Skip to main content

1980

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
Society: ASMEMain Category: Mechanical, ElectricSub Category: SteamEra: 1900-1909DateCreated: 19066605 13th Avenue SouthSeattleState: WAZip: 98108Country: 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, Gilbreth, Frank
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.
YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy Flickr/wneuetc (CC BY-ND 2.0)Image Caption: Georgetown Steam PlantEra_date_from: 1906
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: ManufacturingEra: 1930-1939DateCreated: 1930ABB Combustion EngineeringChattanoogaState: TNZip: 37402Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/manufacturing---1/-44-fusion-welded-test-boiler-drum-%281930%29Creator: Combustion Engineering Inc., Moses, A. J.
This fusion-welded drum, tested during 1930, was the first in a series tested at Combustion Engineering Inc. that led to the industrial acceptance of welding for the fabrication of boiler drums. Replacing riveting for steam power plants, electric arc fusion welding permitted increased efficiencies through higher working pressures and temperatures and fabrication of larger units of improved safety. Welding was then rapidly extended to fabrication using optimum alloys for pressure vessel and structural application. Papers published by A. J.
YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Image source: Engrailhistory.infoImage Caption: Fusion-welded Test Boiler DrumEra_date_from: 1930
Edison 'Jumbo' Engine-Driver Dynamo
Society: ASMEMain Category: Electric, MechanicalSub Category: SteamEra: 1880-1889DateCreated: 1882Henry Ford MuseumDearbornState: MIZip: 48124Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-steam/-48-edison--jumbo--engine-driver-dynamo-%281882%29Creator: Edison, Thomas

This dynamo, connected directly to a high-speed steam engine, was one of six that produced direct current at Thomas A. Edison's electric power station at 257 Pearl Street in New York City. The Pearl Street Station was the prototype for central station power generation. Edison set out in 1878 to provide an electrical distribution system to bring lighting into the home: His first filament lamp lit on October 21, 1879. With the help of Frances Upton and C.L. Clarke, Edison built his engine-driven dynamo for the 1881 Paris Electrical Exposition.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Caption: Edison jumbo dynamoEra_date_from: 1882
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Research and DevelopmentEra: 1920-1929DateCreated: 1928WaukeshaState: WICountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-m-z/research-and-development/-50-cooperative-fuel-research-engine-%281928%29Creator: Waukesha Motor Company

The Cooperative Fuel Research (CFR) engine is used extensively throughout the world for testing, research, and instruction in the performance of fuels and lubricants for the internal combustion engine. Principal design work on this prototype engine was accomplished by engineers of Waukesha Motor Company, now a division of Dresser Industries, who served on a Cooperative Fuel Research Committee with representatives of the American Petroleum Institute, Society of Automotive Engineers, Automobile Manufacturers Association, and the National Bureau of Standards.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy Colorado State UniversityImage Caption: Cooperative Fuel Research EngineEra_date_from: 1928
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Environmental ControlEra: 1940-1949DateCreated: 1948Commonwealth BuildingPortlandState: ORCountry: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/environmental-control/-46-commonwealth-building-heat-pump-%281948%29Creator: Graham, Charles , Belluschi, Pietro

The use of heat pumps for the heating and cooling of the Commonwealth Building, initiated in 1948, was a pioneering achievement in the western hemisphere. The theoretical conception of the heat pump was described in a neglected book, published in 1824 and written by a young French army officer, Sadi Carnot. Its practical application on a large scale is attributable to designers J. Donald Kroeker and Ray C. Chewning, building engineer Charles E. Graham, and architect Pietro Belluschi.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: 1940s postcard featuring the new Commonwealth (Equitable) Building in Portland, OR.Image Caption: Commonwealth Building Heat PumpEra_date_from: 1948
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
Society: ASMEMain Category: MechanicalSub Category: Biomedical EngineeringEra: 1950-1959DateCreated: 1957Capen HallBuffaloState: NYZip: 14228Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/biomedical-engineering/-55-blood-heat-exchanger-%281957%29, http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5505.pdfCreator: Brown Jr., Ivan , Emmons, W.D.
This is the first commercial, human-blood heat exchanger. Developed in 1957, it permitted a patient's body temperature to be safely and rapidly lowered during open heart surgery to any desired and precisely controlled hypothermic level, then during the conclusion of the operation rapidly rewarmed to normal. Prior to this, hypothermic surgery required hours of preoperative, hard-to-control, external emersion cooling and postoperative rewarming. Its design was a cooperative development between researchers at the Duke University Medical Center led by Dr. Ivan W.
YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: A disassembly of the Blood Heat ExchangerEra_date_from: 1957
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
Society: ASMEMain Category: Electric, MechanicalSub Category: SteamEra: 1890-1899DateCreated: 1891Henry Ford MuseumDearbornState: MIZip: 48124Country: USAWebsite: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/history/landmarks/topics-a-l/electric-power-production-steam/-49-marine-type-triple-expansion--engine-driven-dy, http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5537.pdfCreator: Vleck, John Van, Joy, David

This machine, which began operation on December 15, 1891, for the New York Edison Illuminating Company, represents the beginning of large-scale electric power generation in the United States. The generator was designed by chief engineer John Van Vleck, David Joy (known in England for his valve gear), and S. F. Prest.

YearAdded:
1980
Image Credit: Courtesy ASMEImage Caption: Engine-Driven DynamoEra_date_from: 1891
Subscribe to 1980

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support this 70-year tradition of trusted historical writing and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.

Donate

Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.