Biography.

(Atlanta Gas Light), James H. Tate (1985). Keeper of the Flame: The Story of Atlanta Gas Light Company, 1856-1985. (Atlanta, GA: The Company, 342 p.). Atlanta Gas Light Company--History; Gas industry--United States--History; Gas industry--Georgia--Atlanta Metropolitan Area--History.

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(Bord na Móna), Donal Clarke (2010). Brown Gold: A History of Bord na Móna and the Irish Peat Industry. (Dublin, IR: Gill & Macmillan, 417 p.). Peat industry -- Ireland -- History; Bord na Móna. How crusade became commercial enterprise; established in 1934, manifestation of idea to develop vast peatlands of Ireland for economic benefit of people.

(Brascan Ltd.), Patricia Best, Ann Shortell (1988). The Brass Ring: Power, Influence, and the Brascan Empire. (Toronto, ON: Random House, 373 p.). Brascan Limited; Industrial concentration--Canada.

(Brascan Ltd.), Duncan McDowall (1988). The Light: Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Company Limited, 1899-1945. (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 459 p.). Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Company; Public utilities -- Brazil -- History; Brazil -- Economic conditions.

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(Brooklyn Union Gas Company), Robert E. Murphy (1995). Brooklyn Union: A Centennial History. (Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Union Gas Co., 158 p.). Brooklyn Union Gas Company--History; Gas industry--New York (State)--New York--History; Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.).

(Canadian Niagara Power Company), Norman R. Ball (2006). The Canadian Niagara Power Company Story. (Erin, ON: Boston Mills Press, 318 p.). Director of the Centre for Society, Technology and Values (University of Waterloo). Canadian Niagara Power Company. Impact of electricity on a region; strains of company as industry changed radically.

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(Centerior Energy Corporation), Larry K. Leonard (1995). Death Spiral: The Brief Rise and Rapid Decline of Centerior Energy Corporation: An Insider’s Unauthorized Account. (Westlake, OH: L.K. Leonard, 237 p.). Centerior Energy Corporation --History; Centerior Energy Corporation --Management; Electric utilities --Ohio --History; Business failures --Ohio --Case studies.

(China Light & Power Company), Nigel Cameron (1982). Power: The Story of China Light. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 277 p.). China Light & Power Company -- History; Electric power-plants -- Hong Kong.

(Columbia Gas System), Albert F Dawson (1937). Columbia Gas & Electric Corporation. (New York, NY: J. J. Little and Ives Company, 151 p.). Columbia Gas System, inc. [from old catalog].

(Commonwealth Companies Inc.), James Brice (1982). Three Generations: A History of Commonwealth Companies, Inc. (Oakland, CA: J. Brice, 342 p.). Commonwealth Companies, Inc.--History; Electric industries--United States--History.

(Commonwealth Edison), Forrest McDonald (1962). Insull:The Rise and Fall of a Billionaire Utility Tycoon. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 350 p.). Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938.

Sam Insull - Commonwealth Edison (

(Commonwealth Edison), M. L. Ramsay (1975). Pyramids of Power: The Story of Roosevelt, Insull and the Utility Wars. (New York, NY: Da Capo Press, 342 p. [orig. pub/ 1937]). Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938; New Deal, 1933-1939; Public utilities--United States; Holding companies--United States. 

(Commonwealth Edison), John Hogan (1986). A Spirit Capable: The Story of Commonwealth Edison. (Chicago, IL: Mobium Press, 450 p.). Commonwealth Edison Company--History; Electric utilities--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--History.

(Commonwealth Edison), Harold L. Platt (1991). The Electric City: Energy and the Growth of the Chicago Area, 1880-1930. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 381 p.). Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938; Commonwealth Edison Company--History; Electric utilities--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--History; Electrification--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--History; Chicago Metropolitan Area (Ill.)--History.

(Commonwealth Edison), Samuel Insull; edited and with additional information by Larry Plachno (1992). The Memoirs of Samuel Insull. (Polo, IL: Transportation Trails, 302 p. [orig. pub. 1934]). Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938.; Commonwealth Edison Company--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Electric utilities--United States--History.

(Commonwealth Edison), James A. Throgmorton (1996). Planning as Persuasive Storytelling: The Rhetorical Construction of Chicago's Electric Future. (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 313 p.). Commonwealth Edison Company; Electric utilities--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area; Electric power--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--Planning.  

(Commonwealth Edison), John F. Wasik (2006). The Merchant of Power: Sam Insull, Thomas Edison, and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis. (New York, NY: Palgrave-Macmillan, 288 p.). Columnist, Bloomberg News. Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938; Commonwealth Edison Company--History; Businesspeople--United States--Biography; Electric utilities--United States--History; Holding companies--United States--History; Public utilities--United States--History. Instrumental in creation of modern metropolis (invented power grid).

(Consolidated Edison), Allan R. Talbot (1972). Power Along the Hudson; the Storm King Case and the Birth of Environmentalism. (New York, NY: Dutton, 244 p.). Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.; Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference; Environmental policy -- Hudson River Valley (N.Y. and NJ).

(Consolidated Edison), Alexander Lurkis (1982). The Power Brink: Con Edison, A Centennial of Electricity. (New York, NY: Icare Press, 200 p.). Consolidated Edison Company of New York, inc. -- History; Electric utilities -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.

(Consolidated Edison), Joseph Allen Pratt (1988). Managerial History of Consolidated Edison of New York, 1936-1981. (New York, NY: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, 322 p.). Cullen Professor of History and Business (United States, University of Houston). Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.; Public utilities--United States--Case studies; Electric utilities--United States--History; Holding companies--United States--History; Public utilities--United States--History.

