National Electric Light Association
Steve Mitnick is President of Lines Up, Inc., Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly, and author of “Lines Down: How We Pay, Use, Value Grid Electricity Amid the Storm.”
My birthday this August came and went. No party packed with my peeps. No snack trays to share, televised games for the gang to crowd around, or hugs from homies. Pandemic parties are no parties at all.
Though I did receive warm notes and kind gifts, from a distance never less than six feet away. Let me tell you about one such gift that I was particularly glad to get.
It came via the United States Postal Service, which was still dependable back in August. I opened the package and what did I happen to find in there, but a genuine lapel button of the National Electric Light Association (EEI's predecessor). Considering NELA was the organization of investor-owned utilities from the year 1885 through 1933, this button has to be at least eighty-seven years old, nearly as old as Public Utilities Fortnightly.
Check out the cool logo that the button proudly displays. This is Ohm's Law of course. In 1885, when NELA was founded, Ohm's Law was actually fairly novel (as James Maxwell had published conclusive results as recently as 1879).
C equals E divided by R. In the unlikely case you cannot clearly recall your high school physics, the C stands for an electric circuit's current, the E stands for its voltage (electromotive force), and the R stands for its resistance.