Bibliography of Electrical Heritage in Australia
The base content of this submission was originally compiled by Mr MacLaren North, Heritage Consultant (firstname.lastname@example.org) for EnergyAustralia in January 2007. It is reproduced here with express permission of EnergyAustralia.
This bibliography represents a list of materials relating to the history and heritage of the electricity industry. It is primarily material related to New South Wales (NSW) and Australia, with a small number of New Zealand, UK and USA references. General references on the history of electricity are not included.
Materials identified in this bibliography are available through institutional libraries and have primarily been identified in the collection of EnergyAustralia and the State Library of NSW.
To search for any of these items across Australia, refer to the Libraries Australia website:
The key texts used for EnergyAustralia’s history are:
- Anderson, Gordon F (1955) Fifty years of Electricity Supply: The story of Sydney’s Electricity Undertaking. Sydney: The Sydney County Council.
- Armstrong, Peter J (2002) From council to corporation: the history of Newcastle's electricity supply. Newcastle: Newcastle Electricity Supply Council Administration / Orion Energy.
- Wilkenfeld, George and Peter Spearritt (2004) Electrifying Sydney. Sydney: EnergyAustralia.
Books and articles
Allbut, Guy (1958) A brief history of some of the features of public electricity supply in Australia and the formation and development of Electricity Supply Association of Australia, 1918-1957. Melbourne: Electricity Supply Association, of Australia.
Andersen, Graeme F. (1992) Electricity supply in Doncaster and Templestowe: a history of the Electricity Department of the City of Doncaster and Templestowe. Doncaster, Vic.: City of Doncaster and Templestowe.
Anderson, Gordon F (1955) Fifty years of Electricity Supply: The story of Sydney’s Electricity Undertaking. Sydney: The Sydney County Council.
Andrews, H. H. (1951) Electricity in transport: over sixty years' experience, 1883-1950. Siemens Bros. & Co. Limited, Dick, Kerr & Company Limited, the English Electric Company Limited. London: English Electric Co., 1951.
Armstrong, Peter J (2002) From council to corporation: the history of Newcastle's electricity supply. Newcastle: Newcastle Electricity Supply Council Administration / Orion Energy.
Association for Electrical Development. (1936) A policy for electrical development / submitted by the Association for Electrical Development. Lindfield, N.S.W.: The Association.
Baker, V. H. (1973) The supply of electricity in North Otago: featuring a short history of Waitaki Electric-power Board, 1923-1973. [Oamaru, N.Z.]: Waitaki Electric-power Board.
Babb, J and Richard Harrison (1996) “The private history of public utilities”. IPA Review Vol 48 (4): 52-55.
Beder, S. (2003) Power Play: the fight for control of the world’s electricity. Melbourne: Scribe.
Boylen, Louise and McIlwraith, John (1994) Power for the People. A history of gas and electricity in Western Australia. Perth: State Energy Commission of Western Australia.
Booth, Robert R (2000) Warring tribes: the story of power development in Australia. West Perth, W.A.: Bardak Group.
Brown, D. Clayton (1980) Electricity for Rural America: The Fight for the R.E.A. Greenwood Press.
Byatt, I. C. R (1979) The British electrical industry, 1875-1914: the economic returns to a new technology. Oxford: Clarendon Press ; New York: Oxford University Press.
Byers, Anthony (1981) The Willing Servants: a History of Electricity in the Home. London: The Electricity Council.
Cabramatta and Canley Vale Council (1941) Cabramatta Canley Vale municipality, 1892-1941. Parramatta: Cabramatta and Canley Vale Council.
Calzonetti, Frank J. (1989) Power From the Appalachians: a Solution to the Northeast's Electricity Problems? Greenwood Press.
Culy, John, E.G. Read and B.D. Wright (1995) The evolution of New Zealand's electricity supply structure. Wellington, N.Z.: NZ Institute of Economic Research.
Donovan, P. F. (1999) Lights! Water! - ACTEW!: a history of ACTEW and its predecessors. Canberra: ACTEW Corporation.
Doran, Christine (1990) Partner in progress: a history of electricity supply in North Queensland from 1897 to 1987. Townsville, Qld.: Dept. of History and Politics, James Cook University.
