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Dynamo Room Aboard the Cruiser OLYMPIA

By Patrick McSherry 
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Located forward on OLYMPIA, just below the protective deck is the Dynamo Room. Electricity was a relatively new thing aboard warships. The first American governmental ship to be equipped with electric lighting was the USS ALBATROSS in 1882.

In OLYMPIA's Dynamo Room, the underside of the protective deck can be plainly seen. The space apparently also served as an ammunition handling room, since the ammunition hoist for the forward turret ends at this space, as do hoists for other guns. The ammunition was apparently raised vertically to this level, and the  moved horizontally to the appropriate hoist. The reason for this space with its required horizontal movement of ammunition was to prevent an enemy  projectile or an accidentally dropped shell from falling directly into the vicinity of the magazines themselves, In other words, the hoists did not connect the magazines to the topside level of the ship directly.

The dynamo room aboard the cruiser Olympia

Inside OLYMPIA's Dynamo Room

Entering the space via ladder, the visitor will find themselves in a fairly open space, with space for the various pieces of electrical apparatus. Ventilation ducts run along the underside of the protective deck, which angles down forming the exterior bulkhead of the space. directly aft of the ladder by which the visitor enters is the ammunition hoist for the forward turret. Aft of that is the hoist leading down to the handling room and magazines below.

Ammunition Hoist for the Cruiser Olympia's forward turret

A very unusual view! This image was taken in the Dynamo Room looking up into the ammunition hoistway for the forward turret.

Originally, this space held four General Electric dynamos, each producing 200 amp current at 80 volts. This power was used for lighting, the search lights, etc.

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