Cochran's Electric Light Company


Edgewater Electric Light Station
Western Electric, Volume 5, Number 24, December 14, 1889, page 305
Edgewater Electric Light Station
The cut presented herewith, shows the interior of the electric light station at Edgewater, Ill. Edgewater is one of Chicago’s most beautiful suburbs and its lighting plant is entirely in keeping with the general attractiveness of the place. The suburb was laid out by J. L. Cochran, who controls the property. Mr. Cochran followed a well-matured plan in creating Edgewater, and the results have been more than satisfactory. It is now an exclusive and fashionable colony.
No two buildings are alike. Each house is of modern and beautiful design and fitted with every convenience. In planning for the development of Edgewater, the originator determined that nothing should be wanting to make the place attractive. The all-important question as to what was the best illuminant to adopt for both house and street lighting was decided without hesitation in favor of electricity. Leonard & Izard of Chicago were awarded the contract to install the Edison system. The plant was first started in the basement of the “the Hall.” Six houses were wired on the two-wire system and supplied with current from a 250-light machine. The wires were run bare on a pole line in what are called “the alleys” at the back of the houses. Connection with the pole line from the conductors inside of the houses is made through the attics. A short time afterward ten new houses were finished, and it was then decided to change to a three-wire system. The plant was moved soon after to the new station which had been erected to receive it. It is the interior of the last named structure which is shown in the accompanying illustration. The first impression on entering the station is a most pleasant one. The floor and ceiling are of yellow pine with oil finish. The walls are of painted brick. The windows are covered with delicately tinted shades and at each is hung a basket of growing flowers. Between the windows are ornamented pedestals. On these are placed growing plants in pots and vases. Whether the favorable impression is caused by the clean and spotless appearance of the polished work on the engines and machines, or by the general effect of the potted plants and flowers, tastefully disposed among the machines and in the windows, is difficult to say.
All the machinery is on the ground floor. The boiler room adjoins the dynamo room. The building is a two-story one, the upper story being divided into comfortable and well lighted apartments. These are occupied by the superintendent, W. F. Gossick. The dynamos are belted directly to the engines as shown. There are two No. 12 Edison hand regulating machines of 500 lights capacity each, and two of 250 lights capacity. The two larger machines are driven by a 100-horse power compound condensing Williams engine. A 60-horse power Ide engine furnishes power for the two 250 lighters. The switch board is located to the left of the dynamos as represented in the cut, and consequently is not shown. The switches, “bus bars,” and, in fact, all the conductors in the station are of bright polished copper. The whole system of conductors and switches is, of course, arranged so that any or all of the machines may be thrown on or off as desired. It may also be mentioned that the “pilot lamp” on each machine is inclosed in a delicately colored glass shade. The effect of these different colored lights in the evening is most pleasing. The oil from the engines is carried off by pipes to a reservoir beneath the floor. From the tank it is pumped into a filter, and in this way is used over and over again.
Steam is taken from two boilers. One is a 100-horse power tubular boiler made by the National Boiler Works, Chicago; the other is a 60-horse power boiler of the same type. The smaller boiler was made by Peter Devine, Chicago. A steam pressure of 70 is carried. The Jarvis furnace setting is used. Screenings are burned. The fuel is unloaded from the cars into the boiler room, the station being located alongside the tracks of the Chicago & Evanston Railroad.
Water for condensing purposes is obtained from nine “drive wells” and one “open” well. The “drive” wells consist merely of two inch pipe driven from six to eight feet into the sandy soil. From this depth surface water is drawn by a Dean combination pump and condenser. The water from the condenser is discharged after use, into an open ground at the back of the station. As sufficient water could not be obtained from nine “drive” wells, an “open” well fourteen feet in diameter and fourteen feet deep was built. The water supply is now ample.
Wiring has been finished for 1,500 lamps. Thirty-two candle power lamps are used in the streets, and are hung over the center. Sixteen candle power lamps are used in the residences. The plant runs from dusk in the evening until dawn. The electrical work in connection with the station was all done under the supervision of E. C. Noe for Leonard & Izard.
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