Gas & Electricity I
Gas utilities to provide street lighting became popular in the United States in the mid-19th century. Later these gas light companies faced competition with the introduction of electric lighting. In 1879, San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to have a central generating station for electric customers. The first electric street light was erected in 1888 in front of city hall and the electrical grid supporting it was gradually extended. There was a natural link between gas and electricity. Like many industrial businesses, the gas and electric power providers began as small, often local companies that gradually were combined into large corporations. Consolidation of gas and electric companies solved problems for both utilities by eliminating competition and producing economic savings through joint operation.