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Electricity arrives

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of event Public Works

Town or locality Mallala

Managed or hosted by Adelaide Electric Supply Company
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The township of Mallala was connected to the elecricty power grid circa 1926. The service was supplied by the Adelaide Electric Supply Company Ltd (AESCo) a private enterprise business. On 1 September 1946, the Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA) became the new body to supply and manage the supply of electricity throughout South Australia.

In 1959 when the Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) electricity lines were established it enabled the rest of the district to have access to this desirable amenity. On the farms where buildings which previously had only 12 volt lighting driven by wind, or 32 volt diesel or petrol engines to provide lighting and power, the prospect of 240 voltage was well supported. Glen Quick, who worked for ETSA from 1952 to 1992 explained:

Most people could not wait to get off the old wind-powered generator, charging batteries (and the like) and onto ETSA system. It meant the end of wood stoves, kerosene fridges and wood coppers for boiling clothes. The country electricians and electrical shops (which they often owned) cleaned up in a big way.

Mr Gordon Palamountain was a local electrician who had wired buildings for 32 volt engines and he found that the demand for his services continued when there was a need for buildings to be wired in readiness for the extended rural supply of electricity. Eventually, after the completion of the SWER transmission lines, the power was connected.

Mr Les Earl (of Mallala) also did much of this wiring as did Mr Tony Vale (of Adelaide) accompanied by Mr Brian Algar.

Mr Jack Hammet was the inspector from ETSA at Gawler, and the electricians worked long days as a team with the Electricity Trust, often connecting up to 18 previously wired houses a day. The installation of the 240 volt power was a wonderful asset and convenience for the people of the district.


  • Life around the Light: A history of the Mallala District Council area compiled by Two Wells. Mallala and District History Book Committee. Community Development Board of the Council District of Mallala. (Mallala. S. Aust.) 1985.
  • ETSA - The Story of Electricity in South Australia.¬† Quote from p. 105.
Earl Electrical Contractor
Earl Electrical Contractor
Adelect No1 Nameplate
Adelect No1 Nameplate
Adelect No1 Stove
Adelect No1 Stove

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