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Full text of "History of the development and activities of the Potomac Electric Power Company in Maryland / Gregg McClurg."

HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMEI^T A!ID ACTIVITIES 

OF THE 
POTOMAC ELECTRIC POV»ER COL'JANY 
IN MARYLAND 



GREGG KcCLURG 



Presented Ae Requirement 
For Initiation 
?.iaryland Beta Chapter 
Tau Beta Pi Association 



THE HISTORY OF THS DEVELOPMEHT AMD ACTIVITIES OF THE 
POT0MA3 ELSGTRIC Pd'SR COMPANY IK MARYLAI'ID 

SUMMARY 

The Potoniac Electric Power Company is the sole 
successor to several previous enterprises, dating from 
1881. Incorporated in 1896, it bought out its two com- 
petitors and built the present Bennings plant in 1906. 
Extensions into nearby Maryland were made early in the 
present century, many of the first lines being carried 
on the poles of the Washington Railway & Electric Com- 
pany's Maryland routes. Service to more distant rural 
towns has been developed recently, in order to utilize 
increased plant capacity. The recent increased efficien- 
cy at Bennings has resulted in rates less than half of 
those prevailing in 1924. 



-1- 



THE HISTORY OF THE DEVELOP.'^SUT ATTD ACTIVITIES 0£ THE 
POTOMAC ELSCTRIO PQi^ER COMPANY I^ MARYLAND 

ORIGIN OF THE COMPANY 

The Potomac Electric Power Comtiany is the only 
existing public utility serving the people of Washington and 
vicinity with electric power, being the sole successor to 
several previous enterprises, dating from the time when elec- 
tric lighting was regarded as an expensive curiosity. 

In the fall of 1881, the survivors of the Army of 
the Cumberland gathered in Washington to dedicate their 
statue to General Thomas, in Thomas Circle, In providing 
for the entertainment of the city's guests, the committee in 
charge suggested the illumination of Pennsylvania Avenue, 
from Peace Monument to the Treasury, with electric lights, 
at that time entirely unknown in Washington. Guy wires were 
stretched between housetops, arc lamps suspended over the 
street, and a dynamo connected with the engine of a saw mill 
on 13th Street. Strange to relate, although the attempt was 
a miserable failure, public interest was aroused, and the 
Heisler Electric Company formed. A small experimental plant 
was established in the Washington Post Building at 10th and 
D Streets, JI. W. , and the circuit of a few lamps near 10th 
and Pennsylvania Avenue was operated most of the time during 
the winter. 

The United States Electric Lighting Company of 



-d- 



Washlngton, D. C. was incorporated under the laws of West 
Virginia on October 17, 1882, the original capital stock 
issue of |100,000 being used to buy out the Heisler Electric 
Company and subsequent issues bringing the capitalization up 
to |1, 097, 800. The new corporation began business on a large 
scale; contracts were made with the United States Electric 
Lighting Company of New York for the use of electrical patents 
and underground conduits laid on Pennsylvania Avenue and 
adjacent streets. 

The Brush-Swan Electric Comoany, incorporated on 
July 5, 1884 under the laws of the District of Oolumbia with 
a. capital stock of |500,000, threatened for a while to be an 
important competitor of the United States Electric Lighting 
Company; extensive experiments on a system of tower lighting 
were undertaken and powerful focus lights placed on the Wash- 
ington Monument, the CaiDitol dome, and the Treasury building. 
Competition was ended, however, by a disastrous fire which 
destroyed the nlant of the United States Electric Lighting 
Company on July IS, 1885; while the fire was still blazing, 
arrangements were made to lease the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road Depot Station of the Brush-Swan Electric Company, whose 
equipment was finally purchased by the United States Electric 
Lighting Company during September 1885. Contracts were signed 
for the use of Edison patents and the Thompson-Huston system 
of arc lighting, and in the summer of 1888 Congress appropri- 
ated money for lighting Washington and Georgetown with elec- 
tricity. Similar appropriations have been made ever since. 



