Why would the word “STOLEN” be stenciled onto a light bulb!
You are about to find out. The 1911-1935 Copper Smelting town of Anyox which is about 145 km north of Prince Rupert is only accessible by boat. This town was a company town owned by Granby Consolidated. They provided all the houses, electricity, sewer, water, store, transportation but one they they did not provide was “Light Bulbs”! The company provided light bulbs for the factories, equipment shops, store, offices and smelter but not for the houses. They were going through an increased number of light bulbs and soon realized that some unscrupulous residents were taking company light bulbs for their own residential use.
The company quickly came up with a plan to stop this unauthorized use.
Their plan was to contract their supplier who would stamp all the official light bulbs with the word “STOLEN” in large capital letters, as this would discourage use of them in the residences and rooming houses.”
This worked for some of the more honest residents or those who were not willing to take the shame of displaying the words “STOLEN” on their lights.
Others were not as worried, and proudly lit up their houses with the words stolen reflecting on the walls of the house.
There were even stories of some families asking their children to take a piece of emory cloth and rub the bulbs as it made for a “brighter” light while the children unknowingly removed the stigma of the stenciled “STOLEN”.
Anyox is a ghost town full of interesting stories and remnants. That is why we will be visiting this remarkable ghost town again June 2-3, 2018. Contact us for more information on making the trip with us.