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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dynamos and Storms In Waxahachie 1889

In 1889 as Waxahachie began to assimilate to the technological advances of electricity. They had to deal with myths and superstition that surrounded electricity. Did electricity effect the atmosphere when produced by dynamos? Experts were asked their opinions on the possibility of side effects of the new advancement in Ellis County . They assured the citizens that dynamos did not cause the unusual storms that coincided with the beginning of electrical power.

From the Waxahachie Enterprise:
9-6-1889 ELECTRICTY AND STORMS -
What Experts Think of the Effects of Electric Dynamos upon the Elements. The unusually heavy rains that have fallen during the past few weeks have attracted the attention of many throughout the country, who attribute the meteorological storms in part, to the large amount of electricity generated by the numerous dynamos in operation at present.

A Star reporter interviewed Mr. West of the New American electrical arc
light company relative to the cause of the heavy rains, and in response
to questions about the dynamo-electric effects upon the elements, he
said:
"I cannot see how the electricity generated by the dynamos could effect
the elements sufficiently to induce the falling of such heavy rains as we
have had of late. People out in Nebraska and other Western states argue
that the enormous quantity of steel rails laid over the thousands of
miles of surface in the United States have, in a great measure,
exercised-an influence on the elements, through their power of attracting
heat, and conveying the same over a great extent of territory, the rails
also acting as a perfect chain of lightning rods. It is also claimed by
many of the agriculturists of the west that steam generated by
locomotives and the great velocity of railroad trains in traversing the
country has much to do with changing the electrical current. Of course, I
cannot, from a scientific standpoint, authoritatively speak as to the
absolute truthfulness of such statements
'
Mr. Robert Grimshaw, the well know scientific expert of No. 21 Park row,
upon being asked to express his opinion in regard to dynamo electricity
having an effect upon the natural elements, said:
"The amount of electricity used for commercial purposes in the United
States would, as compared with the amount of energy represented by a
single storm, be but as a drop in the bucket, even supposing that it ran to waste and became apparent in the work of storms. As a matter of fact," said Mr. Grimshaw, "of all the currents generated in any dynamo every fraction of its percent is fully accounted for, either as work done by a motor or light in the lamps supplied by the dynamos, or friction and resistance in the machine and the wires carrying the current. It is not all recovered, of course, but it is accounted for as work or waste of some sort in the system, and therefore does not go wandering about trying to disturb the elements. If it did there is not enough of it to amount to anything.

Mr. Benson Wright of No. 118 Liberty street, a well known Boston expert,
said:; " I do not care to express my opinion upon the subject, but I can
emphatically say that the electricity,generated by dynamos has nothing
whatever to do with the storms that have followed each other so rapidly within the last month."

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