OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA  - Founded 24 January 1895

4:00 P.M.

January 18, 2007

Electric History

Redlands Powers the World - How the San Bernardino Valley Developed Modern Electric Power First

by Ronald L. Burgess

Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library


In the early 1890’s, while the dominant electric companies fought over the emerging electric power standards and raced to invent the final components, a small community in San Bernardino Valley, managed to engineer and build the first commercially viable plant in the United States, and possibly the world. From Mill Creek No. 1 the first modern power standards would emerge-the ones basically still used today 114 years later.

This paper summarizes an interesting local Redlands account of these events by Serpio Craig’s Citrograph newspaper, enhanced by other historical notes about the complex events that lead to Mill Creek No. 1 becoming the very first commercial power generation plant.



I have heard Larry Burgess and Don McQue speak of Mill Creek No. 1 several times over the decades. But a client of mine that repairs large industrial motors, Brithinee Electric, made me more aware of some of the amazing technical achievements during the late 1800’s in Highgrove, San Antonio Creek above Pomona and Redlands. I began to buy out of print books on line to do research on the subject and found myself completely fascinated with this truly world changing event; primarily the realization that only a few local historians and electrical engineers had much knowledge about the importance of what happened right here in Redlands some 114 years ago. Why is it that credit for modern power generation is given to Westinghouse, Tesla, and Edison, instead of Decker, Brush, Sinclair and Richardson?

I was so captivated by the subject that I found myself compelled to go down a road to discover, at least for my self what the full story was. This road lead to the Smiley Archives, of course, the San Bernardino County Museum electrical power display, and History Curator Michele Neilson, Southern California Edison and finally Schenectady N.Y. Museum of Electricity which houses General Electric’s archives. Following a small demonstration website built on the subject by RedFusion Media, the San Bernardino County Museum’s Project Director Hortense Packer secured funding for a major online exhibit through Jerry Lewis’ office. This obsession has now lasted nearly two years, and will result in I believe one of the fine online museum exhibits in the county. My personal hope is that Mill Creek No. 1 will finally gain the place in history it deserves.

This is a work in progress, the material that will be in the website includes over one hundred pages of text and original document facsimiles, as well nearly one hundred images, maps and blueprints. This paper summarizes an interesting local Redlands account of these events by Serpio Craig’s Citrograph newspaper, enhanced by other historical notes about the complex events that lead to Mill Creek No. 1 becoming the very first commercial power generation plant.

San Bernardino Valley and Redlands played a staring role in the world’s economic model of power development. While many assume that development of electric power usage was primarily in the eastern US, Inland Empire engineers and capitalists completed the quest for the world’s standard for power generation. Today’s power systems, while much larger are still substantially the same as the original Mill Creek No. 1. Electric power would help a citrus industry ship worldwide, bringing national acclaim and wealthy snow-birds from the midwest and east.  Water was harnessed by Judson and Brown, founders of Redlands, railroads gave a new industry a market, but electricity created economic feasibility for ice making, water pumping and automation of packing plants.

The story starts with the arc light in the late 1870’s. Charles F. Brush was America’s most important promoter of the primitive, inefficient direct-current system. Experiments in direct power generation and arc lighting took place in San Francisco in 1879, and at George Chaffey’s Etiwanda ranch in San Bernardino Valley. Visalia and Santa Barbara followed in the mid-1880’s.  It was soon learned that this glaring bright light was dangerous for in-door use. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison had worked on and perfected the incandescent light bulb.  To many, the light bulb is the defining moment for commercial electric power; but while it provided economical and safer lighting, it was the electric motor that really changed industry and increased productivity. Edison’s light bulb could be run using AC (Alternating Current) or DC (Direct Current); but running efficient motors that could power industry still had many obstacles.  The standards of AC vs. DC were hotly debated between Westinghouse and Edison, to the point of litigation, and public spectacle. This became known as the “War of Currents.”

While the light bulb would change our behavior by night, the electric motor would revolutionize factories and pumping. The problem was that Edison and Brush had relied on DC power, and DC power could not be transmitted over three miles from the generating source. This meant that generation would have to be local, and the cost would remain very high, as small inefficient power stations would be required every 6 miles or so.

