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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture


The Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) was incorporated in Oklahoma City by Frederick William Insull on May 29, 1913. With a generating capacity of only 4,107 kilowatts of power at that time, it provided electrical service to 3,608 customers in Tulsa, Vinita, Atoka, Coalgate, Lehigh, and Guthrie. In 1916 Insull moved the company's headquarters to Tulsa in order to be closer to its customer base. The firm began a long period of expansion in 1925 when it became a subsidiary of the Dallas-based Central and South West Corporation (CSW). In that year PSO bought the Sand Springs Homes's Tulsa distribution system and two years later acquired several other regional distribution systems to become the primary provider of electrical power for eastern Oklahoma. In 1944 it consolidated with Southwestern Light and Power Company, which extended PSO's service area to the southwestern portion of the state. By 1947, when PSO purchased the Sand Springs Home Interests, it had added twenty-two more communities to the corporation's coverage area and achieved the approximate geographic coverage it held throughout the remainder of the twentieth century. In 1973 PSO announced plans to build two nuclear reactors near Inola; however, amidst protests in 1982 the company discontinued their construction. As the twenty-first century dawned, the Tulsa-based Public Service Company of Oklahoma owned 3,566 miles of transmission lines and 21,072 miles of distribution lines. These facilities delivered a generating capacity of 4,083 megawatts of electrical power to 509,000 customers located in Tulsa and in 230 other communities in eastern and southwestern Oklahoma.

Bobby D. Weaver


John Hamill, Tulsa: The Great American City (Montgomery, Ala.: Community Communications, Inc., 2000).

"PSC's Birthday Today Marks 50 Growth Years," Tulsa (Oklahoma) World, 29 May 1963.

"PSO," Vertical File, Tulsa City-County Public Library, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Bobby D. Weaver, “Public Service Company of Oklahoma,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=PU002.

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