Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, November 21, 2010, pg. 27

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Donít forget that my books "Albion in Review," and "Growing Up in Albion" are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce. Have both on hand to place on the coffee table this Thanksgiving weekend for friends and relatives to look at while they wait for the turkey to get done. Is there a photo of a relative of yours in my books?

Remember when utilities sold appliances? Here in Albion you could go to the Southeastern Michigan Gas Company at 308 S. Superior St. (present site of the Secretary of Stateís Office) and look through their selection of gas stoves. Or, you could go to 121 E. Erie St. and view the various electric stoves and refrigerators at the Consumerís Power Company. The Michigan Bell Telephone Company at 210 S. Clinton St. of course sold telephones. You would also pay your utility bills at these respective offices.

The electric and gas utilities were in competition. Albion was one of the places where Consumerís would not sell you a gas stove, but only an electric one. That is because the Southeastern Michigan Gas Company held the local gas franchise. You could however buy a gas stove in Jackson, where Consumerís had a monopoly. When the gas company began selling residential outdoor gas lights in the 1960s, the competition lit up.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the Consumerís Power booth at the Albion Home Show, held at the National Guard Armory on E. North St. (Quonset building) in May, 1957. Displayed are various electric-powered refrigerators, freezers, stoves, and an oven. From left to right: La Vere Oxenrider, Russ Reynolds wearing a chef outfit, Consumerís manager Donald J. Gilbert, and Art Sears. Inside the oven is a coffee cup, which is being heated. This was before microwave ovens were invented.

The signs state, "Live Better, Electric. Styled for the Future." How many of our readers purchased an electric stove at Consumerís Power Company on E. Erie St.?

The Consumerís Power Booth at the Albion Home Show, in May 1957

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago, December 1910

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