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Madison Gas and Electric Company Powerhouse

Madison Gas and Electric Company Powerhouse


The historic portion of the Madison Gas and Electric Company, the boiler and generator house, was completed in 1902 and remodeled in 1915. Its architects chose Neoclassical designs for both portions, which symbolized the power of early twentieth century institutions and helped to market an image of this private utility as a public servant. The rapid growth of MG & E mirrors the expansion of the city of Madison itself. However, rather than wait for natural population growth to increase demand, the Madison Gas and Electric Company pursued new customers through innovative means such as cooking classes where housewives were taught using gas appliances. MG&E also sold gas appliances on an installation payment plan of $13.00 a month, which they advertised in newspapers. These initiatives were so successful that by 1902, more than half the homes in Madison were equipped with gas appliances. In the 1920s, the company began to emphasize electric appliances over gas.

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Related Topics: Industrialization and Urbanization
The Introduction of Electrical Power
Creator: Claude and Starck (1902); Mead and Seastone (1915)
Pub Data: Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places.
Citation: Madison Gas and Electric Company Powerhouse. Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1411; Visited on: 4/16/2014
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