Visalia and Santa Barbara celebrated with great fanfare over their new arc lights mounted on huge poles to radiate the single source light. At the same time a private individual, Charles R. Lloyd was negotiating with the Riverside Water Company to lease the “energy” from a 50-foot fall on the Gage canal in Highgrove for $250 per month.1 Lloyd was involved with the early San Francisco California Electric Company.

At this time Lloyd did not have a company behind him, so he hired Riverside Water Company engineer, Gustavus Olivio Newman to build it for him. While it is unknown exactly when the first generation of power took place the first payment to the Riverside Water Company was in October 1887. This became the first hydroelectric plant in California.

Location: The original Highgrove Plant was operated until it was destroyed by fire in 1915. Its foundations are still at the Iowa Avenue in Highgrove. It is surrounded by the eucalyptus trees planted by Newman. The original building had three water wheels and three direct current dynamos in a square wooden building with a cupola on top. Enough electricity was generated for 15 arc lights in each city of Riverside and Colton.

In 1888 Lloyd also built a small hydro plant on Warm Creek where it crossed Mill Street in San Bernardino, CA. The water supply proved inadequate so was later converted to steam generation. The San Bernardino Electric Company was eventually formed. Power lines connected the two plants to provide power to San Bernardino, Colton and Riverside California. 

Nikola Tesla, having gone to work for Westinghouse after a fall out with Thomas Edison, is largely credited with developing the single-phase alternating current system. AC generators could increase the voltage so the power could be transmitted easily over great distances. These alternating generators eventually replaced the DC generators in Highgrove, Santa Barbara and Visalia. 

In 1890 Cyrus Baldwin (the first president of Pomona College), believed the fall of the San Antonio River, in the mountains north of Pomona, would be a good place to build a hydroelectric power generator. The Pomona Board of Trade appointed him chair of the Water Power Committee. Baldwin was not an engineer. Fortunately Almarian Decker had recently moved to California due to his Tuberculosis. Decker had spent time working in the Brush arc light company in Ohio. He was the man picked to engineer the plant and the famous Lowe Mountain Incline as well.  Decker faced an unresolved problem to find a solution for transmitting power 14 miles to Pomona. It was known that DC could not be transmitted this distance, so Decker concentrated on AC generators.

Decker was aware of Tesela’s experiments with AC and an important demonstration project in Germany using oil filled drums to increase voltage. Decker’s solution was to step up the voltage to push the power the 14 miles, then step it back down to the standard voltage used more safely in homes. He did this with what we now call transformers.

Following construction delays in the San Antonio Canon due to water flue leakage, the power system worked well. A year later the commercial transmission line distance record was set at 28 miles when a line was run to San Bernardino.

But even though AC technology allowed greater transmission using Decker’s transformers, it was still not the ideal solution for motors.  Single and two-phase (or multi-phase) AC synchronous motors were inefficient and cumbersome. This application of single phase AC meant that motors had to be synchronized with the generator during startup. You can imagine how difficult this was with miles between the two machines, let alone the use multiple motors in various different locations.

If electricity was to do more than light homes and streets, it had to run motors as well. This Decker knew, required a new idea; three-phase AC power. Tesla in 1890 was now famous for his many contributions to Westinghouse’s electrical products. Tesla was a scientist, compared with Edison who was more of a tinkeror who would not quit, as his well known phrase “invention is 98% perspiration and 2% inspiration” illustrates.

But Decker also had insight into the AC issues as his design in Pomona called for three-phase power. But Westinghouse refused to build a three-phase AC generator calling it “inpractible” at that time.  As a result he was forced to build a single phase plant. This left the problem of building a system that would power all electrical devises including motors to his next project; Mill Creek.

Redlands was a forward-looking community in 1891. One of its leading citizens and cheerleaders was Serpio Craig who published the local Citrograph. Mr. Seripio Craig was an outspoken advocate of his adopted city. He stayed current with many developments of the day, including electric power developments. His encouragement and outright cajoling of the new city council is evident in the excerpts collected here from the years 1891-1893.

