Bob Malesky, Producer & BURN Contributor

Running a family-owned farm is one of this country’s more difficult livelihoods. Before electrical power, it was even harder. In the early 1930s, only 11% of the country’s farms had power. Fifty years later, nearly all of them had electricity.

Here are oral histories of people who experienced the life-changing transformation, much of it coming courtesy of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). Produced by NPR veteran Bob Malesky.


An REA worker hangs power lines. Photo: Library of Congress