Business People Fall 2018 - Page 10

NEW BUSINESS Wes Olson admits he may have taken some liberties with the "electrically illuminated since 1883" part of the sign. The claim for the first electric light in the city of Ottumwa was at Pallister Brothers, but not until 1903 or so. The guys had seen an electric light demonstrated at a carnival and just had to have one of their own; it took about a year plus a trip to New Jersey to get one made. And yes, they were darn proud of their one light. At one spot in the basement, a series of ropes disappears into the ceiling. Give a little tug, and a section of the floor you are standing on will rise. It's a primitive yet ingenious pully and counterweight system that acts as the building's rope elevator. Olson beleives it may date to the 1800s and is possibly using the original rope. This building