Kansas City Power & Light Company 75th Anniversary1958

The obverse bears image of Art Deco period corporate headquarters surrounded by beams of light. Around, 1883 / KANSAS CITY / 1958 / POWER & LIGHT COMPANY; on right, 75TH / ANNIVERSARY / CENTRAL / STATION / ELECTRIC / SERVICE / IN / KANSAS / CITY

The reverse bears transmission line over view of Kansas City skyline. In upper half, SERVING THE / COMMUNITY / SINCE / 1883; at bottom, KANSAS CITY / POWER & LIGHT / COMPANY;

Edge marked with MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. BRONZE.

The company traces its roots to November 1881 when Joseph S. Chick obtained the exclusive rights to use the Thompson-Houston arc lighting system in the counties of Jackson, Missouri, and Wyandotte, Kansas, for $4,000. The following month, the initial franchise to establish an electric works in the City of Kansas, Mo., was granted to Lysander R. Moore and later assigned to Kawsmouth Electric Light Company.

Co-founder Edwin Ruthven Weeks spun off the Edison Electric Light & Power Company to meet residential demand. An electric war ensued when in 1883 J. Ogden Armour, heir to the Armour Packing Company purchased the company on May 14, 1900, to power the Metropolitan Street Railway Company and Kansas City Electric Light Company. Under Armour the company bought competitors and built a new power plant in 1903, providing steam heat to downtown businesses. The company focused on the trolley company and in 1911 it went into receivership. In October 1917, the company spun off the trolley business (which still controlled some power plants) and emerged from bankruptcy as Kansas City Light & Power Company.

The massive building on the medal's obverse is the art deco Kansas City Power and Light Building. It was the former headquarters of the company and the tallest building west of the Mississippi until 1942, tallest in Missouri until 1976 and tallest in Kansas City until 1986 and is the namesake of the downtown Kansas City Power & Light District.

This medal measures 70.2mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

References: MACo 1957-002