Energy & Power
The Museum's collections on energy and power illuminate the role of fire, steam, wind, water, electricity, and the atom in the nation's history. The artifacts include wood-burning stoves, water turbines, and windmills, as well as steam, gas, and diesel engines. Oil-exploration and coal-mining equipment form part of these collections, along with a computer that controlled a power plant and even bubble chambers—a tool of physicists to study protons, electrons, and other charged particles.
A special strength of the collections lies in objects related to the history of electrical power, including generators, batteries, cables, transformers, and early photovoltaic cells. A group of Thomas Edison's earliest light bulbs are a precious treasure. Hundreds of other objects represent the innumerable uses of electricity, from streetlights and railway signals to microwave ovens and satellite equipment.
"Energy & Power - Overview" showing 1 items.
- After decades of constant decline, the cost of electricity in the U.S. began to rise beginning in the 1960s. The change occurred for many reasons, one of which was continually growing demand for electric power. During the 1980s electric utilities that had traditionally concerned themselves with managing the supply of power began adopting so-called Demand Side Management programs (DSM). The idea centered on encouraging the use of special pricing and greater energy efficiency to slow the need for new power plants and transmission lines.
- While many DSM programs focused on commercial and industrial power users, some targeted residential consumers. One popular program involved utilities' swapping regular incandescent lamps for new, energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The participating utility purchased a large quantity of CFLs from a lamp maker at a discount and then provided the lamps to consumers at a reduced price, or sometimes for free. Some governments provided subsidies to help cover the costs.
- Bulb-swaps introduced many people to energy-efficient CFLs. They also provided a market demand during the early years of CFL production when lamp makers were still paying for the new production lines needed to make the new lamps. As more lamps were produced, prices began to decline. This "Super Q'Lite" modular lamp from Lights Of America was offered by Washington, DC utility PEPCO in 1994 as part of a DSM program. Using only 27 watts, it replaced a regular lamp that used 100 watts.
- Lamp characteristics: A modular compact fluorescent lamp with two parts—a tube assembly and a base-unit. The original package and coupon book were collected with this lamp. The tube assembly consists of a four-tube glass structure with two electrodes, mercury and an internal phosphor coating. Plug-in style base. The base-unit has a medium-screw shell and houses the ballast and starter equipment. A receptacle on top accepts the plug-in base of the tube assembly.
- date made
- ca. 1992
- Date made
- ca 1992
- Lights of America, Inc.
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center