Electricity in Chicago

Nuclear power history

Anyone who has been to Chicago agrees it’s a grand city but I didn’t know this:

On an atlas of worldwide electrical cultivation, the brightest zone, the very most intense buildup, would center around Chicago in the decade from 1918 to 1929, when a majority of homes in the city were wired up. Chicago was the most electrified city in the world, with an average per-capita annual consumption by 1925 of nearly 1,000 kilowatt-hours. ffff

The concordance with my book is high. Electricity is what nuclear power is all about and I do need to set the “electricity sector scene.” And the world’s first reactor was built in 1942 in Chicago. But alas, Chicago’s early 20th Century prominence in electricity terms is simply too much detail for me.


Schewe, Phillip F. 2007. The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 77-78.