Douglas, Dallas. (1990) A brief history of electricity in Barcaldine: commemorating 75 years of generation and supply. Rockhampton, Qld.: Capricornia Electricity.
Doyle, Peter (1991) “The sociosemiotics of electricity substations. Discussion of substation façades in terms of interpersonal and textual functions”. Social Semiotics. Volume 1(1): 81-98.
Dunn, Col (1985) The history of electricity in Queensland: an outline of the history of electricity and its progress in Queensland 1882-1984. Bundaberg, Qld.: C. Dunn.
Edwards, Cecil (1969) Brown Power - A Jubilee History of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria. Melbourne: State Electricity Commission of Victoria.
Electricity Authority of NSW (1954) Organisation of Electricity Distribution in the County of Cumberland: Electricity Authority of NSW.
Electricity Commission of New South Wales (1975) Electricity supply in New South Wales: twenty five years of progress, 1950-1975. Sydney.
Electricity Commission of New South Wales (1960) The development of electricity supply in New South Wales: an outline for students. Sydney: The Commission.
Energy Supply Association of Australia Ltd (2005) Electricity Gas Australia 2005 CD ROM Version. Melbourne: The Association.
Electricity Trust of South Australia (1983) The Leigh Creek coalfield 1888-1982. Eastwood, S. Aust.: The Trust.
Electrical Trades Union (2003) 100 Years of Lighting the Way, Sydney: Electrical Trades Union.
Fetscher, Mark (2001) The power makers: the history of the Central Coast and Hunter Valley power generating stations. Charlestown, N.S.W.
Fetscher, Mark (2003) The power stations of the N.S.W.G.R. Charlestown, N.S.W.
Fetscher, Mark (2004) The power stations of the Sydney County Council. Charlestown, N.S.W.
Gill, Herman (1949) Three decades: the story of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria from its inception to December 1948. Melbourne: Hutchinson, 1949.
Hannah, Leslie (1979) Electricity before nationalisation: a study of the development of the electricity supply industry in Britain to 1948. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Hannah, Leslie (1982) Engineers, Managers, and Politicians: The First Fifteen Years of Nationalized Electricity Supply in Britain. Johns Hopkins Univ Pr.
Harvey, Colin (1993) Yallourn Power Station: a history, 1919 to 1989 [Melbourne]: State Electricity Commission of Victoria.
Hermann, A. E. (2002) Development of Rockhampton and district. [Rockhampton]: Central Queensland Family History Association.
Hinton of Bankside, Lord (1979) Heavy Current Electricity In The United Kingdom: History And Development. Pergamon Press.
Hughes, Thomas. P (1983) Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880-1930. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press
John Fairfax Ltd. (2004) “100 years of electricity, 1904-2004: Sydney lights up: a centenary of power”. Supplement issued with the Sydney Morning Herald, July 8, 2004.
Larcombe, F. A. (1978) The advancement of Local Government in New South Wales 1906 to the Present (A History of Local Government in New South Wales Vol 3). Sydney: Sydney University Press in association with the Local Government and Shires Association of NSW.
Linn, Rob (1996) ETSA: The story of electricity in South Australia. Adelaide, S. Aust.: Historical Consultants for ETSA.
Lobsey, Ian R (1988) City of light: a history of the Tamworth Electricity Undertaking and Peel-Cunningham County Council 1888-1988. Tamworth [N.S.W.]: Peel-Cunningham County Council.
Low, Robert A. (2004) Switched on in the Hunter: a history of electricity supply to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley 1889-1996. Newcastle, N.S.W.: Energy Australia.
Low, R. A. (1990?) Switched on in the west: a history of electricity supply to Parramatta and the western region of Sydney 1890 to 1990 [Parramatta, N.S.W.]: Parramatta and District Historical Society
Lupton, Roger (1999?) Lifeblood: Tasmania's hydro power. Edgecliff, N.S.W.: Focus Publishing.
Maguire, F. (1966) ‘Instability in the Development of the Electricity Supply Industry in New South Wales’ Australian Quarterly Vol. 38 (March 1966).
