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1939 hydroelectric restoration

1939 hydroelectric restoration

1939 hydroelectric restoration

I am working on a volunteer project to restore an old hydroelectric plant from 1939. It was one of Henry Ford and Albert Kahns 1st projects together.

I became involved in this project 5 years ago becuse I can see the plant from my backyard, I work with power distribution systems, and I love engineering history. Plus this building is an amazing work of art that was going to be leveled. The town I live in had budgeted $60,000 to demo the building, we were able to get that money to start the restoration and 5 years later, the building has been restored and we are starting the last phase, making power again.

After power production is restored we hope to have this serve as an educational site for kids to learn about the history of Henry Ford, Hydropower, and why this beautiful little town even exists.

Here is a link to the project: http://www.milfordhistory.org/power_station_project_page.html

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

It seems like an exciting and worthwhile project, and in your own backyard, at that!  Best of luck in seeing it through to completion.

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

Very Impressive! And a nice, complete website to show it off.

www.SlideRuleEra.net idea

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

An update on this project. We have recieved a grant from the History channel and they are going to be including our project in a video special.

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

This is very cool. Do people still say that?

I think keeping our engineering heritage alive is a worthwhile project. Congrats for volunteering to participate.

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RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

They still say that but they text message it TIVC

This project has been a fun adventure, lots of work and red tape but seeing people tour the site who have lived in the area for 20 years and never knew anything about it is very rewarding, the kids think it is very "cool"

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

Thanks for sharing this with us Zogzog.

RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

Henry Ford is most often thought of in terms of the cars he produced, but a trip through the Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI will surprise you with respect to some of the fantastic machinery he built just to run the plants that made those cars.  Some of those old steam engines just as an example boggle the imagination.  


RE: 1939 hydroelectric restoration

Years ago I lived near the Stave Falls Dam and Power Station.
My children rode across the dam every day in the school bus.
BCHPA had a lot bigger budget when they built this visitors center.

I had the pleasure of touring the power house in the late 70's.
The plant was still being run manually. While I was there the load center phoned the operator with instructions to pick up some load. This meant going from the low load level of 10% output to 90% output.
At the back wall of the machine room behind every generator there issued a shaft that was about 4 feet long and several inches in diameter. (Possibly 4 or 5 inches dia. but it was  
a long time ago.) On the end of the shaft was a horizontal bell crank several feet long. This was supported by the shaft of a vertical hydraulic cylinder. This was the water flow control.
The operator turned a switch on the switchboard and the shaft of the hydraulic cylinder slowly extended. The hydraulic pump was driven by a small water turbine. From time to time the operator would stop and adjust the field rheostat to correct the power factor. Once the output was up to 90% and the power factor properly adjusted the operator's work was basically finished until the next call from the load center. A few years later, in the 80's the controls were modernized and control was transferred to the load center.

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