Convention of the National Electric Light Association.
(Front our own Correspondent.)
CHICAGO, February 22.—The ninth annual convention of the National Electric Light Association is over; the wizards of light have come and departed, and the west side has resumed its everyday appearance.
The convention met in the Exposition building on Tuesday, February 19. and was called to order by President S. A. Duncan. The assembly hall presented a most brilliant appearance. Within an inclosure capable of seating five hundred people, the glare of four hundred incandescents was centred. From the ceiling hung a canopy studded with lamps of various hues, the centre of which was a star made up of some fifty red, white and blue lamps. The presiding officer’s chair was under a green canopy, which was fringed with incandescents in ground glass bulbs, the effect of which was heightened by the letters N. K. L. A. formed of colored glass bells.
President Duncan introduced Prof. Harrctt, the city electrician of Chicago, who, on behalf of Mayor Roche, welcomed the association to Chicago in a neat speech. The president then read his annual address. It dealt chiefly with the great improvement in electrical science and appliances. In the course of his remarks he said in effect, that in the early days of the association, the chief question before the electrical fraternity was the then all-absorbing question of arc-lighting. The im andeccnt light had scarcely come into commercial use. No sooner had the questions involved in arc-lighting been solved by the natural pressure of public demand than the complicated questions involved in the distribution of incandescent lighting absorbed the attention of the fraternity and occupied the meetings of this association. Following closely upon the problems involved in incandescent lighting came the question of electric distribution of power, first for stationary motor purposes ami afterward for the purpose of electrical locomotion. This question is to-day perhaps the most important one before the electrical fraternity. To say that electrical power is not to-day a success would he to reflect upon the scores of electrical railways now in successful operation in this country and upon the thousands of electrical motors that are every day commercially serving the wants of man.
At the meeting of the association one year ago it was estimated that there were about 4000 central station and isolated plants in operation in the United States; now there are 5747. Then there was 175,000 arc lights in use ; now there are 219,924. Incandescent lamps have increased from 1,750,000 to 2,142,440. Capital invested had increased during the year $69,397,734. Six months ago there were thirty-four electric railways in operation ; now there are fifty-three, with 379 cars running. The railway track has increased from 138 miles to 294}^, with 273 ^ miles under contract for building. The present outlook was very encouraging.
Secretary Allen T. Garratt of New York reported that there were 198 members in the association at present. The treasurer’s report showed that there was a neat little fund to draw from, there being $3700 on hand.
Arthur Steuart, counsel for the association, read the report of the committee on legislation. He quoted from the bill establishing a court of patent appeals, which was introduced in Congress at the request of the Electrical Association. The bill provides for one presiding and two associate justices, and includes all patent legislation indejendcnt of value involved. The committee on insulation and the construction of plants was discharged.
On Wednesday, February 20, the convention was called to order by President Duncan at 11.15, after which Dr. Otto A. Moses presented a gavel to the president on behalf of the Central Electric Company of Chicago. The secretary then read invitations from the Chicago Edison Company to visit their station, and from Potter Palmer to visit the new storage battery plant placed in his house by Messrs. Conant & Hood of the Electrical Accumulates Company, E. T. Lynch, Jr., then read the report of the committee on underground conduits and conductors. He stated that the committee appointed at the last session of the association to examine into and report upon the systems of underground conduits, with underground conductors, and the number of wires actually in use in conduits, had sent out a circular calling upon and asking all the local electric light companies for the results of any practical tests they had made. To this circular but 120 replies were received, which can he summarized as follows :
Put seven answers stated that the writers had had actual experience in placing and running underground electric wires, and in but one instance was the practical working satisfactory. One hundred and four replied in substance that it was not practicable to place wires conveying high tension electric arc light currents underground ; while two writers considered it practicable to do so.
I he reading of the report brought about considerable discussion, which was finally compromised by the addition of Prof. Barrett and others to the committee, with instructions to obtain further information.
On Thursday morning the meeting was called to order at 10.45. 1 he secretary read a communication from the Exposition and Music Hall Company of St. Louis, inviting the association to hold its next meeting in that city. It was placed on file. The following members were then elected : E. C. Acheson, S. A. Barton, 11. II. Eustis, A. R. Foote, I). C. Hodges, W. J. Johnston, Philip Lange, George M. Phelps, R. F. Ross, C. N. Ransom, Fred II. Whipple, David Stinton, Cincinnati, O.; John Kilgore, A. I). Bullock, W. A. Kreidler, J. P. Barrett, Timothy W. Sprague and G. L. Austen.
The president under instructions appointed Allan T. Garratt secretary and treasurer of the association, and directed that a permanent office be opened in New York city.