(Consolidated Gas, Electric, Light and Power Company), George T. Brown (1936). The Gas Light Company of Baltimore; A Study of Natural Monopoly. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 112 p.). Consolidated Gas, Electric Light, and Power Company of Baltimore; Gas companies -- Baltimore.

(Consolidated Gas, Electric, Light and Power Company) (1950). Consolidated of Baltimore, 1816-1950. (Baltimore, MD: Consolidated Gas and Electric, 355 p.). Consolidated Gas, Electric Light, and Power Company of Baltimore; Gas companies -- Baltimore.

(Consolidated Gas), Frederick Lewis Collins (1934). Consolidated Gas Company of New York. (New York, NY: The Company, 383 p.). Consolidated Gas Company of New York.

(Consumers Power), George Bush (1973). Future Builders; The Story of Michigan's Consumers Power Company. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 603 p.). Consumers Power Company.

(Detroit Edison), Raymond C. Miller (1957). Kilowatts at Work; A History of the Detroit Edison Company. (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 467 p.). Detroit Edison Company.

--- (1971). The Force of Energy: A Business History of the Detroit Edison Company. (East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 363 p.). Detroit Edison Company.

(Duke Power), Robert F. Durden (2001). Electrifying the Piedmont Carolinas: The Duke Power Company, 1904-1997. (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 298 p.). Duke Power Company -- History; Electrification -- North Carolina -- History -- 20th century; Electrification -- South Carolina -- History -- 20th century; Electric utilities -- United States -- History -- 20th century. 

(Edison System), Thomas Commerford Martin (1922). Forty Years of Edison Service, 1882-1922; Outlining the Growth and Development of the Edison System in New York City. (New York, NY: The New York Edison Company, 181 p.). New York Edison Company

(Elizabethtown Water Company), Robert D.B. Carlisle (1982). Water Ways: A History of the Elizabethtown Water Company. (Elizabeth, N.J.: The Company, 285 p.). Elizabethtown Water Company--History; Water-supply--New Jersey--Elizabeth--History.

(Ferranti International plc), J. F. Wilson (1988). Ferranti and the British Electrical Industry, 1864-1930. (New York, NY: Manchester University Press, 165 p.). Ferranti, Sebastian Ziani de, 1864-1930; Industrialists --Great Britain --Biography; Electrical engineers --Great Britain --Biography; Statesmen --Great Britain --Biography; Electric utilities --Great Britain --History.

Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti - Ferranti International plc (

(Ferranti International plc), J. F. Wilson (2007). Ferranti: A History—Volume 2: From Family Firm to Multinational, 1974–1987. (Lancaster, UK: Crucible Books, 464 p.). Ferranti, Sebastian Ziani de, 1864-1930; Industrialists --Great Britain --Biography; Electrical engineers --Great Britain --Biography; Statesmen --Great Britain --Biography; Electric utilities --Great Britain --History.

(Florida Power), Al Parsons (1974). Lightning in the Sun; A History of Florida Power Corporation, 1899-1974. (St. Petersburg, FL: Florida Power Corporation, 199 p.). Florida Power Corporation; Electric utilities--Florida.

(Florida Power), Susannah Costello and David Allen (1999). The Power of Commitment : Florida Power 1899-1999. (St. Petersburg, FL: Florida Power Corporation, 104 p.). Florida Power Corporation--History; Electric utilities--Florida--History.

(Fowler Solar Electric), Paul Jeffrey Fowler (1995). The Evolution of an Independent Home: The Story of a Solar Electric Pioneer. (Worthington, MA: Fowler Enterprises, 254 p.). Fowler, Paul Jeffrey, 1948- ; Fowler Solar Electric, Inc.; Photovoltaic power systems--Design and construction; Photovoltaic power generation; Dwellings--Power supply; Solar houses; Carpenters--United States--Biography.

(Georgia Power Company), Wade H. Wright (1957). History of the Georgia Power Company; 1855-1956. (Atlanta, GA: eorgia Power Co., 386 p.). Georgia Power Company.

(Hackensack Water Company), Adrian C. Leiby (1969). The Hackensack Water Company, 1869-1969. (River Edge, NJ: Bergen County Historical Society, 231 p.). Hackensack Water Company.

(Hartford Electric Light), Glenn Weaver (1969). The Hartford Electric Light Company. (Hartford, CT: The Company, 259 p.). Hartford Electric Light Company.

(Hartford Water Works ), Kevin Murphy (2010). Water for Hartford: The Story of the Hartford Water Works and the Metropolitan District Commission. (Middletown, CT Wesleyan University Press, 318 p.). Hartford Water Works -- History. Century-long effort, beginning in 1850s, to construct viable, efficient water system; Hiram Bissell, Ezra Clark, Caleb Saville - unforgiving geography, venal politicians, often-indifferent public; built water works from scratch to deliver clean, safe drinking water to masses; decisions, actions affected millions of people for decades.

(Idaho Power Company), George C. Young and Frederic J. Cochrane (1978). Hydro Era: The Story of Idaho Power Company. (Boise, ID: Idaho Power Co., 144 p.). Idaho Power Company.

(Kansas G&E), H. Craig Miner (1993). Wolf Creek Station: Kansas Gas and Electric Company in the Nuclear Era. (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 393 p.). Kansas Gas and Electric Company; Wolf Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Kan.)--History; Nuclear industry--United States--History.

