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Florence Gas Light and Fuel Company


Shoals History is excited to partner with the Rebrand Florence Instagram project. Each company from Florence’s past that is rebranded through the Rebrand Florence project will have an associated post here on the Shoals History website. The first edition is the Florence Milling Company. Read more about what the Rebrand Florence project is doing. Some research and images are graciously  provided through a partnership with the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library‘s Local History department.

Follow along with Rebrand Florence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

About the Florence Gas Light and Fuel Company

The Florence Gas Light and Fuel Company was incorporated in 1891, under the laws of the state, with a capital of $55,000 ($1,447,368 in 2015) The plant was most admirably located on Water Street, adjoining the property of the Leftwich Lumber company on the banks of Sweetwater with the belt line railroad within a few feet of the main building. There were two main buildings which made up the plant along with it’s gas holder, coal sheds, etc. The first building, which was 34×68 feet and fireproof, contained four benches of retorts, a scrubber, an exhauster and a condenser. The second building contained four purifying boxes eight feet square, a station meter, and a governor for regulating the pressure on the city mains. The plant cost $33,000 to build, which, in 2015, is the equivalent of $868,421 and utilized all of the latest improved machinery that was available.

Said of the superintendent at the time in an issue of the Florence times:

M.A. Baum as superintendent and manager of the plant, is a man thoroughly understanding the ever detail of the business. He directs personally its affairs and conducts same to the entire satisfaction of the community, furnishing as strong, though soft and mellow a light as can be found in any city of the South. Mr. Baum was born in Germany, leaving his old home across the sea and coming to America in 1883. He first located in Ohio, thence in Kentucky and Georgia and finally here. Progressive and enterprising in everything pertaining to the welfare of the community and prosperous in the management of the business entrusted unto him, he is a credit to the business element and the citizenship of Florence, and his success is but the result of industry and honesty.