The Day The Lights Came On

The Museum of the Albemarle opens its newest exhibitThe Day The Lights Came On is an exhibit featuring how the power of electricity changes people’s lives and businesses in the Albemarle region. 


Large towns in northeastern North Carolina were introduced to electricity around 1890. Electricity became more widespread to rural communities by the 1950s. Power meant access to new inventions. Electricity was new, especially to those who had lived their entire lives without it. Homes could use electric appliances such as radios, irons, refrigerators, washing machines, electric stoves, and vacuum cleaners. Farms began using electric milking machines, electric coolers, electric heaters, and automatic waterers. Florists, morgues, candy factories, ice plants, textile mills, saloons and other businesses in the region all changed the day the lights came on.


In the exhibit, you can explore how electricity and its resulting inventions impacted people: Did these new forms give people more leisure time?


Today, numerous methods can generate electricity, including windmills, solar panels, hydroelectric plants, nuclear reactors, natural gas, and coal-burning stations. New energy-efficient and renewable-energy standards are being set throughout the nation.