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        Edison's System of Electric Lighting and Power: Plan of a Central Station, 1879

        After inventing his incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison turned his attention to developing a way to generate and distribute power to residents and businesses. While the first central power station, Pearl Street Station in New York City, opened in 1882, most Americans continued to light their homes with gas light and candles for another 50 years. This diagram shows the plan of a central power station operating with 5 field and 24 generating machines. This resource is part of the Thomas Edison Collection.

        Read about innovation and the impact of technology on society in this Student Reading.

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