On January 23, 1891, before the San Antonio Plant in Pomona was completed, Craig published  an article from the "Age of Steel" advocating the use of hydro-eclectic power to run motors.  Craig was not an engineer, but was well read enough to see that others were thinking of what a world would be like with electric power. He estimates that at least 5,000 horsepower is wasted in current waterways. "We could run dozens of small factories, besides furnishing lights by night when factories are idle. All our streetcars could run for half the cost of mule power. It seems as though someone would get up a company and start the thing going.”

Momentous events have a way of covering up the backroom maneuvering Mill Creek No. 1 is no exception.

On April 11,1891, the Citrogrph reported “Resolution is brought to the city trustees petitioning them to start a fund to develop and own an electrical system.   Sinclair is the only member absent!”  This petition was by the local businessmen who wished the city to move forward with electric lights.

Henry H. Sinclair had been a merchant shipper and settled in Redlands to try a fruit drying business. A leader in the community he was one of the first city trustees, today’s city council. It is unknown what his “electrical” activates were on this date.

May 2, 1891, Craig prints a short article on the cost of lighting-"with so much water power, this will be one of the best lighted cities on the Pacific Coast," he wrote.

Again on May 2. "On the 16th an electrical exhibit is to be made in Frankfort.[Germany] The power is to run the machinery to be 105 miles distant. If power can be carried 105 miles, why can not Redlands furnish power from both the Santa Ana and Mill Creek?"  This task might have seemed easy to Craig an expert horticulturalist.  But this was a far-reaching and important demonstration; a huge break-through by Russian Mikhail Dobrovolsky. 2 While important, it remained a demonstration of what could be, not what was developed for commercial use. One thing is clear, Redlands residents were clearly informed by Craig that big things could happen in Redlands. Sinclair, Fisher and other engineers  would have also known of this experiment.

One week later, on May 9th a Craig reports a “motion and ordinance was defeated from going to general election-Sinclair opposed” that would have established a city power system. The San Bernardino Courier stated, " For the first time in history Redlands has taken a backward step, it is not caused by the people either, but by two old moss backs who attempt to fill the place of city trustees." The mossbacks were Sinclair and Grover—this fault was seen as "sectional -Lugonia from Redlands," however Sinclair may have had other ideas other than a hometown issues!

Reaction to the reprinting of the article in the Citrograph brought comments to Craig. He defended himself on June 6th. ". . because we have seen fit to state some very plain business we have been deluged with columns of personal abuse, concocted by brains soured by envy, and disappointed ambition. Good we like personal abuse!
It advertises us and brings us friends. .. .We dislike to even think there are fossils, silurians, mossbacks in our beautiful town.”

The next issue Sinclair makes a public statement at trustee meeting in response to Citrograph. “He claimed that the number of signatures gathered were insufficient enough to warrant the cost of $200 to mount an election. Of 110 signatures only 70 were valid out of 450 voters.”

In the following week Craig makes a  note on “the Frankfort exhibition-successful comment on transformers being used to increase and lower horsepower with out leakage”. This is a reference to the demonstration project in Germany to transmit high voltage over long distances.

Decker undoubtedly took note of the Frankfort Exhibition. He had been working on the new plans for the San Antonio plant above Pomona at this time, and probably either found his ideas verified or was influenced enough to include three-phase in his plans. He was also working on the Mount Lowe Incline Railway at the time, where he used DC power with its own dynamo to run the motors.

