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Electrical power systems records

Accession 2612

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
askhagley@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Anastasia Day, 2016.,

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2016-08-01T09:28-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Electrical power systems records (Accession 2612), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Electrical power systems records
Dates: 1904-2014
Accession Number: 2612
Creator: Leeds & Northrup Company. Nathan, Cohn, 1907-1989 North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee.
Extent: 3 linear feet
Physical Description: 3 cartons.
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Leeds & Northrup Company thrived throughout the twentieth century as a premier manufacturer of precision measuring and scientific equipment. The bulk of the Leeds & Northrup Electrical Power Systems records come from three employees, whose work at Leeds & Northrup spanned from 1928-1981: W. Spencer Bloor (1918-2002), Nathan Cohn (1907-1989), and S. Byron Morehouse. All worked within the Instrumentation and Controls for Electric Power Application Division. The records include papers, presentations, correspondence, memos, blueprints, and other materials relating to the development of a national electrical power grid in the United States. Technological and commercial developments in automatic electric power generation control, stabilization of energy load across regions, and problems of interconnection feature prominently in these materials.
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Administrative Information


Provenance

The bulk of the papers were originally collected by W. Spencer Bloor over the course of his career. He donated them to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). NERC in turn loaned them to DNV-KEMA ( named DNV-GL as of 2013 – an international certification and classification society). It was from DNV-KEMA that Julie Cohn , daughter of Nathan Cohn, borrowed the original Bloor collection, to conduct research for her doctoral dissertation in history at the University of Houston entitled “Biography of a Technology: The North American Power Grid Through the Twentieth Century.” Cohn also received materials from former Leeds& Northrup engineers at DNV-KEMA from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation predecessor organization, the North american Interconnection Committee (NAPSIC). Between a third and a quarter of the collection are these NAPSIC papers. After defending in 2013, Julie Cohn facilitated the donation of the Bloor collection and NAPSIC materials to the Hagley library in 2014 with the approval and encouragement of DNV-KEMA and NERC officials.

Access Restrictions

Records are subject to a twenty-five year time seal from the date of their creation.

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Historical Note

The Leeds & Northrup Company began in 1903 with the partnership of Morris E. Leeds (1869-1952) and Dr. Edwin F. Northrup (1866-1940), in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout the twentieth century, the company thrived as a premier manufacturer of precision measuring and scientific equipment, including pyrometers, galvanometers, potentiometers, Wheatstone bridge, resistances, condensers, and inductances. In 1978, the General Signal Corporation of Stanford, Connecticut acquired the company, turning it into the Leeds & Northrup Metallurgical Products Division. In 1995, General Signal sold their Metallurgical Products Division to Heraeus Holding, GmbH of Hanau, Germany.

The bulk of the Leeds & Northrup Electrical Power Systems come from three employees: W. Spencer Bloor (1918-2002), Nathan Cohn (1907-1989), and S. Byron Morehouse. All worked within the Instrumentation and Controls for Electric Power Application Division; their cumulative years of employment spanned from 1928 to 1981. Cohn was the most prominent and well-recognized of the three; he served for 48 years at Leeds & Northrup, publishing over 90 articles, 15 patents, and one book during his career. He was a fellow of and received awards from both the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Franklin Institute. S. Byron Morehouse was also named an IEEE fellow in 1976, “For contributions to generation control techniques for large-scale interconnected electric power systems.” Likewise, W. Spencer Bloor was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1979 for his “contributions to reliability and economy of electric power production through design and application of complex control systems.”

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Scope and Content

The Leeds and Northrup Electrical Power Systems Records include papers, presentations, correspondence, memos, blueprints, and other materials relating to the development of a national electrical power grid in the United States. Leeds & Northrup Co. employees Bloor, Cohn, and Morehouse were influential in coordinating the creation of a national, interconnected electrical grid in the United States over the mid-twentieth century. The records illustrate how they navigated the economic, commercial, and technological obstacles to interconnection on the regional level in the 1940s and 1950s, and then coordinated of energy flows on the national level as they helped close the East-West ties in the 1960s. However, the papers are not confined to the activities of Bloor, Cohn, and Morehouse, nor restricted to the activities of Leeds & Northrup; the research, reports, and work of many other electrical engineers appear, and the work of such professional organizations as the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee, among others.

