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1900-1915 - Electricity comes to Annandale

Suffragists | Sport | Industry, Trams & Waste | Artists, Sculptors & Musicians | Beale Pianos | Taylor Bros Jams | Electricity | Politics & Society

Annandale's Electricity Pioneers | Electricty comes to Annandale | Expansion of Electricity Services in Annandale (1916...) | World First in Solar Energy (1994)

footpath access pointThe Sydney City Council, Lighting Committee (1842-1898) was responsible for laying of gas mains and the erecting gas lamps to light the city -

In 1902, The Beale Piano factory opened in Trafalgar Street Annandale and boasted "The various departments are driven by steam and electricity" in their advertising.

5 years after it was first introduced, the bill to enable "An Act to enable the Municipal Council of Sydney to light the streets, also public and private places of the City of Sydney with the Electric Light, and also places outside the said City, and to exercise all powers necessary for such purposes to raised by debentures the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand pounds" was finally passed in 1896. The site proposed for the Power Station was in Kent Street, however the Government resumed the site, and a site at Pyrmont was chosen instead. - A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ELECTRICAL UTILITIES IN NSW (page 3) viewed 15 Nov 2011(

blue bound book labled electric lighting committeeSydney City Council Minutes of the Electric Lighting Committee Items 14/1(1902) & 14/2(1903) - Electric Lighting within the City of Sydney:

Interest in an Electricity Service to Annandale

handwritten letter (Sydney City Archives: 1906/0553 City Electrical Engineer - Town Clerk. Lighting of Annandale.)
Brooklyn, johnston st annandale, 3.2.[190]6
JH Nesbitt Esq
Town Cerk
Dear Sir,
I will be much obliged if you will let me have the following information priately at your earliest as I desire to place it before my committee.
The borough of annandale is lighted at present with 147 incandescent gas lamps. will you give a rough estimate of the yearly cost of the equivalent electric light also the first cost (if any).
I am yours faithfuly sid H Abrams Alderman Annandale
(stamped) received Town Clerk's office 5 feb 1906 received
From the City Electricl Engineers office sydney 24th feb 1906
The Town Clerk Sydney,
lighting of annandale
I regret that the letter from Mr Abrams has been mislaid until today. I presume the Incandescent lamps mentioned are of the usual type, namely, 25CP.
The enquiry is of a very open characte, and is very similar to the enquiry we received from St. Peters last year. Mr Rooke's report on St. Peters, practically answers the Annandale letter, with the exception that our mains could go through Camperdown, who have already granted us permission to do so.
The cost of underground mains would be prohibitiv, and I consider overhead mains the only way to distributed the ight in Annandale. I should recomend that they take Electricity in bulk from us, and we could offer the same terms as Newtown, namely, £7:10:0, kilowatt demand, and a penny per unit in addition, they could than retail it to private consumers at 4½d for lighting and 2d for power at a profit. The Maximum Demand system at our lw rate of 5d and 2d would not pay them to introduce, considering the price they would obtain electricity from us in the first instance. we would of course provide the transforming apparatu and deliver the Electricity on to their switchboard at a low pressure suitable for distributing direct to consumers.
If it suited them better, we could erect all the necessary poles, mains, lamp fittings, if they would pay 5% on the capital expended in the Borough, this would include depreciation, and then charge them for the lighting at the ordinary city rates, namely £26 for Flame and Open Arcs (2500 and 2000 CP) £22 for Enclosed Arcs (1200 CP) and £5 10:0, for 50 CP. Meridians. These prices to include all maintenance charges.
The Information given in Mr Abrams' letter does not allow of more definitive information being given in return.
I have the honour to be, Sir, your obedient servant, signed ACTG, CITY ELEC, ENGINEER, ER
[stamped Electric Lighting committee 26 Feb 1906]
Minutes 14/2 page 390 26th February 1906.
Annandale Extension - Alderman ?? Abrahams by leter dated 3rd February 1906 desired information regarding the lighin of Annandale by electricity.
The acting ciy electrical enginer submited a report dated 24th feburary 1906
Alderman abrams to be asked to call on the Town Clerk

typed letter on letterhead Taylor Bros. - Town Clerk. Query whether electric current will be available at Annandale 1906(Sydney City Archives 1906/1485)
28th September 1906.
The Town Clerk,
Town Hall, Sydney

Dear Sir,
Re electric Power
We shall be glad if you will kindly let us know if above is, or will be, available for Annandale, and if so we should like to get particulars as to cost, regulation &c.
Yours faithfully
signed TaylorBros
Dict HEP
Correspondene between City Electrical Engineers Office, Sydney 3rd October 1906 to Town Clerk, Sydney
Sir, I recommend that Messrs Taylor Bros be informed that the City Council have up to the present regarded favourably various propositions to extend Electric Light cables beyond the City Boundary, and that the supply will shortly be extended to Camperdown.

Before extending, however, it is necessary that they be assured of a reasonable amount of business to justify the outlay, and the permission of the Borough Council, into whose area the supply is carried must also be obtained before the extension is undertaken.
It would not e possible to give a large supply in Annandale until next year, but during next year it would be possible to do so, if satisfactory arrangements can be made betwen the parties concerned.

I have the honor to be,
Your obedient servant
signed JRook
City Electrical Engineer
(back of memo stamped Electric Lighting Committee 8 Oct 1906 and annotated "Deferred Messers Taylor Bros to be informed terms of report")
Reply from Taylor Bros - 16 Oct 1906
The Town Clerk,
Town Clerk's Office, Sydney
Dear Sir,
We thank you for your letter of October 11th no. 1485.06 re the extension of the Electric Light Main to this Surburb. We note your remarks thereon and shall be glad if you will kindly note that we shall be probable users as soon as the extension can be proceeded with
Your faithfully
(signed)Taylor Brothers

Annandale is connected to the Scheme (Source Sydney City Archives)

Annandale and Electricity
The new installation
The City Council is putting the finishing touches to the contract which it entered into some months ago to supply the Municipality of Annandale with electric light, commencing January 1. Some of the lamps are still in a temporary position, owing to the previous gas lamps having been errected on certain kerbs in the middle of the streets and the Australian Gaslight Company could not be asked to remove them until their contract expired. There are now only a few of these to be removed and replaced by the electric light poles... 1911 'THE SUBURBS.', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), 19 January, p. 12, viewed 23 December, 2010


This page last update 17 March 2014.