-3- 



Tlie next power enterprise was the Potomac Electric 
Company, incorporated under the laws of the District of Oolum- 
bia on April 18, 1891 with a capitalization of f:35,000. A 
permit was granted the company to erect overhead wires from 
Chain Bridge to Georgetown and in certain streets in George- 
town. The power atation was erected at the end of Chain 
Bridge, at which point a large water power development was 
expected. The hydroelectric project failed to materialize, 
however, and the station was powered by steam engines until 
early in 1898 when it was shut down and an improved d^amo 
installed in the power station of the Georgetown and 
Tennallytown Railway GomDany. Special wiring installations 
were made in 1892 for the G. A. R. Encampment and for the 
Inauguration of 1893. 

Early in 1893 the Western Electric Company obtained 
a jude'ment against the Potomac Electric Company for ^3833.19, 
covering the cost of electrical machinery furnished. A suc- 
cessful suit was instigated by the Western Electric Company, 
a receiver appointed on July IB, 1893, and the property and 
franchises of the company sold on August 25, 1894 to Amherst 
C. Wilder. The Potomac Light and Power Company was incor- 
porated on Hovember 3 to control and operate Mr. Wilder' s 
properties, which were transferred upon his death to Oscar 
F. Crosby and Charles A. Leib. Messrs. Crosby and Leib se- 
cured a permit for the extension of lines across Cleveland 
Park and purchased the Eckington plant of Col. George 
Truesdell in 1895. A new station of 2500 H. P. was erected 



-4- 



at 33d and K Streets and a large number of independent street 
railway companies furnished with electrical energy, connec- 
tions to houses in rural districts being made from these 
services. 

On January 20, 1896 the Corporation Court of 
Alexandria, Virginia incorporated the Potomac Light and 
Power Company with a capital stock of ^100,000, Messrs. 
Crosby and Leib transferring all their property and fran- 
chises to the Company in return for 3987 of the total 3000 
shares of stock. Three months later, on April 28, the 
Potomac Electric Power Company was organized, and in June 
it acquired the assets of the Potomac Light and Power Co. 
for !$278,134. 32. Finally, the new company bought out the 
United States Electric Lighting Corariany on September 27, 
1902 for -$3,250,000. Connections were made to the Washing- 
ton Railway and Electric Comoany and companies controlled 
by it in the spring of 1904, and on August 13 of the same 
year, the present Potomac Electric Power Company was formed 
and its term of existence made perpetual. At the beginning 
of the present century, the demand for electrical energy 
began to increase rapidly; the total output for 1903 was 
16,997,557 K. W.-hours as compared with 9,556,850 K. W.- 
hours in 1901, and, as the increase continued, it became 
necessary to find a power site which could be expanded to 
keep pace with the demand. Accordingly, the present lo- 
cation on the Anacostia River at Bennings, D. G. was 
chosen, and the first unit completed in 1906, During the 



_^_ 



first year of operation, 1907, the total power generated 
showed an increase over 1906 of 42.4^, Since then, expan- 
sion has been rapid, and in 1928 the plant generated 7j 
times as much electricity as it did in 1907, 

MARYLAND EXT^N SIGHTS 

The outgrowth of the Comapny's lines into that 
part of Maryland which is su-Qurban to Washington, D. C. 
came' as a natural consequence of the concentration of 
population along street car lines of the Washington Rail- 
way and Electric Company, of which the Potomac Electric 
Power Company is a subsidiary. In the days before the 
universal use of the automobile, suburban sections along 
street railway lines became populated more rapidly than 
territory nearer Washington but without railway facilities. 
Many of the Company' s oldest substations were established 
primarily for railway purposes and later adapted to supply 
the needs of residential lighting. The Glen Echo, Rockville, 
Georgia Avenue, and Laurel lines of the Washington Railway 
and Electric Comoany provided gateways into Maryland in 
four directions; it wes comparatively easy to string addi- 
tional power wires on the poles already existing. Feeder 
#27 was extended to SUB 4, Riverdale, in 1904 for railway 
purposes, and by 1906, Hyattsville had a small lighting 
installation. The year 190S also saw the first important 
lighting load connected at Rockville, although street 
lighting did not come until considerably later. By 1909, 



-6- 



most of Chevy Chase was being served and in 1911 the to^vne 
of Takoraa, Kensington, Gaithersburg, and Washington Grove 
were added. A special 25 cycle power line was taken into 
Rockville in 1913, and during the next ten years short ex- 
tensions were made from time to time which practically 
completed the suburban systeffl. At the present time all 
the Maryland territory adjoining Washington enjoys the 
same excellent service that is given to residents of the 
District of Columbia. 

