The Edison Illuminating Company Station "A" was one of the first establishment to provide electricity to the homes and businesses of the City of Detroit, from its opening in 1886 until 1900. Coal burning boilers drove steam engines which were connected to dynamos on the second floor.
It was in this power plant that Henry Ford, who worked here from 1891 to 1899, made $40 a month as an engineer.
While working here, Ford spent his spare time working on his idea for a gasoline-powered car - the eventual 'Quadricycle'.
When a Beck engine broke down, Ford repaired it by rebuilding the cross-head and putting on additional supports to keep it from twisting and breaking.
Because of this successful job, he was made machinist for the company and, on November 16, 1893, he was made Chief Engineer.
While acting in that capacity, he was chosen to attend the company's annual convention in 1896 in New York, where he first met Thomas Edison.
Built as a one quarter scale replica in Greenfield Village in 1944, some of the original equipment to be found from the original building are two Armington and Sims engines, the original Jumbo Dynamo from the New York building, and the Beck engine which Henry Ford repaired.
According to a reader of this blog, RP Mayer, this building was originally known as the Substation when placed in this Village in 1944. "The substation is actually another name for the Edison Illuminating Company’s Station A, which still exists in the village. If you look at the old map, this is the same location as the present building."
For more information on Edison at Greenfield Village, please click the links below:
Edison Fort Meyers Laboratory
Edison Illuminating Company
Edison Menlo Park Laboratory
Edison Menlo Park Glass House
Edison Menlo Park Machine Shop
Edison Menlo Park Woodworking Shop
Edison Menlo Park Office and Library