Maine Historical Society



A Past Exhibit

Wired: How Electricity Came to Maine

Exhibit Dates: June 22, 2012 – May 26, 2013

image of carbon filament bulb

Carbon filament bulb with evacuation tip, ca. 1900, photo by Peter Macomber

Wired! explored the electrification of Maine during the 20th century, and how a rural state became modern. Told primarily through material from the Central Maine Power collection, it explored the landscape, mechanics, economics, politics, and culture of electricity.

The story began with efforts to harness the energy of Maine's rivers to power small mills. It spread as entrepreneurs, tinkerers, and investors sought to transmit that energy further and further, and to sell it to businesses and homeowners. Finally, the story was about the grid, and what it took to get it built.

The exhibit explores how Mainers were shaped by power: engineers and linemen who figured out how to deliver electricity to the masses, and people everywhere who overcame initial fears to embrace and rely on it for almost every aspect of their daily lives. As we continue to look for affordable, clean energy, this was a story that joins Maine's past, present, and future.

With gratitude to our corporate sponsor:
Iberdrola USA Foundation, Inc. on behalf of Central Maine Power
   Iberdrola USA Foundation, Inc. on behalf of Central Maine Power

Additional exhibit support provided by:
Davis Family Foundation
Elsie A. Brown Fund
Elsie P. Viles
Knickerbocker Group
Howell Laboratories, Inc., in honor of Paul Wescott

In-kind support provided by:
Casco Bay Engineering
Peter Macomber Photography
Earle W. Noyes & Sons
Bailey Sign
Central Maine Power
Maine Paint
Enel Green Power North America