Box one is largely content published in outlets including Electrical World, Power, Electric Light and Power, Business Week, and American Institute of Electrical Engineers and American Power Conference proceedings. The second box is the remainder of the materials originally cataloged by Bloor, but contains much more unpublished material under the “Product Data” heading, including correspondence, wiring diagrams, internal reports, and various committee meeting notes. The third and final box contains materials not included in the original nine boxes of W. Spencer Bloor; these materials are predominantly unpublished. A significant amount of materials focus on solutions to technological problems with large-scale integration, including frequency bias and decomposition, as well as the opportunities presented by the application of new computer technology to automatic generation control.

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Arrangement

The first two boxes of the Leeds and Northrup collections represent the original nine boxes as cataloged by W. Spencer Bloor in 1990. Those boxes are organized by original box number and original folder number where given; in the first box, Hagley is presumably missing an original folder marked "Box I Papers and Talks, 1927-1949; 4 out of 6." When lacking original folder order, the folders are roughly chronological. An item inventory of the contents of the original nine boxes can be found in the first folder of the first Hagley box; it contains an index prepared December 1990 by W. Spencer Bloor. The third box contains materials without original box designations, coming from the North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee (NAPSIC). Those materials were sorted by content and then arranged alphabetically by folder name. Within each folder, chronology determines the order of papers.

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Acronyms

AEP – American Electric Power (Corporation)

AGC – Automatic Generation Control

AIEE – American Institute of Electrical Engineers (in 1962 merged with Institute of Radio Engineers to form IEEE)

EEI – Edison Electric Institute

EIA – Energy Information Administration

EPRI – Electronic Power Research Institute

IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

L&N – Leeds & Northrup

NAPSIC – North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee

NERC – National Electric Reliability Council

Access Points

Automatic control.
Cohn, Julie
Electric engineering.
Electric industries.
Engineering instruments.
Engineering.
Engineers.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Research, Industrial--History.--United States
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

