Return to Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine History
Beginnings of St. Augustine Electricity
Thomas Edison displayed the first electric light bulb on December 31, 1879. On September 4, 1882,
Thomas Edison put a six-generator plant into operation in New York City. When the Ponce de Leon
Hotel plant was finished in 1888 it was the largest isolated incandescent lighting plant ever constructed
--- an 8,000 light plant.  The building housed four direct current Edison dynamos. Coal-fired boilers
powered the dynamos and the artesian well had a generator powered by the foot-wide, twenty-foot
high gushing well. An article in the
Manufactures and Builders Magazine  stated that the
10,000,000 gallons of water a day was applied under a turbine water wheel that covered the well and
operated the dynamos that provided electricity for the hotel.

The lights were turned on in the dining room on January 6,  four days before the special dinner on
opening night. The lights throughout the hotel were ready for the opening ceremonies.

The electrical system in the Ponce de Leon, Alcazar, and Casino was upgraded in 1894. The upgrade
included rewiring through brass conduits, cabinets, and marble junction tablets designed by Albert T.
Best, electrician of the Flagler system. There were 2,000 lights at the Alcazar and 1,200 at the Casino.

Also in 1894, the St. Augustine Electric Plant applied for incorporation for the plant to produce light,
heat and power; it would take St. Augustine until 1899 to get its own electric plant with the St.
Augustine Gas and Electric Company.
Flagler Construction 1885 to 1890
Flagler Era 1890 to 1900
Ponce de Leon Hotel
Ponce de Leon Entrance
Ponce de Leon Rotunda
Ponce de Leon Grand Parlor
Ponce de Leon Dining Room
News Article of 1889 opening
Signor Jovine - 1889 Singer
The Fame of the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Chemist at the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Count Prokaski
Harry Flagler Takes Charge of Hotel
Osborn Seavey
Robert Murray
Flagler Sewer System
Flagler Laundry
Flagler Statute
Artists Who Created Hotel
Carrere and Hastings
McDonald and McGuire
Clarence B. Knott
Ponce Studio Artists
Cuban Giants at Ponce de Leon Hotel
Reception for Mrs. U. S. (Julia) Grant at
the Ponce de Leon Hotel
William J Hammer
Electricity in St. Augustine
Seavey House
Henry Morrison Flagler
Alcazar Hotel
Casa Monica or Cordova
Flagler Hotel Competition
Joseph Greaves
Coast Guard Alters the Ponce de Leon Hotel
Material Information
Title:  St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida, 1899
Series Title:  Insurance maps of St. Augustine, Florida
Physical Description:  Map
Creator:  Sanborn Map Company