U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-08-2019, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,116 posts, read 12,120,733 times
Reputation: 21754

Advertisements

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technolo...ils-telephone/
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-08-2019, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
4,614 posts, read 1,799,148 times
Reputation: 6049
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Excellent question.

The railroads were early adopters of the telegraph, so most U.S. towns with a rail connection would have had that as a given. Bell didn't steal the patent for the telephone until later.

In Vermont, the first public service commission report was for 1908-1910. Before that it was the railroad commissioners report. In that 1908 report, the total number of telephone subscribers i the entire state was about 2200, with many of the exchanges having been formed only in 1909. In the same report, the data on power generation shows that many of the generators were put into service in the early 1890s, usually 3 phase with a voltage around 2,000 volts, which was about the limit of insulation at the time. Coal or water gas plants were also listed.

To answer your question, for Vermont at least, power came first, by as much as twenty years. It was generally used only for lighting for a number of years. I was just watching a documentary on the TVA, which was built in the 1930s, and a power bill was shown for a residence in Athens Alabama that used less than 200 KWH of power per month.

My guess is that your grandfather had or had access to a small generator to power the charging of the batteries for the exchange. Hit and miss engines were available.
That's another good point too. If the telephone exchange came before public electrical service was a available, then where did they get the power to run the central office equipment? Even though the customer's telephones don't need power, they still have to get low power from the central office. I guess my great-grandfather could have had a generator for that. I think it would have had to be coal powered. Since that was the main fuel that would have been available. I know that the coal was the source of fuel for heat and hot water, until shortly before I was born. If they did have a generator, then maybe they could have even had electric lighting from that.

I wish I had thought to ask my grandmother these questions when she was still alive. She could have probably answered them. She is probably the only one who could have answered it. I don't think there is any other record of it, unfortunately.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-08-2019, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
3,566 posts, read 1,290,863 times
Reputation: 6696
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
That's another good point too. If the telephone exchange came before public electrical service was a available, then where did they get the power to run the central office equipment? Even though the customer's telephones don't need power, they still have to get low power from the central office. I guess my great-grandfather could have had a generator for that. I think it would have had to be coal powered. Since that was the main fuel that would have been available. I know that the coal was the source of fuel for heat and hot water, until shortly before I was born. If they did have a generator, then maybe they could have even had electric lighting from that.

I wish I had thought to ask my grandmother these questions when she was still alive. She could have probably answered them. She is probably the only one who could have answered it. I don't think there is any other record of it, unfortunately.

Early phones were powered by a hand-cranked magneto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_magneto

I've used such phones in the 40s. They were universal among American farmers in the pre-WWII days before rural electrification.

A couple dozen suscribers would all be on the same loop, and there could be only one conversation at a time.
If If called you, everyone heard the phones all ring, but you answered if I hand-cranked your personal ring code, say, one long, one short, two long (brrr-br-brrr-brrr). Everyone else ignored it, or listened in. At the phone company, the whole circuit was kept hot by a tractor battery and a gasoline generator. An operator there could switch the line to a long distance operator on a larger grid.

Last edited by cebuan; 03-08-2019 at 06:21 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2019, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
4,614 posts, read 1,799,148 times
Reputation: 6049
Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Early phones were powered by a hand-cranked magneto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_magneto

I've used such phones in the 40s. They were universal among American farmers in the pre-WWII days before rural electrification.

A couple dozen suscribers would all be on the same loop, and there could be only one conversation at a time.
If If called you, everyone heard the phones all ring, but you answered if I hand-cranked your personal ring code, say, one long, one short, two long (brrr-br-brrr-brrr). Everyone else ignored it, or listened in. At the phone company, the whole circuit was kept hot by a tractor battery and a gasoline generator. An operator there could switch the line to a long distance operator on a larger grid.
OK, thanks. Interesting to know that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2019, 07:36 AM
 
Location: NJ
10,038 posts, read 20,838,086 times
Reputation: 7645
I grew up in Roselle, NJ. It was the 1st town lit by Thomas Edison.

History of Roselle

Quote:
Roselle was the first village in the world to be lighted by Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. Set up as an experiment to prove that a town could be lighted by electricity from a single generating station, the generator was started on January 19, 1883. From its location on the north-east corner of Locust Street and West First Avenue it sent power through overhead wires to a store, railroad station, about forty houses, and one-hundred-fifty street lights. In April of that year the First Presbyterian Church of Roselle became the first church in the world to be so lighted when the thirty-bulb “electrolier” was installed within it. Although damaged by fire in 1949, the electrolier was salvaged, restored and re-hung in the church where it can be seen today. The steam-driven generator which stood on the corner of Locust and West First Avenue no longer exists, but the people of the town operated it for nearly ten years after Edison went on to other things, and bigger generating stations took over the task of lighting much larger areas. However, in 1983, a time capsule and bronze-and-granite marker were placed at that corner to properly designate that spot and event.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2019, 05:59 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
75,849 posts, read 67,690,212 times
Reputation: 72942
Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post
This comes from the Glasgow University site. Lord Kelvin’s House (11 The Square), was the home of the renowned physicist Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, from 1870 until his retirement in 1899. It was one of the first houses in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.
Interesting. So electrical service was known and available in some parts of the world way back then. I wonder what San Francisco's problem was? The great fire after the 1906 earthquake need never have happened, if the city had been equipped with electricity. What caused the most destruction was the fire that broke the gas lines serving the gas street lamps and homes, not the earthquake.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2019, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Oregon Coast
4,614 posts, read 1,799,148 times
Reputation: 6049
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Interesting. So electrical service was known and available in some parts of the world way back then. I wonder what San Francisco's problem was? The great fire after the 1906 earthquake need never have happened, if the city had been equipped with electricity. What caused the most destruction was the fire that broke the gas lines serving the gas street lamps and homes, not the earthquake.
San Francisco had a central generating station and electrical grid from 1879, the first in the US.

Quote:
1879 - George Roe creates the California Electric Light Company; begins operation of the first central generating station in the U.S. (and probably the world) to serve electric customers.
PG&E Corporation _ 150 Years of Growth and Change
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2019, 12:15 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
75,849 posts, read 67,690,212 times
Reputation: 72942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudy Dayz View Post
San Francisco had a central generating station and electrical grid from 1879, the first in the US.



PG&E Corporation _ 150 Years of Growth and Change
But gas was still used for lighting in the city, as well as electricity. Use of electric lighting wasn't universal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2019, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,116 posts, read 12,120,733 times
Reputation: 21754
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Interesting. So electrical service was known and available in some parts of the world way back then. I wonder what San Francisco's problem was? The great fire after the 1906 earthquake need never have happened, if the city had been equipped with electricity. What caused the most destruction was the fire that broke the gas lines serving the gas street lamps and homes, not the earthquake.
I never knew that Ruth about the gas lamps... thanks..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2019, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,116 posts, read 12,120,733 times
Reputation: 21754
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
But gas was still used for lighting in the city, as well as electricity. Use of electric lighting wasn't universal.
We had gas lighting on most Glasgow streets right up until the early 60s... electric lights were used on main roads but streets were gas..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > History
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top