The Wave Motor Pier at Huntington Beach and Some Fish...

Ken Jones

Staff member
Where To Fish

Large numbers of surf fish [corbina] have been caught at Huntington Beach, especially off the wave motor pier, and the fish have been weighed in at from 8 ½ down to 3 ¾ pounds. Yellowfin in large sizes have been taken also. —Los Angeles Herald, August 28, 1909​

Croakers Busy At Motor Pier

Mid-weekers had the unusual angling experience of catching large numbers of spotfin croakers at the wave-motor wharf in Huntington Beach, last Wednesday.
Corbina, usually plentiful at this resort and present in fair average size, were absent. None were caught. They had departed apparently to points either side, as good catches were made the same day from the beach at Bolsa Chica, and down the other way below Gamewell.
The croakers at the wave-motor wharf ranged from two to four pounds, and afforded splendid sport. The veteran Robert Campbell, and his indefatigable angling side-kicker, Sebastian Simmons were present with no end of clam bait, and did nothing all the morning but try to beat the perch to their bait. The place, as usual, was lousy with these spotted clam spoilers.
Early in the afternoon when the tide turned, the festivities commenced. First Simmons would hook one, then Campbell, the fish fighting fiercely in the swift current, and the heavy ones giving the anglers quite all they could do with the light-tackle they were employing, and the difficult angling conditions of current and outrigged piles, which prevail at this wharf.
By quitting time, which was the 4 o’clock car, the pair had piled up over two dozen spotfins on the wharf and felt they had caught enough and had plenty of sport even if there were no corbina among them.
“It was great fun,” says Campbell, “I had my hands full, I can tell you those beggars were full of fight and there seemed no end to them. They were still biting well when we came away, but we had enough of it. It was good sport while it lasted.”—Los Angeles Times, July 24, 1911


Another Wave Motor

Another wave motor has appeared, this time at Huntington Beach and only on paper, at that. But it is said to involve an entirely new principle and some glittering hopes are entertained by its inventors, Alva L. Reynolds and his brother. They claim to have solved the secret of harnessing the power of the bounding billows. They essay to gather the force from the horizontal motion of waves rather than from the vertical motion, thus doing away with the use of a float—and it has been the wrecking of these floats that has sent many another wave motor to its grave.
Through so-called vanes that are operated by the ebb and flow of the waves, the energy is transmitted to force pumps connected with a pipe that discharges its contents against a water wheel. When the wheel revolves it operates any kind of mechanism that may be connected with it. Start the wheel and there you are. The only question in the minds of the inventors is as to whether the vanes will work when the waves beat against them. The rest is easy. The test will be made before long.—Los Angeles Times, April 17, 1907

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, April 29.—The California Wave Motor Company of Los Angeles intends to install its first plant here, having secured permission of the Huntington Beach Company to use the pier. The company had hoped to have the work well under way by this time, but has been retarded on account of not being able to secure the pump required for this use. This is being made, and doubtless the work of installing the plant will begin soon.—Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1907


