The Hood River, News, Hood River, OR., May 4, 1923, page 1

$1,250,000 Project On Hood Is One Of Best In West
Dedication Day is Set For Thursday of Next Week - Plant Will Add Big Sum to County's Tax Roll and Will Develop Much Power for Industrial Purposes

    Practically every leader in the electrical business and many industrial leaders of the Northwest will be in Hood River on Thursday morning of next week, when the dedication of the new $1,250,000 hydro-electric plant of the Pacific Power & Light Co., on Hood River, will take place. While the visitors will arrive front 10 a.m. on, the big ceremony will open at 12.30 will a luncheon, to be served at the Phoenix Utility Company's Camp near Powerdale, and the afternoon will be occupied with visits to the various features which combine to make this hydro-electric plant one of the most modern in the entire Pacific Northwest.
     The ceremony will mark the completion of the first unit of what, it is stated, will be a series of projects that will utilize the enormous power which can be generated from Hood River, which, with its long stretches of white water and deep holes is ideal from the hydro-electric engineer's point of view. While, there is no immediate prospect of the undertaking of further units, it a generally conceded that, as the demand for power increases, the power reserves of, Hood River will be further tapped. Actual construction work on the present project will be considered at an end when, on Thursday next, little Miss Talbot throws the switch and turns the power on to the new conduits.
     Work on this new hydroelectric unit was inaugurated last June, and under the supervision of the Phoenix Utility Company, an allied corporation of the big power corporation, a big crew, numbering for one period nearly 800 men, was kept at work on the project. From the outset, rapid progress was made, and what the bosses call "good luck" was experienced until the winter set in. Snows were not heavy and did not greatly impede work. However, an early freshet of unusual proportions did much damage along the river, but the hydro-electric enterprise, in proportion to the magnitude of its project, escaped very lightly, the damage to permanent work being quite small.

The New Plant

     The power house and turbines of the new plant are located about a quarter of a mile from Hood River, adjoining the tracks of the Mt. Hood Railroad north of Powerdale, built entirely of steel, concrete and tile, the building is as near fireproof as modern construction can make it. Inside are the "works," which, meaning little to the uninitiated, are of great interest to the electrician and the hydro-electric engineer. All that the layman understands is that by means of the head of water coming through the giant pipe to the turbines enormous power is generated and converted into "juice" by the giant generator, and thence is released over the wires to make the wheels go round in the various in-dustrial plants, which in turn give opportunities for thousands to make a livelihood. Although the multitude of conduits and switches are puzzling to the layman, the electrician sees in this new plant nothing but the simplification of the problems that used to beset the hydro-electric engineer of a decade ago. Automatic appliances are here in profusion and it has been stated that about five men will, at normal times, be all that are required to maintain the plant at its highest efficiency.
     The chief feature in the power house, which covers an area of 82 by 46 feet, is a 50 ton electric crane which will be on hand at all times to convey any of the machinery to the machine shop, which is equipped with all labor-saving appliances -- for rapid repair work.
     The feature of the new plant that appeals to the imagination, is the great surge tank, which rests, near-ly 200 feet above the ground, on top of four steel lattice turrets, which look much too weak to support a tank which will hold 267,000 gallons of water when the plant is in operation. The function of this tank which is fed by the seven foot steel pipe, is to permit regulation of the head of water that falls on the giant turbine. By this means a constant and steady head of water can be maintained and those "surges" which are the result of a unsteady flow of water, can he almost entirely avoided. The tank is known as the Johnson Differential Surge Tank, and it is controlled by a Johnson Valve,, which can be operated at any time by the engineer at his desk, and the flow cut off in a few seconds if desired.

At the Headworks

     The dam, which is three miles up stream, is really a system of headgates, which fit in slots in piers, and by which as much water as is required can be diverted from the river, carried through the three miles of concrete flume and, pipe, through the surge tank, down over the turbines and back into the river. To avoid silt passing through into the turbines, the water, after it is diverted from the river, passes thru a series of settling basin's, in which the fine sand and glacial silt is trapped. Each basin may be flushed separately, without interfering with the constant head of water.