The election of officers, which was next in order, resulted as follows : President, E. R. Weeks of Kansas City ; first vicepresident, A. J. De Camp of Philadelphia; second vice-president, E. A. Maher of Albany, N. Y.; executive committee, B. Rhodes of Niagara Falls : B. E. Sunny of Chicago ; C. R. Huntley of Buffalo; Dr. O. A. Moses of New York ; E. T. Lynch, Jr., of Brooklyn ; P. H. Alexander of New York ; J. F. Morrison of Baltimore ; T. Carpenter Smith of Philadelphia.
S. E. Barton then read a most interesting paper on electric light stations as fire risks, after which the convention took a recess until 2 p. M.
The afternoon session was entirely taken up with the reading of the following papers: Disruptive Discharges in Lead Cables, by C. H. Rudd ; Fusel Oil, by S. S. Leonard ; Oil as Fuel, by M. J. Francisco; Municipal Lighting, by F. II. Whipple ; and Conduits, by A. C. Chenoweth.
A motion to appoint a committee to have the association incorporated was put and lost, after which the chairman, in a few remarks, extended his thanks, etc., and declared the convention adjourned sine die.
Among the principal members of the association are the following :
E. C. Acheson, Standard Underground Cable Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. ; P. II. Alexander, Sawyer-Man Electric Company. 510 West Twenty-third street, New York city; George 11. Adams, Waterhouse Electric Manufacturing Company, Hartford, Conn. ; George N. Bierce, Stillwell & Bierce Manufacturing Company, Dayton, O. ; Silas A. Barton, general manager Thomson-Houston Electric Company, 148 Michigan avenue, Chicago, 111. ; William Bracken, president the Julien Electric company, 120 Broadway, New York city; Frank H. Ball, Ball Engine Company, Erie, Pa. ; H. L. Brintnall, secretary and treasurer Swift Electric Light Company, East Saginaw, Mich. ; II. II. Blades, secretary and treasurer Detroit Motor Company, 47 Rowland street,’ Detroit, Mich. ; J. C. Brooks, Southwark Foundry and Machine Company, Philadelphiv, Pa. ; F. K. Cabot, Inspector Board of Underwriters, Buffalo, N. N . ; Henry A. Cleverly, Cleverly Electrical Works, 1018 Chestnut street. Philadelphia, Pa. ; Willard L. Candee, Okonite Company, 13 Park Row, New York city; William f! Cullen, E. P. Gleason Manufacturing Company 180 Mercer street, New ork city; Henry B. Cobb, Cobb Vulcanite Wire Company, Wilmington, Del. ; Henry B. Cram, treasurer Bernstein Electric Company, 620 Atlantic avenue, Boston, Mass. ; Charles Cooper, president Municipal Electric Light Company, 91 Broadway, Brooklyn, N. Y. ; Louis W. Dillon, Dillon Manufacturing Company, Attleboro, Mass. ; C. F. Dunderdale, electrician, 154 La Salle street, Chicago, Ill.; Herbert H. Eustis, Eastern Electric Cable Company, 61 Hampshire street, Boston, Mass. ; Frederick Fosdick, president Fitchburg Steam Engine Company, Fitchburg, Mass ; Walter K. Freeman, National Electric Manufacturing Company, Eau Claire, W’i R. E. Gallaher, New York Insulated Wire Company,’452 Broadway, New York city; H. McL. Harding, general agent Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company, 16 Broad street. New York city ; Charles K. Harrison, president Automatic Switch Company, 8 Kevser building, Baltimore. Md.; W. H. Johnstone, North American Underground Telegraph and Electric Company, 45 Broadway, New York; II. IL Linnell, Hartford Dynamic Company, Hartford, Conn,; H. L. Lufkin, C. & C. Motor Company, 402 Greenwich street, New York ; Eugene T. Lynch, president United States Illuminating Company, 59 Liberty street, New York city ; William H. Morris, Pottstown Iron Works, Pottstown, Pa.; Charles L. Mitchell, president of the Mitchell Vance Company, 836 Broadway, New York city ; George A. Mayo, electrician, Van Depoele Electric Manufacturing Company, 15 North Clinton street, Chicago ; R. T. McDonald, treasurer Fort Wayne Jenney Electric Light Company, Fort Wayne, Ind.; A. F. Mason, Simplex Electrical Company, 328 Washington street, Boston ; Clarence W. Meade, Johnstone Underground Electric Light and Tower Company, New York city; A. I). Newton, secretary and treasurer of the Eddy Electric Manufacturing Company, Windsor, Conn.; Albert A. Noye, John T. Noye Manufacturing Company, Buffalo, N. Y.; R. T. Pulsifer, manager Mather Electric Company, Manchester, Conn.; Charles N. Patrick, H. W. Johns Manufacturing Company, 87 Maiden lane, New York city ; Josiah N. Pratt, Jarvis Engineering Company, 61 Oliver street, Boston, Mass.; J. Potter, treasurer Brush Electric Company, Cleveland, O.; 1). P. Perry, Sperry Electric Company, Chicago, Ill.; Charles Ward Russell, Russell Electric Manufacturing Company, Providence, R. I.: Fred W. Royce, Royce & Marion, Washington, D. C.; A. O. Shepardson, manager Connecticut Electric Company, Waterbury, Conn.; Junius Schenk, Eureka Fire Hose Company, New York ; Walter F. Smith, Johnstone Underground Electric Light and Power Company, 45 Broadway, New York city ; Charles D. Shain, United States Electric Lighting Company, 217 La Salle street, Chicago, Ill.; Frank B. Trout, manager Woodward Electrical Company and Detroit Electric Company, 69 Griswold street, Detroit, Mich.; Frank S. Terry, manager Electrical Supply Company, Chicago, Ill.; R. C. Winchester, Holyoke Water Power Company, Holyoke, Mass.; E. H. Wells, general manager and treasurer Keystone Construction Company, Pittsburgh, Pa.; F. II. Wilkins, Western Electric Company, 70 Trinity place, New York city ; Henry Warden, Germantown Junction, Philadelphia, Pa.; W. F. Zimmerman, United States Electric Light Company, Newark, N. J.
