Collection AGS - Alexander Generating Station Albums

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Alexander Generating Station Albums

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  • Attributions and conjectures: Title based on the content of the albums.

Level of description

Collection

Reference code

CA ON00419 AGS

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1926-1931 (Creation)
    Creator
    Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario

Physical description area

Physical description

6 albums (ca. 1800 photographs: b&w)

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1906-1974)

Administrative history

The Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario (HEPCO) was special statutory corporation established by the Act to Provide for the Transmission of Electrical power to Municipalities of 1906. Prior to its creation, hydro-electric power had developed as a series of solo ventures, private or public stations powering towns or businesses, but forming no common network. These often operated as monopolies, providing poor services at high prices. In response to these practices, the Ontario provincial government recognized in 1905 that electricity should be consider as ‘public good’ rather than commodity. The Commission’s role was to supply the electrical needs of the citizens of Ontario municipalities, and later to rural areas, at the lowest possible cost. Over the course of its history, HEPCO connected Ontario municipalities to its delivery system through the upgrading of local distribution lines and extension of transmission lines. To supply its clients, HEPCO bought power from private companies and acquired or built its own stations. In 1939, the Power Control Act gave the Commission the authority to regulate other electricity generators. The network extended past the borders of Ontario as HEPCO bought power from American-owned utilities and from private hydro producers in Quebec. As the Commission developed its capacity for thermal and nuclear-generated power starting in the 1950s, it became more self-sufficient and even became a net exporter of power. HEPCO was officially renamed Ontario Hydro in 1974 when the six-man commission that governed it was changed to a Board of Directors composed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, President, and a number of directors. Ontario Hydro continued to operate the generation and delivery system until deregulation of electricity market in Canada split the corporation in 1999 into two entities: Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to produce energy, and Hydro One to distribute it on the open market. The deregulation ultimately ended the generation and delivery model established with the creation of HEPCO in 1906.

Custodial history

Lorne Shields a acquit les albums. Il les a donnés au Musée en 2016.

Scope and content

La collection comprend 6 albums contenant plus de 1 800 photographies en noir et blanc et plus de 20 panoramas, qui témoignent de la construction du barrage hydroélectrique à Alexander Falls sur la rivière Nipigon, au nord de ce qui est actuellement Thunder Bay. Le barrage d’Alexander Falls ainsi que la centrale de Cameron Falls, plus grande et située en amont de la rivière Nipigon, ont alimenté les activités industrielles en croissance dans les deux villes jumelles de Port Arthur et Fort William. La construction du barrage s’est échelonnée de 1926 à 1931. La première année, les travaux de construction de la ligne ferroviaire, des chantiers et du batardeau ont commencé. En 1927 et 1928, les travaux sur le canal de dérivation, l’enrochement pour le barrage principal et la construction du canal à vannes ont été entrepris. La construction de la centrale électrique a eu lieu en 1929-1930, y compris l’ouvrage en béton qui a été réalisé dans des conditions difficiles en hiver, alors que les coffrages en béton devaient être chauffés. En 1930, l’installation des générateurs a commencé; le premier a été mis en service en octobre de la même année. Le troisième et dernier générateur a été mis en service en mars 1931. Une fois terminée, la centrale d’Alexander Falls avait une capacité de 54 000 hp (soit environ 40 MW). Elle était raccordée aux villes de Port Arthur et Fort William par une ligne de transport d’électricité de 113 km. Les photographies dans les cinq premiers albums sont classées en ordre chronologique, ce qui montre clairement l’avancement séquentiel des travaux. Généralement, les photographies de ces albums sont annotées et elles portent un titre informatif et une date. Les photographies dans le sixième album semblent montrer les équipements utilisés, et il se peut qu’elles aient été prises afin de dresser un inventaire pour des raisons d’assurance.

Notes area

Physical condition

Photographs are generally in good condition though the panoramas have sometimes fallen apart. The panoramas are usually several photographs taped together and folded to fit in the album. Some empty spaces in the albums indicate that a photograph may have gone missing as the glue used to adhere them dried up. However, most photographs are still strongly glued and would likely be damaged if an attempt was made to separate them from the pages.

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Public domain.

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