The Power of Niagara
In 1757, Daniel Joncaire built a sawmill along the upper Niagara River to cut lumber for building ships and constructing a chapel at Fort Niagara. In the 1800s, mills and factories built along the American Rapids shoreline used an inlet canal for water power.
Augustus Porter, who ran a paper mill in the 1820s, envisioned a canal that would carry water from the river above the falls, through the village to the lower river gorge. Completed in 1857, the canal was not used until 1875, and then only on a limited basis.
Power Statons No. 1 & 2. In 1877, Jacob F. Schoellkopf purchased the canal, and in 1881, opened Schoellkopf Power Station No. 1. Schoellkopf Power Station No. 2 opened in 1896. The direct current (DC) both stations produced served local businesses.
In 1895, Powerhouse No. 1 (Dean Adams Station) opened along the river above the falls. The following year, when Nikola Tesla's alternating induction motor system was used, power was sent from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, New York, marking the world's first large-scale commercial transmission of alternating current (AC). Powerhouse No. 2 opened in 1905; the combined plants produced 80,000 kilowatts of electricity.
When Schoellkopf Power Station No. 3 was completed in 1924, it was one of the world's largest power stations. On June 7, 1956, a series of rock slides destroyed two-thirds of the station. One of its sections stayed on line until 1961, the year the Robert Moses Power Plant opened further downriver.
Robert Moses Power Plant today. The Robert Moses Power Plant, which opened in 1961, took advantage of the greater drop in elevation in the gorge; it produces an average of 13 billion kilowatts per hour. Photograph courtesy of The New York Power Authority.
Location. 43° 4.93′ N, 79° 4.271′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, New York, in Niagara County. Marker can be reached from Goat Island Road. Touch for map. Marker is located before the Cave of the Winds Ticket Windows in Goat Island, which is part of Niagara Falls State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Niagara Falls NY 14303, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nikola Tesla (a few steps from this marker); World's First Hydroelectric Power Plant (within shouting distance of this marker); Luna Island
Also see . . .
1. Niagara Falls State Park. (Submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Nikola Tesla - Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
3. Schoellkopf Power Station Disaster. (Submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
4. Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant - Wikipedia. (Submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
5. Niagara Power Project Visitors Center - New York Power Authority. (Submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Additional keywords. electric, electricity
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 311 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 10, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.