HISTORY OP TE . CONSOLIDATED GAS KL.&TRIO LIGHT AND POY/ER COMPAHY OP BALTIMORE DBL3J3T ji. LC 'A/2g -1- riSTCKY r* T-TJ CCTSCIIDATJI: S.'.S 43 .,OI?RIO LIGHT ACT PC 723 CCI.TANY C? BA1TI?'0HJS . L'.rJK C' 1 J'"., COMPANY The Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Com- pany is, as its name indicates, an organisation resulting from the merging of several similar companies. These com- panies date from the year l8l6 when the first gas eompany in the United States was organized in Jaltimore. In I8l6 Rembrandt Paale was the proprietor of a museum in Baltimore where scientific novelties were dis- played. As an additions 1 curiosity lor. Peale installed a system of the then unknown gas lights, with which to il- luminate his museum. This display attracted many visitors and caused much favorable comment, encouraged by the reception the gas lights had received, Peale apolied to the Hay or and City Council of Baltimore for permission to organ- ize a company to lay pipes in the streets and light the city by means of gas. His proposition was favorably re- ceived by the Mayor and Council and in a very short time an ordinance was passed which authorized Peale and his associates to form the "Gas light Company of Baltimore" and to contract for lighting the city with gas. Thus was formed the first gas company in the Inited States, and from this simple beginning has developed the great Consolidated -2- Company of to-day. Jhe gaa manufactured by this first company was coal gas. It was made by burning coal in cast-iron retorts, the gas being driven off and conducted away from the retort by a pipe. It was then cooled and stored in gas holders, Jhis gas was used exclusively for over 5^ years, or until the introduction of water gas. The Gas light Company continued to operate, with- out competition, until 1871 when the "People's Gas Company" was formed. This company also manufactured coal gas. In 1873 patents were granted to Professor Thaddeus Iowa on his process for making water gas, and in 1874 "the first water gas plant was installed at Phoenixville, Pa. In a short time plants were also erected in several other places. Jhese plants proved so successful that in I876 the "Consumers' Mutual Gas Light Company" was organized in Baltimore for the purpose of introducing the new gas. In 1877 the plant was completed and distribution begun. Professor Henry IVurtz of Foboken, N.J., an eminent chemist, was asked to investigate and report upon the quality and charac- teristics of the water gas. In his report the statement is made, as follows: "I have no hesitation in pronouncing this to be the cleanest gas thr t has come within my observation, this observation having been very extensive." The water gas was made by passing steam over anthracite coal, heated to incandescence. In order to make -3- the gas burn with a luminous flams it was mixed with, -vaporized oil. It proved to be so much cleaner and cheaper than coal gas that the plant erected by the Consumers' Company contin- ued in operation until 1904 whs n it was closed down. There were then three gas companies operating in a city which afforded barely enough business for one com- pany. To prevent the inevitable rate wars and consequent poor service the companies combined in 1880 to form the first Consolidated Gas Company of Baltimore. In 1382 another competitor, the 'Equitable Gas light Company", entered the field. It at first Produced a gas made by distilling wood, but later changed to water gas. After a short time a coal gas plant was added. The ife of the Equitable Company was short, as in 1385 i* w & s absorbed by the newly organised " Chesapeake Gas Company" which made water gas by a new process which was supposed to reduce the quantity of carbon monoxide in the gas. In 1888 this company and the old Consolidated Company were merged to forma new Consolidated Gas Company which is to-day the Consolidated Gas ISlectric Light and Power Company. This merger endeo competition in the gas industry in the city of Baltimore as no more gas companies were or- ganised and the legislature has since passed a law prohibit- ing any more competition in Baltimore. Soon after water gas had made its appearance -H- electric lights began to compote with the gas lights and in 1881 the first Baltimore electric light company was formed. This was the "B r ush Electric light Company", named after the inventor of the Brush series arc-lamp system. As was the case with the gas industry, competition was encouraged ani in 1889 the first competitor appeared, followed in rapid succession by several others, none having other than a transitory