Skip to main content
Michigan-Lake Superior Power Hydroelectric Plant
Main Category
Sub Category
Date Created
Michigan-Lake Superior Power Hydroelectric Plant
St. Mary's River nr. Ashum St.
Saulte Sainte Marie

This low-head operating plant is representative of nineteenth-century hydropower-plant practice using many small turbines in contrast to twentieth-century use of few large turbines and generators. Its 40,000 horsepower capacity made it the largest in the country using turbines of American design (McCormick-Francis). The contemporary and larger Niagara installation used turbines of French design (Fourneyron). The entrepreneur of this plant was Francis Clergue, a lawyer, who employed as his chief engineer Hans A.E. von Schon, a German immigrant who had served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Early, extremely large-scale, low-head hydropower plant using many small turbines
Image Credit
Courtesy ASME
Image Caption
Michigan-Lake Superior Power Hydroelectric Plant

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


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