Business: Powermen to Arms

Not long after Samuel Insull fled Chicago for Greece, the power industry in a fine show of hindsight set out to reform its trade associations. In the public's mind the old National Electric Light Association was linked with unconscionable private propaganda and the name of the domineering Midwest utilitarian. Invoking the shade of their more saintly patron, the powermen reconstituted their body as the Edison Electric Institute. Leadership passed to the great power companies of the so-called Morgan-Drexel-Bonbright group—a shift calculated in those days to inspire nothing if not complete public...

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