existence. In 1899 all existing electric light companies were consolidated to form the "United Electric Light and Power Company." This company operated for several years without competition, and during this period service was good and rates were lower than in many other cities of the same size. In 1904 a new company entered the field and struggled along for a short period during which there oc cured a disastrous rate war, which un- settled the electric light and power business, crippling progress and impairing service. In 1906 the Consolidated Gas Company absorbed all the existing electric companies and a small gas plant operated by the Suburban Gas Company at Highland town, thus forming the "Consolidated Gas Electric light and Power Company." Since 1906 Ijhere have been no more gas or electric companies and the Consolidated Company has been free to develop its equipment and improve its service. ?he tremendous progress the company has made since its formation in 1306 is described in the article following. -?- EEVS1C : OF TH3 COMPANY'S BQUIPttSUT, ?he first equipment used by the company was the old gas plant in back of Peale's ruse urn. In this building was made the first gas ever used for lighting in Baltimore, that which illuminated the curies on display in the old museum. After the organisation of the Gas light Company the "Davis Street '..'orks" were built at Saratoga and Ilorth Streets. The gas holders were located inside of the building and the tanks containing the holders were built of wooden staves held together with heavy iron hoops. Tim largest of these holders had a capacity of 85900 cubic feet. This plant was used until 1847 when a new plant, was erected at L'orth Holliday Street, between Saratoga and Pleasant Streets, having a oapacity of 275.^90 cubic fe=ft, ovur three times as much as the largest holder previously used, This plant operated until 1856. The year before this plant was closed the Gas light Company erected a new plant at Spring Gardens, and this is still in use to-day, _'he next competing company, the .eople's Gas Company, constructed a coal gas plant at the foot of "cott Street, having a capacity of 1,000,000 cubic feet, : th the introduction of water gas in 1877 by i-he Consumers' l.utual -as Light Company a new plant was constructed at Lancaster Street and Harris creek, in Canton. At the start its capacity was 1,'JQO, 000 cubic feet, but four years -6- later the capacity was increased to 2,000,000 cubic feet, showing the great popularity of the new gas. in 1882 the Equitable Gas Light Company erected a plant at Severn and .bayard streets of about 1,000,000 cubic feet capacity. is plant was originally used for producing wood gas but it was later altered to produce water gas. "Jhe equipment was later augmented by a coal gas plant which was used when t}B water gas plant was unable to produce a suf- ficient quantity. This property was taken over, in 1385, by the Chesapeake '-as Company and the plant operated as before except that limestone was substituted for fire brick, with the intention of reducing the quantity of carbon monoxide in the water gas, 'Jhe company did not add anything to the exist- ing a'Toaratus . ha plant of the Suburban S-as Company, at highland- town, was relatively small, having a capacity of only 100,000 cubic feet. ;en the Consolidated Cas Company vas formed in 1888 the new company continued to use the plant of the Chesapeake Company at Jayard and Severn Streets, the old plant at Uanton once owned by the Consumer's Mutual, and the plant at Spring Gardens which was built by the original &as Tight Company and which had been in use since 1855* In 1^02 an improved water gas apparatus was installed at the Spr in~ Sar&ene Plant and shortly thereafter all other -olants were close down. lince that date additional apparatus has been added and to-day the plant is a complete and modern water gas works, -7- having a capacity of over 5 ^i"} 9 0,000 cubic feet. Also, there is still sufficient room to allow an increase in capacity to at least twice the present capacity, should such an increase become necesrary. The entire Soring Gardens Plant covers about 57 acres and includes bl structures. In order to provide for future expansion a piece of land, near Turner's Station in the eastern suburbs, has been purchased for use as a site for a second gas manufact- uring plant when the development at Spring Gardens is complet- ed. It is 52 acres in extent and has a deep-water frontage of 1200 feet. Lie all the gas manufactured by the company is made at Spriner Gardens, an additional supply of coke-oven or by-product