The Power of Friends And Loners.

I’ve mentioned before that I have always been fascinated by this publicity photo from the 1950s. It was taken by the local power company at the time, Niagara Mohawk. When I see this photo I can’t help but notice the optimism this photo exudes, blue sky, well dressed ladies, the power of progress marching on.


I’ve always wanted to recreate this photo in modern times. It’s been around 60 years since the original photo was taken. It took some pretty geeky sleuthing to figure out where the photo was taken as there have never been any hints to the location associated with the photo, but coupling my obsession with our power grid with some fancy use of the satellite view of Google Maps, I’m pretty sure I figured out where the two ladies were standing that day.

Unfortunately, the spot I targeted (I’d rate my accuracy around 90%) is now very overgrown and surrounded by quite a bit of suburbia.


So while Earl and I were out on a drive today, I found a field with a similar run of powerlines that would help me capture the spirit of the original photo. I would stand alone in the field and at this location there would be only one set of towers instead of two.


When the original publicity photo is grouped with my new photo, I call the montage “The Power of Friends and Loners”.

And now for a couple of geek facts.

I believe the original photo and my assumed Google Maps view contains three circuits at 115kV each. The smaller towers (on the right) are older than the lines on the left. In the original photo the ladies are facing east.

In my photo I believe there are two circuits at 115kV each. Like the ladies in the original, I am facing east, though this is a completely different line around 70 miles from the location of the original photo. The towers shown in both photos are a relatively unique design in that I’ve only found that design (a ‘flat’ steel structure instead of one with four legs on the base) in Upstate New York.