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Northern Indiana Public Service Company - Lehman Brothers Collection

Northern Indiana Public Service Company

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The Northern Indiana Public Service Company operated as a public utilities company, providing electrical power and natural gas to Northern Indiana customers. The company was incorporated in Indiana in 1912, with offices in Hammond, Indiana.

The earliest gas companies in Northern Indiana began manufacturing and selling gas for lighting in the 1850s. Natural gas was discovered outside Kokomo, Indiana, in 1886; a pipeline brought the gas to Chicago. These transmission lines were bought by the Public Service Pipe Line Company of Indiana, later acquired by NIPSCO. In the 1890s and 1910s, the Northern Indiana gas companies experienced a period of mergers and acquisitions. The United Gas Improvement Company, a holding company, became the dominant company and controlled the Northern Indiana Gas and Electric Company beginning in 1910. Electric meters became available to gauge customer use in this period.

The Calumet Gas and Electric Company was formed in 1916 and became a key component in NIPSCO. Calumet Gas and Electric's name was changed to the Northern Indiana Public Service Company in 1926. At the same time, the company merged with the Northern Indiana Gas and Electric Company. This definitive merger created NIPSCO and provided gas and electric to 600,000 people.

NIPSCO began working with Commonwealth Edison of Chicago in 1939 by selling a subsidiary to Comm Ed but retaining a long-term contract. Midland Utilities Company sold its block of privately held stock in NIPSCO in 1947, effectively making it a public company.

By 1970 NIPSCO was capable of generating 1.39 million kilowatts, with 500,000 kilowatts available under purchase contracts. The company engaged in extensive dealings with Commonwealth Edison, Public Service Company of Indiana, and Indiana & Michigan Electric Company. Net income in 1969 amounted to $37 million, up from $27 million net income in 1965.

NIPSCO remains in the natural gas and electricity business in Northern Indiana today.

Note: Dean Mitchell, the president of NIPSCO, gave an address to the Newcomen Society in 1960 that was published that year as a Newcomen pamphlet.

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