(PCM) Throughout our daily lives we could not even begin to count the sheer amount of times that we are flipping light switches on and off, plugging in lamps and other electronics, and staring at stoplights and streelights that guide us safely to and from our destinations. History buffs are well aware that we have inventor Thomas Edison to thank for the introduction of electricity in our daily lives and September 4 marks the day that Edison’s Pearl Street Central Power Station in Manhattan, NY began it’s very first commercial electric lighting service back in the year of 1882.
At 3pm Edison threw the switch that would start up America’s first power plant, serving a square-mile area that included some very wealthy and influential customers: J.P. Morgan, the Stock Exchange, and the nation’s largest newspapers. The initial load for the power plant was 400 lamps to 82 customers from one direct current generator fired by coal. While, this date was the birth of America’s power plant, it would still be about another two years before everyday individuals would place their trust in electric and create enough purchase orders for electric power to see them being built in other cities.
Sadly, the Pearl Street Central Power station burned down in 1890, and all but one of the original dynamo generators were destroyed. The surviving dynamo now rests at the Greefield Village Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.