Guide to the Niagara Falls Power Company Photographs

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0949
Creators:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Niagara Falls Power Company
Dates:
1899 - 1919
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
7 Cubic feet
14 boxes
Repository:
The collection consists of bound photograph albums and loose photographs documenting the construction of the Adams Power Station (hydroelectric plant) and allied structures of the Niagara Falls Power Company, 1899-1919.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of bound photograph albums and loose photographs documenting the construction of the Adams Generating Station #2 (hydroelectric plant) and allied structures of the Niagara Falls Power Company, 1899-1919. The images depict generators, wheel pits, governors, plant interiors, river views, transmission lines, turbines, and unidentified people.
The albums are arranged numericaly from one to thirty. Albums 13, 19 and 20 are missing. Each photograph has a number, date, and caption located in the lower left of the image. Typescript indices are included at the beginning of each album and the full index is linked to this finding aid.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: Photograph Albums, 1899-1919
Series 2: Photographs by Subject, 1899-1908

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
In 1853, the Niagara Falls Hydraulic Power & Manufacturing Company was chartered. The company purchased the water rights and began construction of a canal (1860-1861) and was the first company to generate hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls.
The Niagara Falls Power Company was founded on September 19, 1889 after being re-organized and renamed from it's predecessor company, the Niagara River Hydraulic Tunnel, Power and Sewer Company. Edward Dean Adams, a New York financier became president of the company. Adams created a subsidiary company, the Cataract Construction Corporation to build a power tunnel before deciding on a method of power distribution. Adams also secured the help of financiers, J.P. Morgan, John Astor, and William Vanderbilt.
In 1893, alternating electrical current (AC) was selected as the standard to used and the Cataract Construction Company began using AC for power generation and transmission. From 1892 to 1894, the Niagara Falls Power Company built two powerhouses, Powerhouse #1 (1892-1894) and Powerhouse #2 (1901-1903). In 1895, the Niagara Falls Power Company began placing contracts with the Westinghouse Company for long distance electric transmission development and implementation.
In 1927, by resolution of the board of directors of the Niagara Falls Power Company, the power-houses and sub-stations were renamed in appreciation of the men who pioneered the power industry and developed it. Niagara Power Stations Number One and Two were renamed the Edward Dean Adams Statuon. Also known as the Adams Power Station. The Adams Power Station built in 1895 was not the first hydro power station at Niagara, but it was one of the largest hydroelectric power generators of it's time and it was the first large scale application of AC power in North America. General Electric and Westinghouse collaborated on the project. Engineers Thomas Evershed, George Forbes, Benjamin G. Lamme, Oliver Shallenberger, Nikola Tesla, William Stanley, Dr. Louis Bell, and Charles P. Steinmetz contributed.
Sources
http://www.edisontechcenter.org/Niagara.htm (last accessed on May 3, 2016)
Adams, Edward Dean. Niagara Power History of the Niagara Falls Power Company, 1886-1918, Volumes I-II. Niagara Falls, N.Y., printed for the Niagara Falls Power Co., 1927

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2016.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now Division of Work and Industry) by the Niagara-Mohawk Power Corporation, through E.B. Strowger, System Project Engineer in 1965.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Niagara Falls Power Company Records, 1899-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center by the Division of Work and Industry in 2007.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
Inventory for photographs available.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Water-wheels Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Power stations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tonawanda (NY) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Water-power Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Power generation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 1900-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1900-1920 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 1850-1900 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tonawanda Power Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives