a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

ca. 1895 - ALTERNATING-CURRENT TRANSFORMER - long distance electric transmission 
            development and implementation

WATER-WHEEL GENERATOR

E&MP 40.014

Electric Transformers

ca. 1895

- 1728 5000 H.P. 2-PHASE NIAGARA ALTERNATOR

One of the water-wheel generators which made history at Niagara Falls - where an alternating-current system was installed in 1895 - in those early days these machines were called alternators.


Original Caption by Science Service

Additional Information:

In 1895, the Niagara Falls Power Company began placing contracts with the Westinghouse Company for long distance electric transmission development and implementation.

It included the building of transformers that could handle 1,250 horsepower and the stringing of overhead wires capable of transmitting 11,000 volts.

On November 15th 1896, the City of Buffalo joined the power grid being generated from Niagara Falls. It became the first long distance transmission of electricity for commercial purposes.

With this new success, new industry moved into the area.

Courtesy: Adams Power Station Niagara Falls New York - American Memories Collection.



National Museum of American History

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