In contrast with the early developments in sub- 
urban Maryland, a large percentage of ttie extensions to 
rural towns,, especially those at relatively distant points, 
have been completed within the past ten years. As these 
extensions are intimately connected with recent rapid ex- 
pansion at Bennings, coupled with increased plant efficiency, 
they will be considered in the following paragraphs. 

RECEKT DEVELOPMOT OF E^UlpMEHT 

In every respect, the past ten years has been the 
most remarkable period in the Company's history. Although 
population in the territory served has increased only 32.lfc 
during the years 1S18-1928, the Bennings investment has in- 
creased 256. 5fo, the peak load 130. S-^, and the total output 
134.5'^. This greater consumption per capita has resulted 
in a much larger income for the Comr^any, and installation 
of modern equipment has raised the efficiency of the plant j 
longer transmission lines have been built into Maryland to 



-7- 



utilize the increased capacity. The following; excerpts from 
the Company's ofiicial reportB, 1930-1928, show the rapid 
expansion, especially in rural lines. 

An important street lighting extension in Rockville 
was completed In 1920, i^hen 100 lamps were installed; 530 
poles and 171,901 feet of wire were added in Maryland. 

During 1932 a new 13,500 K. '?, turbo-generator was 
put in service at Bennings, replacing an older 9000 K. W. 
machine; 103 street lamps, 756 poles and 639,743 feet of 
wire were installed in Maryland. 

The year 1923 saw the first operation of a new 60 
cycle automatic substation, #22, located at the rear of 
Cathedral l^iansions and carrying a heavy lighting load to 
Chevy Chase and northern Washington. Maryland additions 
included 1222 poles, 756,333 feet of wire, and 111 lamps. 

In 1924 a 20,000 K. W. 60 cycle turbo-generator 
and three 1,400 H. P. boilers were installed at Bennings 
at a coat of tl»860,000. The Riverdale substation was 
changed to 4,000 v., a 13,200 v. line extended from Ben- 
nings to SUB 4, Riverdale, and new overhead construction 
completed to Ammendale, Beltsville and ^ifheaton, Ifaryland. 

The official report for 1925 shows that a 
13,200 V, feeder was put in service between SUB 5, Bright- 
wood and Sligo, Maryland. Extensions were also made to 
Foreetville and Potomac, Maryland. 

During 1S26, in order to provide more reliable 
and economic service to the towns of Rockville, Gaithereburg, 



-8- 



and vicinity, a new substation, #24, was built near Rockville, 
and the service and customers' equipment changed from 25 to 
60 cycles, tv;o 13,200 v. lines feeding over different routes. 
In addition, 13,200 v, feeders were completed from Bennings 
to SUB 24, Riverdale; from High Street, Sligo to SUB 24, 
Roclcville; and from SUB 24 to SUB 23, Tennallytown. Gai there- 
burg was connected to SUB 24 by a 4000 v. line. An extension 
of 9.1 miles was made to Upper Marlboro and the voltage 
raised part of the way from 4,000 to 13,200. 

In September 1927 the first high pressure, high ' 
temperature 30,000 K. W. turbo- general or, with 15,000 K. W, 
frequency changer, was placed in operation at Benningfi, 
Service was established from SUB 4 to L/ielro&e, Maryland 
and from SUB 23 to Alta Vista, Maryland. at 4,000 v. The 
territory served by the Potomac Electric Power Oompany was 
enlarged to Marlboro and preliminary work started to Olney 
and Laytonsville, according to an agreement with the Potomac 
Edison Oomioany and the Consolidated G-ae, Electric Light and 
Power Company . A new SO cycle substation was opened at 
Sligo, new feeders installed and substations #13, #22, and 
#23 changed from 2400 to 4000 v. 

