Clash of Currents

Who should have ownership of AC

From the beginning

From a heated battle of entrepreneurs, 3 men, Nickola Tesla, George Westinghouse, and Thomas Edison came an idea that would create and inspire ideas of today's technologies. All 3 have played a role in this idea but one created it, and no one can come to an agreement on who it was.

Coming to America

Tesla was a Serbian immigrant who came to America in 1884 looking for work. With previous knowledge of Electronics he landed a job at Thomas Edison's workshop. Immediately Tesla was inspired after working with electronic components to create Alternating current or AC.He presented these ideas to Edison for feedback, Edison said that the idea of alternating current was impressive but impractical. Tesla, spending nights and days at the lab finally created his invention. Edison was outraged and despised the idea because it posed a threat to his business and invention. Edison stood by his theory of DC claiming it was more superior.


Tesla had proven his invention to be reliable and has told Edison that he can make his devices more reliable as well. After instigating Edison, Edison allowed Tesla to improve his devices and placed a bet of $50,000 that he would be successful. He then spent more restless nights at the workshop and succeeded. When he had done so Tesla asked for the money and Edison denied claiming that it was a "joke". This pushed Tesla to quit and furthered the tension between the two.

The One With the $$$, and a Mustache.

George Westinghouse was an entrepreneur who strongly supported the electrical industry. When everybody else including Edison opposed AC because it was deemed unsafe, Westinghouse stepped forward and supported the idea, seeing potential in it. Tesla was able to prove to Westinghouse the reliability of AC, and Westinghouse went from supporting both entrepreneurs to only Tesla. From the wealth Westinghouse possessed from his previous inventions, investments, and the hydroelectric electrical power plant at Niagara falls that provided power to all of New York, he was able to make Tesla's idea national to international.Tesla now had an investor and soon would have many increasing further tension between Tesla and Edison. Soon after Tesla sold the idea to Westinghouse to carry on and improve it.

You Just Got Owned!

At the end it is like asking the question what cam first the chicken or the egg. Ofcorse the idea had to start somewhere and all historical Facts point toward Tesla. He came up with the idea and went to both Edison and Westinghouse. In his Success Westinghouse was but a financial participant funding the idea and helping Tesla's dream come true. Edison was only a competitor, and some would say he should own it but he hated the theory and said that DC was more superior thus proving that Tesla should get full ownership of AC.