Sep 24, 2020 - Sale 2546

Sale 2546 - Lot 202

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SCIENCE & ENGINEERING.) Scrapbooks on the world's first electrical power plant at Niagara Falls, compiled by engineer George Forbes. 152, 27 scrapbook pages plus manuscript indexes. Folio, original 1/4 calf, backstrips worn, spine labels reading "Extracts: Newspaper Cuttings &c" and manuscript labels reading "Niagara I and II"; minor wear to contents, some photographs toned or faded. Vp, 1891-99

Additional Details

The Niagara Falls Power Company was founded in 1886 to convert the mighty power of the falls into the modern marvel of electricity. The pioneering Scottish electrical engineer George Forbes was brought onto the project in 1892, and convinced them to build alternating current generators as envisioned by Nikolai Tesla. Niagara Power Station No. 1 began generating electricity in August 1895--the first such plant in the world.
Offered here are Forbes's scrapbooks from Niagara Falls. They begin in June 1892 with his rather poetic letter to the London Times introducing the project. 66 photographs of the project are laid down, most about 8 x 10 inches, dated 1892-97, including some of blueprints, but mostly of tunnel construction. One of them, on page 140, is a cyanotype of a construction scene. The Tesla controversy is discussed in some of the clippings, such as on pages I:81 and 87. The second volume includes 3 original letters addressed to Forbes relating to the project, 1895-96.