Published on Nov 16, 2018
TESLA vs EDISON ~ The War of the Currents
The war of the currents was a series of events surrounding the introduction of direct current electricity (DC) Thomas Edison invention –based Edison Electric Light Company and the alternating current (AC) Nikola Tesla invention –based Westinghouse Electric Company. It included commercial competition, a debate over electrical safety, and a nasty media propaganda campaign led by Edison.
This historical event helped inspire the band name AC/DC.
Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor, and most people would argue that Nikola Tesla was the greatest inventor that the world has ever known.
We were taught that Edison had invented the light bulb, but the truth is that he had purchased the patent from Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans in 1880 and then he hired a team to help him perfect the patent that he made a fortune on. He did however invent the electric chair and apparently had a fetish for electrocuting living animals and people.
It all started in 1882 when Thomas Edison invented the DC or direct current electrical power system.
Eventually he hired a young Serbian genius man named Nikola Tesla to help him improve his electrical device.
While working for Edison, Tesla discovered how to make his own electrical power system and began building an alternating current system that used a transformer to step up voltage for long-distance transmission and then stepped it back down for indoor lighting, a more efficient and less expensive system that directly competed to the Edison DC electricity system.
In brief: AC electricity can travel much further distances than direct current DC. Without AC electricity we would need massive nuclear powerplants in every city throughout the world.
In 1888 George Westinghouse bought the patent for Tesla’s AC generator.
As many other electric companies joined in and the use of AC spread rapidly, Edison’s company made claims that alternating current was hazardous and inferior to the patented direct current system.
Tesla’s AC generators were spreading across the country faster than the DC electricity alternative. Edison began publicly questioning the safety of the Tesla-created system, stating, “Just as certain as death, Westinghouse will kill a customer within six months after he puts in a system of any size.”
This would be the beginning of what is now referred to as the “War of the Currents,” which would end in determining the way people still get their power to this day.
Thomas Edison’s shocking history of electrocuting dogs, horses and people
He was so dedicated to discrediting Tesla, that to win that battle, Edison began giving kids who lived around his New Jersey lab 25 cents for every stray dog they brought him for his public demonstrations of electrocuting these beautiful creatures to electricity from AC dynamos.
Making sure to clarify he was using AC, Edison would go about electrocuting calves, horses and even an elephant. The animals’ deaths were slow and very disturbing to watch from the crowd.
Tesla had no interest in a rivalry, let alone zapping innocent animals.
Following Edison’s gruesome animal executions, he put together a demonstration of his new invention used to put people to death, called “the electric chair”.
Ultimately the lower cost of AC power distribution prevailed.
by 1890 over a dozen electric companies had merged down to three; Edison (now Edison General Electric), Thomson-Houston, and Westinghouse.
In 1893, Tesla’s AC transmission system had been proven superior over the existing DC transmission system. Westinghouse won the bid to supply electrical power for the World’s Columbian Exposition.
Nikola Tesla had officially won the war of the currents.
Eventually Thomas Edison left the electric power business and the company he founded was beginning to add AC technology to its system.
Due to an increase in his popularity following the success of the World Columbian Exposition, Tesla started becoming famous in the social circles of the power elite.
Everything was going Tesla’s way, until the early morning of March 13, 1895, when the South Fifth Avenue building that housed Tesla’s lab caught fire.