This is the story of a lowly, smelly rock that now sits on a shelf in my living room, and the tale it can tell. It’s a tangible link to a tale that spans 120 years, telling a story that weaves together American industry and capitalism at the dawn of the 20th century, an isolated ore-hauling railroad in Alaska, shipwrecks and piracy on the high seas, salvage rights, and reality television into one single narrative.
Huh? Just go ahead and pause until your brain works through that last sentence. Then read on.
Two weekends ago, when I was up working the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club booth at the Rocky Mountain Train Show in Denver, I came across an old Public Service Co binder of photos for sale. Unlike most stuff at the show, most of the photos inside weren’t railroad related, and the vendor sold me the whole thing for a $20. Inside were all sorts of photos from the Denver Gas & Electric Light Company.
Denver Gas & Electric Light Co was created out of Denver’s two major utility players in 1910 – the Denver Gas & Electric Company and Lacombe Electric Company. It lasted until 1923, when it was merged with a number of other utilities to create Public Service Co., which eventually became Xcel Energy today.
If you like vintage vehicles, vintage utility equipment, or just old views of Denver, read on…