, Derry, New Hampshire


January 17, 2013

Column: Derry was late to adopt electric lighting


The next year, the Derry Electric Company was formed. Soon it was stringing its wires all over Derry Village and the Broadway area. By 1897, the Derry Electric Company had stretched about 35 miles of wires. Its dynamos in its plant on Maple Street powered 50 arc street lights and 1,200 incandescent light bulbs. For the first time in history the night-time streets of the old town weren’t dark. These street lights however were left on only from dusk to midnight when they were turned off. Why waste money on electricity when no one would — or should be walking around on our streets after midnight. The street lights were also not turned on during nights when the selectmen deemed there was sufficient moon light for people to travel safely.


Rick Holmes is the official town historian of Derry. His office hours at the Municipal Center are Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Several of his books on local history are available at Mack’s Apples and Derry’s libraries.

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