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1897::The Hinton Electric Company in Victoria, British Columbia

Updated: Mar 7

The little electric company that illuminated a province.

1899::G. C. Hinton & Co. On Government Street in Victoria, BC

"1899::G. Hinton & Co. On Government Street in Victoria, British Columbia"

Photo: BC Archives (D-06762)

When electric company G. Hinton & Co. opened for business in 1897, British Columbia was still very much in the dark. Its owner, George C. Hinton, having already established himself as one of the best electrical contractors on the coast, quickly expanded beyond his first store on Government Street in Victoria and opened stores in Vancouver on the mainland and Prince Rupert on BC's northern coast.

1901::The Hinton Electric Co. Advertisement

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 had changed how many businesses and households functioned with his gift of light and innovation.

1905:: Hinton & Co Victoria Location at 911 Government Street

"1905:: Hinton & Co Victoria Location at 911 Government Street"

Image Capture: Google Earth (2017)

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. 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 total amount returned.

1901::The Hinton Electric Co. Advertisement

"1901::The Hinton Electric Co. Advertisement"

Clip: Victoria Daily Times (1901)

At the turn of the century, the company changed its name to Hinton & Co. and landed its first large contract. Victoria's Dominion Hotel hired the company to light up its new expansion on Yates Street and develop and install a new electrical bell service for its guests. This new advanced technology attracted a lot of attention. Guests and locals flocked to the Dominion Hotel's front desk to hear the new system's bells chirp and to watch the lights flash on its console embedded in Nootka marble.

After all that Hinton had accomplished, all the men he had taught, all the houses and businesses he had lit up, and all the projects he had pioneered, he voluntarily liquidated his company at the onset of war in 1914. Hinton died in 1932 at the age of 64.

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