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Delco House Wiring Systems DC Current


Erby
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I was talking to an older (80+) gentleman the other day over coffee at the liar's table at the local coffee shop.

The topic came around to knob & tube wiring and he mentioned something I've never heard of before.

He said that his first house electricity was DC current, and old Delco system. Said it was the first system, BEFORE knob and tube.

Anybody ever heard of this type of system.

Google only talks about DC current in and Delco stuff in cars, boats, etc.

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Hi,

Yeah, there was a big battle between Edison and someone else over which system to use - AC or DC. I don't recall all of the circumstances that I read about, but I think it was Edison who advocated the DC system and someone else the AC and Edison pretty much bankrupted himself trying to make DC the accepted standard. I'm sure I've screwed up the details but I'm confident that Jim or someone else with better retention than I have will come on here and set me straight.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Erby

I was talking to an older (80+) gentleman the other day over coffee at the liar's table at the local coffee shop.

The topic came around to knob & tube wiring and he mentioned something I've never heard of before.

He said that his first house electricity was DC current, and old Delco system. Said it was the first system, BEFORE knob and tube.

Anybody ever heard of this type of system.

Yes, sure. It was Edison's original system for power distribution. It had serious drawbacks. Read all about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Currents

Google only talks about DC current in and Delco stuff in cars, boats, etc.

I've never heard it referred to as a Delco system. However, if the gentleman lived in a rural area instead of near one of the very few centers where the DC Edison system was set up, he might have had a Delco generator system.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Tesla is only now being rediscovered as the real genius behind almost all of our electrical miracles. Edison came up with the lightbulb. Tesla is the guy that figured out how to make 250,000 lightbulbs and the installation methods for lighting the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Edison did his best to put the better ideas to rest, and thankfully, bankrupted himself in the process. Tesla is not part of our history largely due to the exclusionist tendencies of the white guys like Edison, Ford, and the gov't. The "white guys" didn't like the idea of this immigrant being hailed as a genius; he wasn't in the club.

Edison didn't make a dime on the lightbulb. His fortune came from inventing the rolling clinker mill, which is what made the manufacture of Portland cement economically viable.

George Westinghouse bought out Tesla, so a lot of the successes and advances we associate w/Westinghouse were really the work of Tesla.

History is fantasy agreed upon..........Napoleon Bonaparte

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Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by kurt

. . . Edison came up with the lightbulb. . .

Not so. That distinction goes to a Brit named Swan. Edison tried to swipe the rights to the light bulb, but the patent office smacked him upside the head.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

That's right. Actually, he came up with the threaded socket idea, or at least, he got the patent here, no?

Edison refused Tesla the right to make bulbs for the Columbian Exposition through patent enforcement. Tesla got around Edison's restrictions by redesigning the thing into a glass globe that had a glass plug with 2 prongs sticking out. It was cheaper, better, and allowed him to crank out the quarter million bulbs on time and under budget.

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I thought that Tesla idea of transmitting electricity through the air using the earth's own resonance with its specific vibrational frequency was very interesting and some people are still working on this. His Tesla coils powered by only a small amount of electricity can light up fluorescent tubes (with burned out cathodes) and with nothing attached to them.

Another interesting read is about the Biefeld-Brown effect discovered by Thomas Townsend Brown.

Old but still real interesting stuff.

Michael Brown

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Originally posted by Bain

I didn't know any of this shit. You guys are good.

Yep,

Maybe we don't get a whole lot of traffic, because we don't allow all of the silly soap opera crap, dissing, and name calling that goes on on the other so-called "professional" boards, but I think we've got some of the sharpest folks in the business hanging out here.

It's workin' so I don't plan to try and fix it anytime soon.

You guys will never know how much I truly appreciate the way you go out of your way to cooperate with each other here and to help anyone who comes here with honest questions regardless of experience. It's truly amazing when you think about how difficult it seems for home inspectors to get along. Thanks so much!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

P.S.

