Rural Electrification

Although we think of electricity becoming a common item around the late 19th century, rural America did not see electricity for a long time after. In the 1920s, electricity was a common occurrence in big cities, but by this time, still nothing reached the rural areas. In 1933, the Tennessee Valley Authority was founded, which brought electricity to the Tennessee Valley [1]. The was one of the first times this was done, and sparked (haha) more companies to do the same.

Although it took this long to get widespread electricity, farmers wanted it a lot sooner. In the early 1910’s, some companies began to take interest in gaining the rural market [1].  They believed that using electricity on farms could greatly help, so the Secretary of Agriculture decided to make a census in 1913 to find out how many were being used. Although there was talk and a good amount of lawsuits, nothing was really done until after WWI.  

Although the fight went on and on for the entirety of the early 20th century, ,nothing was really done. There were lots of lawsuits and arguments.

Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior

In 1934, Secretary Ickes was given reports on the economic feasibility of rural electrification . This concluded that is was a necessary feature to help boost the economy. [1] It eventually happened, but it took lots of research and fighting to be able to start it up.



  1. Morris Llewellyn Cooke, “The Early Days of the Rural Electrification Idea: 1914-1936,” 1948

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