(Kansas P & L), Edward G. Nelson (1964). KPL in Kansas; A History of the Kansas Power and Light Company. (Lawrence, KS: Center for Research in Business, University of Kansas, 220 p.). Kansas Power and Light Company.

(KeySpan Corporation), Robert B. Catell and Kenny Moore with Glenn Rifkin (2004). The CEO and the Monk: One Company's Journey to Profit and Purpose. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 246 p.). Chairman and CEO (Catell); Former Monk, Corporate Ombudsman (Moore). KeySpan Corporation History; Energy industries United States History. 

(Lake Hemet Water Company), Mary E. Whitney (1999). Valley, River and Mountain: Revisiting Fortune Favors the Brave: A History of the Lake Hemet Water Company. (Hemet, CA: Hemet Area Museum Association, 376 p.). Dams--California--Hemet--History; Water-supply--California--Hemet--History; Hemet (Calif.)--History.

(Long Island Lighting Company), Karl Grossman (1986). Power Crazy. (New York, NY: Grove Press, 372 p.). Long Island Lighting Company.

(Maine Public Service Company), C. Hazen Stetson (1984). From Logs to Electricity: A History of the Maine Public Service Company. (Presque Isle, ME: The Company, 232 p.). Maine Public Service Company--History.

(Merlin Guerin), Bruno Lefebvre (1998). La Transformation des Cultures Techniques: Merlin Guerin, 1920-1996. (Paris, FR: Harmattan, 265 p.). Merlin Guerin (Firm)--History; Corporate culture--France--Case studies.

(Mid-Continent Area Power Pool), Bill Beck (1988). Interconnections: The History of the Mid-Continent Area Power Pool. (Minneapolis, MN: The Pool, 164 p.). Mid-Continent Area Power Pool--History; International interconnected electric utility systems--Middle West--History; International interconnected electric utility systems--Prairie Provinces--History.

(Midwest Energy), Bill Beck (1991). The Service People: An Illustrated History of Midwest Energy Company. (Sioux City, IA: Iowa Public Service Co., 489 p.). Midwest Energy Company--History; Electric utilities--Iowa--History; Gas companies--Iowa--History.

(Minnesota Power), Bill Beck (1986). Northern Lights: An Illustrated History of Minnesota Power. (Duluth, MN: Minnesota Power, 451 p.). Minnesota Power (Firm)--History; Electric utilities--Minnesota--History.

(Nebraska Public Power District), Don Schaufelberger, Bill Beck (2009). The Only State: A History of Public Power in Nebraska. (Virginia Beach, VA Donning Co.,   p.). Nebraska Public Power District --History; Electric utilities --Nebraska --History.

(Newcasatle and Gateshead Water Company), Robert William Rennison (1979). Water to Tyneside: A History of the Newcastle and Gateshead Water Company. (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: The Company, 361 p.). Newcasatle and Gateshead Water Company -- History; Tyne and Wear (Metropolitan County) Water supply industries; Northumberland Water supply industries.

(Norsk Hydro), Ketil Gjølme Andersen (2005). Flaggskip i Fremmed Eie: Volume 1: Hydro 1905-1945. (Oslo, Norway: Pax forlag, 500 p.). Norsk Hydro; power resources -- Norway.

Sam Eyde - Norsk's first President (

(Norsk Hydro), Finn Erhard Johannessen, Asle Rønning og Pa°l Thonstad Sandvik (2005). Nasjonal Kontroll og Industriell Fornyelse: Hydro 1945-1977. (Oslo, Norway: Pax forlag, 468 p.). Norsk Hydro; power resources -- Norway. Practically a Norwegian company, restructuring process, oil and gas.

(Norsk Hydro), Einar Lie (2005). Oljerikdommer og Internasjonal Ekspansjon: Hydro 1977-2005. (Oslo, Norway: Pax forlag, 486 p.). Norsk Hydro; power resources -- Norway. Rapid oil and gas revenue growth; internationalization.

(Northeast Utilities Company), Paul W. MacAvoy and Jean W. Rosenthal (2005). Corporate Profit and Nuclear Safety: Strategy at Northeast Utilities in the 1990s. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 176 p.). Williams Brothers Professor of Management Studies, Former Dean of the Yale School of Management (Yale); Former Manager at Pacific Gas and Electric, Senior Olin Research Fellow (Yale School of Management). Nuclear industry--Northeastern States--Management--Case studies; Nuclear industry--Deregulation--Northeastern States; Nuclear industry--Northeastern States--Cost control; Nuclear power plants--Northeastern States--Management--Case studies; Nuclear power plants--Northeastern States--Cost of operation; Nuclear power plants--Northeastern States--Safety measures; Nuclear power plants--Northeastern States--Risk assessment; Nuclear power plants--Environmental aspects--Northeastern States. 

(Northern Ohio Traction and Light Company), James M. Blower and Robert S. Korach (1966). The NOT&L Story. (Chicago, IL: Central Electric Railfans’ Association, 268 p.). Northern Ohio Traction and Light Company; Street-railroads--Ohio--History; Local transit--Ohio--History.

(Northern States Power), Herbert W. Meyer (1971). Builders of Northern States Power Company. (Minneapolis, MN: Northern States Power, 161 p.). Northern States Power Company.

(Northwestern Public Service), Bill Beck (1989). Light Across the Prairies: An Illustrated History of Northwestern Public Service Company. (Huron, SD: Northwestern Public Service Co., 256 p.). Northwestern Public Service Company--History; Electric utilities--Northwestern States--History; Rural electrification--Northwestern States--History.