Continued operation of the new turbine during 1928 
increased the efficiency of the plant from 1.542 to 1.412 
pounds of coal per kilowatt -hour, saving $119,170,94. The 
gross output was increased 10, 9f? by increasing the coal 
cons"umption only 1.34,, due to the greater efficiency of the 
machine. On October 20, 1928 the first 33,000 v. transmission 



-9- 



line wee placed in operation between Bennlngs, Riverdale and 
Brlghtwood. A total of 81.6 miles of rural lines were con- 
structed in Maryland, including a 17.2 mile, 13,200 v., 
three phase, 60 cycle extension from Hennings to Piecataway 
Creel-c, Maryland, where enerj^y is sold to the Suburban Electric 
Power Company. The other towns added are: Olney, Erookville, 
Laytonsville, Avenal, Clinton, Sandy Snrings, Gennantown, 
Layhill, and Gamp Springe. 

RATES 

On March 3, 1399 an Act of Congress reduced the 
rates on electrical energy from 15^ to not over lOi^ per 
kilowatt-hour, and the price of 10^ prevailed for many years. 
Recently, however, due to increased income and plant efficien- 
cy, the Company has reduced its rates to less than half this 
value, as the following figures show: 

For the first 120 kilowatt-hours (lower rates on consumption 

per month exceeding this value) : 

1934 10# 

1925 I.Zi 

1938 ^- 7i 

1937 __ 6.35^ 

1928 5.9^ 

In 1939 a straight rate of 5. 2i^ was established, 
with the alternative of b.'Bt for the first 120 kilowatt-hours 
and 4.5^ for all additional consumption. The flat rate for 
1930 is 4.7^ per kilowatt-hour. 



BISLIOr^RAPHY 

Centennial Hietory, ^ashi'ngton, D. C. - JiObh 
Standard History of the City of Washington. - Tindall 
Report of the U. S. Senate Corair,ittee on the District of 

Oolumbia; Electric Lighting - 1396 
Transportation Survey of 1925; Report to Public I^tilities 

Cofnmission - McClellan and Junk ersf eld 
Brief of Counsel for the Potomac "Electric Poiver Company; 

Formal Case No. 47 Before the Public Utilities Cora/nission 
The Evening Star - 1907-1929 inclusive 

Annual Reports of Potomac Electric Power Comnany, 1920-1928 
Personal Interviews with the Following Potomac Electric 

Power Company Officials: 

Mr. Schaefer - Commercial Engineering Department 

Mr. Sharpe - Executive Assistant to the President 

Mr. Mcllally - Assistant to '.'r. Sharpe 

y.T . Smirnoff - Statistician 

Mr. Lank - Engineer, Substation Department 

Mr. Keyser - Secretary 



BERNIKGS POWER PLANT 

This section comprises photographs 
of the plant and equipment, operating 
data, and statistics showing development 
since the beginning of operation in 1907. 
During the years 1907-1928, the total 
invest raent has been increased to more 
then ten times its original value; the 
present capacity is 178,000 X. \^. 



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One fOOO k.w. 6 00 v, Rwr. CoNvciCTe-R 

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MARYLAND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM 

The following photographs illustrate 
the Oompany's network of feeders and sub- 
stations, either in Maryland or serving 
Maryland directly. The pictures are 
arranged in geographical sequence> with 
electrical connections shown by the inked 
lines; feeder numbers may be followed on 
the high tension feeder diagram and the 
location of substations on the map of 
territory served, both of which are 
included at the end of this thesis. 



Sen N I IM<SS 

/OjOOO K.V./K. /3 .2/33 K.v. 60-^ Tr/vNS. 



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3 3,00 O V. 



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KfNIl. WORTH Avet^uE 



^ 78 



33^000 v: 



3 3,000 V. 