It is understandable to imagine him as an impatient man, he knew he was dying of Tuberculosis and did not have the time to wait for the industry to catch up. But a few others took note of this development in Frankfort, notably a young engineer named Ernst Danielson and his protégé Göran Wenström, who owned Wenström Consolidated Electric with plants in Sweden an the US. Danielson was transferred to the US company to work on dynamos in the summer of 1890. But shortly after that, he took a job at the Thompson-Houston Electric Company in Lynn Mass. Working with the Thompson Tool Works, and Henry Reist, he worked out the three phase electrical issues, while Reist did the mechanical work. Wenström did the same work in Sweden but his completed models in 1891 still had problems, and he recruited his old employee Danielson to come back to his native country in 1892. Danielson, Reist and fellow engineer Edwin Wilbur Rice, had worked out the problems in the winter of 1892.3

In October, 1891, Craig made another dig to the city council about Riverside owning its own power plant, Craig agreed that a city owned plant is the right approach. Riverside however actually bought power later from Mill Creek No. 1.

The holiday’s are quiet on the issue of electrification, but in January of 1892, “O.M. Anderson asked if the city would grant a franchise for an electric light company plant for fifty years -He had secured an agreement with nearly all business men to use the lights and were ready to form a company. The matter was referred to Messrs Judson and Sinclair.”4  So now if Sinclair is thinking about a new power company, he is put in a difficult position. The community is clearly pushing the city to allow a company to provide electric lights if the city would not. On February 13th Craig writes “O.H. Anderson is granted a provisional license provided he could capitalize a company of $15,000”  by  the City Trustees, a substantial sum in 1892. Is this action one to make sure that the franchisee can complete the project? Or is it a way for Sinclair to have a chance to raise the money himself and convince the city trustees he is the right man? The practices of 1890 may not have seen the conflict we do today, and I don’t know the exactly when Sinclair decided to start the Redlands Light and Power company, but between March 12 when Craig says “Its time to wake up and get the job done” and July 23rd, “an ordinance for the right for way for Sinclair, Crafts, Ellis and Ferrard for Light, heat and power, above or under streets,” was proposed to the City Trustees. On July 30th the Trustees granted final approval of a right-of way to be furnished within one year.

Craig prints in the Citrograph on September 27th, “Making progress on the power plant, Thompson-Houston, Edison and Brush were in the city looking over the field and will make a bid on furnishing appliances for the plan.” 5 These companies represented all the best resources for lighting, sans Westinghouse, in the country. Edison and Brush were still providing DC systems. Thompson-Houston had a secret weapon in the works by this time, a three-phase motor/generator design. It will probably never be known if this was revealed, or discussed at the time. Westinghouse, because of Tesla, owned the majority of AC patents at the time. The development of three-phase would have opened up new opportunities for the future electric industry.

H.H Sinclair and capitalist Henry Fisher, both knew about hydroelectric power successes in the area, and had a customer for power. The Union Ice Company in adjacent Crafton, would buy power to run its plant. But the company didn’t like the prospect of unwieldy synchronous AC motors.  At the time the Union Ice company sold ice for shipping oranges to the mid-west and east coast-a lucrative new business made possible by railroads just a few years earlier.

The compressor for making ice was run using steam generated by wood burning boilers. This was an expensive fuel when it had to be pulled down from the mountains in horse-drawn wagons. When electricity drove the new electric motors the cost dropped so dramatically that the Union Ice Company could undercut the cost of ice as far away as Los Angles. For capitalists like Fisher, this made perfect sense, especially when the Redlands Light and Power Company could extract its margins first.

From the Citrograph on October 8 1892, we read, “THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF DIRECTORS of Redlands Light and Power company.  Directors elected, A Cook, Waters, Drak,e Feraud, Ellis, Crafts and Sinclair. Officers will be elected when the state completes the articles. Stock is in demand.”

Then on October 28th “Almirian Decker is contracted to design a plant for 600 lights for the city.”6 The following week,  “The R L & P company completed its organization this week, electing H. H. Sinclair, President, George Crafts V.P., Secretary F.G. Ferard, R. J. Kenedy secured the contract to drive the 150-foot tunnel in Mill Creek7.”

“The Advising engineer, A.W. Decker has the plans and specifications, for the powerhouse, and lines and contracts will be awarded at once. The city will doubtless pay for 10 lights . . . “

“Incandescent lights will be furnished to stores for $1. per month, and residents will be 70 cents per light, meters will be used over 10 lights. The company will provide power for manufacturing.”

