THE production of photo plays for the movies has become an important industry in southern California. The American Film Company, a leading producer of motion pictures has a large studio in Santa Barbara, which city, because of the many attractions of its residences, streets, and environs, is especially adapted to serve as the setting for motion pictures.
The outside work of the film company is consequently very important and requests to the local electric company for temporary lighting service at various points are many and frequent. The locations at which the film company may take pictures are in many directions and at distances varying from 1 to 15 miles.
The hanging of transformers and setting of poles for a job lasting only a few minutes was found to be expensive and troublesome, but WE Boden, electrical superintendent for the electric company, has developed a portable substation which has solved the problem.
The transformer wagon, which is towed by automobile to any location required, carries two 25 kw 1100, 2200, 110, 220, volt transformers, banked together in a multiple, three-wire secondary. Under the seat of the wagon is a box lined with asbestos in which are mounted two 2500 volt inclosed primary cutouts. Primary connections are made from this point, using 2200 volt cambric-covered wire.
.... The insulation is considered absolutely safe, fully protecting operators and public. A 6 in. by 6 in. Oregon pine timber is used for a pole. This pole is provided with a removable splice joined together with iron loops, which may be easily and quickly removed and replaced.
On the rear of the wagon is installed a wooden reel which contains 200 ft of three-wire 1.0 RC cable, taped together, one end being brought out through the reel so that the operating switch may be attached at any required distance up to 200 ft.
This makes it possible for the picture company to carry the cable to any part of the grounds or building where it may wish to operate. The matter of safety has received first consideration in the construction of this substation, and it is surrounded with all details for the protection of those connected with its operation.
The film company considers the availability of the substation a great asset. The wagon has recently been moved a distance of 2 miles, and the substation connected, ready for use, in a little more than one hour's time. Under former conditions, this change would have meant half a day's work for a gang of men. The motion pictures taken since this substation has been put into service are reported to be eminently satisfactory.
~Electrical World Magazine, Vol 67, 1916
The world's first movie studios were located in Santa Barbara, California, and throughout the ensuing years, Santa Barbara has participated in the making of some of the world's finest motion pictures.
The film industry is still very closely connected to the City of Santa Barbara today. Join us this year for the 2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which celebrates the world's film industry - past, present and future.
For tickets, schedules, and information about award ceremonies and special events at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival - visit their website: SBIFF