Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant

Workmen with one of the two Westinghouse alternators used in the original 1891 Ames Hydroelectric AC power installation
Interior view, 1895 Ames powerhouse
Overall view of Ames plant, early 20th century
2010 exterior view of Ames Power Station, built 1905.

One of the first commercial system to produce and transmit alternating current (AC) electricity for industrial use and one of the first AC hydro-electric plants ever constructed.

- Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant

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Ophir, Colorado

Home rule municipality governed by a general assembly and is located in San Miguel County, Colorado, United States.

Home rule municipality governed by a general assembly and is located in San Miguel County, Colorado, United States.

Ophir Post Office, 2019
Ophir Loop on the Rio Grande Southern, around 1910

Ophir is located two miles from the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, the world's first hydroelectric plant to supply alternating current electricity for an industrial purpose (mining).

Westinghouse Electric Corporation

American manufacturing company founded in 1886 by George Westinghouse.

American manufacturing company founded in 1886 by George Westinghouse.

George Westinghouse, founder
1888 Westinghouse brochure advertising their Alternating system
Share of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, issued March 31, 1910
1924 book on protective relays for AC and DC electrical systems by the Company
Logo designed by Paul Rand in 1959

1891 – built world's first industrial AC system (Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant)

Thomas Edison's phonograph

Timeline of electrical and electronic engineering

The following timeline tables list the discoveries and inventions in the history of electrical and electronic engineering.

The following timeline tables list the discoveries and inventions in the history of electrical and electronic engineering.

Thomas Edison's phonograph
Cinématographe camera by the Lumière brothers in 1895 (ref 86.5822) at the French Museum of Photography in Bièvres, Essonne, France
Daylygraph wire recorder

1891 – Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant

Alternating current (green curve). The horizontal axis measures time (it also represents zero voltage/current) ; the vertical, current or voltage.

Alternating current

Electric current which periodically reverses direction and changes its magnitude continuously with time in contrast to direct current (DC) which flows only in one direction.

Electric current which periodically reverses direction and changes its magnitude continuously with time in contrast to direct current (DC) which flows only in one direction.

Alternating current (green curve). The horizontal axis measures time (it also represents zero voltage/current) ; the vertical, current or voltage.
A schematic representation of long distance electric power transmission. From left to right: G=generator, U=step up transformer, V=voltage at beginning of transmission line, Pt=power entering transmission line, I=current in wires, R=total resistance in wires, Pw=power lost in transmission line, Pe=power reaching the end of the transmission line,  D=step down transformer, C=consumers.
Three-phase high-voltage transmission lines use alternating currents to distribute power over long distances between electric generation plants and consumers. The lines in the picture are located in eastern Utah.
A sine wave, over one cycle (360°). The dashed line represents the root mean square (RMS) value at about 0.707.
The Hungarian "ZBD" Team (Károly Zipernowsky, Ottó Bláthy, Miksa Déri), inventors of the first high efficiency, closed-core shunt connection transformer
The prototype of the ZBD transformer on display at the Széchenyi István Memorial Exhibition, Nagycenk in Hungary
Westinghouse Early AC System 1887
(US patent 373035)

The Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant and the original Niagara Falls Adams Power Plant were among the first hydroelectric alternating current power plants.

Lucien Lucius Nunn

L. L. Nunn

American entrepreneur and educator who founded Telluride House, Telluride Association and Deep Springs College.

American entrepreneur and educator who founded Telluride House, Telluride Association and Deep Springs College.

Lucien Lucius Nunn
Nunn's house in Telluride

In order to help his mining operations prosper, Nunn financed the world’s first A/C power plant used for industrial purposes (mining), the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant.

Elementary generator is an example of single-phase generators with two poles

Single-phase generator

Alternating current electrical generator that produces a single, continuously alternating voltage.

Alternating current electrical generator that produces a single, continuously alternating voltage.

Elementary generator is an example of single-phase generators with two poles
Armature of revolving armature single-phase generator with 4 windings and its output sine wave.
Single phase generator with four poles
Diagram of revolving field single-phase generator with two poles
Diagram of revolving field single-phase generator with four poles
In-conduit hydro turbine with single-phase generator at St. Louis Municipal Electric Power Plant in 1902
Pelton wheel on the left connected to single-phase generator on the right at Walchensee hydro station.
Single-phase generator driven by steam engine at St. Louis Municipal Electric Power Plant in 1902 (right)
Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant

In 1891, a 3,000 volts and 133 Hz single-phase generator of 100 horsepower was installed at Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant which was belt-connected with Pelton water wheel.