“Another important feature will be the probability of electric heating. Will not only light but heat the city in the 93-94 season.”

Fortunately it was Almirian Decker who was hired by Sinclair and Fisher to design the new Mill Creek No 1. Plant for Redlands. Decker had tried to build a three phase plant for Pomona in San Antonio Canyon in 1891, but manufacturers refused to build the equipment he specified and he was forced to use single phase AC for this plant. But as we have seen, no company knew how to build a three-phase motor in 1891.  During 1892, all the major manufacturers undoubtedly knew, that a major contract had been let for a three-phase system, and it stands to reason that another was about to be offered by the same engineer through the Redlands contract. By the end of 1892, confidence increased in the feasibility of a three-phase AC motor/generator, and Danielson and Reist of the Thompson Tool Works knew they could build one.

Meanwhile the entire nation watched as Westinghouse and Edison continued the battle over what the standard current would be. This is reminiscent of the battles for computer operating systems in the early 1980’s or the current issues in the digital music media.  And while they were warring in the east, the Redlands gang was about doing business. They were about building an infrastructure that would be more than a curiosity, more than a home comfort, but a true standard for the world. And of course create a nice return on investment right here in Redlands.

On January 14, 1893, the Citrogaph announced, “Engineer A.W. Decker, who has the superintendence of the Electric Light and Power Company’s work, has been here for some days. The construction of the power house was begun this week. It is to be a stone structure, sixteen feet high, twelve feet being below the surface of he ground, the object being to secure a greater fall to the machinery and thus gain a larger amount of power. The building will have an iron roof and will be fire proof. The machinery will be of the 3 phase alternating system, for incandescent lighting and the arc system will be independent of this.

The company has decided to run its line through Mentone, where a few arc lights will be used and several houses lighted. The poles have been received via the Terminal and Santa Fe roads from San Pedro and a gang of men has commenced placing them. The company is pushing its work and in thee months time we may expect to see our city lighted and at least a couple of factories in operation.8

Decker had specified his Three-Phase generator design again. And only one company in the US could build the three phase motors and generators for Decker’s project. This was the Thompson-Houston Electrical Company. In early 1892, J.P. Morgan began the process to merge Thompson-Houston with Edison Electric Light Company. By fall of 1892, the new company General Electric emerged. In late September of this year, both Thompson-Houston and Edison were in town, but the order went to GE after Decker was hired.

On February 18th the news finally came, under the headline of ELECTRIC LIGHT AND POWER, Craig writes, “The General Electric Company Secures the Contract for the Plant. The bids for the installation of the plant for the Redlands Electric Light and Power Company were opened on Wednesday. There were present F.F. Barbou, Chief of the power transmission department of the GE company, and WJ Keese, LA agent for the same; JM Thompson and CFW Hass  of the Westinghouse Company; WM Keigh of the Electrical Engineering Company; and a bid was received by telegraph from the Siemens  Halleck Company of Chicago.”
            “The GE company’s bid was accepted, and the plant to be installed will be the first of its kind west of the Mississippi river. [Later corrected to US]. It embraces all the latest improvement in the electrical science and is particularly well adapted to this section of country. Under this system the local company will be able to furnish the very best incandescent and arc lights and efficient power. The contract calls for the completion of the work not later than July 1st, the company being under heavy penalty to have it in readiness at that time. The local company, however, anticipates that the plant will be in operation by June 1st.
            The bidding was interesting, as each of the companies desired to introduce its system here. The successful company gives assurance that it will put in a superior plant, to establish a reputation on the coast.  In fact, the plant will be the very best that can be put in. The total cost of the plant and system will be $100,000.  The local company has very successfully conducted the business so far.
            Much credit is due Mr. A. W. Decker, consulting electrical engineer of the Redlands company, from the fact that the GE company has agreed to put in the plant on the specifications prepared by him. For some time he has been endeavoring to induce the various companies to take an advanced stand in electrical application on this coast, as fuel is dear and water power easily attained. Mr. Decker had charge of the San Antonio Electric company’s work and is one of the leading electricians in Southern California.” 9

No doubt the new General Electric Company rushed to start building the two large generators. Dr. Louis Bell was put in charge of the project, and with Reist, finally set the frequency at 50 cycles. But they also built additional small motors for the Chicago Columbian Exposition slated to open in late spring.

