Solar Power in Olney, Illinois
The marker is located on the west side of the Olney City Park, just north of the west entrance to the park, off of IL 130.
Native Sun Project, H.E. Jones, and The Illinois State Historical Society
In 1902, the first experimental Solar Power Plant was built in Olney, Illinois by H. E. Willsie and John Boyle, two American engineers. Their Solar Power Plant was based on an 1885 design developed by the French engineer Tellier. Between 1892 and 1908 Willsie and Boyle experimented with their low temperature Solar Plants that utilized 'hot boxes' to heat water. Their "hot box" Solar Power Plant was patented in 1903. The results were published on May 13th 1909 in the issue of Engineering News.
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