The Exposition building in which the convention was held is an immense structure located on Michigan avenue and Adams street.
The collection of electrical appliances, etc., exceeded in size and number anything of a like nature heretofore held. Space forbids a description of the many wonders.
The press was well represented by FIRE AND WATER, The Electrical World, Electrical Engineer, Electric Power, Electrical Review, Science, Practical Electricity, Modern Light and Heat and The Western Electrician, the representatives of which occupied tastefully decorated booths. Included among the exhibits were the following :
The Waltham Watch Company exhibited their non-magnetic watches, and the influence of magnetism on one watch with a steel and one with their non-magnetic spring, respectively.
1 he exhibit of Clark wire made by the Eastern Electric Cable Company contained a large variety of wire of that wellknown make.
The Russell Electric Manufacturing Company had on exhibition two of their mast arms.
Holmes, Booth & Haydens made an exhibit of bare and insulated copper wire.
The E. P. Gleason Manufacturing Company occupied the large southwest room of Department A with an exhibit of electroliers, globes and shades for electric lights in varieties of tint and form.
Worthington steam pumps and water meters.
E. B. Preston & Co. of Chicago special dynamo belts in all sizes. This was a fine exhibit, reflecting much credit upon this well-known house.
Locke Bros, exhibited the Locke damper regulator.
The Queen City Electric Company of Cincinnati, small motors and fan outfits.
The Ball Electric Company exhibited an eight arc machine driven by a fifteen horse-power Thomson motor.
The Eclipse Wind Engine Company of Beloit, Wis., exhibited their own shafting, clutches and pedestals, which were used in running the dynamos in the outer hall.
The John T. Noye Manufacturing Company, builders of the “ Rice ” automatic steam engine, showed one of their 100 horse-power automatic engines, running two ‘Thomson-Houston machines. The engine was making 230 revolutions per minute and did the work easily and smoothly.
The Thomson-Houston Electric Company made a most comprehensive exhibit of almost everything in the electric light line. Among the apparatus shown were arc and incandescent lamps, motors, a switch-board for arc lighting stations, large cul-outs for motors. In the outer hall a fully equipped l homson-Houston electric car was in daily operation.
The Tuerk water motor was shown operating a “ junior’’ dynamo, and making a very compact plant for domestic lighting. There was also shown in this exhibit the “ sun ” incandescent burner.
The Weston Electrical Instrument Company exhibited a number of the new Weston voltmeters and ammeters.
The Standard U nderground Cable Company’s exhibit was a very complete one, showing its system of underground wires.
The Excelsior Electric Company’s exhibit consisted of the Excelsior arc and incandescent dynamos in operation, together with a very smooth running Excelsior motor.
Goulds & Austin represented the New York Belting and Packing Company at the convention. Their exhibit, in charge of R. Y. Caldwell, Jr., was a very attractive one and received much attention.
The Pond Engineering Company of St. Louis made an exhibit of its system of steam plants for driving dynamos in central and power stations.
The Sperry Electric Company had an apparatus in operation consisting of two ten-light arc machines, one high tension and the other low of the improved Sperry type.
The National automatic fire alarm apparatus was shown in actual operation. In this device an increase in temperature, due to fire or other causes, automatically turns in an alarm, and the apparatus on exhibition could be so delicately adjusted as to be set off by a mere breath from the lips. Mr. G. V. B. Frost was in charge.
The Reliance Gauge Company of Cleveland, O., had on exhibition a fine and complete set of their steam pressure gauges, etc.
The Electrical Supply Company of 171 Randolph street, Chicago, made an exhibit of electric light tools, lamps, pendants, shades, speed indicators, switches, push buttons, soldering outfits, wire of all sizes and descriptions ; insulators and testing instruments, and many other devices.
The Stillwell & Bierce Manufacturing Company exhibited their horizontal Victor turbine, which is in use in a large number of electric light stations ; also their live steam purifier.
_I). W. S.