Boston Edison Company


SKU: 2276or
Product Details

Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from the Boston Edison Company dating back to the 1950's and 1960's. This document, which contains the printed signatures of the company President and Treasurer, was printed by the American Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).

This certificate's vignette features a pair of male figures flanking a power plant.


The images presented are representative of the piece(s) you will receive. When representative images are presented for one of our offerings, you will receive a certificate in similar condition as the one pictured; however dating, denomination, certificate number and issuance details may vary. 

    Historical Context

    The Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Boston was established in 1886. From the beginning, the company established a reputation for innovation in its industry, which was itself in its infancy. Among the key figures in the formation of Boston Edison were electric industry pioneers Edward H. Johnson and Henry Villard. Financier J. P. Morgan, who had invested in many of the country's earliest electric operations, was also involved. The company set up its first station in a two-story building that formerly served as a livery stable and tenement house. Early in 1886, Boston Edison began providing electricity for its first customer, the Bijou Theater, which a few years earlier had become the first electrically lighted theater in the United States, using electricity from an isolated power plant.

    During the 1890s, Boston Edison vied with another company, Boston Electric Light Co., for dominance in Greater Boston. Negotiations for a merger took place around the turn of the century, but plans for uniting the two companies were shot down by some of Boston Edison's directors, including Edgar. Boston Edison effectively put an end to the territorial battle by purchasing a third rival, Suburban Light and Power Company, in 1901. Boston Electric Light Co. was finally merged into Boston Edison in 1902, and the company became the area's sole provider of electric power.

    In 1923 Boston Edison launched its own radio station, WTAT, which it operated out of the back of an REO Speedwagon. WTAT was the first station to be operated by an electric utility company, and may have been the first portable radio station in the United States. The following year, the company added WEEI, a more powerful station which stayed in one place. WEEI became a fixture on New England's radio dials, providing a full range of music, sports, and news programming.

    Today, Boston Edison is an operating unit of NStar.