(NY Steam), New York Steam Service (1932). Fifty Years o New York Steam Service. (New York, NY: New York Steam Corporation, 135 p.). Heating from central stations.

(Ontario Hydro), Merrill Denison (1960). The People's Power; The History of Ontario Hydro. (Toronto, ON: McClelland and Stewart, 295 p.). Ontario. Hydro-electric Power Commission; Electric utilities--Ontario.

(Ontario Hydro), Paul McKay (1983). Electric Empire: The Inside Story of Ontario Hydro. (Toronto, ON: Between the Lines, 300 p.). Ontario Hydro--History--20th century; Electric utilities--Ontario--History--20th century. A project of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group.

(Ontario Hydro), Lawrence Solomon (1984). Power at What Cost?: Why Ontario Hydro Is Out of Control, What Needs To Be Done about It. (Toronto, ON: Energy Probe Research Foundation, 191 p.). Ontario Hydro; Electric utilities -- Ontario.

(Ontario Hydro), Keith R. Fleming (1992). Power at Cost: Ontario Hydro and Rural Electrification, 1911-1958. (Montreal, QU: McGill-Queen's University Press, 326 p.). Ontario Hydro; Rural electrification--Ontario--History.

(Ontario Hydro), Neil B. Freeman (1996). The Politics of Power: Ontario Hydro and Its Government, 1906-1995. (Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press, 252 p.). Ontario Hydro--History; Electric utilities--Government policy--Ontario.

(Ontario Hydro), Jamie Swift & Keith Stewart (2004). Hydro: The Decline and Fall of Ontario's Electric Empire. (Toronto, ON: Between the Lines, 240 p.). Ontario Hydro -- History; Electric utilities -- Government ownership -- Ontario -- History.

(Pacific Enterprises), Douglas R. Littlefield and Tanis C. Thorne (1990). The Spirit of Enterprise: The History of Pacific Enterprises from 1886 to 1989. (Los Angeles, CA: Pacific Enterprises, 198 p.). Pacific Enterprises--History; Pacific Lighting Company--History; Pacific Lighting Corporation--History; Holding companies--California--History; Gas companies--California--History.

(Pacific Gas and Electric Company), Charles M. Coleman (1952). P.G. and E. of California; The Centennial Story of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 1852-1952. (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 385 p.). Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Peter Donahue - PG&E (

James Donahue - PG&E (

(Pacific Gas & Electric Company), Richard H. Dillon (1984). Iron Men: California’s Industrial Pioneers, Peter, James, and Michael Donahue. (Point Richmond, CA: Candela Press, 334 p.). Donahue, Peter, 1822-1885; Donahue, James, 1824-1862; Donahue, Michael, 1816-1884; Businesspeople--California--San Francisco--Biography; Irish Americans--California--San Francisco--Biography; San Francisco (Calif.)--Biography.

(Pacific Gas and Electric Company), David Roe (1984). Dynamos and Virgins. (New York, NY: Random House, 218 p.). Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Electric power-plants--California; Electric utilities--California.

(Pacific Power), John Dierdorf (1971). How Edison's Lamp Helped Light the West: The Story of Pacific Power & Light Company and Its Pioneer Forebears. (Portland OR: Pacific Power & Light Co., 313 p.). Pacific Power & Light Company.

(Parisian Gas Company), Lenard R. Berlanstein (1991). Big Business and Industrial Conflict in Nineteenth-Century France: A Social History of the Parisian Gas Company. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 348 p.). Compagnie parisienne de l'éclairage et du chauffage par le gaz -- History; Gas industry -- France -- History -- 19th century; Big business -- France -- History -- 19th century.

(Pennsylvania Power & Light), Bill Beck (1995). PP&L: 75 Years of Powering the Future: An Illustrated History of Pennsylvania Power & Light Co. (Allentown, PA: Pennsylvania Power & Light,    p.). Pennsylvania Power & Light,.

(Philadelphia Electric), Nicholas B. Wainwright (1961). History of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1881-1961. (Philadelphia, 416 p.). Philadelphia Electric Company.

(Philadelphia Suburban Water Company), Jerry A. Sacchetti (1986). Reflections on Water: A Centennial History of Philadelphia Suburban Water Company. (Bryn Mawr, PA: The Company, 188 p.). Philadelphia Suburban Water Company (Pa.)--History; Water-supply--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia Suburban Area--History.

(Portland General Electric), Craig Wollner (1990). Electrifying Eden: Portland General Electric, 1889-1965. (Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press, 325 p.). Portland General Electric Company--History; Electric utilities--Oregon--Portland Region--History.

(Potomac Electric Power Company), William O. Beck. (1996). 100 Years of Matchless Service: Potomac Electric Power Company, 1896-1996. (Washington. DC: The Company, 204 p.). Potomac Electric Power Company--History; Electric utilities--Washington Metropolitan Area--History.

(Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.), R.P. Singh (2009). Grids of Change: Managing Power Games and Power Lines. (New Delhi, India: Penguin Enterprise, 155 p). Former Chairman of PowerGrid Corporation of India. Executives -- India -- Biography; Singh, R. P. (Rajendra Prasad), 1948-; Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. -- Biography.

(Public Service Company of Colorado), Ellen Kingman Fisher (1989). One Hundred Years of Energy: Public Service Company of Colorado and Its Predecessors, 1869-1969. (New York, NY: Garland Pub., 517 p.). Public Service Company of Colorado--History; Electric utilities--Colorado--Denver--History; Gas companies--Colorado--Denver--History.

