Thomas Edison:Blueprint, Pearl Street electric power station, 1882

This blueprint is for Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station, a power station that the inventor established in September 1882 to provide electric lighting in lower Manhattan. The station ran until it was destroyed by fire in 1890. The station used reciprocating steam engines to turn 27-ton direct-current generators, called dynamos. Key components included voltage regulating devices; copper wires connecting the plant to other buildings; the wiring, switches, and fixtures in the interiors of those buildings; and the light bulbs themselves…all of which Edison and his team had to invent and manufacture. Pearl Street Station became the model that led the way for electrification in cities and towns across the United States.