Why Is Scranton Called The Electric City?

Scranton, Pennsylvania has been referred to as “The Electric City” since the late 19th century – but why? Here we explore why Scranton was a leader in pioneering electricity at the time and why it earned the nickname “The Electric City.

” We’ll also look at the history of electricity in Scranton and its impact on the area. So get ready to spark up some learning as we explore why Scranton is “The Electric City. ”


Scranton, Pennsylvania is known as the Electric City due to its access to electricity early in the 20th century. The city has been connected to its early electrical grid since 1902, with the first of many electric power plants built by the Scranton Gas and Electric Company.

In this article, we explore the reasons for this nickname and how it has helped shape the identity of Scranton.

History of Electricity in Scranton

In 1902, the Scranton Gas and Electric Company (SG&E) was incorporated.

It was the first of many electric power plants built in the city. This was made possible through the generous investment of coal magnate Joseph G. Bishop, who had acquired thousands of acres of coal land in the area.

Bishop was determined to bring electric power to Scranton, allowing the city to gain a competitive edge over its industrial rivals. By 1904, SG&E had built five power plants and began servicing the city’s electrical needs.

As a result, the city quickly earned its nickname as the Electric City.

Electric City’s Impact on Scranton

The nickname of “Electric City” helped to transform Scranton from a sleepy coal-mining town into an industrial powerhouse. In the early years, SG&E provided electricity to a variety of customers including industrial plants, businesses, homes, and streetcars.

The electric power infrastructure that SG&E built allowed the city to not only compete with other cities in the area but also to expand its economy. The introduction of electricity also helped to revolutionize the city’s industry.

Electric motors were used to power manufacturing operations. This enabled factories to run faster, boosting productivity and allowing businesses to remain competitive.


The nickname “Electric City” is a reminder of Scranton’s proud industrial heritage and the pivotal role that access to electricity played in helping the city become a thriving center of industry. Since 1902, the electric infrastructure built by SG&E has enabled Scranton to become a successful and competitive city. https://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Scranton

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