Thursday 31 October 2019

Talk by Debbie Rudder

Early History of Electricity Generation in Australia

The photo below shows George Street, Sydney, in the early twentieth century. Electric trams arrived in 1899 and electric street lights in 1904. But electricity was not new: the photo also shows evidence of the telephone system, which was predated by the electric telegraph. The talk will cover how electricity was generated for each of these systems, the competition between suppliers, and the history of electricity in switched-on towns such a Launceston and Tamworth as well as in the big cities.

Debbie Rudder was Curator of Power Technologies at the Powerhouse Museum from 1990 to 2014. In that time, she fielded many public enquiries about the first use of electricity in Sydney or Australia. She will reveal all the possible answers during her talk.

ASHET talk

Venue: History House, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Time: 5.30 for 6 pm
Cost: includes light refreshments on arrival; RAHS and ASHET members $10, others $12
Bookings: phone RAHS on (02) 9247 8001 or email