The strangest imprinting mechanism I've ever seen on a typewriter.
Excerpt from a tubing catalog extolling the virtues of the latest wooden pipe technology. I found it amusing. View full size to increase legibility.
Generator and Turbine
One of the four older generators. The near piece is the AC generator, and the far piece is the turbine where the incoming water spins the mutual shaft.
An oil-filled circuit breaker. The oil provides insulation and also interesting mechanical properties - no matter how hard you push, there is a maximum speed at which this switch will move.
A model of a unique steam engine used to service the Stave Lake facility. Note the side-mounted drive train: three pistons pump up and down and turn a drive shaft that runs along the side and turns the wheels via crown gears. Very slow as trains go, but it was designed to handle steep grades.
Readouts of the status of the various gubbins in the facility. This panel is about seven feet high and thirty feet long (only partially shown here; you can see the whole thing in a later picture).
Elevated view of the main floor of the station. The four nearer generators are the originals, and the higher capacity one with the green penstock at the far end was added later.
Heritage Washroom #1
I just found the idea of a heritage washroom amusing. Unfortunately it wasn't open for actual use; how can we enjoy our heritage then?
Heritage Washroom #2
The content of the heritage washroom - a couple of fancy urinals and apparently nothing else.
Penstocks are the big-ass pipes that bring water through the dam and into the turbines that drive the generators. Each of these carried something near three million litres of water per minute.
The fifth and largest penstock, added after the fact, had to be threaded over the other four and under the two smaller ones that fed the DC generators. Because of its circuitous route it was twice the length of the others. It had to be severed when the new power station next door was constructed.
Cutaway view of where the flowing water drives the shaft connected to the generator. Occasionally a log would come down the penstock and jam in here, and they'd have to shut it down and a guy would climb inside this to remove the debris.
I liked the simple yet almost art-deco arches above each turbine - they echo the curves of the machines.
There were two smaller DC generators at the station. They generated DC current used to power the electromagnets that made the larger AC generators work. Doing it this way is more efficient than using permanent magnets, and enables control over the amount of AC power generated by varying the field strength. Neat!
Mysterious control embedded in the floor.
Detail of one of the smaller turbines for the DC generators.
I just liked the colored lighting they used to illuminate the cutaway view of the turbine.
This would have been an especially impressive sight when it was spinning at full speed. They did have an electric motor rotating it, but at vastly slower speed than it would have spun under real operation.
AC Generator Coils
The weird iridescent effect on the red coils is not really there; The rotation direction of the rotor causes heavier dirt and grease (dark) to accumulate on one side of the coils, and lighter dust (light) on the other, and my flash artificially brightened the relatively clean sides of the coils. Interesting visual effect though.
Check out the voltage and amperage ratings! This is of course nothing like what modern generators can put out, but it is still a comprehensible quantity that an electrical nerd can recognize as something to do some serious damage with.
The sleeker, more modern turbine on the fifth generator. Much more curvaceous. A strange combination of ram's head and nautilus shell shapes.
Access to the overhead fifth penstock service hatch. This looks like the sort of place you'd expect to find Gordon Freeman and some headcrabs skulking about, which is why I photographed it.
There was an old two-man elevator to go between the main floor and the upper levels of the station, but there was no safe way to get out of it when it jammed, which it did, so they decommissioned it.
There was also a diesel generator on display, with this amusing plaque. View full size for legibility.
Nothing says importance like being the only hunter-red control on an otherwise dark-colored machine.
Main Floor #2
Another view of the main floor, looking back to where I took the earlier picture. That big control and status panel is in the background upstairs.
Matchless illuminant - a great convenience! Buy our electrons!
King Steam and King Coal worry over the future of the infant Electricity.
Of course, coal and steam (as used in nuclear power plants) are still the main sources of electricity.
I actually would like to have one of these to use in my kitchen.
An early eletric washing machine. I include this because I remember my parents having a very similar model when I was little, though I don't think we had electricity to power it. I just remember the shape and the wringer being very similar.
Conductors leading from the AC generators through huge oil-filled circuit breakers and then outside to the power transformers. These look more like waveguides than wires.
I was struck by the clean, Star Trek-like lines of this corridor.
This looks very similar to the icebox we used to keep our food in Manitoba, except ours had the small compartment on top - you put the ice on top, so the cool air falls and chills the food in the lower compartment. This one is electric though.
Just another example of a modern convenience made possible through the miracle of electricity - the matchless illuminant!
One of the power cables running to the transformers outside. There was that much juice in them.
Old Maytag logo on a washing machine.
GE logo on a relatively modern fridge.
Where the outflow from the turbines exits the building. Stagnant now since this station is decommissioned, but it looks like more Freeman territory.
Wires and isolators where the final stage of transformers connect the station to the grid.
Specially shaped cups on the water-driven wheels inside some kinds of turbines.
A water wheel from inside a turbine. Note the cups are individually replaceable - definitely a good idea. Also note the big-ass bolts holding them on.