The little electric company that illuminated British Columbia.
"1899::G. C. Hinton & Co. On Government Street in Victoria, BC"
Photo: BC Archives (D-06762)
When G. Hinton & Co. opened for business in 1897, British Columbia's young cities were still very much in the dark. The company was named after its owner, George C. Hinton, who had established himself as one of the best electrical contractors on the coast. The company soon expanded, opening stores in Vancouver on the mainland and Prince Rupert on BC's northern coast.
Within two short years, the little electric company on Government Street had successfully illuminated and electrified offices, worksites and private residences throughout the rapidly growing province. Hinton had become a respected man in the industry and, with his gift of light and innovation, changed how many businesses and households were run.
"1905::Hinton & Co."
Clip: Victoria Daily Times (1905)
Victoria, British Columbia
Hinton also trained many young men to be successful in the trade. At the turn of the century, however, one of his trusted employees disappeared from the city after having spent a large sum of company money on Victoria's illegal gambling tables. To everyone's surprise, Hinton quickly brushed off the incident and got over it. Riddled with guilt, the remorseful employee later wrote to his old boss from his hideout in California and arranged to pay it all back, but it was said that Hinton never saw the full amount returned.
"1901::The Hinton Electric Co. Advertisement"
Clip: Victoria Daily Times (1901)
A new century brought a new company name and a new challenge. Hinton & Co. had landed a contract to light up the latest expansion of Victoria's Dominion Hotel on Yates Street and to develop and install a new electrical bell service for its guests. It was a technological advancement that attracted a lot of attention. Guests and locals flocked to the Dominion Hotel's front desk to hear the system's bells chirp and to watch the lights flash on the new console made with Nootka marble.
After all that he had accomplished, all the men that he had taught, all the houses and businesses that he had lit up, and all the projects that he had pioneered, Hinton voluntarily liquidated his company in 1914. He died in 1932 at 64 years old.