SUB 4- 



Riv 



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Two 300 n„\n/.&0ov. "Rwv, Coisive RTSfea 

Ome SOO K.tV-600V, 7? vvV. Co AfV*«T£« 

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33.00 V. 




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SUB S 



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OfKB / 0,000 K.V>\ , 3 3 //^. 2 K.V. SO-^TrA(VS. 

0<v£ 2,000 kma. f 3,2/4- K.v: 60~TRA/srs. 




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#73 



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SUB 6 

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On£ 300 k.v:a. 6.6//3.3K.V. So-wTraiv*. 



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0/V£ /OOO fcicA. /9.x. A- K.V. 60— Traws. 



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SUB 23 



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Ty^O ^^OO /<»6-k. 6.6//3.2. Itv. 25 ^ X^>^igS. 

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Two /ooo K.v.A../:3,a/#-*r.*'. 60— Trans, 




To Ovcrh£apTWansm(-Ss<on 



SUB /S" 

G^-jEAT Echo 



MAR YL AND g^STOMERS 

The photographs in this section 
indicate the equipment now in use by 
some of the Company's more important 
Maryland customers, chiefly for power 
purposes. 



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TYPE S OF EQTJIPM1:NT 

Recent installations of modern 
equipment are shown in the following 
pages. The protected outdoor-type 
transformer used at SUB 22 will be a 
model for future development. 







"TewACAii-pTowiv Car SAfev 




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SUB 22 

/?£A?e Of=' Cat H esit/M, iWA/rf3/OA/a 








HISTORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVITIES 

OF THE 
POTOMAC ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY 
IN MARYLAND 



r 



GREGG McCLURG 



presented As Requirement 
For Initiation 
Ma.ryland Beta Chapter 
Tau Beta Pi Association 




r 



THE HISTORY OF THE DEVSLOPLIEIIT MD ACTIVITIES OF THE 
POTOMAC ELEGTHIG POVCER OQMPAyY IN MARYLAND 

SUMMARY 

The Potomac Electric Power Company is the sole 
succeseor to several previous enterprises, dating from 
1881. Incorporated in 1896, it bought out its two com- 
petitors and built the present Bennings plant in 1906, 
Extensions into nearby Maryland were n.ade early in the 
present century, many of the first lines being carried 
on the poles of the 7/ashington Railway & Electric Com- 
pany's Maryland routes. Service to more distant rural 
towns has been developed recently, in order to utilize 
increased plant capacity. The recent increased efficien- 
cy at Bennings has resulted in rates lees than half of 
those prevailing in 1924. 



_!-. 



THE HISTORY OF THE DEVSLOPI^'ISNT AND ACTIVITIES OF THE 
POTOMAC ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY IN MARYLAND 

ORIGIN OF THE COJ^FANY 

The Potomac Electric Power Company is the only 
existing public utility serving the people of Washington and 
vicinity with electric power, being the sole successor to 
several previous enterprises, dating from the time when elec- 
tric lighting was regarded ae an expensive curiosity. 

In the fall of 1881, the survivors of the Army of 
the Cumberland gathered in Washington to dedicate their 
statue to General Thomas, in Thomas Circle. In providing 
for the entertainment of the city's guests, the committee in 
charge suggested the illumination of Pennsylvania Avenue, 
from Peace Monument to the Treasury, with electric lights, 
at that time entirely unknown in 7/ashington. Guy wires were 
stretched between housetops, arc lamps suspended over the 
street, and a dynamo connected with the engine of a saw mill 
on 13th Street. Strange to relate, although the attempt was 
a miserable failure, public interest was aroused, and the 
Heisler Electric Company formed. A small experimental plant 
was established in the Washing-ton Post Building at 10th and 
D Streets, N. W. , and the circuit of a few lamps near 10th 
and Pennsylvania Avenue was operated most of the time during 
the winter. 

