Curtis 5000-kW Vertical Turbine

#06 – Curtis 5000-kW Vertical Turbine
1903

The most powerful steam turbine-generator in the world at the time of it's construction.


Built in 1903, the 5,000-kilowatt Curtis steam turbine-generator was the most powerful in the world. It stood just 25 feet high, much shorter than the 60 feet reciprocating engine-generator of a similar capacity, and took up considerably less floor area. The combined innovation and effectiveness of the 5,000-kilowatt Curtis steam turbine-generator helped to stimulate the growth of modern electrical generation in large central stations nationwide.

The Curtis steam turbine was the creation of two men: patent lawyer and inventor Charles G. Curtis and engineer William Le Roy Emmet. Curtis initially proposed the design and constructing of a new turbine that was powered by steam. After two years of research and experimentation, Emmet was called in to fix design problems. Using Curtis's design, Emmet was able to create a 5000-kilowatt steam turbine-generator. The new generator was a hit. Manufacturers nationwide wanted the new turbine that produced more power and took up less space.

After years of use, the original 5000-kilowatt steam turbine-generator was returned to the General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York.

Adapted from "5000-kilowatt Steam Turbine-Generator" article in Landmarks in Mechanical Engineering authored by ASME International History and Heritage.

Photo courtesy of Schenectadyhistory.org
http://www.schenectadyhistory.org/
resources/seh/ctg5000-200.jpg
Curtis 5000-kilowatt Vertical Turbine Photo
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Landmark Location

Schenectady, New York

Owner

General Electric

Visiting Info

The Curtis turbine-generator is located outside Building 263 at the General Electric Company plant in Schenectady, New York. Direct questions to: GE Power Generation, 1 River Road, Schenectady, NY 12345

Ceremony Notes

May 28, 1975