The Electric Lighting Act 1882 allowed the Board of Trade to authorize by licence or provisional order the supply of electricity in any area, by any local authority, company or person. It gave local authorities the right to take over the assets of companies after 21 years, later extended to 42 years. The Electricity Act 1926 set up a Central Electricity Board and the National Grid. At vesting day, 1 April 1948, all these former undertakings were nationalized.
In Suffolk the use and development of electricity was slower due to the popoularity of gas in the area. The Suffolk Electricity Supply Company (IK400/1) was started in 1898 by Napier Prentice. In 1925 its name was changed to the East Anglian Electricity (Special Order) gave powers to develop an area of 294 sq. m. partly in Essex, partly in South West Suffolk. A Parliamentary Bill of 1927 led to the East Anglian Electricity Act which gave powers to supply electricity in Norfolk and Suffolk.Finborough Hall near Stowmarket was acquired by the East Anglian Electric Supply Co. Ltd in 1936 and was used as the Central Office for the East Anglian, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, Newmarket and Cambridge and Melton electricity companies. At Vesting Day 1948 all these companies were known collectively as Eastern Electricity.
These documents are mainly minutes and accounts, with share records and miscellaneous papers, of the various private and corporate electricity undertakings operating in East Suffolk before nationalisation of the industry.