The United States Electric Lighting Company of 



-2- 



Washington, D. C. was incorporated under the laws of West 
Virginia on October 17, 1882, the original capital stock 
iBBue of ^100,000 being used to buy out the Heleler Electric 
Company and subsequent issues bringing the capitalization up 
to |1, 097, 600, The new corporation began business on a large 
scale; contracts were made with the United States Electric 
Lighting Company of New York for the use of electrical patent b 
and underground conduits laid on Pennsylvania Avenue and 
adjacent streets. 

The Brush-Swan Electric Company, incorporated on 
July 5, 1SB4 under the laws of the District of Columbia with 
a capital stock of ^500,000, threatened for a while to be an 
important competitor of the United States Electric Lighting 
Company; extensive experiments on a system of tower lighting 
were undertaken and powerful focus lights placed on the Wash- 
ington Monument, the Capitol dome, and the Treasury building. 
Competition was ended, however, by a disastrous fire which 
destroyed the plant of the United States Electric Lighting 
Company on July 16, 1885; while the fire was still blazing, 
arrangements were made to lease the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road Depot Station of the Brush-Swan Electric Company, whose 
equipment was finally purchased by the United States Electric 
Lighting Company during September 1885. Contracts were signed 
for the use of Edison patents and the Thom-oson-Huston system 
of arc lighting, and in the summer of 1888 Congress appropri- 
ated money for lighting Washington and Georgetown with elec- 
tricity. Similar appropriations have been made ever since. 



-3- 



The next power enterprise was the Potomac Electric 
Company, incorporated under the laws of the District of Colum- 
bia on April 18, 1891 with a capitalization of |25,000. A 
permit was granted the company to erect overhead wires from 
Chain Bridge to Georgetown and in certain streets in George- 
town, The power station was erected at the end of Chain 
Bridge, at which point a large water power development was 
expected. The hydroelectric project failed to materialize, 
however, and the station was powered by steam engines until 
early in 1896 when it was shut down and an improved dynamo 
installed in the power station of the Georgetown and 
Tennallytown Railway Company. Special wiring installations 
were made in 1893 for the G. A. R, Encampment and for the 
Inauguration of 1893. 

Early in 1893 the Western Electric Company obtained 
a judgment against the Potomac Electric Company for $2833,19, 
covering the cost of electrical machinery furnished. A suc- 
cessful suit was instigated by the Western Electric Company, 
a receiver appointed on July 18, 1893, and the property and 
franchises of the company sold on Aug-ust 25, 1894 to Amherst 
C, Wilder. The Potomac Light and Power Company was incor- 
porated on November 3 to control and operate Mr. Wilder 's 
properties, which were transferred upon hie death to Oscar 
F. Crosby and Charles A. Leib. Messrs. Crosby and Lelb se- 
cured a permit for the extension of lines across Cleveland 
park and purchased the Eckington plant of Col, George 
Truesdell in 1895. A new station of 2500 H. P. was erected 



-4- 



at 33d and K Streets and a large nuratier of independent street 
railway companies furnished with electrical energy, connec- 
tions to houses in rural districts being made from these 
services. 

On January 30, 1896 the Corporation Court of 
Alexandria, Virginia incorporated the Potomac Light and 
Power Gofiipany with a capital stock of #100,000, Messrs. 
Crosby and Leib transferring all their property and fran- 
chises to the Company in return for 2987 of the total 3000 
shares of stock. Three months later, on April 38, the 
Potomac Electric Power Company was organized, and in June 
it acquired the assets of the Potomac Light and Power Co, 
for ^278,134.32, Finally, the new company bought out the 
United States Electric Lighting Company on September 27, 
1902 for 13,250,000, Connections were made to the Washing- 
ton Railway and Electric Company and companies controlled 
by it in the spring of 1S04, and on August 13 of the same 
year, the present Potomac Electric Power Company was formed 
and its term of existence made perpetual. At the beginning 
of the present century, the demand for electrical energy 
began to increase rapidly; the total output for 1903 was 
16,997,557 K. W. -hours as compared with 9,556,850 K. V!.- 
hours in 1901, and, as the increase continued, it became 
necessary to find a power site which could be expanded to 
keep pace with the demand. Accordingly, the present lo- 
cation on the Anacostia River at Bennings, D. C. was 
chosen, and the first unit completed in 1906. During the 



-5- 



flrst year of operation, 1907, the total power generated 
showed an increase over 1906 of 48.4fo. Since then, expan- 
sion has been rapid, and in 1933 the plant generated 7j 
times as much electricity as it did in 1307. 

