The facade of Šeduva‘s electricity plant. Courtesy of Lithuanian State Central Archive.
Nowadays a candlelit evening sounds romantic, but in the shtetls between the two world wars, it was the usual practice. The evenings were dark and frightening, especially during the colder months. It comes as no surprise then that when the winds of progress blew in, people seized on the idea of electricity, and private electrical generating plants sprang up one after another.
A permit was issued for the construction of an electricity plant in Šeduva in 1930. Two men operated the electricity generator. Residents and businesses weren't supplied electricity around the clock and the tariff was based on the number of lightbulbs at a given location. It was actually some of the most expensive electricity in Europe at the time, so most people continued to spend their evenings in the glow of candlelight.
Electricity came to Šeduva thanks to two men from Kaunas, Jewish businessman Faivelis Sidreris who had a home on the market square in Šeduva, and the engineer and businessman Martynas Salevski. The latter was engaged in other activities as well. For instance, he sold Adler automobiles on Freedom Alley in Kaunas. He won the President Antanas Smetona Cup in the Around Lithuania rally in one of his Adlers in 1937. His trophy is still on display at the M. K. Čiurlionis National Art Museum.