Before 1948, L.A.'s Power Grid Was Incompatible With the Rest of the Nation's

Before 1948, there was something funny about the Southland's electricity. Plug in a clock from New York and it would lose 10 minutes every hour. Spin a record on a turntable from San Francisco and it would sound deep and drowsy. Some gadgets wouldn't work at all.

The problem? Southern California's power grid ran on a different frequency. Like the rest of the U.S., the region was wired for 120 volts, but its alternating current pulsed out of power plants and into electrical sockets at a slower rate—50 cycles per second (or 50hz) versus than the national 60hz standard.

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