MARYLAND EXTENSIONS 

The outgrowth of the Oompany's lines into that 
part of Maryland which is suburban to Washington, D. C. 
came as a natural consequence of the concentration of 
population along street car lines of the Washing:ton Rail- 
way and Electric Company, of which the Potomac Electric 
Power Company is a subsidiary. In the days before the 
universal use of the automobile, suburban sections along 
street railway lines became populated more rapidly than 
territory nearer Washington but without railway facilities. 
Many of the Company's oldest substations were established 
primarily for railway purposes and later adapted to supply 
the needs of residential lighting. The Glen Echo, Rockville, 
Georgia Avenue, and Laurel lines of the Washington Railway 
and Electric Company provided gateways into Maryland in 
four directions; it was comparatively easy to string addi- 
tional power wires on the poles already existing. Feeder 
#27 was extended to SUB 4, Riverdale, in 1904 for railway 
purposes, and by 1906, Hyatt sville had a 8rr.all lit^hting 
installation. The year 1906 also saw the first important 
lighting load connected at Rockville, although street 
lighting did not come until considerably later. By 1909, 



-6- 



most of Chevy Ohaee was being served and in 1911 the towns 
of Takoma, Kensington, Gaithersburg, and Washington Grove 
were added, A special 25 cycle power line was taken into 
Rockville in 1313, and during the next ten years short ex- 
tensions were made from time to time which practlcslly 
completed the suburban system. At the present time all 
the Maryland territory adjoining Washington enjoys the 
same excellent service that is given to residents of the 
District of Columbia. 

In contrast with the early developments in sub- 
urban Maryland, a large percentage of the extensions to 
rural towns, especially those at relatively distant points, 
have been completed within the past ten years. As these 
extensions are intimately connected with recent rapid ex- 
pansion at Bennings, coupled with increased plant efficiency, 
they will be considered in the following paragraphs.. 

RECEIPT DEVSLOPiJENT OF Ev^iUIPfcSNT 

In every respect, the past ten years has been the 
most remarkable period in the Company's history. Although 
population in the territory served has increased only 33,1^ 
during the years 1916-1S28, the Bennings investment has in- 
creased 256.5^, the peak load 130.2'^, and the total output 
134. 5fo. This greater consumption per capita has resulted 
in a much larger income for the Company, and installation 
of modern equipment has raised the efficiency of the plant; 
longer transmission lines have been built into Maryland to 



-7- 



utilize the increased capacity. The following excerpts from 
the Company's official reports, 19S0-1928, show the rapid 
expansion, especially in rural lines. 

An important street lighting extension in Rockville 
was completed, in 1920, when 100 lamps were installed; 530 
poles and 171,901 feet of wire were added in Maryland. 

During 1322 a new 12,500 K. '•". turbo-generator was 
put in service at Bennings, replacing an older 9000 K. W, 
machine; 103 street lamps, 756 poles and 639,743 feet of 
wire were installed in Maryland. 

The year 1923 saw the first operation of a new 60 
cycle automatic substation, #22, located at the rear of 
Cathedral Mansions and carrying a heavy lighting load to 
Chevy Chase and northern 7/ashington. Maryland additions 
included 1222 poles, 756,333 feet of wire, and 111 lamps. 

In 1924 a 20,000 K. W. 60 cycle turbo-generator 
and three 1,400 H. P. boilers were installed at Bennings 
at a cost of $1, 860,000. The Riverdale substation was 
changed to 4,000 v., a 13,200 v. line extended from Ben- 
nings to SUB 4, Riverdale, and new overhead construction 
completed to Arr.mendale, Beltsville and Wheaton, Maryland. 

