• Electricians from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), Shallotte, NC. The BEMC was often referred to as the REA, or Rural Electrification Administration, by people living in this part of the country.

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    Electricians from Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation, Shallotte, NC
    • Date
    • 5/28/05
    • Rights
    • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/deed.en_US

  • President Roosevelt dedicating Hoover Dam. According to the US Department of the Interior, the Hoover Dam generates more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours a year--enough to serve 1.3 million people.

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    President Roosevelt dedicating Hoover Dam
    • Date
    • 9/30/35
    • Creator
    • Davis, Glenn A.
    • Description
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt is speaking at the dedication of Hoover Dam. Some members of the audience are visible behind him.
    • Rights
    • Not to be reproduced without permission. To purchase copies of images and/or for copyright information, contact University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections at: http://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/
    • Partner
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections. Glenn A. Davis Collection.; Mountain West Digital Library
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas, University Libraries

  • Tennesse Valley, East Ridge quadrangle Georgia-Tennessee : 7.5 minute series (topographic). The TVA provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average.

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    East Ridge quadrangle Georgia-Tennessee : 7.5 minute series (topographic)
    • Date
    • 1958
    • Creator
    • Geological Survey (U.S.). Tennessee Valley Authority. Maps and Surveys Branch. Tennessee Valley Authority. Maps and Surveys Division. U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
    • Description
    • Relief shown by contours and spot heights. Published by the Geological Survey. Mapped and edited by Tennessee Valley Authority. Control by USC&GS, USGS, GGS, and TVA. Contour interval 20 feet. Dashed lines represent half-interval contours. Includes "... more
      Relief shown by contours and spot heights. Published by the Geological Survey. Mapped and edited by Tennessee Valley Authority. Control by USC&GS, USGS, GGS, and TVA. Contour interval 20 feet. Dashed lines represent half-interval contours. Includes "Quadrangle Location" diagram. Scale 1:24,000 ; Polyconic proj. (W 85°15′00″--W 85°07′30″/N 35°00′00″--N 34°52′30″). Washington, D.C. : U.S. Geological Survey, 1958. less
    • Rights
    • Courtesy of the University of Georgia Map Library.
    • Partner
    • University of Georgia. Libraries. Map Collection; Digital Library of Georgia
    • Contributing Institution
    • University of Georgia. Libraries. Map Collection

Both the Public Works Administration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) strove to build and improve the public sphere by employing workers, both skilled and unskilled, to create public buildings and roads, and to bring essential utilities to Americans. Perhaps most notable is the role the PWA, WPA, TVA, and other New Deal agencies played in providing electricity and other basic services to rural areas of the US for the first time.

The Rural Electricity Administration (REA), for example, sought to make electricity and electric lines more easily available in rural areas of the country in order to redress disparities in electricity use between the US and Europe. Before the organization’s founding, only 11% of US farms had electricity; by 1952, less than two decades after the founding of the REA, nearly all US farms had electricity. From electric lines to dams, public works projects boomed as a result of the New Deal, and many of the projects implemented by New Deal agencies served as integral steps in the development of today’s infrastructural and agricultural landscape.