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Powering Up Rural Manitoba
Manitoba Electrical Museum & Education Centre
Winnipeg , Manitoba

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   Slowly, very slowly,
electricity crept through the
countryside of Manitoba in
the early years of the last
century, until a dynamic
effort after World War II
"electrified" 50,000 farms in
just 10 years.
   The Manitoba Power
Commission was created in

1919 to bring the benefits of
hydroelectric power to rural
Manitoba and gradually lit up
202 towns and villages in the
southern part of the province
over the next 20 years. World
War II curtailed the Power
Commissionís expansion after
1939.
   At that time only farms

fortunate enough to be in the
vicinity of an "electrified"
town had power, and with so
many workers overseas in the
war effort, farm productivity
dropped alarmingly. The
Manitoba government, anxious
to restore agricultural
output, studied the
feasibility of connecting all

the farms in the province to
the central power grid. Thus,
when the war ended in 1945,
the provincial government
embarked on an ambitious
goal: the Manitoba Power
Commission would electrify
50,000 farms in 10 years.
When the electrification
program ended, 90% of

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