Tag Archive: utility

Mar 08

Carry a block of ice or advertise? Choose wisely

This ad from April 6, 1957 seemed to say, "If it wasn't for advertising we would all be carrying 50 pound blocks of ice on our backs."

This ad was a reminder to some adults of the 1950s to recall childhood. It skips over a key point. Before people could have refrigerators, utility lines had to be installed to houses. Very often the utility company bought advertising to expand the franchise as you can see from this 1907 ad. Gas stoves and …

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Dec 10

Atomic Adobe, Diablo Canyon construction site

Ruins of adobe near planned Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant from March 2, 1968. ©The Tribune

The nuclear age dawned almost exactly 70 years ago under an abandoned University of Chicago football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. Physicists Arthur Compton and Enrico Fermi conducted the first nuclear chain reaction. America and Great Britain provided home for many scientists fleeing Fascist oppression. Science thrives with the unfettered exchange of ideas. Ideology is …

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Nov 28

A song on the wires, boom box in the sky

Dave Moore, a splicer for Pacific Bell, takes his listening pleasure with him on the job. Earphones aren't convenient under a hardhat, so Moore lugged his portable radio up 30-feet high and hung it from a convenient wire. He was working at the corner of Pismo and Santa Rosa streets in San Luis Obispo. ©Robert Dyer/Telegram-Tribune

Nothing says 1980s faster than boom box. Transistor radios, wonders of the 60s that would fit in the palm of your hand had sound like a singing chipmunk. Bigger speakers, bigger batteries and you had a portable party, and bonus this one has a cassette tape player. Looks like the dial is set to around …

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Aug 26

Dimout ordered for the West Coast, World War II week by week

Telegram-Tribune August 18, 1942.

A county-wide dimout was ordered for the county as part of a West Coast program to limit navigation aids for enemy aircraft and ships. Barbecue fires were also restricted at night. American bombers flew in force over enemy territory in Europe as a new front was opened in the war against Germany. Bombing would now …

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Apr 09

Morro Bay Power Plant parts on parade

INCHING THROUGH MORRO BAY... The huge generator stator, aboard its 82-tire trailer, touched state highway 1 for the last time as it crossed the coast route at Sixth street in Morro Bay yesterday afternoon. As workmen tediously continued to pick up and put down planks under the 220-ton load, Beyla Truck company's big truck tractor inched the steel giant closer to its destination, the PG&E power plant opposite Morro rock. Curious groups of Morro Bay residents lined the path of the heavy equipment as it approached a short but steep hill leading down to the waterfront level where Bechtel corporation is building the power plant. Three large trucks and a heavy winch unit later were used to anchor and ease the load down the grade. It was delivered safely, without mishap last night after an eight-day move from Camp San Luis Obispo's railroad siding. (©T-T photo) published December 24, 1954

Happy Jack’s bar is at the left as workers use poles to keep the equipment from snagging on utility lines. The explosive growth in California after World War II put a strain on utilities to keep up with demand. The power plant in Morro Bay was one of several new electric generation facilities that PG&E …

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Jan 08

Improvements at the gas works

Gas stove ad from the San Luis Obispo Tribune 1876

UPDATE: So far this is the earliest documentation of gas works I have discovered in San Luis Obispo. It appears that the gas has been on for at about a year and stores were beginning to sell gas stoves and would contract to install a gas line into the house. As previously discussed here, ten …

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Jan 02

Now you’re cookin’ with gas

San Luis Gas & Electric Ad May 14, 1907

May 14, 1907 A little over 100 years ago gas companies were in a bad way. Electricity was proving to be an effective competitor for street lighting franchises and home owners were making the same choice. Why send out lamp lighting staffs to light in the street lamps every evening and shut the valves in …

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Aug 15

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph operators


Here is all the information I have at this point. Pacific TelLibrary13 Jan The images came from a box filled with negatives from 1964 -1966. I searched the microfilm for a clipping in January 1964 and 1965 but this story is proving elusive. One story has pictures from the old library on Morro Street, now …

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