in Wisconsin History
The Introduction of Electrical Power
Today, most people take electricity for granted. Asked where it comes from, most would respond, "out of the wall." Yet before the 1880s, no one had access to electrical power, and until the 1930s very few Wisconsin farms had electricity. Constructing power lines and generating the energy that flowed over them were costly investments that few farmers could afford. Power companies were reluctant to subsidize rural electrification because it was more profitable to provide service to cities. The Depression only emphasized the large disparity between urban and rural life in Wisconsin. Electric power not only helped with farm work, but... more...