Manning, Maurice & Moore Mcdowell (1985) Electricity Supply in Ireland: The History of the ESB. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Martin, John E (ed) (1991) People, politics and power stations: electric power generation in New Zealand, 1880-1990. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams Books and Electricity Corporation of New Zealand.
McNichol, Tom (2006) AC/DC: the savage tale of the first standards war. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mill, Alec (1979) History of the electrical wiring regulations in New Zealand. [Wellington]: New Zealand Electricity.
Monaro Electricity (1989) 40 years of essential service. [Cooma, N.S.W.]: Monaro County Council.
Morwood, J.E. (1968) History of electricity supply in Brisbane. Brisbane, Australian Institution of Engineers.
Munson, Richard (2005) From Edison to Enron: the business of power and what it means for the future of electricity. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers.
Naor, Mordecai (2003) The Gift of Electricity: A History of the Israel Electric Corporation. Yad Ben-Zvi.
Negru, John (1990) The Electric Century: An Illustrated History of Electricity in Canada: The Canadian Electrical Association 1891 – 1991. Toronto: Canadian Electrical Association.
Nye, David E. (1992) Electrifying America; Social meaning of a new technology 1880-1940. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press.
Oakville Hydro-Electric Commission (1982) A Short History of Electricity in Oakville, 1907-1982.
Orchard (1948) A Brief History Of The Watford Corporation Electricity Undertaking 1898-1948.
Payne, Christopher (2002) New York's Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Pearce, S.L. (1924) Municipal Council of Sydney - Electricity Supply Undertaking. SydneyMunicipal Council.
Pola, John R. (1983) The Greatest Servant: A Social History of the Electrical Trades Union (NSW Branch). Sydney: 2B Graphics.
Poulter, J. D (1986) An Early History of Electricity Supply: the Story of the Electric Light in Victorian Leeds. London: Peter Peregrinus (IEE History of Technology Series, 5)
Prospect County Council (1968) A brief history of the Prospect County Council. [Merrylands, N.S.W.: s.n].
Rann, Ann (1998) Electricity industry restructuring: a chronology. [Canberra]: Dept. of the Parliamentary Library.
Read, Peter (1986) The organisation of electricity supply in Tasmania. Sandy Bay [Tas.]: University of Tasmania.
Ross, John Nigel (1988) Life lines: Water and electricity in the Southern Riverina 1938-1988. [Wagga Wagga, N.S.W.]: Southern Riverina County Council.
Sheail, John (1991) Power in Trust: the Environmental History of the Central Electricity Generating Board. Oxford at the Clarendon Press.
Smith, F.J and Johnson (1922) Municipal Council of Sydney Electricity Supply Department: Report by Messrs. F.J. Smith & Johnson. Sydney: W.E. Smith Ltd.
Smith, Neil, (1988) Electricity in Queensland. Brisbane: Queensland Division, Royal Australian Institute of Public Administration. Monograph / R.A.I.P.A. (Queensland Division); No. 10.
St. George County Council (1932) St. George County Council electricity supply undertaking: twelve years of progress 1920-1932.
St. George County Council (1970) The story of St. George County Council and electricity. Kogarah, N.S.W.: St. George County Council.
St. George Country Council (1970) The first fifty years, 1910-1970: electricity supply undertaking. Sydney: St. George Country Council.
Snowy Mountains Authority (1973) History of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and notes on electricity generation and irrigation aspects. [Cooma, N.S.W.].
State Electricity Commission of Victoria (n.d.) Yallourn, 1938. [Melbourne]: State Electricity Commission of Victoria.
State Electricity Commission of Victoria (1954) Water into power: hydro-electric development in Victoria. Melbourne, Vic.
Stratton, Michael (1995) Ironbridge and the Electric Revolution: The History of Electricity Generation at Ironbridge A and B Power Stations. John Murray Pubs Ltd.
Strong, B. W. and John L. Revel (1994?) A brief history of early electricity generation in Alice Springs. [Darwin]: Power and Water Authority.
Sykes, F (1960) Development of the Electricity Supply System and the Future of Nuclear Power in New South Wales, Journal of the Institution of Engineers Australia Vol. 32 (July-August 1960).
