Image Courtesy of IMCPL Digital Collections
From 1904 – 1926, the company now known as the Indianapolis Power and Light Company was the Indianapolis Light and Heat Company, as indicated in this advertisement from the May 1922 issue of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Bulletin. However, the history of electrical service in Indianapolis begins in 1881.
In 1881, the Brush Electric Light and Power Company, a subsidiary of the Cleveland company of the same name, incorporated in Indianapolis under the direction of former Indianapolis Mayor John Caven; George W. Stokely of Stokely Brothers & Co.; and Horace P. Clough. Around the same time, Nordyke and Marmon, Inc. established a competing electric company called the Jenney Electric Company, which would be later known as the Marmon-Perry Light Company. Brush Electric Light and Power Company serviced downtown Indianapolis area, and the Marmon-Perry Light Company serviced mostly the west side of Indianapolis.
In 1892, the Indianapolis Light and Power Company acquired control of the Brush Light and Power Company and merged it with the Marmon-Perry Light Company. Ten years later, two more power companies entered the Indianapolis market – Merchants Heat and Light Company, and Home Heating and Lighting Company, which would reorganize in 1905 and become People’s Light and Heat Company. In 1904, the Indianapolis Light and Power Company merged with the Marion County Hot Water Heating Company to form the company featured in this ad, the Indianapolis Light and Heat Company.
In 1912, Merchants and People’s merged under the Merchants Heat and Light Company name, leaving only two power competitors in Indianapolis – Merchants Heat and Light Company, and the Indianapolis Light and Heat Company. In 1926, following the merger of the Indianapolis Light and Heat Company and Merchants Heat and Light Company, Walter C. Marmon and Norman A. Perry formed the Indianapolis Power and Light Company that still exists today.
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