Jim, your a friggin' national treasure. You need to open up a 'real' training course.

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Edison and the Electric Chair:

Under pressure of the limitations of DC curent, and in an attempt to discredit George (Tesla) Westinghouse’s AC system as unsafe, Thomas Edison (prompted by the U.S. govt.) researched AC current as a great way to kill someone, and encouraged Westinghouse and his AC system to create the electric chair. He thought this would be bad p.r. for G.W. and scare the public from AC. It did not.

It is the mark of our best American inventors to also be great capitalists, i.e., squash the competition. Thomas Edison is an American.

http://inventors.about.com/od/hstartinv ... _Chair.htm

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"Choice Between Direct and Alternating Current - Before planning an installation of interior wiring, the characteristics of the energy supply and its source must be determined... ...In most cases, electrical energy is purchased from a power-and-lighting company that designs and controls the distribution system. Interior-wiring installations must then conform to the distribution system, the characteristics of which can be learned from the central station."

[From an old book I have ("International Library of Technology - Distribution of Electrical Energy". Published by International Textbook Co.1926) which has wiring instructions for the old "Knob and Tube" wiring.]

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It is the mark of our best American inventors to also be great capitalists, i.e., squash the competition. Thomas Edison is an American.

Good modern example is Bill Gates and Micro Soft, stole... er, "copied" Apples ideas for GUI to make computers easier to use. Better financed and marketed idea and voila, Gates is the richest man in America. Of course it didn't hurt that he held the rights to the IBM operating system. Gates is a briliant capitalist and marketer but not necessarily the smartest inventor.

By the way, Tesla worked for Edison before getting frustrated with the DC only theory held by Edison and left to work for or with Westinghouse. Interesting stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was talking to my Dad about a DC lighting system that they had when he was a boy, he is now 88. They had a lighting system that ran off a wind generator on the roof of house in Missouri, it had three DC lights, I guess a regulator, and a lead acid battery.

He said that there were other hydro DC systems around mills springs dams in the 20s.

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  • 2 years later...

I remember the county historian of Cochise County, AZ having a wind powered battery charging system which supplied all the electric power for her ranch house from the early 1940's until the late '70's. She told me that it came from Sears and it was called a Wind Charger System. The spelling might be "Wynn Charger". The Array of batteries was stored under the kitchen floor and the cases were made of glass with replaceable lead cell plates. I believe the ladie's name was Grace McCool (sic?). She told me she was never without power but one time when the wind powered generator gave out and she had to order a new one from Sears. In the few days she was without wind power, she rented a gas powered generator from the nearby town of Frye or Sierra Vista, AZ to recharge her batteries. All her appliances were DC powered 110 Volt stuff from Sears and Roebuck. According to Ms. McCool, the charger worked fine in a 3 to 5 mph wind. Usually, in her area, the wind speed was greater than that, however. I wonder why we have no such systems today which are that efficient. Ms. McCool's son or sons replaced the system with commercial power. I believe that occurred in the late '70s. I sure would like to have that old system. Maybe it is stored someplace on the ranch if the ranch still exists. Although, I suspect there is a housing development there now. I don't know. I haven't been out there in many years.

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  • 2 months later...

I live within 100 feet from the site where Tesla has his lab in Colorado Springs. I thought that was pretty when I found since our family business was electric motor repair for 3 generations and most of our bread & butter was based on stuff he figured out.

He only stayed here for about a year, having lost popularity with the locals after one if his experiments set the town's generator on fire.

[:-party]

Occasionaly we get folks driving around the block, glued to GPSes in cars with out of state tags, looking for the Tesla Lab site.

I tell them theres nothing left of it but theres a zig-zag strip in my yard where I cant get anything to grow and I'll show it to them for a dollar.

So far I havent had any takers, except for one gentleman who offered to trade his tinfoil pyramid hat in exchange. [:-alien]

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