Skip to main content

Plant

Vulcan Street Plant
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Power GenerationEra: 1880-1889DateCreated: 1882Fox RiverAppletonState: WIZip: 54911Country: USAWebsite: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/who-we-are/engineering-history/landmarks/29-vulcan-street-power-plant, https://www.asme.org/getmedia/c0b5b641-34df-46a5-aa22-c847b42084b4/29-Vulcan-Street-Power-Plant.aspxCreator: Rogers, H.J. , Edison, Thomas

The plant began operation only twenty-six days after Thomas Edison's first steam plant began operating on Pearl Street in New York (NL 46). On September 30, 1882, an Edison "K" type dynamo produced electricity from a water-powered turbine to light three buildings (two paper mills and the H.J. Rogers home), at rate of about 12 1/2 kilowatts. It is the first Edison hydroelectric central station to serve a system of private and commercial customers in North America. The story of its development provides keen insight into the nation's first experiences with the electric light.

YearAdded:
1977
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/bigcityal (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: Vulcan Street PlantEra_date_from: 1882
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Treatment Plant
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Water Supply & ControlEra: 1910-1919DateCreated: 1919Lake FreewayMilwaukeeState: WIZip: 53207Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Milwaukee-Metropolitan-Sewage-Treatment-Plant/

This was America's first large-scale activated sludge plant. The successful operation of Milwaukee's sewage treatment plant led the way for many other American municipalities to adopt its methods of efficient environmental recycling.

Prior to 1925, sewage and industrial waste from the City of Milwaukee and its suburbs (then population 500,000) was discharged to the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic rivers, which converge in Milwaukee and flow together through a single outlet into Lake Michigan.

YearAdded:
1974
Image Credit: Public Domain (National Park Service)Image Caption: Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Treatment PlantEra_date_from: 1919
Society: IEEEMain Category: ElectricalSub Category: Power, Energy & Industry ApplicationEra: 1890-1899DateCreated: 18951501 Buffalo AvenueNiagara FallsState: NYZip: 14303Country: USAWebsite: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Adams_Hydroelectric_Generating_Plant,_1895Creator: McKim Mead & White
When the Adams Plant went into operation on August 26, 1895, it represented a key victory for alternating-current systems over direct-current. The clear advantage of high voltage AC for long distance power transmission and the unprecedented size of the plant (it reached its full capacity of ten 5,000-HP generators in May 1900) influenced the future of the electrical industry worldwide. In August 1895 the Adams No. 1 generating station of the Niagara Falls Power Company first supplied electric power to local industries in Niagara Falls, New York.
YearAdded:
1990
Image Credit: Courtesy Wikipedia/Lvklock (CC BY-SA 3.0)Image Caption: Adams Hydroelectric Generating PlantEra_date_from: 1895
Greens Bayou Generator Plant
Society: ASMEMain Category: Electric, MechanicalSub Category: SteamEra: 1940-1949DateCreated: 194913300 West Bellfort AvenueHoustonState: TXZip: 77099Country: USAWebsite: https://www.asme.org/about-asme/who-we-are/engineering-history/landmarks/154-greens-bayou-generator-plantCreator: Sinton, Walton

On April 21, 1949, a completely outdoor turbine-generator was placed into commercial operation at the Greens Bayou electric power plant--the first fully outdoor unit to operate in the United States. The demand for unprecedented quantities of electricity after World War II pressed utilities to provide addition power quickly. The outdoor design, unlike the traditional large turbine hall, resulted in significant reductions in the cost per kilowatt to build the plant.

YearAdded:
1991
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Greens Bayou Generator PlantEra_date_from: 1949
Georgetown Steam Hydro Generating Plant
Society: IEEEMain Category: ElectricalSub Category: Power, Energy & Industry ApplicationEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1906Duwamish RiverSeattleState: WACountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-steam/-45-georgetown-steam-plant-%281906%29-georgetown-powerCreator: Stone and Webster

The Georgetown Steam Plant, a surprisingly complete and operable steam power plant after a career of nearly seventy-five years, was built in the early 1900s when Seattle's inexpensive hydroelectric power attracted manufacturers. Much of the power produced at this plant operated the streetcars. It marks the beginning of the end of the reciprocating steam engine's domination in the growing field of electrical energy generation for lighting and power.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Caption: Georgetown Steam Hydro Generating PlantEra_date_from: 1906
Ontario Power Generation
Society: IEEEMain Category: ElectricalSub Category: Power, Energy & Industry ApplicationEra: 1890-1899DateCreated: 1898Twelve Mile CreekNiagaraState: OntarioCountry: CanadaWebsite: http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/index.php/Milestones:Decew_Falls_Hydro-Electric_Plant,_1898Creator: Patterson, John, Cataract Power Company

