George Westinghouse used Tesla power to defeat Edison in Currents War

George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla defeat Edison in Currents WarThe War of Currents was a great science and technology feud in the late 1800s between the Edison Electric Light Company and Westinghouse Electric Company over what electric power transmission system should be used.  The Westinghouse Electric Company supported AC (alternating current) and the Edison Electric Light Company supported DC (direct current).

The internet loves to portray the battle as one between rival inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.  It makes for a good story of the hero, Tesla, defeating his rival, Edison. Both Edison and Tesla were well known at the time, and both a bit crazy.Thomas Edison was a well known inventor riding his success and media attention for inventing the phonograph. Edison leveraged his name and fame to start building DC power plants in New York City. Westinghouse, unlike his rival Edison, did not seek media attention, and was a very private person.

The battle for public opinion over which system should be used to power America turned into a nasty smear campaign by Edison. An inventor and electrical engineer named Harold Brown became the front man for a campaign to show the world the dangers of alternating current. Stories are told of how Brown paid local children to collect stray dogs off the street that he used for experiments showing the dangers of alternating current. Despite publicly denouncing capital punishment, Edison secretly financed the alternating current electric chair developed by Brown. Edison launched a media campaign telling the world AC was deadly, using the word "Westinghoused" to describe an execution by electrocution.

George Westinghouse a unique mix of inventor and industrialist

George Westinghouse a unique mix of inventor and industrialistGeorge Westinghouse is often listed as an industrialist or entrepreneur. Many times when people call someone an industrialist, rather than an inventor, they are implying the person was not an inventor themselves, but bought and sold other people's ideas. But George Westinghouse was very much an inventor, and a life long geek who loved to tinker with machinery.

George Westinghouse was the son of a New York agricultural machinery maker, the owner of the G. Westinghouse and Company Schenectady Agricultural Works. As a boy George was not a good student, it is said he was bored in the classroom. He loved mechanics and working in the machine shops of his father's factory. A foreman in his father's shop took an interest in George junior and gave him the tools and encouragement to build water wheels and steam engines in his fathers shop. Later in life Westinghouse said the best education he had was the ability to work in his father's shops.

At an early age Westinghouse worked on various inventions involving rotary steam engines and improving the railway system, at age of 19 Westinghouse was awarded his first patent for a rotary steam engine. Westinghouse moved to Pittsburgh at the age of 21 in search of the steel he needed for his inventions in rail transportation. At age 22 he was awarded a patent for one of his most important inventions, the railroad air brake. This device enabled trains to be stopped with fail-safe accuracy by the locomotive engineer for the first time and was eventually adopted on the majority of the world's railroads. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company was founded on September 28, 1869 by George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The War of Currents

Many articles are written about the great fight between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla over the distribution of electricity in America known as the War of Currents . What is really sad is all the internet hype on Nikola Tesla and the cries of how Tesla is forgotten. The often forgotten man who won the War of Currents against Thomas Edison was George Westinghouse.

You don't need to be a genius to know why Thomas Edison was popular

Edison Disc PhonographThere are many theories as to why Thomas Edison was more popular that other inventors of his generation. There is an overwhelming abundance of conspiracy theories on the internet claiming that Edison cheated his contemporary inventor Nikola Tesla out of fame and fortune. Some of the wild stories would have you believe that Edison was the devil. As far as any conspiracy of why Edison is more popular than Tesla, it doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

Nikola Tesla was fascinated with AC power (alternating current), he is most famous for working with George Westinghouse in the development of AC power distribution. For much of his life Tesla worked alone in laboratories on experiments with alternating current. Edison was popular in the media of his day, and he introduced the world to devices that played music and movies.

Thomas Edison rock star

Thomas Edison was an entertainer who promoted cool toys that entertained the world. In a world long before the internet and television existed, Edison brought us music and movies. At a time when the world was changing rapidly as the industrial age was introducing new technology to everyday life Edison created the image of the mythical inventor. Edison wasn't working in some cold boring laboratory, he used his image as the great American folk hero to tell people he was creating an invention factory.

One of the first things created in his invention factory that would make Edison the rock star of the late 19th century would be the phonograph. The first invention of the phonograph was in 1877 while Edison was hoping to create a machine that would transcribe telegraphic messages through indentations on paper tape, which could later be sent over the telegraph repeatedly. Edison made a name for himself as the inventor of the phonograph giving demonstrations of his famous talking machine to the president and the US Congress. Becoming a legendary larger than life folk hero of the 19th century, Edison was dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park.


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