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Facts: Montana Firsts: Science and Technology (redirected from Montana Facts: Montana Firsts: Science and Technology)

Page history last edited by Maggie 5 months, 1 week ago

East Helena Plant - Exteriors (Flue system with power house in foreground)

Lot 019 H1162



Science and Technology



  • The first electric light was installed at the Alice Mine in Butte in 1880. (Montana Standard, May 5, 2004, C1)


  • On August 28, 1882 the first electric lights ever seen in Montana were switched on in downtown Helena. It was reported that "Miss Stella Knight, the little daughter of Mayor Knight, president of the company (and mayor of Helena), had the honor of setting free, by the delicate touch of her little hand up the lever of dynamo machine, the mighty electric current which in a moment flashed along the wire and blazed forth in brilliant light from every lamp..." There was enough current for forty lamps in all, and these lit the heart of the business district, that stretch of Last Chance Gulch which is now the south half of the downtown mall. (McCahon, Dennis, Helena Almanac)



  • First line was Virginia City to Salt Lake November 2, 1866 



  • The first commercial telephone was in Butte in 1882.


  • Rocky Mountain Bell was incorporated February 26, 1883


  • First inter-city call was Butte to Great Falls 1895


  • First out of state call was Missoula to Mullan, ID 1897



  • The first concrete highway was between Butte and Anaconda, October 2, 1920


  • The first steamboat arrived in Ft. Benton in 1859



  • The first typewriter was brought into Montana in 1885 by Judge W. I. Lippincott of Butte. It was a Remington typewriter brought in by bull train at a cost of $235 and was for Joe Rosenthal. It was soon sold to Jude DeWitt and later to J. Ross Clark. (W. I. Lippincott, Vertical Files)




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 Montana Historical Society Research Center

225 North Roberts, P.O. Box 201201, Helena, MT 59620-1201, 406-444-2681, 406-444-2696 (fax).



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