Box Folder
1 1 Spencer Bloor inventory, 1990-2014 [Title: "Electric Power Systems: Automatic Generation Control Historical Documents"; "Index prepared December 1990 by W. Spencer Bloor, Senior Technical Associate, Network Systems Development Associates, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania."]
Box Folder
1 2 Papers and talks [box I], 1927-1932
Box Folder
1 3 Papers and talks [box I], 1932-1938 ["1932 Symposium on Frequency and Load Control," EEI Electrical Equipment Committee meeting; memos and minutes from the Interconnected System Committees 1933-1938.]
Box Folder
1 4 Papers and talks [box I], 1934-1947
Box Folder
1 5 Papers and talks [box I], 1947-1949
Box Folder
1 6 Papers and talks [box I], 1949 [Employee newsletterOctober 1949, Iowa Power & Light Co.,featuring Reddy Kilowatt.]
Box Folder
1 7 Papers and talks [box II], 1950-1952
Box Folder
1 8 Papers and talks [box II], 1952-1954 [Photos of slides from IEE presentation.]
Box Folder
1 9 Papers and talks [box II], 1954-1955
Box Folder
1 10 Papers and talks [box II], 1955-1956 [1955 Southeast Regional Communications subcomittee meeting minutes.]
Box Folder
1 11 Papers and talks [box III], 1956-1958
Box Folder
1 12 Papers and talks [box III], 1958-1959
Box Folder
1 13 Papers and talks [box III], 1960-1963 [Conference papers on computer control for Columbia River power system, Niagara hydropower.]
Box Folder
1 14 Papers and talks [box III], 1963-1965 [Materials related to power generation in the Tennesseee Valley Authority and Missouri Valley Electric Authority. Materials relating to standardized definitions and North American interconnective efforts.]
Box Folder
1 15 Papers and talks [box IV], 1966-1967 [Photos of Leeds & Northrup engineers upon closing the East-West energy ties, 1967, plus other materials relating to the event.]
Box Folder
1 16 Papers and talks [box IV], 1967-1969 [Includes Nathan Cohn's book, Control of Generation and Power Flow on Interconnected Systems.]
Box Folder
1 17 Papers and talks [box IV], 1969-1970 [Text of talk given by Nathan Cohn before the Comision De Integracion Electrica Regional, Lima, Peru, 1970.]
Box Folder
1 18 Papers and talks [box IV], 1970-1971 [Spanish translation of talk given by Nathan Cohn before the Comision De Integracion Electrica Regional, Lime, Peru, 1970.]
Box Folder
2 1 Papers and talks [box V], circa 1904-1980
Box Folder
2 2 Papers and talks [box V], 1972
Box Folder
2 3 Papers and talks [box V], 1972-1973
Box Folder
2 4 Papers and talks [box V], 1974-1985 [Text of Nathan Cohn's 1984 presentation to the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers.]
Box Folder
2 5 Papers and talks [box V], 1986-1988 [Newcomen Society of the United States 1986 meeting pamphlet.]
Box Folder
2 6 Product data: Speedomax high speed frequency recorder [box VI], undated [Includes write-up, readouts of data generated by the machine, blueprints, and a photograph.]
Box Folder
2 7 Product data [box VI], 1926-1949 [Includes both publicity materials and internal materials/blueprints; also several undated Leeds & Northrup bulletins.]
Box Folder
2 8 Product data [box VI], 1933-1950
Box Folder
2 9 Product data [box VI], 1941, undated [Many photographs of unlabeled Leeds & Northrup measuring devices and meters.]
Box Folder
2 10 Product data: wiring diagrams for frequency and load control equipment [box VII], 1927-1931 [Blueprints by S. B. Morehouse.]
Box Folder
2 11 Product data [box VII], 1931-1935 [Two binders: "Symposium on Frequency-Load Control for the Tennessee Valley Authority," and a 1931 desk copy of Northrup and Leeds' "Frequency Control: New Developments"]
Box Folder
2 12 Product data [box VII], undated [Two binders: "Equipment photographs #1", and "Equipment Photographs #2" from Leeds & Northrup. All black and white photographs.]
Box Folder
2 13 Product data [box VII], circa 1938, undated [Two binders: "Frequency Control: Installation and Equipment Photographs"; "Frequency Control: Installation Photographs."]
Box Folder
2 14 Product data [box VII], undated [One binder: "Frequency Control: Characteristic Operation"]
Box Folder
2 15 Product data [box VIII], 1941-1957 [Six items, including a confidential sales aid from the mid-1950s.]
Box Folder
2 16 Product data: dimensional drawings - frequency and load control equipment [box VIII], 1928-1936 [Blueprints from S.B. Morehouse.]
Box Folder
2 17 Product data [box VIII], 1942, undated [Four Leeds & Northrup binders: "Frequency Control: 1942 Installations"; "Frequency Control: Description of Frequency Control with Proportionate or Economic Load Distribution"; Ibid [but different edition]; "Automatic Frequency and Load Control"]
Box Folder
2 18 Product data [box VIII], 1930-1940 [Three Leeds & Northrup 'Frequency Control' bonders: Regulating Methods on Major Interconnected Power Systems of the Country (1940); Desk Copy, S.B. Morehouse (1930); Frequency-Load Control for Interconnected Power Systems (1936).]
Box Folder
