Electrical wizards are in session (1899)

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Electrical wizards are in session-1899

Electrical wizards are in session

Second annual convention now on

Problems of transmission are discussed

Prince Poniatowski elected president of the association

Notable electricians exchange ideas

With the plangent surf of the Pacific beating in their ears, reminding them of the wonderful potentialities of water power in the generation of electricity, the members of the Pacific Coast Electric Transmission Association held their second annual convention yesterday afternoon in the parlors of the Cliff House [in San Francisco]. Prominent electricians from all over the Pacific Coast were in attendance for the purpose of exchanging ideas in electrical transmission. Papers were read, after which came a general discussion of principles and methods, bringing out the progress made during the past year in the various applications of electrical energy.

At the conclusion of the afternoon session the members of the association went into executive session and elected officers for the ensuing year. Prince A Poniatowski was elected president; AG Lamson of Salt Lake, vice president; George P Low, secretary, and WA Angus, treasurer. When the labors of the day were over, the electricians sat down to an association dinner set in the banquet hall. For a few hours currents, tensile strength and conductivity were buried by the flow of table jocularity and eulogistic speeches. The evening session was marked by more electric wisdom and cross-fire discussions.

The convention was opened by President WF Pierce, who introduced Dr FAC Perrine. The latter read a report on “Tests and Calculations for Forty-Mile Aluminum Wire Transmission Line.” Dr Perrine is at the head of the electrical engineering department at Stanford University. His report was technical in the extreme and provoked a great deal of discussion on the relative value of copper and aluminum as conductive material. FET Lee told what he knew of the properties of aluminum wire. He controverted the idea that the life of aluminum wire was limited to six months. According to his figures, the ratio of the expenses of aluminum and copper wire was as 16 to 21. Professor Corey of the University of California was called on and he declared that from actual experiments it was proved that the conductivity and tensile strength of aluminum wire was greater at the joints.

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The next paper was read by John Martin, president of the Yuba County Power Company. His subject was more of the popular order and less technical. His subject was “Electric Lightning vs Gas.” He said:

“Low rates are always conducive to largely increased consumption and a larger output insures reduced cost of production. A number of electric lighting companies have been asked whether electric lighting was cheaper than gas and the general response was in favor of electricity. The improvements in the electric service are so marked and rapid that there is little hope left for the gas plant as a very profitable competitive illuminant unless working arrangements are made with the opposing company.”

Continuing, Mr Martin advocated flat rates for consumers, but to this there was a general opposition on the part of the other electricians, who seemed unanimous on the meter adjustment for the amount consumed.

The meeting will continue this morning at 10 o’clock.

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