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Figure 12. Street map of Niagara Falls showing location of the Adams Plant.


Figure 13. Huge arc formed when opening early DC circuit breaker. - NF Power Co.

These illustrations were taken from various historical books that provide a detailed record of the Niagara Falls Power Company from its inception. In Figure 9, we can see a beautiful shot of the interior of the completed Adams Plant #1, with all of the 5000 hp generators visible. The text noted that two plants were planned each with a 50,000 hp capacity. Figure 11 shows an aerial view from an old Niagara Falls Power Company map. (Niagara Falls was officially incorporated as a city only a few years earlier in 1892.) The Falls are close by. Both Adams Plants are shown in the street map, though I've highlighted the Number One plant. Figure 10 is especially interesting since we can


see the 140 foot drop below the Adams Plant where the long generator shafts had to reach, as well as who received the electrical power. Besides a few companies in Niagara Falls, we see that Buffalo, at the bottom, received 11,000 volt, 3 phase power, as well as some DC power too.

Ever wonder what it is like trying to stop 11,000 volts at a few thousand amperes? Well, Figure 13 shows the results. A huge arc is generated by the circuit breaker, used on the early Buffalo circuit. Figure 14 shows the transmission lines to Buffalo, following the tradition of telegraph lines, the only example available at the time.

Figure 14. Repair wagon and First Buffalo transmission line. — Niagara Falls Power Company.

Adam's Plants 1, 2, & 3

The more I looked at the old Niagara Falls map, showing the Adams plant site, the more I realized that I could probably find it if I went looking. The librarian at the Niagara Falls library also mentioned that one of the plants was still there as well. So I set out to photograph the site. In Figure 15 we see the opening to the canal and the Robert Moses Expressway that now passes over it.

Walking toward the highway and inland we can see how wide the canal is, as we look toward the spot across the canal where Adams Plant Number Two once stcxxi. Crossing the highway, I am now standing on the site of the original Adams Plant Number One (Figure 16). How many people realize that it actually was there? There are no signs commemorating the site, which was quite surprising. I started to pick up a few rocks on the ground, knowing that they probably once were a part of the building that housed Tesla's generators.


Figure 15. Robert Moses Expressway over existing Adams Plant canal - Tom Valone

Figure 16. Site of the original Adams Plant Number One - Tom Valone


Looking across the property of the Sewage Treatment Facillity adjacent to the canal, I spotted a building that turned out to be Adams Plant Number Three. In Figure 17, we see the only remaining building of the almost 100-year old trio comprising the world's first AC power stations. It is simply fenced off, again with no sign advertising the extraordinary significance of the building. The Niagara Falls Power Company is now called Niagara Mohawk. An amazing article was discovered from the February, 1962 issue of the Ontario Hydro News, page 13. In 1961, when the Robert Moses Power Plant was opened, the original Tesla generators, which kept working right up until then, were shut down. It was noted in the article that the Niagara Falls Historical Society, which doesn't exist today, was trying to keep the Adams Plant as an "electrical museum." The director of the society said, "It will be a crime if the place is destroyed. The original generators are still there, and it is a natural setting for an electrical museum." Since no money was obtained to buy the buildings, both Adams Plants were razed. I am told that at least one of the generators will be placed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.

Figure 17. Modern day site of the original Adams Plant Number Three with building intact. -- Thomas Valone.

Tesla Statue

The large oversized statue of Nikola Tesla stands on Goat Island in Niagara Falls, with the only remaining part of the Adams Plant, the entrance archway, in the background. It is the only full figure statue of Tesla in the world. Created by a Yugoslavian sculptor, it was unveiled on July 23, 1976, commemorating the 120th anniversary of Tesla's birth. He looks sad as we see him from the side, studying his notes, his fingers worn from all of the kids that climb up on his lap. Most of the kids have no idea who Tesla was, but take advantage of the statue.


Figrre 18. Tesla at 79 and his statue on Goat Island at Niagara Falls, NY.

