Las Vegas's postwar growth is examined in Eugene P. Moehring, Resort
City in the Sunbelt: Las Vegas, 1930–1970 (Reno: University of Nevada Press,
Ibid., 31–72, as cited in Michael S. Green, “Understanding Nevada Today: The Southern Shift, ” Halcyon 16 (1994): 182–83.
See, e.g., William Robbins, Colony and Empire: The Capitalist Transformation of the American West (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994);
Richard White, It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of
the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991); and Patricia
Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American
West (New York: Norton, 1987). For the impact of the New Deal and World
War II on the West, see Richard Lowitt, The New Deal and the West (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1984); and Gerald Nash, The American West
Transformed: The Impact of the Second World War (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985).
The early history of electricity in Las Vegas is discussed in Charles P.
Squires, “The Glory of Light” and “Nevada Power Company, ” Livewire, Diamond Anniversary Edition, Seventy-Five Years of Service, 1906–1981 (Las Vegas, 1981), UNLV Special Collections. “Southern” was dropped from the companies' names in 1961. For the sake of clarity, “Nevada Power Company” is
used throughout this essay.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, electricity was commonly
measured in horsepower instead of kilowatts. One horsepower of electricity
equals 746 watts of electricity, or .746 kilowatts. Electrical consumption is normally measured in kilowatt-hours; a kilowatt of power equals 1.34 horsepower.
One kilowatt-hour of electricity is required to burn ten one-hundred-watt light
bulbs for one hour.
Livewire (cited n. 4 above), “Power and Telephone Split. ”
Ibid. Edward W. Clark was not related to the William Clark for whom
Clark County is named.
Federal Power Commission, Bureau of Power, San Francisco Regional
Office in Cooperation with Colorado River Commission of Nevada, Power Market Survey, State of Nevada (n.p., 1949), 66, UNLV Special Collections. The
term “firm power” refers to the amount of energy that is always available from
a generator. Generators rarely produce at full capacity. Reduced turbine speed
at hydroelectric dams due to low water can influence power production, as can
decreased pressure at steam plants. Some energy loss is also inherent in electrical
“Nevada's Power Needs and Hoover Dam, ” Las Vegas Review-Journal,
October 24, 1976. Although the article does not mention it, Herbert Hoover
and Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur had been classmates at Stanford.