Famous German-born General Electric engineer Charles P. Steinmetz gave further evidence of Ernst Danielson’s capabilities in 1894. In an article in an electrical engineering magazine Steinmetz stated that numerous poly-phase induction motors shown at the exhibition in Chicago in 1893 had several defects, with the exception of a few small three-phase motors from General Electric. Danielson in consultation with the engineers Edwin Wilbur Rice, Elihu Thomson and fellow Swede Axel Ekström designed all those without defects.10

Bell’s system of classifying generators and motors lead to the designation TY, and as Larry Burgess had recounted on several occasions, Bell started the number at 50, not wanting to give away the fact that they had never built a three phase generator before. The delivered generators were TY50 and TY51. In point of fact, we found the first list of generators produced by GE in the Schenectady Museum, naturally with the famed two generators at the top of the list.

Decker’s  power generation and delivery system was so successful that it became the Southern California standard. The basic engineering was copied and built upon once again by Sinclair in the construction of the Santa Ana No. 1 plant, which in-turn was the model for more large projects, which in turn set the standard for the entire west.

Sadly, a victorious story turned bitter sweet for the brilliant Almarian Decker. Decker who single handedly designed the first complete system and probably created the demand for three-phase equipment development in the US, did not live to see his dream. His tuberculosis worsened in the summer of 1893, he was carried on a stretcher to view progress on other projects, but he never saw Mill Creek No 1 completed.  The first commercially viable three-phase power plant in the world was running on  September 7th 1893. 

Redlands Light and Power, and Southern California Light and Power, which was formed to build the Santa Anna project, were the two major generating assets that became the Southern California Edison we know today. Henry Fisher electrified our own trolley system and sold it,  as well as becoming a major stockholder of Southern California Edison.  Sinclair became general manager, at Southern California Edison, he recommended the site for the Hoover dam some 20 years before building it was feasible. Sinclair became world famous by winning the first Trans-Pacific sailing race.  O.H. Ensign completed and tested the Mill Creek No. 1 plant and was hired to be the engineer for the new Santa Ana plant, he invented the long-distance transmission line insulator, called the Redlands Insulator. Ensign also went on to invent significant water dam valves, and later started the Ensign Carburetor Company.  Edison lost the war on currents, and the new technology brought to GE from Thompson-Houston allowed new patents to be filed in AC three-phase technology, turning General Electric into the literal business powerhouse we know today.

But Decker the practical electrical genius?  Decker faded away, to be remembered in just a half dozen rare electrical articles. It was his foresight that allowed:

Long distance electric power transmission via transformers
First commercial US three-phase AC generator
First electric irrigation pumping-Redlands 1894
First commercially viable three-phase synchronous motors

And so a new electrical industry was finally born 150 years after Benjamin Franklin first launched the commercial use of the lightening rod. Many bright scientists and engineers contributed to the momentous event of September 7th 1893, but the first to actually accomplish a real commercial model was Sinclair’s opportunistic vision, Fisher’s financial savvy, and Decker’s young electrical genius.


Post Script

While Ernst Danielson was in the United States, his previous company in Sweden continued its own development of three-phase motors. The first tests of Jonas Wenström’s three-phase machines in 1891 were not as successful as was hoped. The motor was not constructed in an appropriate way. When Danielson returned to Sweden, the following year he took on the problem and managed to solve it in a short time. This made possible the three-phase transmission of electricity between Hellsjön and Grängesberg in December of 1893, a mark in the history of Swedish electrification and claimed by the company for Europe as well. This is three months later than Mill Creek No. 1.

While DC power was generated at Niagara Falls, prior to 1893, the famed three-phase AC power plant by Westinghouse was not completed until 1896.

