The First Central Power Plant

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On September 4th, 1882, the first central power plant for the production of electricity in the United States was switched on.

The plant was operated by the Edison Illuminating Company, one of many companies founded by Thomas Edison, which later became part of Consolidated Edison, and was located on Pearl Street in New York.

The plant was powered by steam engines and supplied power to 400 electric lamps - the lamps also being Edison's. Edison was only 35 at the time.

Edison was a proponent of Direct Current (DC) and opposed the use of Alternating Current (AC) promoted by his former acquaintance Tesla.

Image: By Earl Morter.Cedars at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons (

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