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DUBUQUE ELECTRIC RAILWAY, LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY

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Stock certificate
DUBUQUE ELECTRIC RAILWAY, LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY.
Special ticket book. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Special ticket book. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

Dubuque Electric Railway, Light and Power Coany was started in 1889 by the Allen and Swiney Company. In 1890 the company entered a three-part bidding contest with the UNITED STATES ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY and the DUBUQUE STREET RAILWAY COMPANY for a contract to place between 35-70 electric lights at intersections within the city limits of Dubuque. Although U.S. Electric won the bid, it was unable to complete the work within the set amount of time and the work was given to Dubuque Electric.

On October 25, 1890 the first permanent electric lights were turned on at fifty traffic intersections. These replaced the gas lamps that had been used since the 1860s. Electric lights became increasingly popular and the number of lights around the city expanded.

The first electric street lights were set to the "Philadelphia Moonlight Schedule." This requirement stated that the street lights had to be lit within one hour after sunset until one hour before the rising moon. During cloudy weather, the lights remained on all night.

The Dubuque Electric Railway, Light and Power Company purchased the Key City Electric in 1893 and was reorganized as the DUBUQUE LIGHT AND TRACTION COMPANY.

Employee photograph. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
The long sign in the right of this photo identifies the company headquarters near the Julien