[D8933ACA], Letter from Henry Augustus Rowland to Edward Dean Adams, October 27th, 1889


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[D8933ACA], Letter from Henry Augustus Rowland to Edward Dean Adams, October 27th, 1889

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[AC/DC] [Enclosure to D8933ABZ] [TAE marg: Tate--Say to Adams he better get some more professors to report I should like to see about a dozen professors set down to Banquet of Boiled Crow--E] "Dear Sir:--I believe it will take me another month to write out a full report on the transmission of the power of Niagara Falls. In the meantime if there are any questions that I can answer at once, I would be glad to do so.####The whole question is one of cost. So far the answers I have obtained from the electric companies have been, to say the least, foolish. Theyare perfectly willing to help spend the oney but the schemes submitted are either vague or impractical. So far I believe that the City of Buffalo might be lighted from Niagara Falls and even smell powers of 10 to 20 horse power furnished but even in these cases the cost would be very little short if any, of erecting a large central station with a steam engine at Buffalo. I believe it would cost from $80 to $70 per year per horse power in Bufffalo for large powers and I suppose this is beyond the cost of steam power there. Have you any data as to the cost of steam power in large mills at Buffalo or Tonawanda?####hiterhto electric transmission of power has some in competition with sall steam engines only, in which the cost of power is often $200 per h.p per year for a 10 hour servie. But when it has to compete with large steam engines, it must furnish power for about $50.####Have you any data as to the cost of water power AS DELIVERED FROM THE TURBINES at Niagara Falls. TO the $5 for water privileges must be added the cost of attendance and the interest and depreciation on the cost of turbines, turbine pitts, water ways etc. I suppose this would make the figures $10, or even $15 per year. I propose to take the figures at $10, if you have no other data for an estimate.####As to local distribution of power within the limits two miles, I believe power can be furnished in large mills for from $30 to $40 per year per h.p but I will give better estimates as soonas I can collect the data.####As to Tonawanda, lighting can be carried on there with economy, I think, and small power furnished. As to large powers, all depends on the cost of steam power there. I believe that, with proper business and electrical management, it might pay.####In case of both lighting and power, however, currents of high tension (death-dealing currents) must be used in case of distance transmission.####The proper method of lighting Tonawanda would be by alternating currents, in the use of which the Westinghouse Company stands preeminent. Their system is eminently practical and carried out with regard to theoretical as well as commercial efficiency. At the same time the high potential wires in the street are highly dangerous. I will consider the case more fully in my report.####Yours sincerely,####(signed) Henry A. Rowland####PS: This is for incandescent lighting. For arc lights I believe the Brush system is the best. This company now belongs to the Thomson-Houston."







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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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