gas is received at the Spring hardens Plant thru a pipe line from the I.Irryland Steel Company, at Sparrows Point. The pipe line is 12-fe miles in length and passes over Bear Creek, which is 37°0 feet wide. Part of this line, which' is 24 inches in diameter, is laid on the bottom of the creek. At Spring n -ardens this by-product gas, better known as coal gas, is purified and mixed with water gas before being distributed to the consume rs. The distribution system now covers 120 square miles, with 1089 feet of mains, of which the largest is 4 feet in diameter. This distribution system was partly made up of the trunk mains formerly used by other compan- ies. These have been woven into the nresenu distribution system. The company maintai-ns several gas distribution stations, among' Which are the Front Street Station in the center of the city, the Arlington Station at the Western Maryland Railroad, the .iaysrd Street Station in the south- west district, ths Canton Station, and a few others of less importance. The electrical equipment obtained by the compeny in 1906 when it absorbed a number of small electric companies consisted of several small steam power generating stations, most of which were inefficient and unreliable. In 1>08, Mr. Herbert A. V/agne r came to Baltimore to tahe charge of the electric operations of the Consolidated Company. His first work was to shut down all these small plants and concentrate the company's electric power in one plant. This was done by developing the V/estport Steam G-ene rating Station until it could supply as much power as the consumers needed. The result of this change was a decrease in operating expenses and a corresponding rate reduction. The decrease in rates pro- duced an increase in the demand for paver. At this time the McCall's Ferry Power Company, which was constructing a plant at Holtwood, Pa. to use the Susquehanna River to generate power, went into the hands of a receiver. Mr. J, .. Aldreci was appointed by the court to act as receiver and in this capacity he completed the construction of the plant at Holtwood, Pa., and organised the Pennsylva- nia Water and Power Company. At the sai;:e time Mr. Aldred and his associates bought a controlling interest in the Con- _9- solld^ted Company of 3altimore. His next step was to bring the power from the river plant to a substation at iiighland- town in 3ast Baltimore and from there to the system supplied by the '..'estport Steam Plant of the Consolidated Company. Le work was completed in 1910 and furnished a combined capacity of 92,000 horsepower. In 1921 the Consolidated Company purchased the output of the Pratt Street Plant of the united Railways and .lectric Company, thus increasing the total capacity. The capacity of the '.Vestport Plant has been increased from about 50,000 horsepower when completed to a total of about 247,000 horsepower. The capacity of the hydro-electric plant at noltwood has grown from about 60,000 horsepower to more than 180,000 horsepower. This increase in power at Foltwood was partly due to the erection of a steam station with a capacity of 30,000 horsepower, to operate in conjunction with the hydro- electric plant which has a capacity of 150,000 horsepower. The company's total output previous to December, 192 6 was about 427,000 horsepower, an increase since 1910 of about 4/3 times the 1910 output. In December of 1326 the new Gould Street Power Station was ^ut into operation. At present only one unit is in use but when the station is completed it will represent an investment of v 10,000,000 and will have a capacity of 213,000 horsepower. This will increase the company's total capacity to G-40,000 horsepower. The power from the I oltwood plant is transmitted over 40 miles of double steel tower line, at 70, 000 volts, to a -10- substation at Highlandtown where it is stepped down to 13200 Tolts and distributed to other substations. At the I.cClellan Street substation the volt age is still further reduced and transformed by rotary converters to direct current which supplies the busines - district. In the business portion of the city, service is further insured by one of the largest storage batteries ever built. At Ilonument and Constitution Streets a large substation supplies energy at 13200 volts to four different classes of service, including the .daltimore and Ohio Railroad and other large consumers having their own substations. Tba Consolidated Company also has a number of other substations distributed through the city, some of which are equipped to supply direct current. 