Small power plant of Licq-Athérey (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France).

Small hydro

Development of hydroelectric power on a scale suitable for local community and industry, or to contribute to distributed generation in a regional electricity grid.

Development of hydroelectric power on a scale suitable for local community and industry, or to contribute to distributed generation in a regional electricity grid.

Small power plant of Licq-Athérey (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France).
An 1895 hydroelectric plant near Telluride, Colorado.
Historic Ottenbach Small Hydro with original equipment of 1920 in Ottenbach, Switzerland, still running for guided visits
Hongping Power station, in Hongping Town, Shennongjia, has a design typical for small hydro stations in the western part of China's Hubei Province. Water comes from the mountain behind the station, through the black pipe seen in the photo

Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, Colorado, United States. On the List of IEEE Milestones

Telluride, Colorado

County seat and most populous town of San Miguel County in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Colorado.

County seat and most populous town of San Miguel County in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Colorado.

Telluride geologic map and location of historic mines
Fall colors in Telluride. View from the ski area, 2010
Aerial view of newly cut Boomerang Road (May 1972).
Brunswick Saloon, Telluride, circa 1900

In 1891, Telluride's L. L. Nunn joined forces with George Westinghouse to build the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, an alternating current power station, near Telluride.

Ames, Colorado

Unincorporated community in San Miguel County, Colorado, United States.

Unincorporated community in San Miguel County, Colorado, United States.

Ames is the site of the world's first system to generate and transmit alternating current electricity for industrial purposes (mining), the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant.

Canadian Horseshoe Falls at right

Niagara Falls

Group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States.

Group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the province of Ontario in Canada and the state of New York in the United States.

Canadian Horseshoe Falls at right
American Falls (large waterfall center-left) and Bridal Veil Falls (right)
Niagara Escarpment (in red). Niagara Falls is center-right between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
Damage from wind and ice on Goat Island, 1903
American Falls diverted during erosion control efforts in 1969
Louis Hennepin is depicted in front of the falls in this 1698 print.
Horseshoe Falls, 1869
American Falls frozen over with people on the ice, 1911
Aerial photograph of Niagara Falls, 1931
Hand-colored lithograph of the (double-decked) Niagara Suspension Bridge, c. 1856
Niagara Cantilever Bridge, c. 1895
The Rainbow Bridge, the first bridge downstream from the falls
New York side of Niagara Gorge, c. 1901
Ten 5,000 HP Westinghouse generators at Edward Dean Adams Power Plant
Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, New York
The Welland Canal connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie through a series of eight locks, allowing ships to bypass the 51 m high Niagara Falls
Bobby Leach and his barrel after his trip over Niagara Falls, (1911 photo)
Annie Edson Taylor posing with her wooden barrel (1901)
Charles Stephens in his barrel, prior to his fatal July 1920 attempt
Blondin carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, on a tightrope
Advertising broadside for trip to Niagara Falls from Massachusetts, 1895
Prospect Point Observation Tower (also known as the Niagara Falls Observation Tower)
Skylon Tower as seen from a helicopter on the Canadian side
The opening title from the theatrical trailer of the 1953 film Niagara.
José María Heredia y Heredia plaque at Table Rock
A General View of the Falls of Niagara by Alvan Fisher, 1820
Distant View of Niagara Falls by Thomas Cole, 1830
Niagara Fälle. Les chûtes du Niagara. Niagara Falls by Karl Bodmer, circa 1832
Voute sous la Chute du Niagara – Niagara Falls, circa 1841
Niagara by Frederic Edwin Church, 1857
Underneath Niagara Falls by Ferdinand Richardt, 1862
Niagara by Louis Rémy Mignot, circa 1866
Falls of Niagara from Below by Albert Bierstadt, 1869
Niagara Falls by William Morris Hunt, 1878
Niagara Falls, circa 1880

In 1893, Westinghouse Electric (which had built the smaller-scale Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant near Ophir, Colorado, two years earlier) was hired to design a system to generate alternating current on Niagara Falls, and three years after that a large-scale AC power system was created (activated on August 26, 1895).