Facts, Figures & Bios

PSO's History

PSO’s roots can be traced back to 1889, when the Vinita Electric Light, Ice and Power Company was chartered in Indian Territory to provide electric service to that community. PSO was incorporated May 29, 1913 in Oklahoma City, by consolidating that company with electric companies and related businesses in Tulsa, Guthrie, Coalgate, Lehigh and Atoka.

PSO’s founder and first president was Frederick William “Fred” Insull, who moved PSO’s headquarters to Tulsa in 1916. Insull was the nephew of Samuel Insull, a former secretary to Thomas Edison, who later became one of the most prominent figures in the electric utility industry.

PSO line crew setting a new utility pole
PSO has always maintained and expanded its system of power lines to better serve customers. Photo taken in early 1920s shows a PSO line crew setting a new utility pole in downtown Tulsa.
1920's - company's distribution dispatch center
PSO employs the latest technology to serve customers more efficiently, which also was true in the early 1920s when this photo of the company's distribution dispatch center was taken.
Workers at a PSO power plant in the early 1920s take a moment from their duties to pose for the camera.
Workers at a PSO power plant in the early 1920s take a moment from their duties to pose for the camera.
Workers at a PSO power plant in the early 1920s take a moment from their duties to pose for the camera.
Photo taken in Vinita in 1958, on the occasion of PSO's 45th anniversary since incorporation, shows the march of progress in technology from horse-drawn line wagons used in PSO's earliest days to "modern" line trucks.
Long before the advent of Mobile Data Computers, cell phones and the Global Positioning System, PSO work vehicles in 1926 were equipped with such cutting-edge communications technology as this somewhat portable two-way radio.
PSO’s legendary Cheyenne Street power plant was the company’s first generating facility in Tulsa. The plant, which was located on the north side of downtown, powered Tulsa during PSO’s earliest years.
Perched atop PSO's Tulsa Power Station, this large, illuminated sign has brightly proclaimed, "Electricity -- Public Service Co. of Okla." to three generations, and has become a Tulsa landmark over the past 50 years. The sign has more than 3,200 red and clear light bulbs. The plant, which is located on the Arkansas River south of downtown Tulsa, has been in PSO's generation fleet since 1922
Period shot of Tulsa’s Central High School building prior to PSO’s purchase and renovation of the structure to serve as PSO headquarters in the late 1970s. The building housed the high school for 60 years until a new school facility was built at a new location. Known today as PSO’s General Office, the structure has approximately 289,000 square feet of floor space for offices and houses approximately 600 PSO and AEP employees.

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