(Public Service Electric and Gas Company), Marian Calabro (2003). Making Things Work: PSEG’s First Century. (Lyme, CT: Greenwich Pub. Group, 127 p.). Public Service Enterprise Group--History; Public Service Electric and Gas Company--History; Public utilities--New Jersey--History.

(Puget Sound Power and Light Company), Arthur Kramer (1986). Among the Livewires: 100 Years of Puget Power. (Edmonds, WA: Creative Communications, 141 p.). Puget Sound Power and Light Company--History; Electric utilities--Washington (State)--History.

(Puget Sound Power and Light Company), Robert C. Wing, editor; Robert C. Cumbow, associate editor (1987). A Century of Service: The Puget Power Story. (Bellevue, WA: Puget Sound Power & Light Co., 178 p.). Puget Sound Power and Light Company--History; Electric utilities--Northwest, Pacific--History.

(Salem Electric), John R. Ross (1991). Salem Electric: Against the Odds! (Portland, OR: Carolina Pacific Pub., 121 p.). Salem Electric (Salem, Or.)--History; Electric utilities--Oregon--Salem--History.

(Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation), Muzaffar Tate. (1999). The Power Behind the State: A History of the Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation (SESCO) and of Electricity Supply in Sarawak. (Kuching, Malaysia: Sarawak Electricity Supply Corp., 488 p.). Sarawak Electricity Supply Corporation--History; Electric power systems--Malaysia--Sarawak--History; Electric utilities--Malaysia--Sarawak--History.

(Saskatchewan Power), Clinton O. White (1976). Power for a Province: A History of Saskatchewan Power. (Regina, SK: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 370 p.). Saskatchewan Power Corporation; Electrification -- Saskatchewan; Natural gas -- Saskatchewan.

(Seattle City Light), David W. Wilma, Walt Crowley & the HistoryLink staff (2010). Power for the People: A History of Seattle City Light. (Seattle, WA: HistoryLink in association with University of Washington Press, 131 p.). Seattle (Wash.). Dept. of Lighting; Electric utilities -- Washington (State) -- Seattle. 1889 - privately owned water company failed to deliver enough water to quell Seattle's Great Fire of 1888-89; voters approved municipal water system, laid groundwork for electric utility, began campaign of dam construction that provided Seattle with cheapest electricity of any major city in country for most of 20th century.

(Siemens Aktiengesellschaft), von Gerhart Jacob-Wendler (1982). Deutsche Elektroindustrie in Lateinamerika: Siemens und AEG, 1890-1914. (Stuttgart, Germany: In Kommission bei Klett-Cotta, 376 p.). Siemens Aktiengesellschaft--History; AEG-Telefunken--History; Electric industries--Germany--History; Electric power transmission equipment industry--Germany--History; Germany--Commerce--Latin America--History; Latin America--Commerce--Germany--History.

(Southern California Edison), William A. Myers (1983). Iron Men and Copper Wires: A Centennial History of the Southern California Edison Company. (Glendale, CA: Trans-Anglo Books, 256 p.). Southern California Edison Company--History; Electric utilities--California, Southern--History.

(Southern California Edison), David H. Redinger (1998). The Story of Big Creek. (Tucson, AZ: Ironwood Press, 272 p.). Southern California Edison Company--History; Hydroelectric power plants--California--Big Creek Region--History.

(Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company), Frederick Dalzell; Foreword by W. Bernard Carlson; Afterword by John Sprague (2009). Engineering Invention: Frank J. Sprague and the U.S. Electrical Industry, 1880-1900. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 304 p.). Researcher at Harvard Business School. In burst of innovation over less than 20 years, Sprague (pioneered work in self-governing motors, developed first full-scale operational electric railway system, commercialized, promoted his inventions) and contemporaries, transformed technologies of electricity, reshaped modern life; established Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company; designed, built electric railroad system for Richmond, VA; went into field of electric elevators; started third company to commercialize multiple-control system that could equip electric train systems for mass transit; framed technology as invention, cast himself as hero, staged technologies as dramas.

Frank Sprague - Sprague Electric (

(Superior Water, Light and Power Co.) ,Bill Beck (1989). From the Foot of Winter Street: The History of Superior Light and Power. (Duluth, MN: The Company,     p.). Superior Water, Light and Power Co.

(Texas Power & Light), Robert L. Johnson (1973). Texas Power & Light Company: 1912-1972; A Brief Account of the Company's First Sixty Years ... Its Origin and Development, and Its Impact Upon the Area It Serves. (Dallas, TX: Texas Power & Light Co., 209 p.). Texas Power & Light Company--History; Electric utilities--Texas.

(Twin Falls Canal Company), Niels Sparre Nokkentved, Foreword by John Keys, former Commissioner of Reclamation A Forest of Wormwood: Sagebrush, Water and Idaho’s Twin Falls Canal Company. (Boise ID: N.S. Nokkentved, 240 p.). Twin Falls Canal Company; Irrigation. Country’s largest private irrigation system; Idaho canal company, development of water rights, how irrigation affects communities, today’s water crisis in Idaho.

(Washington Gas Light Company), Robert R. Hershman and Edward T. Stafford (1948). Growing with Washington, The Story of our First Hundred Years, 1848-1948. (Washington, DC: The Company, 91 p.). Washington (D.C.)--History.

