Saturday, April 26, 2008

A History Lesson

Today we had a history lesson and we thought we'd share it with you. We were 30 minutes away from home in Tiffin, OH. Now, we've been in Tiffin before, however, we never had a clue that St. Paul's Church on Madison Street, has quite a famous story:

St. Paul's Methodist has gift from Edison

By Pat Ledwedge
Staff Writer of the Advertiser Tribune December 10, 2000

St Paul's United Methodist Church in Tiffin is the first public building in the United States to have electricity.
(I'm butting in here - did you read that - the FIRST public building in the US....)
In fact, it was the first public building in the world to be wired for electricity during construction in 1884. Thomas Edison heard about the church and the daring, forward-thinking move of incorporating electrical service and presented the church with a beautiful brass chandelier which lights the church today. This was only five years after Edison had invented the incandescent bulb.

The city of Tiffin was the first in Ohio to have an electric power plant and only the third in the country.
(Hey - me is a picture of the chandelier that we took today - sorry it's so dark - honestly I did have the flash on......isn't it something though???)

From The Seneca-Advertiser:

Dec. 20, 1883 ... "The Electric Light - The main wires for the electric light are up and a number of business houses and residences are already wired for the new light. Up to the present time, the Company has upward of 50 applications for the light, making in all about 400 lights. The new Methodist Church was wired the first of the week and will be the first church lighted with electric light in the world. Singular as this statement may seem, yet it is said to be true, by those who are well informed on the subject."
Jan. 3, 1884 ... "Mr. Thomas Edison of New York, the great electrician, is expected to be here the latter part of this week, to witness the starting of the electric light machinery."
Jan.10, 1884 ... "The electric light - On Thursday evening, the new M.E. Church was lighted with the new electric light as a test, and proved satisfactory in every respect. On Saturday evening the church and J.M. Greiner's saloon were lighted and on Sunday evening, the church was brilliantly lighted, on the occasion of its dedication. Since then, the two hotels and numerous other business houses have been lighted with the light, and as fast as the supply wire can be put in, the light will be turned on to various others. The praise the new light is receiving is of the highest and there is no doubt of its success. The light is a very brilliant and steady one, pleasant to read by and one of the most perfect lights we have ever seen."
The St. Paul's of today is a beautiful, traditional-looking place of worship. The pipe organ sits majestically at the front of the church, the stain-glass windows bearing names that would sound familiar to Tiffinites are bright and clean, the woodwork is warm and charming and above the congregation hangs a beautiful, highly polished, brass filigree chandelier, right from the hands of Thomas A. Edison.

Hope you've enjoyed our trivia for today - isn't it amazing when you live so close to things you never knew existed? We'd like to thank the Graham family of Tiffin for telling us about their church's wonderful history!!

**By the way - you can click on the pictures for a bigger and better view!!

1 comment:

Laeriss said...

Bonjour Karla et Karrie,

Je vous remercie pour votre gentillesse ainsi que votre lien vers mon blog dans votre rubrique « Neat-O Blogs »… j’en suis très flattée.

A bientôt.



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