Seattle City Light General and Plant Ledgers, 1908-1982

Overview of the Collection

Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light General and Plant Ledgers
1908-1982 (inclusive)
1.2 cubic feet, (2 boxes), (Includes 35 reels of microfilm) 16 mm and 35 mm microfilm
Collection Number
Financial records of Seattle Lighting Department
Seattle Municipal Archives
Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2062337807
Fax: 2063869025
Access Restrictions

Records are open to the public.

Funding for processing this record series was provided through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

City Light provides electricity and electrical and conservation services to its public and private customers. It is the largest public utility in the Pacific Northwest. Public responsibility for electrical energy dates to 1890 with creation of the Department of Lighting and Water Works. In 1902, Seattle voters passed a bond issue to develop hydroelectric power on the Cedar River under the administration of the Water Department. Electricity from this development began to serve Seattle in 1905. A City Charter amendment in 1910 created the Lighting Department. Under the leadership of Superintendent James D. Ross, the department developed the Skagit River hydroelectric project which began supplying power in 1924. Both public and private power was supplied to Seattle until 1951 when the City purchased the private electrical power supply operations, making the Lighting Department the sole supplier. The Boundary Project in northeastern Washington began operations in 1967 and supplied over half of City Light's power generation. By the early 21st century, approximately ten percent of City Light's income came from the sale of surplus energy to customers in the Northwest and Southwest with the remainder of City Light's financial support coming from customer revenue. The current name of the agency was adopted in 1978 when the Department was reorganized.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

General ledger, 1908-1915. Microfilm copies of City Light's general and plant ledgers, 1935-1982. Primarily microfilm copies; only eight folders of ledger in paper form.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

[Item and date], Seattle City Light General and Plant Ledgers , Record Series 1202-03. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Preservation Note

Microfilm reader required to view microfilm.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Electric power--Washington--Seattle
  • Electric utilities--Washington--Seattle

Corporate Names

  • Seattle City Light
  • Seattle (Wash.). Lighting Dept.

Geographical Names

  • Seattle (Wash.)