“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Appleton in Outagamie County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Vulcan Street Plant Replica

Vulcan Street Plant Replica image. Click for full size.
By Donald Yochem, April 18, 2015
1. Vulcan Street Plant Replica
Inscription.  On November 25, 1882, the Vulcan Street Hydroelectric Central Station began operation. The Vulcan Street Plant featured a direct-current Edison “K”-type dynamo and lit the homes of A. L. and H. D. Smith, five or six mills, a blast furnace, and other nearby homes with Edison bulbs. The Vulcan Street Plant represents and early use of hydro-power to generate electricity and perhaps one of the earliest examples of a hydroelectric plant that sold electricity commercially and provided incandescent lighting service to the public. In 1932, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original plant opening, this replica was constructed by the Wisconsin-Michigan Power Company. Like the original, it houses an Edison “K” dynamo. In 1987, the building was moved here from (now Olde) South Oneida Street.
Erected 2014 by Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 556.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 44° 15.475′ N, 88° 23.836′ W. Marker
Vulcan Street Plant Replica Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 4, 2009
2. Vulcan Street Plant Replica Marker
The marker is located near the stairs at the left side of the photo.
is in Appleton, Wisconsin, in Outagamie County. Marker is at the intersection of Vulcan Street and East North Island, on the right when traveling south on Vulcan Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 530 South Vulcan Street, Appleton WI 54915, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. First Edison Hydroelectric System in America (here, next to this marker); 9-11 Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Merging of Milwaukee-Downer and Lawrence Colleges (approx. ¼ mile away); Lawrence University (approx. ¼ mile away); First Commercially Successful Electric Street Railway (approx. 0.4 miles away); Henry James and Cremora Rogers Residence (approx. 0.9 miles away); Number 736 (approx. 0.9 miles away); Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Bridge (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Appleton.
More about this marker. This marker replaced a previously erected marker on this site. The original marker, entitled "World's First Hydroelectric Central Station," read:
"Near this site on September 30, 1882, the world's first hydroelectric central station began operation. The station, here reproduced, was known as the Vulcan Street Plant and had a direct current generator capable of lighting 250 sixteen-candle power lamps, each equivalent to 50 watts. The generator operated at 110 volts and was driven through gears and belts by a water wheel operating under a ten foot fall of water."
Regarding Vulcan Street Plant Replica. After a fire destroyed the central station, a replica was constructed at the current location preserving all of the building's original features. This building is currently located near its original location at the south end of the Lawe Street Bridge.

There are plans to relocate the replica to a new home in Vulcan Heritage Park, which is situated right across from the original Vulcan Plant.
Also see . . .  Milestones:Vulcan Street Plant, 1882
World's First Hydroelectric Central Station image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, August 17, 2015
3. World's First Hydroelectric Central Station
. The Engineering and Technology History Wiki page for the Vulcan Street Plant. (Submitted on June 23, 2015.) 
Hydroelectric Central Station Plaques image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 4, 2009
4. Hydroelectric Central Station Plaques
The plaques are to the left of the door.
Credits. This page was last revised on March 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2015, by Donald Yochem of West Bend, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 403 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on April 23, 2015, by Donald Yochem of West Bend, Wisconsin.   2. submitted on July 16, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   3. submitted on September 11, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on July 16, 2009, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Sep. 23, 2020