1. Explain why the electric companies didn't provide rural service.
No power company wanted to pay the high cost of running electric lines to the rural areas. Even if they had done so, most farm people would not have been able to afford the service.
2. What was the REA? Who created it and why?
The REA (Rural Electrification Administration) was proposed by Pres. Franklin Roosevelt and passed by Congress in 1933 under the New Deal. Cooperatives were set up. The federal government extended the electric lines to the rural areas. Then, as a group of “shareholders”, these cooperatives signed up and bought electric service for a $5 fee. In this way, electric companies could sell more electricity (to the cooperatives as well as single family homes) and the rural people could afford the cost.
3. Describe the new opportunities electricity created for farmers.
Farmers had electric tools that helped them get their work done more quickly, with less effort, and without as many hired hands; they could produce higher quality dairy products because of refrigeration; more food could be produced (hens would lay more eggs because the lights would stay on even after dark); store owners could stay open after dark and they could sell electric products and different kinds of food.