Historical Energy Events In America By kyle_johnston Jul 1, 1752 Ben Franklin's Kite Experiment In 1752, Ben Franklin proved that lightning and the spark from amber were the same thing. He also proved that lightning was electricity. Mar 2, 1830 Tom Thumb In 1830 Peter Cooper from New York made the first steam engine , Tom Thumb, that was built in America; it orginally only went and exciting....18MPH. Mar 1, 1850 Midwest constructs windmills The Midwest installs nearly 6 million small windmills over the next 50 yrs to operate irrigation pumps on farms. Nov 4, 1879 Thomas Edison files for the patent on his version of the incandescent lightbulb Thomas Edison invented the first commercially practical incandescent lightbulb. Mar 1, 1881 Niagara falls' hydroelectricity plant goes online In 1881, Niagara falls becomes the first of the American hydroelectric power sites for major generation and is still a source of electric power today. Mar 2, 1897 The Pope Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut The Pope Manufacturing Company builds the first 500 electric cars in the U.S. over the next 2 years. Jun 1, 1936 Hoover Dam In the latter half of 1936 the first 3 of the dam's generators came online, starting what would later make the Hoover dam the largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. Dec 20, 1951 Arco, Idaho In 1951, in Arco, Idaho, the first nuclear reactor,EBR-I experimental station, was built that produced electricity. Mar 1, 1960 The Geysers, California The first geothermal power plant in the U.S. is built, intially only producing 11 mega watts. Aug 10, 2010 Charging Station In Portland, Oregon the first public charging station is built; it charges the Nissan Leaf in about 20-30 min with up to an 80% charge.