Installation of Electric Light, 1901

For some weeks in October and November 1901, workmen had been engaged fitting electric light in the Priory Bar, the property of Mr John Roberts.

Work had been completed by the end of November 1901 and on Wednesday 19th November 1901, electric light was turned on for the first time. This was a significant milestone for Blantyre, representing the first time electric light was used in any property and able to be switched on and off in Blantyre in a controlled manner. This was state of the art, a modern wonder which illuminated the bottom part of Logan Street at its junction with Glasgow Road, the whole area noticeably brighter than anywhere else in Blantyre at night.

I did wonder why Mr Roberts was first to receive electric light and suspect this was simply a private arrangement, between private companies and a wealthy businessman. Still, this was a noteworthy event. Anybody living at St Andrews Court, at the new homes built by Glenesk, especially those properties facing out on to the petrol station can confidently state they’re living on the very land that was first illuminated by electric light in Blantyre.

It would take until the 1920’s for most of Glasgow Road to be illuminated by electric lighting. The former Priory Bar at the bottom of Logan Street is pictured from Glasgow Road in 1977.

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