Municipal Electricity Department collection

Views from the Destructor! New additions to Canterbury Stories.

One of the collections we have on Canterbury Stories is the Municipal Electricity Department collection. This archive dates back to 1903 with the formation of Christchurch city's Electricity Department, through its many iterations and mergers until the most recent of Orion New Zealand. While showing the development of electricity in Christchurch, this wonderful resource also shows the development of Christchurch generally.

There are some fantastic photos in here for you to explore, including some scenes over Christchurch taken from the top of the 150m tall destructor chimney prior to its demolition in 1939. You can find out more about the city destructor on Canterbury stories.

Staff group photograph of Line workers at the Municipal Electricity Department in 1970.
Line workers group photograph, 1977, MED-Box2-0249A

There are staff photographs, shop displays as well as photographs documenting the work and activities of the MED.

Currently you can explore the MED Historical Photographs collection with over 370 images, a collection of over 50 images from 1996 of substations used to assess their potential as billboards and an instructional booklet on the safety of employees from the 1900s.

Image of Main converter station interior
Main converter station interior, 1914, MED-Box2-0142A
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