In conclusion, as the world consumes about 70 million barrels/day of oil (47 million gal/sec), it is amazing to find that this is about 1/3 of the American Falls water flow (150.000 million gal/sec). The Niagara Falls Historical Society worked to preserve the first Adams Plant (see next page) and failed. Today, we still have a chance to make the third Adams Plant a beautiful commemorative site. What better tribute than to preserve thc site of the first generation of AC power in the world? We have here a giant who walked among men. Let us commemorate his memory in the minds of everyone by at least establishing a Tesla Museum in the city that benefited the most from Tesla's invention of the AC generator. We are the future now, half a century since Tesla left the earth. As he himself said, "Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which 1 really worked, is mine."


[1] Puharich, Andrija. Tesla's Magnifying Transmitter, 1985, p.69. Private manuscript. The first five chapters are reprinted elsewhere in this anthology.

[2]Radio Electronics. August, 1983, p. 52

[3]Ibid., p. 52


Explanation of the AC motor by Daniel Dumych. (Published by the Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau)

5 Niagara Falls Electricity Centennial

Thomas Valone

After preparing and presenting the preceding paper, "Tesla's History in Western New York" to the 1986 International Tesla Symposium as a special Saturday night slide show, I felt an obligation to celebrate the 1996 centennial of Tesla's greatest achievement, in gratitude for the electricity that my hometown of Buffalo, NY received from his work at Niagara Falls. Therefore, carrying copies of my paper in booklet form, I made the effort in 1992 to meet personally with Councilman John Accardo in Niagara Falls, who also was the Chairman of the Board of the City Council of Niagara Falls. We discussed the possibility of a city-wide event

in 1996 involving the NY Power Authority, Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, and the City Council. We envisioned a new plaque, at least three banners across major streets of Niagara Falls, and a few signs around town. The Tesla Memorial Society in Lackawana, NY, Dorothy Rolling and Dan Dumych, the local historians were all very interested in participating, as was William Terbo, the grand-nephew of Tesla. Of course, my burning question of what will happen to the remaining Adams Plant Three could not be resolved by Councilman Accardo, nor even by Niagara Mohawk. It is apparently embarrassing to all of them that only the archway of the Adams Plant Number One was preserved.

Soon afterwards, perhaps in 1994, I began discussions with Steve Brady, Public Affairs represcntative for Niagara Mohawk and Chairman of the local Foundation Committee. He told me that Niagara Mohawk, the company which took over the original Niagara Falls Power Company, "wants to be a part of it in any way or another." Chris Mierzwa at Niagara Mohawk was also very interested, according to Professor Dollinger from SUNY at Buffalo, though I never talked to him directly. Dollinger told me he wanted to include a tour of the new Robert Moses Power plant that is north of the Falls, with a photo shoot at Goat Island, where Tesla's statue is, as well as a lunch. However, he said that the local IEEE had no funds for such an event. There was some discussion about also including Ontario Hydro, the Canadian electric

company that also has a generation station at the Canadian side of Niagara Falls

The most encouraging meeting I had was with Cathleen Barber, the Senior Community Relations Representative of the New York Power Authority which runs the Niagara Power Project at Niagara Falls. It is their decision, for example, to send most of the electricity generated at Niagara Falls to New York City nowadays. Cathy was willing to support any date

I would select and promote it, with professors from the local universities invited. We guessed that a one-day event with a plant tour, presentations, lunch and dinner would cost $3000 to $5000, but it was not clear who would pay for it.

I then had a meeting with Frederick Caso, Jr. the Executive Vice President of the Niagara

F a l l s Chamber of Commerce, who was willing to offer mailing labels of members. He suggested Congressman LaFalce, who agreed to a Congressional Record insert, much like the one Congressman Henry Nowak created on April 28, 1981 (V. 127, No.62) commemorating the 125th anniversary of Tesla's birth. Surprisingly, Buffalo's interest was minimal from discussions I had with the Buffalo mayor's office and the Niagara Parnership. As 1996 approached, with no one offering assistance for the Centennial, I sent a letter to Don Glynn, a reporter at the Niagara Gazette, to alert him to the historically significant event. Then, without advance notice except in Niagara Falls, the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation chose to celebrate the Centennial themselves without historians, professors nor authors. Only industrial CEO's and politicians were there to present sterilized information and an exaggerated absurdity about being responsible for the "energy of life." Witness the following publications.



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