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Thirsty for more power supplies for downtown Los Angeles, the Edison Electric Company purchased Sinclair's Southern California Power Company in 1898 and constructed a 83-mile high-voltage transmission line to bring the power into downtown Los Angeles.
At the time, this was by far the longest and highest voltage transmission line built anywhere in the country.
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This long distance would require high-voltage alternating current. This new three-phase system enabled electric motors to start and stop independently of the generator and delivered a smoother power torque to the rotating equipment.
It was the first commercial power plant using three-phase alternating current to be installed in the U. Today, three-phase power generation remains the standard for power generation worldwide.
The first president of the company was George Barker, one of the famous Barker Brothers of local furniture store fame.
Westside Lighting is the most important of Edison's ancestral companies.
Although it was served by several power companies, the city had a growing need for electricity.
Several Los Angeles businessmen launched the Westside Lighting Company.
The age of long-distance transmission had begun, thereby opening access to remote hydroelectric resources. In 1892, Henry Sinclair formed the Redlands Electric Light and Power Company to provide power to the Union Ice Company for the new electric motors in its ice-making facility in Mentone.
Most history texts consider the Niagara Falls to Buffalo, New York transmission line as the first long-distance electric line in the nation built in 1896, but the reality is that Decker did it four years earlier in San Antonio Canyon. The closest hydroelectric resource was eight miles away at Mill Creek. Decker recommended that an innovative three-phase alternating current generator be installed to do the job.
Edison International traces its origins back to July 4, 1886.