Hearthstone Historic House Museum


Henry Rogers, who ran the Appleton gas company, thought Thomas Edison's plans for a central power station to distribute electricity was smart. But while Edison intended to use steam power to drive his generators, Rogers, who also owned a paper mill, decided to build the world's first centralized hydroelectric power station. His mill already had a dam, which was supplying water power to run the paper beaters, so the additional electrical engineering work could proceed very quickly. On Sept. 30, 1882, just 26 days after Edison's central power station opened, Rogers' hydroelectric plant transmitted current to his mill and home.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Mechanical, Other
Topic(s):Electricity
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:Designed as an architectural showplace, Hearthstone was built in 1881-82 for Henry Rogers, a prominent businessman who had a keen interest in promoting the electrification of his community. So, although Appleton had no electrical service at the time, Rogers had his house wired for electricity and had Edison Co. light fixtures installed.
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