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2024 The Year of the Stobie pole

Media Release

South Australia's iconic Stobie pole this year is celebrating its 100th birthday.

Stobie Pole 100 year roundel-svg

The Stobie pole was formally patented in July 1924 by the then Adelaide Electric Supply Company. They were developed because of the shortage of wood for poles in SA and our issues with termites. 

An invention of engineer James ‘Cyril’ Stobie, the concrete and steel pole has become iconic in South Australia.  

The first pole was installed in South Terrace in the city in 1924. Today, more than 650,000 Stobie poles help South Australians share energy across an area of about 180,000 square kilometres. 

“The Stobie is a distinctly South Australian icon, as unique as the Hills Hoist, Coopers Beer and Frog Cakes,” said Paul Roberts, Head of Corporate Affairs. 

“The beauty is that while it has served us well for 100 years, it will continue to have a central role in the State’s power supply for many years to come even as we shift to a renewables energy system.” 

Paul said SA Power Networks was planning a number of events and engagements to honour the humble Stobie this year. 

The Stobie’s birthday will feature in various arts, history and community events, culminating in a birthday party at the SA Power Networks Stobie plant at Angle Park in mid-July. 

“Every Stobie manufactured at Angle Park this year will be stamped to commemorate the anniversary,” Paul said. 

“We are particularly looking forward to our 2024 partnerships with the History Trust and Helpmann Academy. 

“This year’s History Festival in May has the incredibly appropriate theme of ‘Power’ and the Stobie will be used to honour 100 wonderful South Australians. We will open the Angle Park facility for public tours during the Festival. 

“Also, we have commissioned a very special arts installation with the Helpmann Academy which supports new and emerging artists.” 

More details will be revealed in coming months. 

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