Saturday, May 5, 2012

Olmsted Power Plant

Address: 1600 East 600 North

In 1830 Michael Faraday of England discovered that when a coil of wire was moved near a magnet, the magnet induced a current of electricity in the wire. Faraday's experiments resulted in the dynamo which generates electricity.

Anxious to capitalize on this exciting new power source, investors throughout the world began to develop and build these dynamo machines. Installation of the electric lines began which would transform the world from a labor-intensive planet to one in which electrical energy could multiply the efforts of people by thousands of times.

One of the unique features of the Olmsted Power Plant was that it used some of the most knowledgeable engineers in the country to establish on-the-job training programs for its employees. At the time, Olmsted offered one of only two competent training programs in electrical engineering in the entire United States, with the other one offered at Ohio State University.

In 1912, with less than 1,000 residents living on the Orem Bench, poles were erected to carry electric wires which were supplied with power generated at the Olmsted Power Plant.

Also in 1912, Utah Power and Light Company purchased the Telluride Power Company, which included the Olmsted Power Plant. This plant is still a fully operational power plant, operated by PacifiCorp, Utah Power's new owners.

(Orem Historic Homes and Sites of Interest.  Orem, UT: Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, 2009.) Used with permission.

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