Electric Subways at the World's Fair

[Trade Journal]

Publication: Western Electrician

Chicago, IL, United States
vol. 9, no. 22, p. 317, col. 1-3

Electric Subways for the World's Fair.

Attentive readers of the WESTERN ELECTRICIAN must have been before this impressed with the fact that an immense amount of electricity is to be transmitted from the great service plant at the World's Fair to various parts of the grounds for light and power. Overhead wires are, of course, out of the question, and subways were long ago decided upon as the only feasible means of meeting the conditions. For several months Electrical Engineer Sargent has been at work on the plans for the subway system, with a large force of draughtsmen to put his ideas on paper, and at last week's meeting of the committee on electricity his designs were formally adopted. It has been no easy task to devise a plan adequate to meet the requirements as to size and efficiency without involving a construction too complex and expensive for temporary use. Several designs were considered, but were, one after the other, found open to objection, until the present plan was evolved.


Figs. 2 and 3. Electrical Subways for the World's Fair


A general idea of the system may be had by a reference to the accompanying map and drawings. The generating plant, as indicated, will be located in a portion of machinery hall set aside for its use. This space will be 850 feet long by 150 feet wide, and in it it is expected that 25,000 horse power will be generated. The engines will be located near the wall, and the dynamos toward the center of the building. The conductors, after leaving the dynamos, will be arranged in a suitable fire-proof rack located under the main floor about 150 feet from the south wall, and running lengthwise of the building. From the rack five distinct groups of feeding wires will start as follows: The first group will supply all the territory contained in the space bounded by Fifty ninth street on the north, the center of the basin on the south. Lake Michigan on the east, and the lagoon on the west; also the electric fountain located at the west extremity of the basin, and the following buildings, etc.: The fisheries building, the government building, the naval exhibit, the manufactures and liberal arts building, and all the grounds within the territory. It is proposed to provide a main conduit for this group in the following manner: Starting from the rack in machinery hall already referred to, a conduit is to be provided; this conduit is to be of sufficient capacity to accommodate 150 insulated cables of various sizes up to 600,000 circular mils area. The conduit will run north from the rack under the floor of the machinery hall to the electricity building, with a branch for the electric fountain; east from the electricity building to the bridge, and from the bridge to the manufactures building. The system will terminate at the fisheries building. The tunnel itself, or any of the buildings through which it passes, maybe tapped by draw-in systems buried in the ground wherever it is necessary to supply light or power to the grounds or any other buildings that may be erected in this territory.


Fig. 4. Electrical Subways for the World's Fair.


Group No. 2 will be provided for in a conduit of the same capacity as that for the first group, and will run direct from machinery hall to the electricity and mines buildings, with a branch for the administration building. This will also provide for all grounds adjacent to these buildings, and will probably include the wooded island.

Group No, 3 will run direct from the machinery hall to the elevated railroad structure, and supply all territory north of the basin and the administration building not reached by groups No. 1 and No. 2, including the transportation building and annex, the service building, the horticultural building, the woman's building, the state and foreign building, the art gallery, the Midway Plaisance, and all grounds and smaller buildings in the territory mentioned. Draw-in systems or buried conductors are