Alternating Current

How electricity was given to the world

Discovery

  • Commonly shortened to "AC"
  • Nikola Tesla is credited as the inventor
  • Tesla imagined the first concept of the "AC Motor" while he was in college
  • Tesla made the first prototype for an AC System in 1884
  • Tesla patented the system in 1887
  • George Westinghouse bought the patents in 1888 for over $200,000
  • Westinghouse hired Tesla
  • Tesla perfected the AC System for home use by 1895


Above: A New System of Alternating Current Motors and Transformers Image is available for use in the Public Domain


Below: "Tesla Colorado", Photo by Dickenson V. Alley Image is available for use in the Public Domain

Giving Electricity to the World

  • In 1995 the DC supporters were silenced when AC systems were used to harness the power from Niagara Falls
  • After this event the AC System was recognized as the new standard for the entire planet, making DC systems obsolete
  • AC being accepted allowed electricity to be moved over far distances efficiently and safely
  • This would give industries all over the world easy access to electricity, allowing growth at amazing speeds
  • The AC system is still the standard today
  • Without it's use the 2nd Industrial Revolution might not of gone so far


Edison and Tesla

  • Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla worked together
  • Edison supported the use of Direct Current systems
  • Tesla supported the use of Alternating Current systems
  • Tesla was fired, but the two feuded for years
  • Edison would go so far as to electrocute animals with AC to prove it's dangers
  • To prove it's safety, Tesla did demonstrations where he passed 500,000 volts through his own body to power a lamp, walking away completely unharmed