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Early Electrification of Buffalo: 1925 Residential Electric Bill

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Figure 14.1  Address Side of the Bill
Figure 14.1 Address Side of the Bill

This is the conclusion of a 14 part article.

You may get a chuckle out of the first electric bill for the author's father (Harry Woodworth 1893-1970) for 2-wire 110-V 25-Hz service in the Riverside section of Buffalo in 1925.


Figure 14.1   The address side of the bill.

Note that the bill was printed on a penny postal card. Upon payment the card was cut and this portion returned to the customer.

Postmarks no longer show the time of cancellation.

The customers name, address and account number were printed with a metal Addressograph plate. Note the lack of ‘Buffalo’ and a ZIP code


Figure 14.2   The Billing Side.


Figure 14.2   The Billing Side
Figure 14.2 The Billing Side
Note Niagara Mohawk-National Grid predecessor ‘Buffalo General Electric Company’. The address is the Electric Building; the entrance was later changed from 33 Genesee St. to 535 Washington St.

Usage was one kilowatt-hour at 6 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Gross bill was 6 cents.

Discount for paying before a certain date was 1 cent per kHW.

Net bill was 5 cents; no minimum amount and no taxes.


From the statement “Please preserve this bill and bring it with you when payment is made.” It appears you were expected to pay your bill in person.


Note that this bill was calculated and posted by hand. Current bills are printed on several sheets of paper with all calculations by computer, which enables all the detailed charges including taxes.