Cordova stock certificate collection

Cordova stock certificate collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Arkwright, Preston S., (Preston Stanley), 1871-1947
Creator: Brine, G. W.
Creator: Smith, C. Elmer
Creator: Wright, Wade H.
Title: Cordova stock certificate collection
Dates: 1896-1984
Quantity: 0.2 Linear feet (1 half box)
Coll. Number: ms3098

Biographical/Historical Note

Since the 1880s, when the electric company began serving Atlanta citizens, the Georgia Power Company has grown to supply Georgia residents with electric power in all parts of the state. Georgia Power has been a significant economic influence in the state as a large employer, a major taxpayer, and an instrument in bringing industry and business to Georgia.

Georgia Power Company originated in Atlanta. The company has a complex genealogy, encompassing in its history five different name changes and five different Georgia Power companies. Electricity came to Atlanta in 1884, when the Georgia Electric Light Company of Atlanta, chartered in 1883, began service. In the early years electricity mainly provided for street lighting and street railway transportation; only a few businesses were electrically powered. Henry M. Atkinson (1862-1939) was the driving force behind the development of the electric industry in Georgia and served as such for more than thirty-five years, building the small electric business in Atlanta into the present Georgia Power Company. A native of Brookline, Massachusetts, and a Harvard University graduate, Atkinson acquired controlling stock in the Georgia Electric Light Company of Atlanta in 1891 and formed it into an entirely new company, shortening the name to the Georgia Electric Light Company. That same year, he built the Davis Street Plant, a massive steam-electric generating plant. Just before the turn of the century, Atkinson and Joel Hurt, an Atlanta streetcar entrepreneur, engaged in fierce competition to gain control of the electric, streetcar, and steam-heat franchises issued by the city council. The dispute lasted for years, ending in 1902 when Atkinson bought out Hurt's interests and formed the Georgia Railway and Electric Company.

Atlanta attorney Preston S. Arkwright became president at that time and personified the company until his death in 1946. He devised the slogan "A Citizen Wherever We Serve," an enduring motto for company employees. (In the early days the power company advertised the state widely in national publications. To promote Georgia to the nation, Arkwright created another slogan, "It's Great to Be a Georgian.") In 1903 the company added to its holdings the Atlanta Gas Light Company, which operated as the natural gas department of the electric company until 1929. Georgia Power Company/Southern Company -- New Georgia Encyclopedia (Retrieved July 22, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of thirty-seven stock certificates representing twenty-five predecessor companies of todays Georgia Power Company along with a "Family Tree" chart of Georgia Power. Several of the certificates are signed by men who were pioneers and giants of the industry as well as leading citizens of the state in their era including P. S. Arkwright, G. W. Brine, C. Elmer Smith, and Wade H. Wright.


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Electric utilities--Georgia--History--Sources.
Georgia Power Company. -- History-Sources
Stock certificates--Georgia--Specimens.
Stock certificates.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cordova stock certificate collection. MS 3098. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11Georgia Power family tree
2Bonds, 1909-1984
3Stock certificates, 1896-1913
4Stock certificates, 1924-1928
5Stock certificates, undated