The official report for 1935 shows that a 
13,200 V. feeder was put in service between SUB 5, Bright- 
wood and Sligo, Maryland. Extensions were also made to 
Forestville and Potomac, Maryland. 

During 1926, in order to provide more reliable 
and economic service to the towns of Rockville, Gaithersburg, 



-8- 



and vicinity, a new substation, #24, was built near Rockville, 
and the service and customers' equipment changed from 25 to 
60 cycles, two 13,200 v. linee feeding over different routes. 
In addition, 13,200 v, feeders were completed from Bennings 
to SUB 24, River dale; from High Street, Sligo to SUB 24, 
Rockville; and from SUB 24 to SUB 23, Tennallytown. Gaithers- 
burg was connected to SUB 24 by a 4000 v. line. An extension 
of 9.1 miles was made to Upper Marlboro and the voltage 
raised part of the way from 4,000 to 13,200. 

In September 1927 the first high pressure, high 
temperature, 30,000 K. W. turbo-generator, with 15,000 K. W. 
frequency changer, was placed in operation at Bennings, 
Service was established from SUB 4 to Melrose, Maryland 
and from SUB 23 to Alta Yista, Maryland at 4,000 v. The 
territory served by the Potomac Electric Power Company was 
enlarged to Marlboro and preliminary work started to Olney 
and Laytonsville, according to an agreement with the Potomac 
Edison Company and the Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and 
Power Company. A new 60 cycle substation was opened at 
Sligo, new feeders installed and substations #12, #23, and 
#23 changed from 2400 to 4000 v. 

Continued operation of the new turbine during 1928 
increased the efficiency of the plant from 1.542 to 1.412 
pounds of coal per kilowatt-hour, saving $119,170.94. The 
gross output was increased 10.9^ by increasing the coal 
consumption only 1.3'^J, due to the greater efficiency of the 
machine. On October 20, 1928 the first 33,000 v. transmission 



-9- 



line was placed in operation "between Bennings, Riverdale and 
Brightwood. A total of 61.6 miles of rural lines were con- 
structed in Maryland, including a 17, S mile, 13,300 v., 
three phase, 60 cycle extension from Bennings to Piscataway 
, Creek, Maryland, where energy is sold to the Suburban Electric 
Power Company. The other towns added are; Olney, Brookville, 
Laytonsville, Avenal, Clinton, Sandy Springs, Germantown, 
Layhill, and Camp Springs. 

RATES 

On March 3, 1899 an Act of Congress reduced the 
rates on electrical energy from 15(^ to not over 100 per 
kilowatt-hour, and the price of 10^ prevailed for many years. 
Recently, however, due to increased income and plant efficien- 
cy, the Company has reduced its rates to less than half this 
value, as the following figures show: 

For the first 120 kilowatt-hours (lower rates on consumption 

per month exceeding this value) : 

1924 10^ 

1925 7.50 

1926 70 

1927 6.250 

, 1928 5.90 

In 1929 a straight rate of 5.20 was established, 
with the alternative of 5,90 for the first 120 kilowatt-houre 
and 4.60 for all additional consumption. The flat rate for 
1930 is 4.70 per kilowatt-hour. 



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BIBLIOGRAPH Y 

Centennial History, \Vasliington, D. C. - Webb 
Standard History of the City of Washington. - Tindall 
Report of the U. S. Senate Committee on the District of 

Columbia; Electric Lighting - 1896 
Transportation Survey of 1925; Report to Public Utilities 

Gommiseion - McClellan and Junkerefeld 
Brief of Counsel for the Potomac Electric Power Company; 

Formal Case No. 47 Before the Public Utilities Commission 
The Evening Star - 1907-1929 inclusive 

Annual Reports of Potomac Electric Power Company, 1920-1S28 
Personal Interviews with the Following Potomac Electric 

Power Company Officials: 

Mr. Schaefer - Commercial Engineering Department 

Mr. Sharpe - Executive Assistant to the President 

Mr, McNally - Assistant to J/ir. Sharpe 

Mr. Smirnoff - Statistician 

Mr. Lank - Engineer, Substation Department 

Mr. Keyser - Secretary 



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