EL&P remembers WWII

The ’40s were overshadowed by one major historical event: the second world war. EL&P in the 1940s was, understandably, no exception to that shadow.

While the decade started out with a “prophecy” about the New Deal leading to economic downfall for utilities, Washington Correspondent Ralph Elliot had already tinted his opinions with the inevitability of war-although his war came from a business angle.

“Two major problems will confront the utilities in 1940,” he wrote. “One will be the burden of establishing that the industry is capable of meeting the nation’s power requirements and will probably involve another battle in the utilities’ struggle for self-preservation against the anti-utility forces in Washington.”


This flared skirt of buckets for an 80,000 kW turbine is unique. The buckets are of steel. The cost is $5,000. Courtesy of GE. (EL&P, January 1940, page 73.)
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The second major problem? The possibility of broad enforcement of the Holding Company Act.

The possibility of war outside the business arena crept into EL&P’s focus in 1941. The magazine began to talk of increased security forces at power plants and run “victory” ads that already had a slight war slant.

By 1942-the first issue published after Pearl Harbor-it was obvious that even this industry magazine was in the thick of things. New, bolder ads commanded readers to “use copper wisely,” “do not waste,” or “conserve rubber.” Articles popped up on “The Response to War Demand,” “Will Camouflage Protect Power Plants?” and women in the workplace. The December 1942 issue had a cover with electrical appliances wrapped in ribbon and tied back to a savings bond. The caption read “Bonds mean freedom from [caricatures of Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini] now and freedom from household drudgery later.”


EL&P covers women in the war effort: Florida Light & Power has also employed women as mechnics’ helpers. This one is using an oxy-acetylene torch. (EL&P, Sept. 1943, page 45.)
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But, some trends did continue as usual. EL&P annually covered EEI’s convention, and the range survey made its annual appearance as well. In 1945, they started an annual lighting issue, and when the troops returned from the war, they dissected the need for technical manpower in an expanding economy.


Making analyses of oil, water and coal in the plant laboratory of Atlantic City Electric Co. (EL&P, Sept. 1943, page 45.)
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In June 1947, EL&P marked its silver anniversary with an issue that ran a modest 367 pages. For the first time, there was a minimal charge: $2.00.


Miss W.E. Moulton, a truck driver and materials hustler, is shown getting ready to go out on the job. (EL&P, Sept. 1943, page 44.)
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