An advertisement for the Tennessee Eastern Electric Co., which was formed in 1912.

The new abundance of electric powered devices around the turn of the 20th century gave many companies new opportunities for marketing to the public. Automobiles would soon replace horse and buggy; telephone wires would reduce written correspondence; electric appliances would change the home.

A large proponent of these electric changes was the Tennessee Eastern Electric Company. TEEC was formed in 1912 through the purchase of the Johnson City Traction Co. and the Watauga Electric Co. The company continued to sell electricity until its merger with East Tennessee Light and Power Company and eventually Tennessee Valley Authority in the 1940s.

In addition to creating power for the city, the company was a frequent advertiser of electric appliances. Sampled below are but a few of the devices one could purchase around 1915 and, of course, support the Tennessee Eastern Electric Company.

If you are accustomed to ironing with ordinary sad irons, you certainly are having a sad time of it, but the worst of it is you really don’t know the full extent of sadness. You know that you are very tired after a long day’s ironing; that you have sore hands or fingers in spite of all you could do to protect them; and that some of the most delicate pieces have been scorched. But so long as you don’t realize that all of this trouble and worry are absolutely unnecessary, you don’t know how really sad they are. Come in and select your electric iron.

The wife deserves her husband the best of everything-a G-E Electric Coffee Pot will help her to give him the best coffee that can possibly be made. Electric Coffee retains all the aroma and flavor of the bean, and eliminates all its undesirable qualities.

You would hardly think ‘twas summer when you are nicely fitted out with the two most ingenious things ever made by men to keep women cool and comfortable. G-E Electric Flatirons and G-E Electric Fans form a comfortable hot weather combination. Costs only 15 cents to iron a whole week’s wash. Come in and select those which you think your wife will like best.

Electric signs afford the best form of advertising-after dark. They tell their stories to everyone regardless of whether or not anyone wishes to hear them. Electric signs are profitable at any price and Edison Mazda Signs are the least expensive of electric signs because they consume only one-third the amount of electricity required by carbon lamps. We never have heard of any business concerns who have not found Edison Mazda Signs to be highly profitable.

Bob Cox may be reached at boblcox@bcyesteryear or www.bcyesteryear.com

Bob Cox may be reached at boblcox@bcyesteryear or www.bcyesteryear.com

Johnson City native Bob Cox is a longtime contributor to the Johnson City Press. He shares his vast knowledge of his hometown's history with readers each week. Reach Bob Cox at boblcox@bcyesteryear.com or www.bcyesteryear.com.

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