September 30, 1936: Hoover Dam Dedication by U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Harold L. Ickes and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Click HERE for an audio recording of the dedication. New York Times headline–President…Speaks at Boulder Dam. ”Standing on a platform perched high above the Colorado River at the eastern terminus of the great, towering Boulder Canyon Dam, President Roosevelt dedicated it today as a “splendid symbol” of employment-providing public works which he said have already given the necessary recovery spur to private industry while increasing the value of the nation’s resources.” Commentary: If we could only learn this lesson today. Building and replacing infrastructure would result in a better country and a huge boost to the economy. How can we get Washington to cooperate long enough to make this happen?
September 30, 1882 – Paper manufacturer H.F. Rogers (Appleton, WI) opened the first hydroelectric power plant in U.S. at riverside paper mill on Fox River, in Appleton, WI (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company); powered by water wheel, provided 12.5 kilowatts, enough for 180 lights (ten candlepower each) to light Rogers’ home, plant.
“On September 30, 1882, the first centrally located electric lighting system using the Edison system in the West and the first hydroelectric central station in the world began operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin. The Vulcan Street plant (the Appleton Gas Light Co.), later named the Appleton Edison Light Company, powered the two paper mills of H. J. Rogers’ Appleton Paper and Pulp Co. and his residence, Hearthstone. Rogers, also president of the Appleton Gas Light Co. had been inspired by Thomas Edison’s plans for a steam-based power station in New York. With financial backing from three Appleton men, one a personal friend of Edison’s, Rogers began building this new venture during the summer of 1882, harvesting the power of the Fox River with a water wheel. The water wheel, generators, and copper wiring took only a few months to install and test. Initial testing of the plant on September 27 was unsuccessful but the Edison “K” type generator powered up successfully on September 30.”
Commentary: Interesting juxtaposition of topic and dates. On the same day only 54 years apart, hydroelectric power generation goes from beginning to one of the biggest in the world.