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Photo Hunters: Electric

This is a very fun theme this week. I had a lot of fun with this one!

The first photo is of a “gasoliere.” They are very rare. We saw one at the Madison County Historical Association. Can you guess what it is?

Gasoliere

It’s a light fixture that was fueled both by gas (natural gas) AND electricity. Before electricity came to the area, people lit their chandeliers with gas. Some very brave reckless folks didn’t want to ditch their beautiful chandeliers, so they converted the gas fixtures to take both electricity and gas. (Electricity back in the late 1800s was rationed– it only ran for two hours in the evenings; therefore the people ran gas for most of the evening, and electric for a few hours). The electric wiring was snaked into the same pipe as that which the gas ran through. Today, such a thing would be unheard of, because a spark from the electric wires could cause a tremendous gas explosion. Yikes!

Here’s another light fixture, in the Art Deco style. It’s at the Stanley Theatre in Utica, New York. You can’t really tell it in the photo, but this fixture is HUGE. You could probably have a dinner for 4 inside the thing.

Ceiling Light

The next photo is of an electrified glass tree! Well, it looks like it, anyway. This is the famous Tree of Life by artist Chilully. It’s at the Turning Stone Casino in Vernon, New York. It’s lovely- it makes the entire room light up.

TreeofPeace

Next: The Mohawk Indians called it “Kauy-a-hoo-ra,” or Leaping Water. It’s Trenton Falls in Barneveld, New York. This area the location of the hydroelectric power facilities in the Town of Trenton. The pipes are completely filled with water. The pipes carry the water down the hill and then into a power station bunker, where the rushing water spins a turbine. This turbine can generate enough electricity to power the city of Utica, NY. As we walked up the trail next to the pipes, we could hear loud metallic pings– it was the sound of the metal expanding and contracting with the warmth of the sun. Kiiiinda creepy.

Click on the photo and go to “All Sizes” for a spectacular view of the structure.

Pipeline Line UP

How HyPower Works sign

The view of the Falls is gorgeous!

The Falls 2

Trenton Falls has generated electricity for the area for about 100 years. The first pipes were made of wood, held up by concrete “ribs.” The wooden pipes are long gone.

The Wooden Pipeline Ribs

We visited at a time where there had been little rainfall (unusual). But the previous year, there had been such severe and catastrophic flooding that huge boulders had been carried down the river. When we saw them, it looked like a giant had taken a great salt shaker and shaken out his cubes of salt into the riverbed.

Again, if you click to enlarge the photos, it makes for a very impressive view.

HydroElec Dam

Incredible Debris Field

And finally, I’ll leave you with the catastrophe that is my home’s electric wiring! I’m in the process of rewiring the house, but half still has no electricity. It’s been rather tough, having no power in some of the bedrooms, and having to rig up extension cords and lamps in the bathroom and kitchen. But one look at our terrible and ancient wiring will show you why we endure it:

The BAD Old Stuff:
Bad Knob Wiring 1

The GOOD New Stuff:
Good hole

Yikes! After I saw the condition of those old wires (most of them dating to the 1930s), I decided to shut off the wiring until I could repair it. By the way, wiring your own home is not too hard– I studied how to do it in a book. I’ve been doing it all myself, even wiring the service panel in the basement. It’s a terrific sense of accomplishment to have done it! 😀 Plus, I know that it’s now being done correctly!

So that’s my Photo Hunters! How did yours go today? 😀

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About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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