Cambridge Electric Light Company records
Scope and Contents
The records of Cambridge Electric Light Company contain materials related to the company’s accounting and operation. The records, 1883-1936, include a stock ledger, bills paid, account books, letter books, outages books, correspondence, pole location records, and work orders completed. Records particularly focus account books and on the locations of the company’s utility poles and wires, including requests from the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company to attach and remove wires from Cambridge Electric Light’s utility poles. Pay Roll records of Cambridge Steam Corporation, a subsidiary of the utility holding company New England Gas and Electric Association and stockholder records of the utility holding company Associated Gas and Electric System are also included.
- Cambridge Electric Light Company (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact email@example.com for more information regarding access procedures.
Extent14 linear feet (18 boxes)
Biographical / Historical
Cambridge Electric Light Company, a Cambridge, Mass. based company, organized in 1886 and incorporated in 1887 as one of the first electric utilities in the United States. The company was founded by Josiah Q. Bennett, President, and F.H. Raymond, General Manager and future Secretary. The company supplied electric light and power to the city of Cambridge before expanding to other areas of Massachusetts in the late 1920s.
The consistently increasing public demand for electric power fueled rapid growth of the company, expanding its number of customers from 5,021 in 1915 to 43,000 in 1930. By 1930, the company’s overhead distribution system comprised over 80 miles of poles and nearly 1200 miles of wires; the underground distribution system comprised of 110 miles of cable and 177 miles of conduit.
In 1926, the New England Gas and Electric Association was founded as an unincorporated trust to control nearly 100% of the stocks of various gas and electric companies, including Cambridge Electric Light Company, Cambridge Gas Light Company, Worcester Gas Light Company, and other utilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The New England Gas and Electric Association became affiliated in 1927 with Associated Gas and Electric System, a holding company of gas, electric, and water utilities in 16 states, through the ownership and control of its common shares by stockholders and officers of the Associated Gas and Electric System.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Transferred from the Harvard Real Estate Services, Property Information Resource Center. Records were left at the Blackstone Steam Station by Cambridge Electric Light Co. when CELCO sold the plant to Harvard.
Processed: By: Bailey Brunick, January 2019.
- Cambridge Electric Light Company. Cambridge Electric Light Company Records, 1883-1936: A Finding Aid
- Bailey Brunick
- January 2019
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Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository
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