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12 August 1923 Osborne Power Station

 12 August 1923 Osborne Power Station

On 12 August 1923 the Osborne ‘A’ power station came on stream. The Adelaide Electric Supply Company leased 24 acres of swamp land on the Port River from the Harbors Board for an 84 year term. With horse, dray and scoop workmen reclaimed the land to a level of 16 feet above low water or 4 feet above the highest recorded tide. With steam-driven pile drivers more than 3000 wooden piles were driven to a depth of 35 feet into a stratum of stiff clay. The piles supported the foundations of the building which stood on concrete blocks. It was a remarkable power station for its time for an eminent English engineer, Sir Leonard Pearce, commented that he was most impressed and considered it a great achievement.

By 1925 Osborne was supplying all of Adelaide’s needs and the old power station at Grenfell Street which had operated since 1901 was closed down.

The building now the home of the Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

Colin and Margaret Kerr, The Vital Spark, Unpub. MS, ETSA, 1979.

Tags: electricity generation, Osborne Power Station