Power Of Ocean To Be Utilized — Huntington Beach Is First Beneficiary

“If you don’t obstruct navigation, you may draw all the electricity you need from the ocean waves,” is, in effect, the decision of the United States war department. That branch of the federal government upon the approval and recommendation of Captain Amos A. Fries has given permission to Alva L. Reynolds to construct a pier at Huntington Beach and to erect there a series of wave motors which, the inventor believes, will solve the problem of how to make old Neptune do the world’s work.
Mr. Reynolds says it is now but a matter of a few months before he will make a practical demonstration of his motor and be ready to sell electricity for domestic and commercial purposes. He and hundreds of his friends express belief that the heat, light and power for the comfort, convenience and profit of mankind will be easily extracted from the immeasurable storehouse in the restless ocean.
“You can imagine nothing that will do more for humanity than an invention that will produce power—and of course, that means heat and light, for a cost so comparatively small that it will be infinitesimal, said Mr. Reynolds.
“I do not hesitate to say that within five years electricity will comprise 90 per cent of the world’s fuel. There are now in Los Angeles a number of households wherein electricity is used for cooking, heating and lighting. The reason more of this electric apparatus is not used is because of the comparative high price of electricity.
“The city of Los Angeles pays 9 cents a kilowatt hour for its electricity. Within two years it will not have to pay over 4 cents, and it may pay less. Think what it will mean to the householder. The labor it will save is immeasurable. Factories will turn out products at much lower prices and still retain their profits. Transportation for freight and passengers should be cheaper. There will be very little fuel dug from mines, and oil will be used for lubrication. Petroleum will be used largely for what is now considered by-products.
“All this power readily will be drawn from the energy of the waves now going to waste. Every city within several hundred miles of a body of water large enough to have a disturbed surface will get its power from the waves. That of course means railways will universally adopt electrical locomotives and abandon the noisy and noisome coal and oil burners.
“We first intend to furnish electricity to the city of Huntington Beach. Every housewife of that town will throw away her smoky and dangerous oil stove and replace it with the clean, comfortable electric cooker. She will have a big oven with plate glass windows, electrically lighted and heated. There will be no smoke and no ashes in the house. There will be no deaths from asphyxiation from instantaneous gas heaters. There are a thousand ways in which the fuel of the future will benefit the people. The expense will be trifling compared with the present. To equip a modern house with electric heaters will cost about one-fourth what a furnace now costs. An electric stove does not burn up the oxygen in sleeping rooms. It requires no matches, no fire in the house. Just press the button, or throw a switch, and your cooker, heater or light is doing the work.
“There is not an electric road in the world that will not adopt the wave made electricity for its use.
“One mile of the coast of California will suffice to furnish the power for everybody in the state.
“There has never been but one of these motors in the water near Los Angeles. That one is an experimental plant at Huntington Beach. That one stood the buffeting of the storm for several months. The rougher the sea the better it worked. We will probably let the contract for the big pier this week. Construction will be begun at once. From five to ten units will be put in 500 feet from the shore. Electric dynamos will be placed on the pier and the first electricity will be locally consumed. A little later we will call upon the city fathers at Long Beach. We will make them a proposition that they cannot refuse to accept. The citizens of Long Beach will be the second group to benefit. Los Angeles will next come in for the cheaper electricity.
“These are the facts of the situation. Electricity is the coming fuel and it’s coming from the ocean waves.”—Los Angeles Herald, May 25, 1908

Would Harness The Sea

A contract for the construction of a wharf 500 feet long and twenty feet wide at the foot of Twenty-first street, Huntington Beach, was made yesterday with the Mercereau Bridge and Construction Company by the California Wave Motor Company. The last-named concern expects to have a wave motor plant generating electricity for commercial purposes within sixty days.
From the floor of the wharf at Huntington Beach long spindles will be driven into the ground in two rows, one on each side of the wharf. On these, vanes not unlike a door mounted on double swinging hinges, will be hung. The top of the vane, or flapper, which is to swing to and fro as the waves wash in and out, is connected by means of a crank with a pump. As the waves work the flapper the pump piston will be worked by the crank.
The water from the pump is to be thrown into a tank from which it will be let out against a Pelton wheel, or wave motor, in turn connected with a dynamo. Where high hills are at hand the water will simply be pumped up to the top of the hills and allowed to fall on a water wheel. On low shores a closed tank will be used, and the water, with an air cushion in the top of the tank, will be worked at high pressure.
“It is all a question of units,” said S. M. Abbott, secretary of the company yesterday, “If we put down enough unites we can send electricity to any reasonable distance. Hitherto wave motors have been built to utilize the lifting force of the waves. This could only be done with floats which could not be anchored; the horizontal action of the waves swept the floats away. In our motor it is the horizontal force that we will use.”
Permission to build the wharf was obtained from the War Department through Capt. Thomas A. Fries Monday.—Los Angels Times, June 3, 1909

Finish Wave Power Pier

Huntington Beach, June 30.—The last nail will be driven tomorrow in the new 500-foot pier which has just been erected by the Mercereau Construction company for the California Wave Motor company. Alva L. Reynolds, inventor of the Reynolds motor, says the company of which he is president will proceed at once with the installation of machinery for the production of power or extraction of energy from the ocean waves. Some of the machinery is already on hand and contracts have been let for more. A big pressure tank is being constructed and will be placed on the wharf in a short time. It is expected the first installation will be five units, or five separate motors. These will be followed by five more motors. Ten units, is estimated, will be sufficient to furnish all the electricity for heat, light and power that can be consumed at and near Huntington Beach.
After installation, according to Mr. Reynolds, the cost of maintenance will be very light and the power produced will be sold to consumers, be they individuals or companies, for domestic use or for manufacturing purposes, at a rate lower than fuel burning electric companies can hope to meet. This, the inventor declares, will do much to stimulate manufacture in Southern California.—Los Angeles Herald, July 1, 1909