A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 21, 2008
“The Company You Love to Hate” (Con Edison)

’The Company You Love to Hate” was the cover caption of Fortune magazine’s March 1966 story about Con Edison. The blackout of November 9, 1965 caused many New York City residents to become frustrated with a utility often called “Con Ed.”

The phrase ‘The company you love to hate” hasn’t survived the 1960s, although many New York City residents still remain frustrated with Con Edison.

Wikipedia: Consolidated Edison
Consolidated Edison, Inc. NYSE: ED is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., a regulated utility providing electric, gas, and steam service in New York City and Westchester County, New York; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,350-square-mile (3,500 km²) area in southeastern New York and adjacent sections of northern New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania; Con Edison Solutions, a retail energy supply and services company; Con Edison Energy, a wholesale energy supply company; and Con Edison Development, a company that owns and operates generating plants and participates in other infrastructure projects.

Con Edison produces 30 billion pounds of steam each year through its seven cogeneration plants (which boil water to 1,000°F (538°C) before pumping it to 100,000 buildings in Manhattan below 96th Street—the biggest steam system in the world.

Northeast Blackout of 1965
The Northeast Blackout of 1965 was a significant disruption in the supply of electricity on November 9, 1965, affecting Ontario, Canada and Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey in the United States. Around 25 million people and 80,000 square miles (207,000 km²) were left without electricity for up to twelve hours.

24 February 1966, New York (NY) Times, pg. 52:
Con Edison dropped 3/8, to 40 1/8, its lowest price since 1962. Contributing to this performance was a critical article in the March issue of Fortune magazine entitled “Con Edison: The Company You Love To Hate.”

25 March 1967, New York (NY) Times, “CON ED CHOOSES U.S. AIDE AS CHIEF: Charles F. Luce, Interior Under Secretary, Due to Assume Chairmanship” by Gene Smith, pg. 34:
Mr. Eble, his close friends reported, was especially disturbed by a major article in Fortune magazine’s March, 1966, issue entitled “Nobody Loves Consolidated Edison” and dealing at length with the utility’s management and its policies. The cover showed a manhole cover and a caption that read: “Con Edison: The Company You Love to Hate.”

29 November 1968, New York (NY) Times, “Chief Executive of Con Edison: Charles Franklin Luce,” pg. 46:
When Mr. Luce, whose company faces a strike starting Sunday, came to New York, he announced that his goal was to make Consolidated Edison “the No. 1 utility in the country.”

The statement was made with the full knowledge that Con Ed, as it is familiarly known, could count among its most immediate ailments a public image of its stature rivaled by the height of one of its manhole covers. Indeed, the manhole and the image had already been linked in 1966 on the cover of Fortune magazine, where a caption called the utility “The Company You Lov to Hate.”

New York (NY) Times
Charles F. Luce, Ex-Chief of Con Ed, Is Dead at 90
Published: January 29, 2008
Charles F. Luce, the chairman and chief executive of Consolidated Edison, the giant New York electric and gas utility during some of its most difficult times, died Saturday in Torrance, Calif. He was 90 and lived in Bronxville, N.Y.
At Mr. Udall’s request, President Johnson appointed Mr. Luce as under secretary of the Interior in September 1966. But within six months, Con Ed officials — spurred by a Fortune magazine headline, “The Company You Love to Hate” — asked Mr. Luce to take control of the company.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Monday, April 21, 2008 • Permalink