IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - 85

The Original Power Plant
the buildings were designed to be
equipped with steam heat as well as
both gas and electric lighting. the
electric lights themselves were provided by the edison electric Company.
An elevator was installed by the Otis
elevator Company.
two 110-hp steam boilers, equipped
with Worthington boiler feed pumps,
were installed along with a 40-hp
harris-Corliss horizontal steam engine
to drive the machine shop equipment
via leather belts and shafting. this installation included a unique octagonal
brick chimney that was 124 ft (37.8 m)
in height.
the first student registration was
held in October 1887, but the heating
boilers were not yet completed, so individual classroom coal stoves were
used for heat. the boilers were finally
inspected and lit in late November.
the harris-Corliss engine was not
delivered until december, and the electric lighting plant took even longer to
complete. School trustees complained
that "the edison electric Company,
through their agent Mr. Chinnock, have
been very slow in getting the plant in order and it looks now as if there will be
no light until January." In the interim,
oil lamps (possibly burning Pratt's astral oil) were used when necessary. It
appears that construction projects such
as this one 128 years ago moved along
about as well as many still do today.
the edison electric Company did
manage to complete the electric generating plant very early in January
1888 (probably the result of serious
prodding by Pratt and others). Incandescent lights in the Main Building
were supplied by an edison bipolar
generator driven from an Armington
& Sims horizontal steam engine. In
addition, a 125-hp New York Safety
Steam Power Company engine drove,
via belting, both a Sawyer-Man dynamo and a Western electric arc
light dynamo. this latter installation
provided lighting in both the Mechanical Arts Building (also known
as the east Building) as well as in
the trade School Building. It is not
november/december 2016

known whether the edison electric
Company had any involvement with
the installation of this equipment or
with the arc lamps themselves.
A man named Joseph Foster became the first chief engineer for this
power plant and, throughout the following decades, there have been only

four men holding this title, with Milster
being the most recent.
Peace must have been restored between the edison electric Company
and Pratt Institute trustees because,
in 1888, edison was given an order
for new overhead shafting in the
machine shop (this would have been

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ieee power & energy magazine

85


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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