End Notes

1 Iron Men and Copper Wire, Meyers,

3 Learning and Returning Return Migration of Swedish Engineers from the United States, 1880–1940, Per-Olof Grönberg. Department of Historical Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, ISBN 91–7305–513–1, page 1-4

4 Citrograph Jan 23 1892- P6, C 1. 

5 Citrograph Sept 27th P 6 C 1.

6 Citrograph, Oct. 29th, P8,C2.

7 Citrograph, Nov. 5th, P8, C2.

8 Citrograph, Jan. 14, P2, C2

9 Citrograph, Feb. 18, P8 C2

10 Learning and Returning Return Migration of Swedish Engineers from the United States, 1880–1940, Per-Olof Grönberg. Department of Historical Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, ISBN 91–7305–513–1, page 1-4

Additional Resources

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The Folsom Powerhouse No. 1 1895, National Historic Mechanical Landmark, September 12, 1976, page 5.

American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The Folsom Powerhouse No. 1 1895, National Historic Mechanical Landmark, September 12, 1976, page 5.

The Journal of Electricity, Power and Gas, Vol. XIII-No.1, January, 1903, pages-96-98.

John Harriagan, for important research sources including the The Journal of Electricity, Power and Gas, Volume XIII-No.1, January 1903, Transcriptions of material by Decker’s only daughter, Masrian Decker Shaw, and his work on Decker’s engineering at Mt. Lowe.

Charlie Basham of the Southern California Edison Company, for providing many photos and research materials.

Original hard cover “Iron Men and Copper Wires,”  William A. Myers      

“Redlands Powers the World,”  Presentation, PowerPoint                                

O. H. Ensign Collection                                                            John Lewis-great grandson
            Excerpts from “Iron Men. . .” 
            The Journal of Electricity, Power and Gas, may 1902
            Autobiographical Sketch by O.H. Ensign
            Obituaries-Engineering Pioneer Dies     
            Explore Our Past; July 15, 2002 Needle Valves Take a Train Ride
            Old Sparks of Ingenuity Still Run, The Press-Enterprise, Pat Murkland
            IEEE Milestones, Mill Creek No. 1, IEEE website
            A Place Called Borrego, Homesteader Days in the Borrego Valley
                        Journal of San Diego History, Winter 1997, Volume 43, No. 1
            Genealogy Web posting of the Dales an Narramore families
            Article San Bernardino Sun, 100 Year-Old Charge Turbine still turns. .

IEEE History Center, Mill Creek No 1, 1893

Southern California Edison Website – Historical Timeline; 1879-1899

The History of Hydroelectric Power in the Inland Empire, Video            SC Edison / Basham

Santa Ana Power Plants, Army Corp of Engineers                                SC Edison / Basham

Clippings on Redlands Light and Power formation-S. Craig, Citrograph,    
            Redlands Heritage Room

“Power on Redlands” Opening Ceremony Speech ,                                          
Redlands Heritage Festival, 2005     Content/ Research                                                        

Empire of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes, Random House, 2003

Edison Electric Institute  AC vs. DC

Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, Telluride CO

Nikola Tesla

History of Poser in Los Angeles --

The Great Incline- Decker  By Jake Brouwer


Ron Burgess is a native of Colorado. He entered the University of Colorado as biology major, but switched to fine art with one or two remaining biology classes. As his fifth year came to a close and the BA in fine arts achieved, he switched again to business school where he completed his BS in business a year later. This eclectic educational base fashioned his professional career, spending a decade in the high fashion industry. He then spent 7 years with a retail consulting firm where he completed a massive mainframe software rewrite for a computer not yet released, the 386, and taught cash flow planning to field consultants. Since 1989 Ron has maintained his own marketing management practice, Burgess Management, where he has worked from Oxford to Jakarta.  In 1999 he launched an Internet venture with his wife Molly and son Jon, known as RedFusion Media. It has grown to be the largest web design and content maintenance company in the Inland Empire. Ron’s interests in history are now satisfied by working not only on business websites, but major projects such as the CD project Illustrated Redlands, online museum exhibits such as the subject of this paper, and other innovative Internet projects.

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