Edison's first public electricity generation station
1882 Thomas Edison designed (what has been claimed to be) the world's first public steam-powered electricity generating station to light the lamps on Holborn Viaduct. As part of Edison's approach to electricity distribution, it generated and supplied direct current (DC).
As the power plant was not part of a licenced electricity supplier, Edison did not have permission to dig up the roads to lay the cables but under Holborn Viaduct there were large service tunnels, which avoided the need to excavate the roads
Although originally agreed to operate for 3 months (without charge to the City), the operating period was later extended (for a price equivalent to that of the gas lighting which had been displaced).
Edison’s power station in Pearl Street New York followed some months later.
1886 The station on Holborn Viaduct was shut down
Sources of Information
- Early electricity supplies in London