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The nation's first unified electric power utility in Milwaukee

Public Service Building


In the mid-1880s railroad financiers Henry Villard and Henry Payne purchased and developed the Milwaukee Railway Company and the Edison Electric Illuminating Company with hopes to create a power and traction monopoly. The consolidation of these companies gave Milwaukee the first unified electric power utility in the nation, known as the Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Company. John Beggs replaced Payne in 1897 and built the "interurban" streetcar system. In 1905 their new Public Service Building became the center of this transportation network. In 1938 the company was restructured and became the Wisconsin Electric Power Company, which later became WeEnergies.

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Related Topics: Industrialization and Urbanization
The Introduction of Electrical Power
Automobile Culture
Creator: Esser, Herman J.
Pub Data: Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places.
Citation: Public Service Building. Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places. Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1457; Visited on: 4/19/2014
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