2 19 Small publications [box IX], 1901-1978 [9 small booklets: Cable Testing Apparatus Manufactured by Morris E. Leeds & Co. For Sale by James G. Biddle (1901); Constitution of the Cooperative Association, Leeds & Northrup Co.(1926);The L& N Recorder Line, Nathan Cohen (1965); L&N and the control of electric power systems, Nathan Cohen [with postscript added](1967); L&N and the steel industry, Nathan Cohen (1966) - within which a newspaper clipping from the Boston Globe, July 12, 1978; Parts for L&N recorders and recorder controllers (undated); Directions for operating L&N frequency recorder (undated); Directions for galvanometer used with micromax mechanism (undated).]
Box Folder
2 20 Book: Electrical measuring instruments manufactured and sold by the Leeds & Northrup Co. [box IX], 1907 [Book full of annotations, notes, scraps of paper, etc.]
Box Folder
2 21 Electrical read-outs [box IX], 1924-1958 [Frequency control readouts/charts from various companies across the nation.]
Box Folder
2 22 Reports and correspondence of S.B. Morehouse and frequency control materials [box IX], 1931-1947 [Bulk from early 1930s. Mostly materials on frequency and load control or about interconnection efforts, but some about Leeds and Northrup recorders.]
Box Folder
2 23 Leeds & Northrup other materials [box IX], 1928-1945 [Mix of blueprints, reports, direction books, photographs with captions, and notes and calculations. Mostly relating to frequency recorder or time error tehcnology.]
Box Folder
2 24 Interconnecting systems materials [box IX], 1931-1966 [See especially the (folded) oversize map of East-West Tie Closure circuits dated January 1966.]
Box Folder
3 1 Automatic generation control (AGC) advances, 1989-1992 [Primarily reports and research from American Electric Power Service Corporation.]
Box Folder
3 2 Epic Engineering interconnection study, 1991 [Two binders from an Epic Engineering Inc. study: EPRI project RP2473-53, "Study of effects opf changes in governor response on the security of the North American interconnection."]
Box Folder
3 3 Frequency bias, 1961-1989 [Reports and studies from a variety of researchers]
Box Folder
3 4 Frequency decomposition 1, 1986-1987 [Two papers: Report to Area X Western Interconnected System on area control performance for the period April 1-27 1985 as tested with the components concept and related decomposition techniques, by nathan Cohn of Newtwork Systems Development Associates; and Experiences with inadvertent decomposition techniques at the New England Power Exchange presented to NERC System Performance Subcommittee by Jim Ginetti of NEPEX Engineering.]
Box Folder
3 5 Frequency decomposition 2, 1988-1991 [Two bundles of papers: A package sent in 1988 from Nathan Cohn to D.M. Benjamin containing the discussion and author's closure for two papers on Decomposition presented in 1987; and A review of NEPEX's efforts with inadvertent decomposition concepts by Mike Potishnak, 1991.]
Box Folder
3 6 Intelligent automatic generation control paper, 1993 [Includes two successive drafts of a paper entitled "Intelligent Automatic Generation Control and Enhancement of Power Quality: Progress Review Meeting." The two lead researchers on the project were Rahmat Shoureshi and Jerry Heydt.]
Box Folder
3 7 Interconnected systems group, 1952-1964 [Contains meeting notes, memos, and reports generated for and by the Interconnected Systems Group, known earlier on as the Interconnected Systems Committee.]
Box Folder
3 8 North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee (NAPSIC), 1963-1989 [Two primary documents (among others): NAPSIC Minimum Perofrmance Criteria: A Supplement to the Operating Manual (1972); NAPSIC Foruth Annual General Meeting proceedings, 1973.]
Box Folder
3 9 North American Power Systems Interconnection Committee operating manual, 1973-1979 [Cover letter indicating attached manual from 1973. Manual cover page states: revised June 1979.]
Box Folder
3 10 National Electric Reliability Council (NERC), 1970-1995 [Begins with original incorporation material; include reports, meeting minutes from subcomittees, and task forces. The biggest document bundle comes from the 1995 Control Criteria Workshop in South Carolina.]
Box Folder
3 11 Other materials, 1953-1987 [Includes a small group of unpublished materials that don't fall clearly in line with other groupings.]
Box Folder
3 12 Other publications and presentations, 1968-1993 [Eleven papers, most formally published, from various authors, generally also about interconnected systems and computer control.]
Box Folder
3 13 Report on the status of interconnections, 1962 [Full title of bound report: "Report on the Status of Interconnections and Pooling of Electric Utility Systems in the United States (Based on data compiled in 1959): Prepared by Edison Electric Institute, July, 1962."]
Box Folder
3 14 Surveys, questionnaires, and data collection, 1953-1958 [Correspondence from various power utilities across the country providing data about their generation, usage, and operations.]