(Washington Public Power Supply System), Daniel Jack Chasan (1985). The Fall of the House of WPPSS: The $2.25 Billion Horror Story That Haunts the Nuclear Industry, the Bond Market, and the Northwest. (Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Pub., 111 p.). Washington Public Power Supply System--Finance; Electric utilities--Washington (State)--Finance; Nuclear power plants--Washington (State)--Design and construction--Finance; Default (Finance)--Washington (State); Bond market.

(Western Power Products), Bill Bright (2000). Two Bills from Boston: Making the American Dream Come True. (Wilsonville, OR: BookPartners, 225 p.). Bright, Bill, 1917- ; Wild, Bill, 1917?-1983.; Western Power Products--History; Electric industries--United States--History; Industrialists--United States--Biography; Entrepreneurship--United States--Case studies; Success in business--United States--Case studies. 

(Wisconsin Electric Power Company), John Gurda (1996). Path of a Pioneer: A Centennial History of the Wisconsin Electric Power Company. (Milwaukee, WI: Wisconsin Electric Power, 282 p.). Wisconsin Electric Power Company.

(Wisconsin Power and Light), Bill Beck; foreword by Erroll B. Davis, Jr. (1990). Transforming the Heartland: The History of Wisconsin Power & Light Company. (Madison, WI: Wisconsin Power & Light Co., 231 p.). Wisconsin Power and Light Company--History; Electric utilities--Wisconsin--History; Gas companies--Wisconsin--History.

Bernard C. Beaudreau (1996). Mass Production, the Stock Market Crash, and the Great Depression: The Macroeconomics of Electrification. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 182 p.). Industrialization -- United States -- History -- 20th century; Mass production -- United States -- History -- 20th century; Electrification -- United States -- History -- 20th century; Depressions -- 1929 -- United States; Stock Market Crash, 1929. Series Contributions in economics and economic history.

William Beaver (1990). Nuclear Power Goes On-Line: A History of Shippingport. (New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 204 p.). Shippingport Nuclear Power Station -- History; Nuclear power plants -- Pennsylvania. Series Contributions in economics and economic history.

David Bodanis (2005). Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity. (New York, NY: Crown, 308 p.). Teaches Survey of Intellectual History (University of Oxford). Electricity; Force and energy. How electricity works, affects daily lives; electrical innovations with minibiographies of their developers.

Ian C. R. Byatt (1979). The British Electrical Industry, 1875-1914: The Economic Returns to a New Technology. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 228 p.). Electric industries--Great Britain--History; Electric utilities--Great Britain--History.

Richard B. DuBoff (1979). Electric Power in American Manufacturing, 1889-1958. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 245 p.). Electrification--United States; Electric engineering--United States--History; Industries--United States--History.

Scott Fenn (1984). America's Electric Utilities: Under Siege and in Transition. (New York, NY: Praeger, 158 p.). Electric utilities--United States.

Charles Fishman (2011). The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water. (New York, NY: Free Press, 400 p.). Former Metro and National Reporter (The Washington Post). Water resources development; Water supply; Water use; Water consumption. Four states of water—liquid, ice,  vapor, "molecular water” (fused into rock 400 miles deep in Earth, where most of planet’s water is found); water runs worl, yet taken completely for granted; era of easy water is over; new era of high-stakes wate; no good reason to be overtaken by global water crisis; have more than enough water, don;t think about it, or use it, smartly.

Seth Fletcher (2011). Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric cars, and the New Lithium Economy. (New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 272 p.). Features Editor (Popular Science magazine). Lithium cells; Lithium industry; Electronic industries. Rise of lithium batteries, impications of new energy economy; third element on periodic table may hold key to environmentally sustainable, oil independent future (electric cars to "smart" power grid that can harness powers of sun and wind store electricity, use them when needed); path toward carbon-free future; from salt flats of Bolivia to labs of MIT and Stanford, from turmoil at GM to cutting-edge lithium-ion battery start-ups; key players, ideas in industry with power to reshape world.

Ann Norton Greene (2008). Horses at Work: Harnessing Power in Industrial America. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 322 p.). Lecturer and Administrator in History and Sociology of Science University of Pennsylvania). Draft horses --United States --History --19th century; Working animals --United States --History --19th century. Use of living, breathing horses to power technology in development of industrial America - single most significant energy transition of antebellum era; critical contribution to history of American energy, rise of American industrial power; Americans’ social, political choices about power consumption sealed animal’s fate.

Leslie Hannah (1979). Electricity Before Nationalisation: A Study of the Development of the Electricity Supply Industry in Britain to 1948. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 467 p.). Electric utilities--Great Britain--History; Electrification--Great Britain--History.

Chris Harris (2006). Electricity Markets: Pricing, Structures and Economics. (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 584 p.). Head of Industry, Networks and Agreements in the Retail Division of RWE power in the UK, has held senior positions in the generation and trading sectors of the Electricity Supply Industry. Electric utilities; Electric utilities--Costs; Electric utilities--Rates. Electricity supply industry. Relationship between policy objectives, free markets, technicalities of electricity production, network flow, supply and consumption.

William J. Hausman, Peter Hertner, Mira Wilkins (2008). Global Electrification: Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1878-2007. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 487 p.). Chancellor Professor of Economics (College of William & Mary);. Electric utilities --History; Electrification --Economic aspects --History; Power resources --History. How multinational enterprises, international finance influenced electrification around world from 1870s through 1930s; "domestication" over time (buy-outs, confiscations, other withdrawals); 1978 - multinational enterprises disappeared, replaced by electrical utility providers with national business structures; vigorous revival in recent years.