Many Prominent Men coming

     While an invitation has been ex-tended by Berkeley Snow, local manager of the Pacific Power & Light Co. to all local stockholders and users of electricity, formal invitations have been forwarded to the follow-ing prominent men, in the electrical and industrial fields of the Northwest.
     Fred S. Cook, D.J. Maher, H.B. Humphrey, P.A. Wickes, E.O. Rice, I.A. Cranston, C.E. Canada, A.S. Moody, G.N. Barker, C.L. Wernicke, W.S. Boutwell, Geo. Boring, F.A, Mulvaney, R.M. Boykin, L.T. Merwin, J.S. Groo, O. Lefever, E.F. Pearson, D.J. Shore, Franklin T. Griffith, E.D. Bearing, C.P. Osborne, A.C. McMicken, O.B. Coldwell, H.V. Gates, all of Portland; H.D. Coale, A.W. Leonard, W.H. McGrath, G.E. Quinan, Robert Clark all of Seattle; D.L. Huntington, M.W. Birkett, Lewis A. Lewis, V.H. Greisser, J.B. Fisken, Nicholas Codd and J.F. Faruar, all of Spokane; R.U. Steelquist and C.M. Brewer, of Albany; J.P. Lottridge, of Baker; Paul B. McKee, W.M. Shepherd, P.O. Crawford and H.L. Walther, of Medlord; T.H. Foley, of Bend; C.J. Edwards, of Tillamook; C.A. Buckley, of Grass Valley; N.W. Thompson, A. M. Wright and R.E. Dean, of Moro; B. Sampson, of Stevenson, Wash.; C.M. Sanford, of Hanford, Wash.; R.J. Moore, of Newberg; G.A. Young, of Cascade Locks; R.M. Jennings, of Roseburg, and E.G. Robinson, of Canby.
     Invitations have also been extended to the following public officials and officers of semi-public organizations: Governor Pierce, Mayor Geo. L. Baker, Commissioners Corey, McCoy and Campbell, of the Oregon Public Service Commission; C.J. Green, chief engineer of the Oregon commission; L.V. Kuykendall, of the Washington Department of Pub-lic Works; E.W. Lazell, president of the Oregon Technical Council; D.C. Henrey, chairman of the super power committee; Fred Henshaw, of the United States Geodetic Survey; P.H. Dater, of the Bureau of Public Roads; Percy Cupper, state engineer; W.S. Turner and Walter Haynes, of Portland; R.H. Dearborn of Corvallis; J.N. Teal, of the Hydro-Electric League; Geo. R. Wilbur, state Legion Commander and H.P. Cramer, of the Journal or Electricity.
     Invitations have also been extended to the Portland press and newspapers of surrounding mid-Columbia territory. Delegations are expected from the Portland Chamber of Commerce and the chambers and civic clubs of the following towns, all of which are served by the Pacfic Power & Light Co.; The Dalles, Parkdale, Dufur, Astoria, Seaside, Pendleton, Oregon; Vancouver, Gold-endale, White Salmon, Walla Walla, Dayton, Waitsburg, Pomeroy, Pasco, Kennewick, Prosser, Sunnyside, Grandview, Mabton, Toppenish, Zillah and Yakima, Washington, and Lewiston, Idaho.
     Among the officials of the Pacific Power, & Light Co. who will be present are John A. Laing, vice-president and general attorney; Geo. F. Nevins, secretary and treasurer; John H. Strange, assistant general manager, and H.H. Schoolfield, chief engineer.
     A large section of the visitors are expected to make the trip over the Columbia River Highway. After the luncheon, the K.P. Band of Hood River, will play several selections at the new plant. At 2 p.m. Lewis A. McArthur, vice-president and general manager of the company, as master of ceremonies, the dedication program will begin, with a short address by Guy W. Talbot, president of the company. Representatives of the chambers of The Dalles and Hood River will respond, and Mr. McArthur will introduce P.P. & L. officials to the public. Then comes the big event of the day, when Miss Prudence Talbot, daughter of the president of the company, will throw the switch that will release the power on to the, lines. At the same mo-ment, a giant electric fan, on top of the surge tank, will revolve and on its breeze will float Old Glory. The rest of the afternoon will be spent in trips to the plant and the headworks.
     No story of the big work would he complete without mention of J.E. Shinn, superintendent of, the Phoenix Utility Co., who has been in charge of the building of the plant and intake since it started. The committee in charge of the dedication program is: Berkeley B. Snow of Hood River, J.B. Kilmore, of The Dalles; S.E. Skelley, manager of the investment department at Port-land and L.P. Mattoon, the latter being assistant of Supt. Shinn dur-ing the period of construction.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., May 11, 1923, page 1


     The good fortune which was graced construction work on the hydroelectric plant of the Pacific Power & Light, smiled more benignantly than ever on the men who have brought the most modern plant of its kind in the Northwest to completion yesterday. Beautiful weather brought out a big crowd, and from the luncheon at the camp down to the moment when Miss Prudence Talbot threw the switches that opened the Johnson valve, releasing the water on to the turbines, there was not the slightest hitch, everything going as arranged by the engineers through the automatic controls. When Miss Talbot threw the switch a huge Old Glory floated on the breeze and the giant generator began to gather speed until its hum could be heard by the crowd, which loudly cheered Supt. J.W. Shinn, the man who supervised the building of this fine plant.
     Talks were given by General Manager Talbot, Supt. L.B. Gibson and Judge Wilson, while Berkley Snow and other officials of the company were introduced.
     The Dalles Kiwanis present in full force. A full report will be published in next week's News.

