In 1891, due to a lack of timber fuel and the challenge of steep mountain passes, all mining operations in Telluride were in danger of being shut down. Cue L.L. Nunn. This Colorado pioneer financed Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant, the first in the world to generate alternating current electric power for industrial application. Thanks to this historic milestone, Telluride’s Gold King Mine remained open and hydroelectric plants soon popped up across the United States and the world.
Airs Thursday, January 15, 7:00 p.m. (MST), on PBS.