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Archive for April 14th, 2013

Being so close to Washington, DC, Steam at Harper’s Ferry is all about power – water and electric power, that is. Phil Berneburg and Eric Holstine’s work at the Gallery span technology in Harper’s Ferry from water power to electricity.

“The Potomac Power Plant was an innovative small hydroelectric facility that operated from 1899 to 1991, originally as part of a wood pulp mill (built 1888), and solely as a power house after a fire in 1925.  Significant extant equipment/machinery in the plant includes a c.1905 Dayton Globe water turbine, and a 1925 Woodward water turbine governor.  The building is also symbolic of industry in Harpers Ferry, as it occupies the site (and possibly the partial foundations) of Harpers Ferry National Armory buildings dating to 1834 and 1853, and contains reused structural materials from various Armory buildings as well as from an 1848 Harpers Ferry cotton mill (later a flour mill).”

Reprinted from Library of Congress records.

In this photograph, you can see a 1925 GE Generator in the foreground and a 1910 generator cover in the background.

Potomac Power Plant 1925 GE Generator (front) 1910 generator (back)

Potomac Power Plant 1925 GE Generator (front) 1910 generator (back)

Where was Tesla? Did he have a hand in the design of this hydroelectric power plant?

Tesla_Electric_Lamp_Patent_in_Crimson_Red

Potomac Power Plant HF

You can see many similar design elements in Phil Berneburg’s work here at Steam at Harper’s Ferry. For example, in his vertical boiler with wood logging, there are valves, rivets and pipes.

IMG_1970 (2)

Phil Berneburg’s Vertical Boiler with Wood Logging

Potomac Power Plant turbine flumes

Potomac Power Plant Third Tailrace

Eric Holstine’s lamps incorporate piping and electrical elements for a unique design.

Holstine - Steampunk Floor Lamp

Eric Holstine’s Steampunk Floor Lamp

Phil Berneburg and Eric Holstine’s work will be on display through April 28. The Big Top Steam Exhibit also closes that day. Come to the Bolivar-Harper’s Ferry Community Art Walk and meet these artists!

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