Bahamians call electricity – current. Such as strange word in today’s vernacular, don’t you think? To those unfamiliar with history or science, it may appear as though current was just another word in local island lingo. Not so surprisingly, electricity supply was once called current as its popularly known description. In science, an electric current is the rate of flow of electric charge past a point or region. When electricity first came to the Bahamas, it simply became popularly known in its verb form, a more scientifically correct term – current. Almost one hundred years later, the popular description still remains.
In 1925, electricity was the latest, most modern technology the Bahamas had ever seen.
Electricity was so new that Bahamians, so set in the old ways with wood and charcoal stoves, had to be actively encouraged to use it. To do this, current rates were cut in half.
(The Indianapolis Star, Sunday, 23 August 1925)
1943 – HARBOUR ISLANDERS WANT KEROSENE LAMPS NOT ELECTRICITY
Electricity wasn’t all it was touted to be, or so some Harbour Islanders thought, even as late as 1943. Current was not seen a modern convenience by everyone, like it was in Nassau. Some saw it as a modern nuisance.
News reports were quick to point out that Harbour Island was settled by British Loyalists, as though it was some indictment as to mindset and character. Nevertheless, life on the island was easygoing, tranquil and still filled with the wonder of adventure through pine forests and thick tree growth. It is little wonder why they didn’t want a noisy electricity power plant (current generator) to spoil their paradise.
In 1943, after a power plant was installed on the island, to bring of all things, an efficient electrical supply, the community signed a petition to have it removed.