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Atlanta Gas Light Company Records

Collection number: ahc.MSS931

Scope and Contents of the Records

This collection consists primarily of the records of the Corporate Communications Department of the Atlanta Gas Light Company. This department was responsible for advertising and public relations. Records include correspondence, reports, publications, printed material, newspaper clippings, prints, subject files, advertisements, and program files. Program files document activities such as the Mrs. Georgia pageant in the 1960s, the Old Stove Roundup, and ongoing information and publicity campaigns; subject files provide information on the gas industry in general, events and activities specific to Atlanta Gas Light including rate increases, strikes, and explosions and accidents. The subject files also contain information on milestones such as promotions and retirements of company employees that was used for both internal and external news sources as well as information on the properties or company offices of Atlanta Gas Light. Other topics of interest include extreme cold spells and other weather incidents that impacted service; the expansion of the company beyond the city of Atlanta; natural gas appliances and services such as the gas radio, and the public dispute between Atlanta Gas Light and the Georgia Power Company in the 1960s on the virtues of natural gas vs. electricity.

The Communications Department maintained the corporate archives so the collection also includes an eclectic body of material that was pulled together to document the history of the company. Much of this material documents company functions beyond the activities of public relations and communication and has been arranged under the administrative category. This material includes financial records, reports, photocopies and transcripts of Board of Directors and Atlanta City Council minutes, certificates of public convenience and necessity, strategic plans, and miscellaneous historical documents such as receipts, bills and stock certificates. The collection also includes an incomplete set of the company newsletter, The Blue Flame News, informational brochures and pamphlets, and a large collection of cookbooks that promote cooking with gas.


  • 1855-1996, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

The Atlanta Gas Light Company was incorporated in February 1856 to provide gas streetlights for Atlanta. It is the oldest continuously operated company in the city of Atlanta and the second oldest company in the state of Georgia. It functioned as an independent company until 1889 when the United Gas Improvement Company of Philadelphia gained control of the company through a stock purchase. The Atlanta Gas Light Company was a subsidiary of a holding company for the next 58 years. Successive parent companies were Georgia Railway and Electric Company (1903), Georgia Railway and Power Company (1920), Georgia Power Company (1927), Central Public Service Corporation of Chicago (1929), United States Electric and Gas Company of New York (1932), and Consolidated Electric and Gas (1933), which was also based in New York. United States Electric and Gas and Consolidated Electric and Gas were subsidiaries of Central Public Service. In 1947 the Atlanta Gas Light Company again became independent and remained so until 1996 when AGL Resources Inc. was formed to be a holding company for Atlanta Gas Light Company, Virginia Natural Gas, Chattanooga Gas Company, AGL Energy Services, and several non-utility subsidiaries.

Throughout its existence, the Atlanta Gas Light Company has been governed by a Board of Directors and managed by a President and other officers. Presidents include Julius A. Hayden, John W. Duncan, Thomas G. Healey, John H. Mecaslin, William L. Cosgrove, G. W. Brine, Albert E. Peirce, Luke C. Bradley, W. W. Winter, H. Carl Wolf, Rock G. Taber, Duncan A. Crawford, Wallace L. Lee, Joe T. LaBoon, and David R. Jones. Until the deregulation of the natural gas market in Georgia in 1998, the Atlanta Gas Light Company sold natural gas directly to customers in addition to other products and services. The company now operates and maintains the gas pipes, reads meters, maintains the natural gas infrastructure, and distributes gas to certified marketers.

Tate, James H. Keeper of the Flame : The Story of Atlanta Gas Light Company, 1856-1985. Atlanta, Georgia: Atlanta Gas Light Company, 1985; Atlanta Gas Light Company – About Us,, July 22, 2010; AGL Resources Inc. Annual Report, 2000.


51.8 linear ft.



Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged alphabetically by category of material and, thereunder, alphabetically by folder title.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Atlanta Gas Light Company, 2000 (2000.52), 2009 (2009.23), 2009 (2009.77)

Related Materials

Atlanta Gas Light Company Photographs, VIS 185, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center

General Physical Description note

(82 document cases, 1 record center carton, 6 oversize boxes, 27 oversize volumes, 1 oversize folder)

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2010.

Atlanta Gas Light Company Records, 1855-1996, undatedahc.MSS 931
Inventory prepared by Joan Clemens
July 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305