Let me continue now with just a few words about Niagara Falls. I happened to acquire a copy of the very enlightening 1901 promotional brochure from the Niagara Falls Power Company, that was made as a presentation in getting new subscribers to their system. The real age of electric power, in the modern sense, started in Niagara Falls on November 16, 1896, when the first power generated by the Tesla/Westinghouse AC system was delivered to Buffalo, New York. This was the culmination of three years of design and construction. By 1901, according to this booklet, the Niagara Falls Power Company (the predecessor of the Niagara Mohawk Company) had about 45,000 Effective Horsepower capacity and was marketing this new source of power to industries and municipalities in the area. In their brochure, they reviewed the quantity of power used and the applications for each of about 35 customers that they identified by name. By today's standards the quantities seem trivial but, as with the dollar, in 1901 a Horsepower WAS a Horsepower.
Some of the companies listed were:
The Pittsburgh Reduction Company, which is the predecessor of Alcoa. They were using 5,000 horsepower for the electrolytic production of metallic aluminum. They were the largest commercial user (as opposed to municipalities).
Carborundum, who used 2,000 horsepower for electrolytic production of abrasives. A company called Castner Electrolytic Alkali Company (there is a chemical process called the Castner Process) used 2,400 horsepower for electrolytic production of pure caustic soda.
Union Carbide was making calcium carbide, using the power for electric furnaces.
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