Chapter: Innovation

Dynamo (electric street lighting)

"This dynamo was illuminating"
1880s Dynamo, 1st electrical generator to produce industrial direct current power Dynamo with label


This 1880s Dynamo is the first electrical generator capable of producing industrial direct current power. Northwest Electric Light and Power Company used this dynamo for street lighting when Winnipeg was growing and demanding that streets be illuminated by electricity rather than gas, as other cities were doing.

In 1882 at Main and Higgins, four lamps were powered by a dynamo that was powered by a steam engine. The dynamo was the first step in street lighting for the entire city.