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Monday, February 29, 2016

State Electricity Commission, 195 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong, Early 1930s.

Few people who walk down the brightly lighted streets of Dandenong on the weekly shopping night, or notice the humming activity of the township’s many factories, pause to consider how it's been since the first electric lamp shed its brightness in the district.

Only a few months before the beginning of the first world war did Dandenong enjoy the advantages of its first electric service. In March, 1914, this was established by the India Rubber, Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Co. Ltd, who secured the rights to generate and distribute electricity within the township.

The generating station consisted of two 50 h.p. suction gas engines which were erected in a power house in Clow street, Which b 1933 was being used as a Garage. Seven years later, in June, 1921, the Shire Council purchased all rights of the undertaking from the company, and continued to generate it's own requirements until November, 1922, when electricity was purchased in bulk from the State Electricity Commission. On October 1, 1923, the Council handed over control and distribution of Electricity to the Commission.

Since this date the development and use of electricity in Dandenong was very rapid, and the township became one of the most important distribution and administrative centres in the electrical network of the state. By 1925 the expansion of the Electricity Commission's system east of Melbourne required the establishment of an Eastern Metropolitan District, and by virtue of it's geographical position Dandenong was selected as the District Administrative Centre.

With temporary offices being secured in the Boomerang Buildings. To provide accommodation for its staff, and facilities for handling of its stores and equipment, the Commission, in 1928 was obliged to build its own premises at 195 Lonsdale Street. By 1933 seven sub-stations in the township were necessary to reduce the electrical pressure of the main transmission lines to a voltage suitable to requirements of consumers within the townships boundaries, The main switching station being on Frankston Road (now Frankston-Dandenong Road).

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