A Map of Which State Had the Most Electricity in 1921

Illustration for article titled A Map of Which State Had the Most Electricity in 1921

1921 must have been a weird (read: terrible) year to live in the United States. They were getting out of World War I but not quite in the Roaring Twenties yet. They were beginning to suffer through Prohibition and judging by this map of electricity users, if you didn't live on the East Coast, you were probably screwed when it came to electricity.


The map by General Electric pretty much re-sizes US states according to the number of household users of electricity in each state in 1921. The northeastern part of the US obviously dominates with a lot of electricity while the south and west getting squished out with none. The Star Tribune writes:

New York ranks first, having an electrical population (served by central stations) of 8,620,700, or 78.7 per cent of its actual population. The second largest state is Pennsylvania, with an electrical population of 6,330,000, or 68.8 per cent of the actual population; third, Illinois, with 5,150,000, or 79.8 per cent; fourth, Massachusetts, with 4,030,000 or 97,8 per cent; fifth, Ohio, with 3,550,000, or 66.1 per cent, and sixth, California, with 2,827,000, or 86.5 per cent.

At the time, only 57.3 percent of the United States had electricity (~62 million out of ~108 million). Washington DC actually had the highest percentage of electrical households at 98.2. Tough times, those were. [Star Tribune via Neatorama]


The map looks as it does because of the Niagara Falls power plant. It went on line in 1896 and for many years was by far the largest power plant in the US.