The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., May 18, 1923, page 1

Big Crowd From Mid-Columbia Shows Much Interest
Complete Synchronization is Established within Three Minutes after head of Water is Released Thru Valves on to Giant Turbines - Finishing Touches to Plant Remain

     Over 600 prominent electrical and industrial man, power and light users of the mid-Columbia and large contingents of Kiwanis from The Dalles and members of the Hood River Lunch club, were present at the luncheon served at the Powerdale camp on Thursday of last week as the opening feature of the big celebration of the completion of a million and a quarter dollar hydro-electric plant. The luncheon was in every way a big success, the walk out to the camp and the serving of the meal cafeteria style, only adding to the enjoyment of all.
     After lunch the formal ceremony of opening the new plant was held at the new big power house, with Lewis A. McArthur, general manager and vice-president of the Pacific Power & Light Co., master of ceremonies.
     Guy Talbot spoke of the wonderful work Supt. Shinn had done in bringing the plant to completion in the short space of time at his disposal, and in his eulogy of the superintendent he included the loyal men who had helped him. The plant, he said, is the most modern in the Northwest and the generator is the largest single unit in the state of Oregon. One noteworthy feature is that 35 percent of the money which had been put into the plant had come from users who purchased stock in the Pacific Power & Light Co.. The day is coming, said Mr. Talbot, when a great percentage of the stock of this and similar public utilities will be owned by the people whom these utilities serve. He then referred to the great hydro-electric possibilities of Oregon, and said nature had offered her a great advantage in placing our resources nearby, to be accessible for all industrial projects.
     Prof. L.B. Gibson quoted the old Biblical saying: "Let there be light" and said that the Pacific Power and Light Co. had added: "Let there be power and light." The plant, in its construction stage, had been a fine thing for Hood River and had brought prosperity to her people in what would otherwise have been a dull period. Even the school boys of Hood River had been able to earn money at the camp and thus provide for a future education. Water power has been called "white coal," and its power is even greater than that of "white mule." Turning to the plant he referred to its permanent nature, as permanent almost as Mt. Hood, on which rises the river which provides the power. Relating that Edison, when a boy, was once kicked out of a job following a chemical experiment which resulted in failure, Prof. Gibson suggested that perhaps that kick had landed him into science, in which he had made such a great name for himself. Thanking the Pacific Power & Light Co. for coming to Hood River, he expressed the hope that they would come again some day on a similar mission.
     Judge Fred W. Wilson, who opened his talk by congratulating the people of the Hood River on the wonderful hydro-electric plant which had been built here, said that what will help to build up Hood River will likewise help the neighboring Wasco county and The Dalles, in fact all the people who live within the shadow of Mt. Hood. The people of the mid-Columbia, he said, are bound together by common interests, and what is good for one must of necessity be good for the other. This plant, he thought, was the initial unit for developing the great water power possibilities of the Hood River. He then talked of the various man-conceived processes which produced the power in the plant, and insisted that these processes must come from the Creator. In the mid-Columbia, Judge Wilson said lie some of the greatest power resources in the world, and more plants will come which will make this section the center of the world's hydro-electric energy.
     A burst of cheering greeted Supt. Shinn, who has been in charge of construction work on the plant, when he was introduced to the big crowd by Mr. MacArthur. Mr. Shinn was the man who was in charge of the building of the plant from its inception, and the recognition accorded him was a well deserved tribute to his remarkable ability.
     Among officials of the company and guests introduced were: R.D. Johnson, of New York City, inventor of the surge tank and valve which plays such an important part in the operation of this hydro-elector plant. The presence of Mr. Johnson was much appreciated because he had sprung a surprise on all by appearing on the scene just before the ceremony was about to start. H.T. Humphrey, manager of the Plate Steel department of the Willamette Iron & Steel Works, which installed the steel pipes and gates at the big dam, was introduced as were C.L. Wernicke, manager of the Portland branch of the Westinghouse company, which installed the generator, Berkeley Snow, of Hood River, and manager of the local office and J.B. Kilmore, of The Dalles.
     After the various speakers had concluded their remarks, Miss Prudence Talbot, daughter of the president of the company, called on a lever that opened the Johnson valve releasing the water on to the turbines. As the hum of the turbines became audible, Miss Talbot threw the switches that distributed the power generated into the transformer and released it on to the high tension lines of the company. While this was going on E.H. Hill, of Hood River, who did most of the wiring at the big plant, stood by at the switchboard and manipulated the various switches until, three minutes later, complete synchronization over the whole system had been recorded on the meters and on the small glow lamps on the platform, on which a group of officials eagerly watched the phenomenon. Then another switch was thrown by Miss Talbot, and a huge old Glory, electrically unfurled, was caught in the breeze and brought cheers from those assembled.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer