In 1890, the North
American Company was formed as a holding company, controlled by Henry
Villard to create an electric utility empire in Milwaukee. The
Milwaukee Street Railway Co. was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary, and by
1894 completed acquisition of all streetcar companies. Also in 1894, the
last horse cars were replaced with electric streetcars. Finally in 1896, the
Milwaukee Street Railway Co. was reorganized as The Milwaukee Electric
Railway and Light Company, remaining as a subsidiary of the North American
Co. The North American Co. was renamed the North American Edison Co. in
1922, and continued to exist as a holding company, owning The Milwaukee
Electric Railway and Light Company and successor companies until 1947.
The NAC was one of the original 12
companies that made up the Dow Average in 1896.