A History of Electric Light
On September 4, 1882, one square mile of lower Manhattan was aglow with light as the first commercial power station went into operation. Thanks to Thomas Edison's brilliance, for about 24 cents per kilowatt hour, 59 customers were provided with lights and electricity at night. By the late 1880s, the demand for that service had grown so much that small power stations could be found in many U.S. and European cities. We're still amazed by all the practical and aesthetic possibilities offered by lighting.