With a view to put at rest the question whether local electric lighting companies are profitable investments, we have recently addressed a circularletter to the general managers of a number of such companies, both East and West, asking for their experience in the matter. We have directed our inquiry in this instance particularly to those operating the Thomson-Houston system. We have received answers from all parts of the country, and the general tenor of the replies is that many of their local companies are earning better dividends than are yielded by the majority of other new enterprises. The question of profit rests first with the locality, and thtl,n, if this be judiciously chosen, with the system employed and the ability displayed in the management. Of those who have stated the exact profits of their investment, we believe the highest returns came from Omaha, Nebraska, where a company, operating four 30 light dynamos, had earned at the end of the first three months after incorporation 4J,G per cent on the investment, or at the rate of 18 per cent per annum. Two more dynamos of the same capacity have since been added to their plant. The gentlemen connected with this company are so well pleased with these results that they procured a franchise for operating in Des Moines, Iowa. They began by running 65 arc lamps, but have since increased their plant. Replies have also been received from Washington, St. Louis, Worcester, Terre Haute, Auburn, Me., Salem, Mass., Quincy, 1ll., Kansas City, etc., which confirm these results, and state emphatically the belief of the writers in the desirability of electric lighting as an _ investment. These conclusions, although derived from the working ot the particular lighting .system we have named, Uay be equally valid and reliable for other systems. now before the public, although we are advised that a greater number of local companies are operating their system than any other, and we find these companies uniformly successful so far as our inquiries have extended. There is room for great extensions of these local lighting companies in all parts of this and foreign countries.
This article was originally published with the title "Electric Lighting as an Investment"