Thomis, Malcolm I (1990) A history of the electricity supply industry in Queensland. Volume I, 1888-1938. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications for Queensland Electricity Commission.
Thomis, Malcolm I (1990) A history of the electricity supply industry in Queensland. Volume II, 1938-1988. Brisbane: Boolarong Publications for Queensland Electricity Commission.
Wakelin, D (1947) Fifty years of progress, 1896-1946: being a history of the foundation and development of the company. Adelaide: Adelaide Electricity Supply Company. White, Anthony (1990) Architecture of Electrical Substations: A Select Bibliography. Architecture Series Bibliography #A 2335. Monticello Illinois: Vance Bibliographies.
Wilkenfeld, George and Peter Spearritt (2004) Electrifying Sydney. Sydney: EnergyAustralia.
Williams, Raye. (1983) An electric beginning: a history of electricity supply in the Mackay region 1924-1983. Mackay, Qld.: Mackay Electricity Board.
Brady, Frank (1994) Electricity supply in New South Wales, the first century and beyond. An address to the Heritage Committee, Sydney Division, Institute of Engineers, Australia. Originally delivered 17th October 1994.
Brady, Frank (ed.) (1996) Dictionary on Electricity – Contribution on Australia. Unpublished chapter of a proposed book by CIGRE. With later additions by David Burger.
Cinetel Productions (2003) White Bay power station 1919 - 1984 an oral history. Cinetel productions for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. [video recording]
Clark, John (2004) The Technical History of the Sydney Electricity Distribution System. Unpublished manuscript.
The Electricity Trust of South Australia (1949?) Jubilee souvenir of public electricity supply in South Australia. S.A. Electric Light & Motive Power Co., the Brush Electrical Engineering Co. Ltd., Electric Light & Traction Co., Adelaide Electric Supply Co. Ltd., The Electricity Trust of South Australia, 1899-1949. [Adelaide?: s.n.]
Glass, Edward (1968?) The Story of the Installation and Development of Electricity Supply to the City of Parramatta. Unpublished memoirs, held by the Powerhouse Museum. Sydney NSW.
Jobson, Sandra (1999) Power to the People. Unpublished manuscript.
Rosen, Sue (2000) Live wires! Advance Energy 2000 oral history project. Epping, N.S.W.: Sue Rosen & Associates.
Spearritt, Andrew (1983) ‘The Electrification of the Home in New South Wales, 1920-1960’ Unpublished BA (Hons) Thesis, Department of History, University of Sydney.
Sproule, John (1997) How electricity came to Sydney's northern suburbs. [Sydney, N.S.W.]: the Author.
Sydney County Council (1954) Proceedings of the special meeting to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of the public supply of electricity in the City of Sydney [Sydney: Produced for the Sydney County Council by Oswald Ziegler].
Upper Hunter County Council (1970?) A career in electricity with the Upper Hunter County Council. [Muswellbrook, N.S.W.].
Wilkenfeld, George (1989) ‘The Electrification of the Sydney Energy System 1881 – 1986’, Unpublished thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Centre for Environmental and Urban Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Wilson, J. and Burke, E.H. (1960) ‘Planning of the Electricity Supply System in Sydney’, paper presented to the Electrical and Communications Engineering Branch of the Institution of Engineers, 26 May 1960.
Anne Bickford and Associates (1996) Lithgow power station site: history and archaeological assessment.
Bickford, Anne (2005?) Report on Energy Australia's decommissioned City Central Substation, Blackwattle Place, Cockle Bay, Sydney. Report for EnergyAustralia.
C & M J Doring Pty Ltd (1993) Bunnerong Power Station Switch House 1926 to 1993: an account of the history and a description of the switch house of the former Bunnerong Power Station at Military Road, Matraville, in the City of Randwick together with an assessment of its heritage significance.
Design 5 Architects (2004) White Bay Power Station Conservation Management Plan (5 volumes). Report prepared for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.
Environmental Resources Management Australia Pty Ltd (2000) Statement of heritage impact: former electricity substation, 10 Grand Avenue, Rosehill. For CSR Monier Wunderlich Pty Ltd by.
