At the end of the 19th century, Argostoli was an urban center with an ever-increasing population, the city was illuminated with oil lamps, but the lighting was lacking, resulting in constant protests from the inhabitants. Thus, in 1890, the mayor Gerasimos Drakopoulos took care of the first draft of an electric lighting study of Argostoli, which due to financial difficulties was not implemented. The issue is raised by the mayor Spyridon Loukatos – Razis who signed the first contract in 1898.
The Thomson-Houston company, represented by the graduate engineer Georgios Konopisopoulos, undertakes the electric lighting project and the mayor of Krania signs a 60-year contract. The contract provided for the exclusive electric lighting fixture in the company and the payment of 30,000 gold francs by the municipality each year, as well as the operating hours of incandescent lamps and volcanic arches, while in some cases the company provided electricity free of charge. In May 1900, Thomson-Houston assigned to the Hellenic Electric Company all the rights and obligations under the original contract.
The Municipality granted a plot of land on the coastal road of the city for the construction of the power plant, where the stone building of the Electric Company that housed the power station and the offices was built. The building was located next to the Ionian Bank with the main feature of the imposing chimney that was 32 meters high! The Municipality of Krani in Kefalonia is a pioneer for its time, only in 1882 was the first public electrical installation in New York and after a few years it was followed by Berlin, London and other European major cities.
The first electrical installation in Greece operated in 1889 and involved the lighting of the center of Athens and the Palaces, followed by Argostoli, Piraeus, Ermoupolis, Chalkida, Kalamata and Patras. Rightly, the mayor Spyros Loukatos could celebrate a pioneering project and the people of Argostoli could see a bonora… “the light is true and the current is heavenly”.
Source – FB post of Gerasimos Vassilatos