Early Electrification of Buffalo: 1925 Residential Electric Bill
185 You may get a chuckle out of my Dad’s first electric bill for 2-wire 110-V 25-Hz service in the Riverside section of Buffalo in 1925.
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
186 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 ents.
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.
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