A NEW ELECTRIC LIGHT PLANT.
The Heisler Electric Light Company of St. Louis, Mo., has just put in an electric light plant at Matteawan, N. Y., of which illustrations are given in this issue. The town of Matteawan is located about fifty miles from New York, on the east shore of the Hudson river. The gas company formerly received $30 per year for street lights, Philadelphia schedule. The light supplied was of poor quality, so much so as to cause the authorities to consider what project could be best devised towards procuring proper street lighting. In this they were soon able to arrive at a very satisfactory conclusion. William Carroll, a citizen of the town, matured a plan of utilizing the water power in the neighborhood, and his device was at once put into practical shape.
The system adopted was that of the Heisler Electric Light Company, which was deemed most suitable for the requirements of the place. Arc lights were considered too expensive; the sixteen candle-power light would not Have been much of an improvement on the old plan of inferior gas illumination, and the outlay for wires for any multiple arc system would have been too great, the circuits having to extend over about eighteen miles. The Heisler system had proved so successful jn many Western cities and towns that there was considered no risk in having it applied to Matteawan. In Vincennes, Ind., for instance, the street lighting extended over fifteen miles, and in other places the system was working satisfactorily. Water power in the Ogden Canon, eight miles from the city, had been made available for furnishing public and private incandescent illumination in the city of Ogden. The Heisler system, however, still received opposition from some specialists in electricity, who claimed the series incandescent system to be impracticable on account of the current being uncontrollable. After careful examination of the merits of the different methods and patents for electric lighting, however, Mr. Carroll made a careful investigation of the manufacturing capacities of the Heisler system, and then adopted it, and states his experience in a letter to the Heisler Company, as follows :
“ When I bought from you my first dynamo and inaugurated a system of electric lighting in this place I told you that I would have nothing to say about any merit that it might possess, that could, in any way, influence other intending investors, until I had run the system a sufficient time to satisfy myself that the remarkable claims that you made were sustained by actual results. I have compared results with an Edison plant of a similar size, and find that I am getting thirty per cent to fifty per cent longer life than they. In short, I am satisfied that with no other system could I have established electric lighting on a profitable basis in this place—even if the immense advantage you have in machinery and construction, etc., be not considered.”
The description given of the Matteavvan lights is that they are very white and steady, much whiter than the ordinary incandescent lights, and yet there is none of the dazzling whiteness which is seen in arc lamps. The placing of an indefinite number of lamps in a single wire circuit, which is as simple as an ordinary telegraph circuit, and the absence of the numerous shunt boxes and other regulating devices, which are so common in electric light systems, would seem to be a strong point in favor of this system, and make it specially adapted to the lighting of stations, engine houses, shops or places where skilled attendants are not readily available.
In connection with the Matteavvan plant the following points in favor of the new system are made : The gas company having full possession of an extended territory was completely superseded by the electric light plant. The electric light is furnished considerably cheaper than the gas, and the owner of the electric light works finds the business profitable, notwithstanding the extremely low rates charged. An equivalent of 450 thirty candle-power light is supplied from one turbine wheel of from sixty to seventy horse-power.