Insull

Overview

Next to Thomas Edison, Samuel Insull is the name you should remember as the most important and perhaps the most notorious person in the utility business. He was the billionaire utility tycoon from Chicago whose gas and electric empire operating in over thirty states in 1932, causing a million investors to lose two to three billion dollars. Starting as Thomas Edison's private secretary in 1881, he was responsible for establishing centralized electric supply. He organized the Edison General Electric Company before ...
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Overview

Next to Thomas Edison, Samuel Insull is the name you should remember as the most important and perhaps the most notorious person in the utility business. He was the billionaire utility tycoon from Chicago whose gas and electric empire operating in over thirty states in 1932, causing a million investors to lose two to three billion dollars. Starting as Thomas Edison's private secretary in 1881, he was responsible for establishing centralized electric supply. He organized the Edison General Electric Company before the industrial giant of the same name, working out a model of nationwide distribution and promoting rural electrification. One of the most significant accomplishments was acquiring effective government regulation of public utilities. The author does not make judgments as to whether Insull was good or bad. He merely wants us to know the man for what he did.
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Editorial Reviews

PM Marston
While the topic may sound dry and uninteresting, in fact McDonald presents a fascinating tale of how the electric utility industry came to be the way it is today. Anyone seriously considering the current "restructuring" or "deregulation" of electric utilities should be familiar with this work. Clearly a "10" for anyone interested in understanding why we have massive power plants, "stranded costs"-and a very hard time moving to a more competitive model.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587982439
  • Publisher: Beard Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2004
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,356,405
  • Product dimensions: 0.89 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Table of Contents

I. London
II. Insull on the Mohawk
III.Chicago
IV. Intimates
V. The Big Shot
VI. The Success: Or, The Short, Happy, Life of Samuel Insull
VII. The War
VIII. The Crisis: 1917-23
IX. The Empire and Its Marshals
X. The Enemies
XI. The Fall of the House of Insull
XII. The Trial Aftermath Index
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Preface

An astute businessman, he practiced "mass production" and "selling at the lowest possible cost" long before those ideas became popular. In addition, he successfully applied the concepts of load and diversity on a large scale-factors on which all utility rates are based. On the financial side, his innovativeness in devising ways to market securities made possible gigantic modern corporations owned by anonymous millions and therefore owned by nobody.

Insull was instrumental in acquiring effective governmental regulation of public utilities. He pioneered welfare programs long before labor or even government became aware of their importance and encouraged the growth of labor unions.

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