Cambridge Glass -- Provided by Charles Upton

Intro by Phyllis D. Smith
Issue No. 210 - October 1990

Editor's Note: This interesting article was sent to us by Charles Upton, one of our N.C.C. founders. He found it in the July-August 1944 issue of "Fairbanks-Morse News," a book of modern power, pumping and weighing practice, published by Fairbanks, Morse & Co., of Chicago, Illinois. The magazine was given to Charles, for the Museum, by William Mumma, who was a machinist and mold welder at the Cambridge Glass Company, for many years.

A Diesel comes to the aid of an overtaxed steam plant
and steals the show when annual power costs are compared.

Fairbanks-Morse News
July/August 1944

Five small motors, three arc lights and two hundred incandescent lamps made up the modest total of power demand when Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, Ohio, Diesel engine began business in the year 1900. With all power and light units in operation at the same time, eighty-five kilowatts would run the plant, and the original installation of two seventy-five-kilowatt steam-operated electric generating sets proved ample for the needs of the growing business for some years to come.

As activities of the company expanded under the competent leadership of Arthur J. Bennett and its present President, W. L. Orme, and as the steps of processing were enlarged to include fire polishing, grinding, engraving, etching and gold decorating, power load demands mounted rapidly. Additional steam generating and power units of two hundred kilowatt capacity were installed in 1919 and in 1924, and a two-fifty-kilowatt steam unit was added in 1930.

The power problem of a healthy business is never completely settled, and in 1941 the company again found itself obliged to do some heavy thinking on the subject of added power facilities. The existing steam plant could not be further loaded, and its very age worked against its use at continuous peak service. Buying of power from an outside source was quickly eliminated from consideration because of the high demand charges imposed by the operation of motor generator sets and the relatively high cost of energy per kilowatt-hour.

The problem finally resolved itself into the choice between new steam equipment or new Diesel equipment. It was found that a Diesel generator could be bought and installed for about half the cost of a comparable steam unit where the latter must include a boiler, a stoker and their necessary housing. Also in favor of the Diesel was an expected drop in operating costs.

The plunge was made in April of 1942, when a Fairbanks-Morse unit was decided upon. The engine selected is a 575-horsepower, 5-cylinder, Model 33E14 pump scavanged Diesel. This is direct connected to Fairbanks-Morse 400-kilowatt 230-volt direct current generator, and the Diesel engine operating speed is 300 rpm. Water and oil pumps together with their driving motors are also of Fairbanks-Morse manufacture. The installation is unique in that the power house offers no basement facilities. All auxiliary equipment is mounted on a ledge or shelf along side the main engine.

Since its installation in April of 1942, the Diesel unit has operated continuously except for the brief idle periods necessary for inspection. The engine lubricating oil has not been renewed since the original charging of the crankcase, make-up only having been added as required. Fuel consumption is at the rate of 10.348 kilowatt-hours per gallon, an interesting figure when it is considered that the load factor is only fifteen per cent between the hours of 5:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. The load during daytime hours of operation averages eight-five per cent of capacity.

During the first twelve months since it installation, the Diesel generator units logged 1,125,320 kilowatt hours. Dollar saving of Diesel operation as against steam for the same period stand on the company books at $12,873.66.