Godden Mackay Pty. Ltd. (1990) Tallawarra Power Station: heritage assessment. Report for the Electricity Commission of NSW.
Godden Mackay (1994) Tramway Workshops, Depots and Substations. Report prepared for the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
Godden Mackay (1995) Industrial heritage of power generation: A framework for heritage management (4 volumes). Report prepared for the Electricity Supply Association of Australia.
Hume, Linda (2003) East Ryde Electricity Substation No. 79, 293 Pittwater Road Ryde: Conservation management plan. Avalon Beach: Sarasan Pty Ltd.
Rappoport Pty Ltd. (2005) Proposed refurbishment of substation S163 Wentworth Merchant (163 Wentworth Avenue, Mascot): Heritage impact statement. Report for EnergyAustralia.
Rendel, Palmer & Tritton (1937) Report on Electrical Development in New South Wales. Sydney: NSW Government Printer.
Schwager Brooks and Partners (1994) Sydney Electricity Section 170 Heritage and Conservation Register (3 volumes).
Suters Architects (2002) EnergyAustralia Hunter and Central Coast Section 170 Heritage and Conservation Register.
Other technical material of relevance
Andrews, Leonard (1904) Electricity control: a treatise on electric switchgear and systems of electrical transmission. London: Charles Griffin.
Batson, L.D. Electrical Development and Guide to Marketing of Electrical Equipment in Australia, United States Department of Commerce, Washington 1927
Bracken, E. F. (1930) Electric Stations and Substations. Scranton, PA: International Textbook Company.
Brazil, H (1928) Electrical substations. London: Edward Arnold & Co.
Chambers, Ann (1999) Power Primer: a nontechnical guide from generation to end use. Tulsa, Okla.: Pennwell Pub.
Coates, William Anselm (1924) The choice of switchgear: for main- and sub-stations. London: Blackie and Son.
Collis, A. G. (1913) High and low tension switchgear design. London: Constable.
DRG (1995) Review of the structure of electricity distribution in New South Wales. Sydney: Distribution Review Group. August 1995.
Garrard, Charles Cornfield (1920) Electric switch and controlling gear: a handbook on the design, manufacture and use of switchgear and switchboards in central stations, factories and mines. London: Benn Brothers.
General Electric Company (1915) Railway Substations. Schenectady, NY: General Electric Company. GE Bulletin No. 44090. March 1915.
Hayes, Stephen Quentin (1921) Switching equipment for power control. New York ; London: McGraw-Hill.
International Correspondence Schools (1919) I.C.S. Reference Library: Electric Transmission, Switchgear, Underground Mains, Overhead Mains, Substations, Voltage Regulation. London: International Correspondence Schools, Ltd.
Kurtz, Edwin (1924) Substation operation. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
Pike, Charles H (1943) Substation plant and equipment; a survey of the practice and principles of modern substation engineering with particular reference to recent developments. London: Newnes.
Taylor, William T. (1913) Transformer practice: manufacture, assembling, connections, operation and testing. New York ; London: McGraw-Hill.
Brisbane Water County Council Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1942-1979
City of Greater Newcastle Electric Supply Department Annual Report 1943-1956
EnergyAustralia Annual Report 1996-
Hunter Valley County Council Annual Report
Mackellar County Council Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1952-1979
Municipal Council of Sydney Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1904-1935
Note 1910-1923 are statements of accounts only – no detailed reports published.
Municipal Council of Sydney Minutes of the Electric Lighting Committee 1901-1948. City of Sydney Archives (Series # 14)
Orion Energy Annual Report 1995-1996
Shortland County Council Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1957-1993
Shortland Electricity Annual Report 1987-1994
St. George County Council Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1936-1979
Sydney County Council Electricity Supply Undertaking Annual Report 1936 -1990
Sydney Electricity Annual Report 1991-1995
Upper Hunter County Council Annual Report
Historic electrical milestones in Australia
The story of electricity supply in the Wolverhampton area
Some on-line books and other historical reports are available here:http://www.energyaustralia.com.au/energy/ea.nsf/Content/NSW+general+reports