0A3 RA'JIJS A I- J ^?.VIC3 e history of the gas rates used by the Consoli- dated Company may be divided into three principal periods. The first period began with the establishing nt of the industry when gas was charged for at a flat price per burner per month, burners were supplied to consumers in three sizes, 12, 14 , ana 18 dollar burners. If a customer wished to pay V 12 per quarter I three months) for his gas he was given a V 12 burner. If he wished to pay mare he was supnlied with one of the larger sizes. Gas was then sold at v4 per thousand cubic feut, with a discount of 12^- per cent, for cash. -11- » 3 second period began with the installation of gas meters, wbe n straight meter rates were adopted. The rates varied at times with the amount of monthly consumption by the customer. This period covers the entire history of gas rates until January 1, I9l6t ^ 1868 gas had been reduced to v3«55 P 9 r thousand cubic feet, this price including the govern- ment tax of 2? cents and subject to a discount of 1/11 if paid within 29 days. in 1878 the introduction of water gas caused the price to drop to yl.yO per thousand cubic feet, !:, roci that time to the present the price has been reduced sever- al times and has finally reached the present rate of 85 cents per thousand cubic feet. The third period began in 1916 with the adoption by the Consolidated Company of the principle of differential rates. By this new rate standard the consumers are charged a certain amount per thousand cubic feet until the consumption reaches a definite maximum. For any gas consumption above this maximum a different and lower rate is charged. 'J he result of this lower rate for excess use of gas was a decided increase in gas con- sumption. Industrial concerns, during the first year of dif- ferential rates, showed a monthly increase of as high as 60 per cent, and many ordinary consumers used some gas at the lower rate. The purpose behind this development in fixing ges rates is expressed by Mr. Aldred, the chairman of the board of directors of the Consolidated Company, in a statement made to the Public Service Commission: "The policy of the Consolidated -12- :T)eny and its nanagems nt ha s been the fixed policy of reducing rates as fast as is consistent with maintaining the company's credit on the high basis necessary for it to obtain capital at low rates." Also, President '.agner says: "iha new gas rates give to the people of Baltimore a gas service which for low cost, uniformity of quality and pressure, and and dependability and adequacy of supply has never Deen equalled in any community . ,r The statements of these two officials are supported by the fact that the Consolidated Company, from the beginning, has always maintained its price level as law as conditions would permit. Also, for 100 years there has never been any failure in the surely of gas, even during the great tsaltimore fire of 1904 when thousands of service mains were broken by falling buildinrs. At the time of t he fire only the Soring Gardens plant was in operation. Tim Bayard Street and Canton plants had been closed down a short time before. In order to compensate for the large amount of gas lost from broken mains the Canton station was again put in operation, in this way the city received an ample supply of gas during the fire, when nearly all other services were interrupted, in addition to the fire there have been numerous other emergencies, such as the blizzard in 1899 and the anthracite coal strike in 1902. -13- coucrusioN. inca the control of the Consolidated Company was taken over by Mr. J. 3. Aldred and his associates, who are still at its head, the growth of the company has "been phenomenal and its expansion is by no means completed, Under their able management the Consolidated company has become one of the greatest organizations of its kind in the count iy. -14- JLBIIUGHAPHY, History of illuminating Gas in Baltimore - Bdwi rd d, Thompson, ialtimore Gas and electric news. Yearbooks of the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore. m ? itbom-Ho\UM nXTTll >^ It* '^J&fertHoa*Ci^ PS Old Retort HaaseOiiiMetj Old Purify Hoaoe- Hollida^ 5Wftrte MMfidffl i 5ltxj0 ^- Old Retort House- Hotlidau StUartfc i I I I Wkstport Power Plant of Thk Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power COMPANY or Baltimore 'Hit Consolidated Company is completing a 53.333 horsepower extension to its steam-driven power plant at Westpcrii bringing the capaciiy of this plant to iiQ.OQQ horsepower, Wettport is the largest electric rower plant south of Philadelphia and one of (he most efficient in America, h is Located or a tract of 14 acres of fast land with