FPL | Pioneers of Power: 1925-1929
 

Pioneers of Power: 1925-1929

The birth of FPL | The founding company | FPL - a consolidation | Facts about FPL | Early challenges

"You have to strike a match to see if the lights are burning."
Quote: Bradenton newspaper, 1920s.

The birth of FPL

FPL was born in the final days of 1925 when

  • Florida was experiencing the greatest land boom the nation had seen
  • cities were springing up overnight
  • residents were pouring into the state by the thousands and
  • a dependable supply of electricity was desperately needed.

The founding company

FPL's earliest roots can be traced back to Thomas Edison and the General Electric Co. GE created EBASCO (Electric Bond and Share Co.), owner of American Power & Light Co. that held many utilities in the western hemisphere.

FPL - a consolidation

American Power & Light purchased the properties that were consolidated to form FPL on Dec. 28, 1925. The unlikely patchwork of enterprises included small electric generating plants, ice plants, water, gas, fish, telephone, sawmill and street car companies, a steam laundry, an ice factory, a limestone quarry, a sponge fishing boat and even 35 mules and wagons.

Facts about FPL

The new company began its first year of service with

  • 76,000 electric and gas customer accounts serving 58 communities
  • 230 miles of transmission lines
  • 1,149 miles of distribution lines
  • a generating capacity of 70 megawatts and
  • an average price per kilowatt hour for residential service of 8¢.

Early challenges

In the first years of its operation, FPL

  • broke ground for the first power plant construction project -- the 50-megawatt Lauderdale plant
  • began plans to build another "superpower" station at Sanford
  • dealt with the 1926 hurricane that hit Miami with 138-m.p.h. winds and
  • dealt with the 1928 hurricane that buffeted Palm Beach, claiming some 2,000 lives.