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Fries Manufacturing and Power Company

by Roger N. Kirkman, 2006"Group celebrating the opening of the Fries Manufacturing and Power Company hydro-electric plant on the Yadkin River, 1898." Image available from Digital Forsyth.

The Fries Manufacturing and Power Company was established in 1897 as a spinoff of the F&H Fries Company, a textile concern founded by Moravian businessman Francis Fries in 1846. Chaired by Francis's son Henry E. Fries, the power company secured a franchise to provide electricity to the towns of Winston and Salem and constructed a dam on the Yadkin River near the community of Idols. When the dam began producing electricity in 1898, it was the first instance of long-distance electrical transmission in the South. Local tradition maintains that the earliest transmissions were carried by barbed wire. The Fries Manufacturing and Power Company was sold to Southern Public Utilities in 1913.

References:

Chester A. Davis, "The City's Forgotten Legacy: Frieses Established Industrial Base," Winston-Salem Journal, 11 Oct. 1970.

Frank Tursi, Winston-Salem: A History (1994).

Additional Resources:

NC Historical Marker: http://www.ncmarkers.com/

North Carolina Digital Collections search results for Fries Manufacturing and Power Company

Image Credit:

"Group celebrating the opening of the Fries Manufacturing and Power Company hydro-electric plant on the Yadkin River, 1898." Image available from Digital Forsyth. Available from http://www.digitalforsyth.org/photos/browse/business-industry-businesses-fries-manufacturing-and-power-company (accessed June 18, 2012).

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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