r.nl and deep water facilities. There arc 46 buildings arid structures on the property. The Hydro- Kj.ectric Plant of the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company at Holtwood, Pa. A large part of the electricity distributed by the Consolidated Company is generated by the Pennsylvania Water and Power Company at its development on the Sus- quehanna River at Hottwood, Pa. Baltimore has enjoyed the advantages of power from this source since 1910. j)imii£ 192+ the capacity of the hydro-electric plant was increased by 40,000 h-p-j. giving a total generating capacity of 150,000 h.p. This is the largest hydro-electric plant south of Niagara and east of the Mississippi. I Spring Gardens Gas Works of the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company c All of ihe gas used in Baltimore is. distributed from this plant, which covers 57 acres. It Is one of the Earnest and mt s gas plants in America. Spring Gardens Gas Works qflhe Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore Oil Tan It a Oil Pier and Pipe Line Oil Tanker Promoted Cod Km Coil Barge Gas Storage Holders. One in Section Showing Water Tank for Sealing and Inlet and Outlet Pipes Valve House Stable and Storehouse Proposed Service Building Relief Holders Gas Generator House No, 5 Purifier House No. 3 Station Meter House Boiler House No. I Boiler House No. 2 Machine Shop and Boiler Shop Kxisting Coal Pier Gas Generator Houses Nos. I and 2 Boiler Water Softening Plant and Exhausters Tar Separating Tanks and Tar Stills Condensers Exhausters and Station Meter House Cooling Colli Purifier House Mo. t Tar Storage Oxide Storage Revivified Oxide Coal Storage Purifier House No. 1 I I o i AiKPiAiTE View of the Hum Trnsion Cw.nss-C"«us:TKv Transmission Links from Hoitwooo to Baltimorp, Twelve aluminum wires suspended from a double line of sieel towers spaced about S<x> feet apart tranimit power to Bjliimnre, ;l J i at ante of 40 mik-s, at 70 f oc» vohft. or about iTjqq limes the voltage of the electric current In your home. At Baltimore the pressure is stepped down to 13,200 volts by transformers in the High- land town Sub-station of the Pennsylvania Water & Power Company and the power ie delivered to The Consolidated Company for distribution throughout the city. -21- CONSOUIttrED CAS EICTRK DOTTft POWER COMRWV OF BALTIMORE. S| TtHwtpiiY WftED tWIH EltCTftlCfTT BALTIMORE AND VICINITY. bfrtMI •-:**, (dCUl ~Wl* A Map of the Territory Served with Electricity and Gas by the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company of Baltimore ro I Map of Baltimore with Miniature Elevations or Company's Principal Statiohi -23- Weekly PRESSORS Cuil — March VJ to April J, i(^i6 > showing uniform pressure main rain e-i] about 4 miles from worki -24- From the Federal Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser Wednesday, June 19, 1816 AN OIUHMaxui.. Tl t ,«.H. for ■»„ ,f, ., &£:"*"■ ""-"*■ ..WM..».iL., n , ,„.,.j.,,. . ... .. ferlWptiipw* ■;(«l..hp«y ll^rta*^ tip*. t .. . 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I P !■' •" V M*itiT rr>mpinv Wbi«h rri-y lir e tabl bud, W '-■. in, .'./lit rnei»j,inJ fnj 1--^:rt . pf*n™J*d ■'•v'ti'lblUlu Aluyuf ami tUttntHirr, nMna t.c iluuDitSvf 1 !'"■ n.^' ■' iHfUlMl. ,.-■ bf «*Mi ' ]"-"*nJ HtllUlflWMlt; iBi'c,.- ill Ol I'fp'i" ^ ifte prefer!; of , .■! tt^TBifar ilej'c* ihiulUc- thxof .i j erl.itiBt v luibdriuil *Wh r[.c »pf>.Lib*tJin «T IheMajror *nd the* p-f* *r (i«urpierj of h jil»r»frohlind :EHtT.o jnyiPtMfEiatlUILFB, lin* or at kr, to mi ' *t«/ ipp*- ■ ustd 5f n#CH>ai .-, v* J- 11 ' P» rfl,f Iflv (urh J-.'.- -r. -: hi mi, ...-'. «ri"in h> «nd b* * •. -. ". k ii-l ihihr tifffj«r a r so- - I '. Cottfltil. 1 inch o.Fth* C.CouneiV AW 1*1 ' I9lh Jqiic. ! ^ GAS LIGHT. ,'tttif. ■ • . ■ corroN ■ * Fran thtftu tf the Ftd*r*t Gazette in p*iifiti*rs *f tht Maryland HiiUruat StiirtJ F*C-Sirnile of advertisement ot th<t 1816 ordinance .grunting a franchise to the Gas Light Company ot BaUimur* ami of Rembrandt Peak's aaVeriiaement of the display of gaa lighting at his Museum. -25- CoNSOLIDATED Gas ELECTRIC LlGHT AND POWER COMPANY of Baltimore t ANNUAL EXTENSIONS OF THE COMPANY'S PROPERTY Years 1910 to 1927 Inclusive 1910 $854,654.26 1911 945,607.64 1912 1,823,884.78 *9*3 1,548,610.45 1914 1,675,464.42 1915 856,509.04 1916 1,855,208.46 1917 3,785,483.43 1918 3,734,701.79 1919 4,752,714.40 1920 4,198,946.99 1921 *7,699,046.7o 1922 2,150,051.75 1923 5, 2 43,7°7-94 1924 6,313,233-44 1925 3,744,688.82 1926 5,883,948.66 1927 (Budget) 5,756,803.41 Total $62,823,266.38 * Includes purchase of Power Plant of Street Railways Company.