Mark Hertsgaard (1983). Nuclear Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy. (New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 339 p.). Nuclear industry--United States.

Richard F. Hirsh (1989). Technology and Transformation in the American Electric Utility Industry. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 274 p.). Electric utilities--United States--Technological innovations.

--- (1999). Power Loss: The Origins of Deregulation and Restructuring in the American Electric Utility System. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 406 p.). Electric utilities--Deregulation--United States; Electric utilities--Government policy--United States--History; Electric utilities--Law and legislation--United States--History; Competition--United States--History--20th century; Pressure groups--United States--History--20th century.

Thomas P. Hughes (1983). Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 474 p.). Historian of Technology (University of Pennsylvania). Electric power systems--United States--History; Electric power systems--Great Britain--History; Electric power systems--Germany--History.

Edward Hungerford (1972). The Story of Public Utilities. (New York, NY: Arno Press, 384 p. [Reprint of 1928 ed.]). Public utilities--United States.

Leonard S. Hyman, Andrew S. Hyman, Robert C. Hyman (2000). America's Electric Utilities: Past, Present, and Future. (Vienna, VA: Public Utilities Reports, 442 p. [7th ed.]). Electric utilities--United States; Electric utilities--Government policy--United States.

Leonard S. Hyman...[et al] (1998). The Water Business: Understanding the Water Supply and Wastewater Industry. (Vienna, VA: Public utilities Reports, 513 p.). Water utilities--Management; Water-supply--Management; Sewage--Purification; Sewage disposal.

Jill Jonnes (2003). Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World. (New York, NY: Random House, 432 p.). Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931; Tesla, Nicolai, 1956-1943; Westinghouse, George, 1946-1914; Electric engineering--History; Electrification--History; Electric power--History; Competition--United States.

Maury Klein (2008). The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity, and the Men Who Invented Modern America. (New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press, 560 p.). Professor Emeritus (University of Rhode Island). Inventions--United States--History; Inventors--United States--Biography; Force and energy--United States--History. "Power revolution" turned America from agrarian society into technological superpower in 19th century; dynamic, fiercely competitive inventors and entrepreneurs who made it happen - steam engine, the incandescent bulb, the electric motor.

Gary D. Libecap (2007). Owens Valley Revisited: A Reassessment of the West's First Great Water Transfer. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 209 p.). Donald Bren Professor of Corporate Environmental Management, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Economics Department (University of California, Santa Barbara). Water transfer--California--Owens Valley--History; Water transfer--Law and legislation--West (U.S.); Water-supply--California--Los Angeles; Water rights--West (U.S.); Owens River Watershed (Calif.)--Water rights--History. Water politics, importance of distributional issues in water trades; water transfer from Owens Valley to Los Angeles still plays important role in perceptions of how water markets work; memory of theft, environmental destruction.

Forrest McDonald (1957). Let There Be Light; The Electric Utility Industry in Wisconsin, 1881-1955. (Madison, WI: American History Research Cente, 404 p.). Electric utilities -- Wisconsin.

Tom McNichol (2006). AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War. (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 208 p.). Contributing Editor (Wired magazine). Electric currents, Alternating--History; Electric currents, Direct--History; Electricity--Standards--History; Electricity--History. How Thomas Edison bet wrong in fierce war between supporters of alternating current and direct current.

Clay McShane and Joel A. Tarr (2007). The Horse in the City: Living Machines in the Nineteenth Century. (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 242 p.). Professor of History (Northeastern University); Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor (Carnegie Mellon University). Draft horses --United States --History --19th century; Urban animals --United States --History --19th century. Indispensable horse provided power for vehicles that moved freight, transported passengers, fought fires, installed equipment in breweries, mills, foundries, machine shops; critical role that horse played in growing nineteenth-century metropolis; municipal challenges of maintaining safe, productive living environment for both horses, people; rise of organizations like American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Richard Munson (1985). The Power Makers: The Inside Story of America's Biggest Business-- and Its Struggle To Control Tomorrow's Electricity. (Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 260 p.). Electric utilities--United States.

--- (2005). From Edison to Enron: The Business of Power and What It Means for the Future of Electricity. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 206 p.). Director of the Northeast-Midwest Institute. Electric utilities--United States--History. Controversial history of $210 billion power industry (nation's largest).

David E. Nye (1990). Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 479 p.). Professor of American Studies (Odense University, Denmark). Electrification--United States--History; Electrification--Social aspects--United States.

--- (1998). Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 331 p.). Professotr of American Studies (Odense University, Denmark). Power resources--Social aspects--United States; Energy consumption--Social aspects--United States.

David E. Nye (2010). When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America. (Cambridge, MA : MIT Press, 304 p.). Professor of American History (University of Southern Denmark). Electric power failures --United States --History; Electrification --United States --History; Electrification --Social aspects --United States. American condition - community increasingly bound with electrical wires and signals. Power outages in America from 1935 to present - as technical failures, military tactic, social disruption, crisis in networked city, outcome of political and economic decisions, sudden encounter with sublimity, memories enshrined in photographs; America's development of electrical grid (made large-scale power failures possible; military blackouts before and during World War II; New York City's contrasting 1965 and 1977 blackout experiences; growth in consumer demand that led to rolling blackouts made worse by energy traders' market manipulations; blackouts caused by terrorist attacks and sabotage; "greenout", voluntary reduction organized by environmental organizations.

