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Vintage radios, photographs showcase efforts establishing electricity, broadcasting in Alabama


The Birmingham Public Library will host “Turning On Alabama” Nov. 4 through Dec. 30 featuring 1920-1945 photographs and artifacts from the collections of the Alabama Power Company and Alabama Historical Radio Society.

The unique exhibition on the main floor and in the fourth floor gallery is sponsored by the Birmingham Historical Society and Birmingham Public Library.

Historic artifacts and more than 60 large photographs from Alabama Power’s archives highlight the company’s growth, showing how power was first generated and transmitted to homes, farms and industry and how electricity affected the lives of all Alabamians. More than a dozen vintage radios from the Radio Society will be on display.

The years between 1920 and 1945 saw one of the most intensive construction periods in the company’s history. Mitchell, Martin, Jordan, Yates and Thurlow dams and Chickasaw Steam Plant were built and units at Gorgas Steam Plant were constructed. In 1922, Alabama Power launched WSY, the state’s first licensed radio station.


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