This week we are featuring a memorandum of agreement that was donated by the City of Story City which details the forming of the electric company. The company was originally formed in 1897 when the city of Story City entered into this agreement with Crellin & Lovell, a business out of Des Moines.
This agreement also establishes an provision for providing street lighting. "One arc lamp and 20 incandescent lamps which shall be kept lighted according to the Philadelphia Moon Light Schedule." According to the EMF Electrical Year Book, Volume 1 published in 1921, in order to make a contract for street lighting it was necessary to know what hours each night that lighting will be required and the total number of hours of lighting to be furnished each year. This was done by agreeing on a definite schedule. The Philadelphia Moon Light Schedule was one of the four most common at the time. Here is the description of the Moon Light Schedule: This schedule provides no lighting when the moon is expected to be bright. Light lamps one hour after sunset until the 4th night of the new moon, also one hour before moonset; extinguish one hour before sunrise, also one hour after moonrise; provide no light at all on the night before, the night of, and the night after a full moon. This schedule results in considerable economy in lighting costs, but makes no allowance for cloudy nights when the moon is obscured.
The first street lights appeared in Story City in August of 1898.