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Energy news from Omaha Public Power District

75th Anniversary

Modes of transportation

September 4, 2017 | Laura King-Homan | flashback, history
This Ford was used by Nebraska Power Company (predecessor of OPPD) around 1920.

Regardless of whether the service area was a few hundred square miles or the present-day 5,000 square miles, OPPD personnel have utilized various methods of transportation to serve its customers.

Below are a sampling of some of the vehicles used throughout OPPD’s history, and the history of its predecessor, Nebraska Power Company.

In the early 1900s, line crews rode to the job site in horse-drawn wagons. The crew seen here, at 18th and Cass streets, worked for a predecessor of the Nebraska Power Company.
Omaha Electric Light and Power’s Frank Hibbeler drives a high-wheel Holzman, the first car used by the company. Placed into service around 1907, the Holzman traveled at up to 15 mph.
Nebraska Power Company (predecessor of OPPD) used this early Ford automobile around 1920.
In the 1930s, the Nebraska Power Company’s (predecessor to OPPD) Home Service Department promoted the sale of electric appliances by displaying them on this bus and literally taking the show on the road.
After a 1971 blizzard, Rural Division employees rode a snowmobile to outlying customer locations. From left, Allen Kelsay, Bill Kittoe, Jerry Luken and Jerry Beck.
OPPD bought this electric vehicle in 1975. Two, 56-volt lead-acid batteries powered the vehicle’s 25-horsepower electric motor. The van’s maximum speed was 55 mph and its operating range was 40 to 60 miles.
After a 1971 blizzard, Ralph Heiman, left, and Bob Wulf used OPPD’s Sno-Shu tracked vehicle to “rescue” Nick Foltz, pointing at right, and Frank Eyster, whose truck got stuck during a service call.
After a 1993 spring flood, OPPD personnel Rusty Mathis, left, rode an all-terrain vehicle along muddy, flooded trails to reach damaged distribution line near Ashland. Pete Petersen, right, helps him load the ATV onto a trailer.
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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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