National Geographic : 1948 Nov
Acme Lighting of Baseball and Football Fields Enables Many More Fans to See Games Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, has illumination over entire field eight times brighter than that from an average home reading lamp. Attendance at night major-league baseball games averages three times the number at day games. All major-league fields but one are now lighted. Electric floodlights illuminate more than 1,000 college and high-school football fields, a like number of amateur softball fields, and hundreds of municipal and industrial baseball diamonds. Edison ushered in America's age of light in 1879 (page 671). temperature drops in one-thirtieth of a second from 900° or 1,0000 F. to 70°, and from a pressure of 1,200 pounds a square inch to less than that of the air outside. Even an ordinary-size turbine is so powerful that the late Charles P. Steinmetz, scientist, estimated that it does as much work in 24 hours as all the slaves in the South could perform in 1860. The boilers of a modern steam power plant are as high as an eight- or nine-story building, and the turbines are so large that I have stood inside of one from which the moving parts had been removed for repair. This was in the Fisk Station of the Com monwealth Edison Company, of Chicago, the first all-turbine steam station in America. Although in operation since 1903, it is still an important source of power because of large modern units installed from time to time. The visitor to a modern power plant is struck not only by the extreme cleanliness and orderliness of the place but also by the fact that so few employees are required. Pul verized coal is handled by machinery, and it takes only a few employees to watch the meters, charts, and automatic controls. Because a small plant requires almost as many operators as a large one, the sheer necessity for economy drives the companies to build plants whose generating capacity is as great as possible. The Stimulus of Color When I visited the Buzzard Point station of the Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, D. C., about half the interior had been done over in the new color dynamics, with greens, reds, blues, and yellows taking the place of the old gloomy dullness of un painted heavy machinery. Most operators prefer to work in the repainted sections.