Harold C. Passer (1953). The Electrical Manufacturers, 1875-1900; A Study in Competition, Entrepreneurship, Technical Change, and Economic Growth. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 412 p.). Electric industries -- United States.

Richard Rudolph and Scott Ridley (1986). Power Struggle: The Hundred-Year War Over Electricity. (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 305 p.). Electric utilities--Government policy--United States--History.

Phillip F. Schewe (2007). The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World. (Washington, DC: J. Henry Press, 311 p.). Chief Science Writer at the American Institute of Physics. Interconnected electric utility systems--History; Electric power distribution--History; Electric power production--History. Largest industrial investment in history of humankind; operates on rapidly shrinking margin for error.

Michael Brian Schiffer (2008). Power Struggles: Scientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity before Edison. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 420 p.). Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (University of Arizona). Electrical engineering --United States --History. Why, how emerging electrical technologies formed foundation of modern industrial world, became commercial products in context of evolving corporate capitalism in which conflicting judgments of practicality sometimes turned into power struggles; earlier efforts that paved way for Edison; case studies of pre-Edison electrical technologies; claims of "practicality", "impracticality"; central role of scientific authority in determining fate of technologies.

Wolfgang Schivelbusch; translated from the German by Angela Davies (1988). Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteenth Century. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 227 p.). German Historian. Lighting--Social aspects; Street lighting--History--19th century; Industrialization--History--19th century; Lamps--History--19th century. History of electricity. 

Henry Schlesinger (2010). The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution. (New York, NY, HarperCollins/Smithsonian, 320 p.). Journalist Specializing in Science and Emerging Technologies. Batteries; technological innovations --history. Battery powers all handheld electronic devices that pervade high-tech culture; device whose enormous influence has been downplayed or misunderstood; battery's evolution, from Italian Alessandro Volta's early 19th-century copper and zinc model through 21st-century advances in nanotechnology.

Sam H. Schurr...[et al] (1990). Electricity in the American Economy: Agent of Technological Progress. (New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 443 p.). Electric power consumption -- Economic aspects -- United States; Electric utilities -- United States; Industries -- Energy consumption -- United States. Series Contributions in economics and economic history. Published under the auspices of the Electric Power Research Institute.

Sam H. Schurr and Bruce C. Netschert, with Vera F. Eliasberg, Joseph Lerner [and] Hans H. Landsberg (1960). Energy in the American Economy, 1850-1975; An Economic Study of Its History and Prospects. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 774 p.). Power resources -- United States.


Business History Links

Boston Gas Company Photographs, 1880s-1970s (400 items)             

Boston Gas Company photos, about 400 images from the 1880s to the 1970s, documenting both the company and the city of Boston = fascinating views of pre-1900 Boston, including over 200 cyanotypes that reproduce beautifully on the Web.


Brought online in 1978, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was considered a model plant throughout the USSR. Eight years later, that same plant experienced an explosion and meltdown that had disastrous consequences for local residents. This terrible incident caused serious damage to the global cause of establishing nuclear power as a viable alternative source of energy. This very thorough and well-designed site serves as an excellent gateway to information about the events surrounding that date, and more importantly, about the long-term effects of the event and the organizations that are intimately concerned with these affairs. The "Facts" section is a good place to start, as it contains an overview of the incidents of 20 years ago, along with information about the consequences for the health of local residents and the environment. Another useful section is in the right-hand corner of the homepage provides news updates about projects, events, and meetings related to the events at Chernobyl. One of the most powerful areas of the site contains first-hand recollections about the events at Chernobyl, and it should not be missed.

The Chernobyl Catastrophe: Consequences on Human Health  reports/ chernobylhealthreport.pdf                                                      

This detailed April 2006 report evaluates the current and potential health consequences of the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Topics include cancer (thyroid, leukemia, and other cancers), and non-cancer illnesses (immune functions, endocrine status, premature aging, and more). Includes a report summary and many data tables and graphs. Opens directly into a PDF document. From Greenpeace.

EDF Electropolis Museum
Collections have a scientific, technical, industrial, historical, economical, sociological and artistic nature... and concern electro-technical machines such as engines, alternators and transformers ; measuring devices ; computer, medical and communication equipment ; small and large household appliances (cookers, irons ....); audio-visual, lighting and telephone equipment ; toys, advertising articles and works of art.There are more than 12,000 items in the Museum's collections, ranging from the electrical battery to the hydraulic turbine including an electrostatic machine from the 18th century, electronic games from the 20th century and household appliances.

Thomas Alva Edison Patent Collection                                                                

Patent Numbers 1 (06/01/1869) - 1084 (05/16/1933).

Edison Electric Institute                                                                                                                                

Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of United States shareholder-owned electric companies, international affiliates, and industry associates worldwide. Our U.S. members serve 97 percent of the ultimate customers in the shareholder owned segment of the industry, and 71 percent of all electric utility ultimate customers in the nation. They generate almost 60 percent of the electricity produced by U.S. electric generators.

Seattle Power and Water Supply Collection                                                              

This collection of photographs "showcases images of hydroelectric power and water supply facilities built in Washington State from the late 1890s to the 1950s. Many of these dams, power plants and reservoirs were built in some of Washington's most rugged terrain and had features that represented significant engineering feats of their time." Also includes an excerpt from the book "Building Washington: A History of Washington State Public Works." From the University of Washington Libraries.

The Utility Connection                                                                                                     

The Utility Connection provides links to 4,032 electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, organizations, news, magazines, utility financial resources, and related state & federal regulatory and information sites.


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