The Decew Falls Hydro-Electric Development was a pioneering project in the generation and transmission of electrical energy at higher voltages and at greater distances in Canada. On 25 August 1898 this station transmitted power at 22,500 Volts, 66 2/3 Hz, two-phase, a distance of 56 km to Hamilton, Ontario. Using the higher voltage permitted efficient transmission over that distance. The Cataract Power Company of Hamilton Limited (the predecessor to the Dominion Power and Transmission Company) was organized in 1896.

YearAdded:
2004
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/ontariopowergeneration (CC BY 2.0)Image Caption: Decew Falls Hydro-Electric PlantEra_date_from: 1898
Society: ASMEMain Category: Mechanical, ElectricSub Category: SteamEra: 1910-1919DateCreated: 1918108 E Wells StreetMilwaukeeState: WIZip: 53202Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-steam/-42-east-wells-%28onieda%29-street-power-plant-%281918%29, http://sections.asme.org/milwaukee/history/4-pulverizedcoal.htmlCreator: Esser, Herman, Anderson, John
Formerly known as the Oneida Street Power Plant, this plant served from 1918 to 1920 as the pilot plant in the United States for the development and use of finely pulverized coal firing in the boilers of steam-electric power plants. The results of the Oneida experiences were major changes in boiler design and lower costs of power generation. Following the early years of central station electric development, experiments at Onieda Street resolved persisting inefficiencies at a time when coal was increasingly expensive and of poorer quality.
YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Image source:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Image Caption: East Wells Onieda Street Power PlantEra_date_from: 1918
Chain of Rocks Water Purification Plant
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Water Supply & ControlEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 1903Mississippi RiverSt. LouisState: MOCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asce.org/Project/Chain-of-Rocks-Water-Purification-Plant/

Clarifying the turbid waters of the Mississippi River for use as drinking water was a formidable challenge. The Chain of Rocks Water Purification Plant provided the first application of a system of flocculation, sedimentation, and rapid sand filtration for water purification.

The system played a major role in reducing the impact of St. Louis' typhoid and cholera epidemic of 1903 that claimed 287 lives. Continued improvements to the plant reduced that number to 91 by 1914. It is estimated that 1,900 lives were likely saved between 1903 and 1915 due to the filtration system.

YearAdded:
1981
Image Credit: Public Domain (Author's Choice)Image Caption: Chain of Rocks Water Purification PlantEra_date_from: 1903
Rocky River Pumped-storage Hydroelectric Plant
Society: ASMEMain Category: Electric, MechanicalSub Category: WaterEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1929Rocky River StationHartfordState: CTZip: 06101Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-water/-56-rocky-river-pumped-storage-hydroelectric-plant, https://www.asme.org/getmedia/1b393410-996b-4172-b5b7-628efc383e7d/56-Rocky-River-Hydroelectric-Station.aspxCreator: Connecticut Light & Power Company

The Connecticut Light & Power Company pioneered the use of pumped storage in the United States at this hydroelectric station. First operated in 1929, the Rocky River Plant had two reversible pumps that somewhat resemble large hydroelectric turbines. This permitted significant improvements in the system efficiency of the company's network of hydroelectric and thermal-electric power generating plants. Water is pumped uphill through a penstock and stored in Lake Candlewood.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Rocky River Pumped-storage Hydroelectric PlantEra_date_from: 1929
Idols Station, Fries Manufacturing & Power Company
Society: ASMEMain Category: Electric, MechanicalSub Category: WaterEra: 1890-1899DateCreated: 1898Duke Power Company-Winston-SalemState: NCZip: 27012Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-water/-99-idols-station,-fries-manufacturing---power-comCreator: Fries Manufacturing and Power Company

This run-of-the-river plant is a typical example of late nineteenth-century small-scale (750 kilowatt) low-head hydroelectric power technology. The Fries Manufacturing and Power Company began operating the Idol's Station on April 18, 1898, making it the first commercial hydroelectric plant in North Carolina involving long-distance power transmission, fourteen-miles distance at 10,000 volts. Idol's was an important power source for transportation, lighting, and industry in the Winston-Salem area.

YearAdded:
1984
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Idols Station, Fries Manufacturing & Power CompanyEra_date_from: 1898
Subscribe to Plant
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.