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San Bernardino Valley Brings Electric Power to the World

The 2006—2007 guest lecture series resumes at the San Bernardino County Museum on Wednesday evening, January 24 at 7:30 p.m. when Ron Burgess presents “San Bernardino Valley Brings Electric Power to the World.” This lecture is free and open to the public.

In the early 1890’s, electric power existed in a miscellany of incompatible systems that were not cost-effective for industry. Power could not be transmitted more than three miles’ distance. While Westinghouse and Edison battled over “current wars” and electricity standards, a small group in San Bernardino Valley created the modern power system that set the standards for the rest of the country.

This lecture highlights the individuals responsible for creating the modern electric utility by summarizing the amazing developments that started near Riverside in the town of Highgrove, in Pomona, and finally in Redlands where the first commercial, three-phase AC generating and transmission system gave birth to the modern electrical grid.

Ron Burgess is a business consultant in marketing management company and is also an owner of RedFusion Media, a large website development and maintenance company in Inland Empire. His interest in history encompasses historically significant regional hydropower development. He is working with the museum’s Curator of History Michele Nielsen to create a comprehensive online exhibit for the museum showcasing the world-class work done in power generation that occurred in the Inland Valley.

The San Bernardino County Museum sponsors its guest lecture series to share current research by prominent researchers and scholars with the public. Scheduled for this year’s series are Marline Zuk on penguin sexual politics (February 28), Julie Rathbun on Saturn’s moon Enceladus (March 28), Joan Fryxell on boiling volcano lakes (April 25), James Sandos on converting California (May 23), and Alexis Tray on biological anthropology and forensics (June 27).

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Parking is free. For more information, visit

The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is  909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.



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San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374 TDD/TYY: (909) 792-1462

© 2007 San Bernardino County Museum
The information contained in the following pages was valid at the time of publication. The County of San Bernardino, Museum Department reserves the right to make changes and improvements at any time and without notice, and assumes no liability for damages incurred directly or indirectly as a result of errors, omissions or discrepancies. Please contact the webmaster with comments or suggestions. Website by RedFusion Media
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