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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:752 1885-1954

Boston Edison Company records


Records of the Boston, Massachusetts electric utility company Boston Edison Company includes financial records, labor record, production records and photographs.


  • 1884-1986


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored offsite; access requires advance notice. Please contact for more information on access procedures and reproduction services.

Conditions Governing Use

In many cases, Baker Library does not hold the copyright to the materials in its collections. Researchers are responsible for determining copyright status and identifying and contacting any copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish content from collections. Baker Library staff have included the names of third-party copyright holders at the folder and item level when known.


161 linear feet (104 volumes, 2 boxes, 56 cartons)

The records of the Boston Edison Company illustrates the organization, financing, and operation of the company and of the firms it absorbed during its first fifty years. The records of the Boston Edison Company include detailed correspondence (the bulk dating from 1886-1893) from the company's beginning, covering most aspects of establishing operations. Topics covered include finance, management, marketing, competition, installation, equipment, and various technical matters. Most of the directors' and stockholders' minutes were retained by the company, including directors' and stockholders' minutes from many electric companies that were acquired by EEIC of Boston. The numerous financial records include stock records and records that fall under general accounts such as ledgers (1886-1936), journals (1886-1936), notes payable and receivable (1886-1923), and vouchers (1886-1900). Other financial records can be found in the records of the Production\Generating Department (e.g. department expenses, 1897-1964) and the Station and Street Engineering departments (appropriations and authorizations, 1897-1948). The collection also includes much technical data such as Production\Generating Department records of electricity production and distribution, as well as plant maintenance and repairs. Beyond this, the collection consists of a variety of records including Sales Department annual reports; a rich collection of technical manuals; and histories, descriptions, and photographs. Company publications related to employees are found in Series G, Labor Records.

Biographical / Historical

Incorporated in January 1886 as the Edison Electric Illumination Company (EEIC) of Boston, the Boston Edison Company was among the earliest American electric utility companies. Between 1901 and 1912, the company absorbed nineteen Boston area electric companies. In 1902, it merged with its chief competitor, the Boston Electric Light Company and became the dominant provider of electrical power for greater Boston. The Edison Electric Illumination Company of Boston was renamed the Boston Edison Company in July 1937. From its founding, the Boston Edison Company pioneered numerous electrical industry innovations. These included its early efforts to create an undergroundwiring network, its groundbreaking use of high-pressure steam turbine generators in the 1920s, and pollution control projects, which began in the 1930s.

Physical Location



Gift of Boston Edison Company, 1986 and 1987

Processing Information

Processed: January 2005

By: Jean Marie Procious

Processing Information

Some material was removed from loose-leaf binders or stub books and placed into acid-free file folders. Oversized volumes were either wrapped in acid-free paper or, in the case of extremely large and heavy loose-leaf volumes, simply bound with twine. Loose clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper. Photographs were protected in acid-neutral paper or polyester envelopes.

Baker Library
Description rules
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Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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