1930 – 1939

When the Great Depression hit, we were fortunate and strong enough to continue operations without having to lay off a single employee. In 1937, we also toured our “Modern All-Electric Kitchen.” The “kitchen” was a fully functioning kitchen built inside a trailer and pulled behind a service vehicle to help spread the word about the wonders of electricity. Our touring kitchen was accompanied by a team of home economists who would demonstrate ranges, refrigerators, mix masters, coffee makers and washing machines. The team would often appear at local fairs and in parades. The 1930s also saw the birth of the oil and gas industry in Alberta. Calgary Power supplied electricity to nomadic oil workers, even in the tents and shacks of their makeshift work camps. In 1939, the company’s first “time control” was introduced at the Ghost Plant. The time control, created by Fred Gaskell, kept electric clocks on time by automatically adjusting the generator speed at the plant. The control was later implemented at all of the company’s hydro plants.

Calgary Power’s “Modern All-Electric Kitchen” went on the road in July 1937 to spread the word about electricity. The first stop was in Airdrie where 40 people – 20 per cent of the town’s population – turned out to see the display.