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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Montreal Light Heat & Power
Ad from Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company, "Montreal - The Power City" FromFive Hundred Representative Public Utility Advertisements, 1928 Public Utilities Advertising Association
The left column reads:
"Montreal is a great city because nature and man have combined to make it great. Since 1904 the industrial customers of Montreal Light, Heat and Power have increased from 2,645 to 4,777, in 1926; and the lighting customers from 36,029 to 200,992, while the power demanded to take care of Montreal has increased from 90,000 to 300,000 h.p. This achievement not only proves conclusively that Montreal Light, Heat and Power has provided for Montreal's tremendous expansion during the last fourteen years, but is an evidence of its intention as well as its ability to do so in the future. Another proof of which is to be found in the fact that it has actually available 200,000 h.p. more that the City requires at the present time, not to speak of additional reserve power available from the great group of power plants feeding its system and the additional 100,000 h.p. now under construction.
"Montreal Light, Heat and Power's gas resources also have always been far ahead of the demand for industrial gas heating -- a very necessary and important agent in manufacturing -- for which the demand increases proportionally to that for electricity.
"Montreal Light, Heat and Power will provide for Montreal's growth in the future as it has in the past no matter how great or how rapid the expansion may be.
"We are proud of Montreal, and are grateful for the part we have played in making its development possible."
The right column reads:
"Montreal Light, Heat & Power had available, in reserve and now being developed, supplies of electricity far in excess of any possible requirements of Montreal's present and future industries, public services and homes.
"Never, in the forty years during which this company has been privileged to serve the City, has there been any demand for electric power which it has not been able to meet instantly.
"Linked together through inter-communication arrangements established by Montreal Light, Heat and Power, the resources of Quebec's major generating plants converge on Montreal and the adjacent territory, and no other similar area has such a gigantic reservoir of actual and potential electric energy at its command.
"Comprised in this system are the eleven most important plants in the Province, situated at Ile Maligne, Grand-Mère, Shawinigan Falls, La Gabelle, Cedars Rapids, Soulanges, Ste-Timothée, Lachine, Chambly, Ville Lasalle and the new plant now being built at Back River. Their vast network of transmission and distribution lines tap practically all of Quebec's economically available hydro-electric power and cover the entire industrial belt which centres in Montreal.
"This concentration of electric resources makes for aggressive initiative, combined with great economy, and gives this City and district unequaled opportunities for growth in the wonderful new electric era which the world has entered.
"The average rate for electricity in Montreal is substantially lower than in other similar industrial centres either in Canada or the United States"
Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company was one of the major components of today's Hydro-Québec. All of the plants named in the ad are hydro-power units. Though the company has placed diesel, nuclear, and gas-fueled plants in service over the years, it still relies heavily on hydro-power for generation.
The expectation and desirability of continuing growth, evident in this ad, reflects a common theme of the era -- that expansion of economic and technical systems were signs of beneficial progress. Today, the effects of expanding technical infrastructures generate debate over costs and benefits. The statement of how the company has "supplies of electricity far in excess of any possible requirements of Montreal's present and future [customers]," indicates the scale of thought at the time. The 447.6 mega-watts of power cited as available (1 horse-power = 746 watts) falls short of the 24,590 MW of installed capacity available to Hydro-Québec in 1988.