The Electricity War

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In the War of Currents era in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison’s promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over alternating current (AC) advocated by Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla.

During the initial years of electricity distribution, Edison’s direct current was the standard for the United States and Edison did not want to lose all his patent royalties.

Direct current worked well with incandescent lamps that were the principal load of the day, and with motors. Direct current systems could be directly used with storage batteries, providing valuable load-leveling and backup power during interruptions of generator operation.

Direct current generators could be easily paralleled, allowing economical operation by using smaller machines during periods of light load and improving reliability.

At the introduction of Edison’s system, no practical AC motor was available. Edison had invented a meter to allow customers to be billed for energy proportional to consumption, but this meter only worked with direct current. As of 1882 these were all significant technical advantages of direct current.

From his work with rotary magnetic fields, Tesla devised a system for generation, transmission, and use of AC power. He partnered with George Westinghouse to commercialize this system. Westinghouse had previously bought the rights to Tesla’s polyphase system patents and other patents for AC transformers from Lucien Gaulard and John Dixon Gibbs.

Several undercurrents lay beneath this rivalry. Edison was a brute-force experimenter, but was no mathematician. AC cannot be properly understood or exploited without a substantial understanding of mathematics and mathematical physics, which Tesla possessed.

Tesla had worked for Edison but was undervalued (for example, when Edison first learned of Tesla’s idea of alternating-current power transmission, he dismissed it: Tesla’s ideas are splendid, but they are utterly impractical.

Bad feelings were exacerbated because Tesla had been cheated by Edison of promised compensation for his work. Edison later came to regret that he had not listened to Tesla and used alternating current.

The Electricity War, 7.2 out of 10 based on 13 ratings

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  • bradders

    I wonder how much the contract that Tesla ripped up for westinghouse would actually be worth? im sure it must be a mind boggling number, royaties on every ac motor used, surely Tesla had the capability to be one of richest men in history, if only he was as good business man as he was engineer the world could of been a very different place now. But making money was never his priority, his only interest was the advancement of technology for the benefit of humanity. It seems such a shame that the overwhelming majority of people do not know more about this amazing man, i wonder why that is? Edison has been written in history as one of the greatest inventor’s to ever live, it seems strange to me that the name of the loser of the battle of the currents goes down as one of the greatest ever while the name of the winner gets cast into obscurity. Ok so it might have something to do with the many inventions that are associated with Edison, but lets not forget that Tesla has many inventions too. And while the invention of radio cannot be awarded to just one person, there is no doubt that Tesla’s contribution to radio was the most significant, a fact that is proved by the over-turning of patent rights from Marconi to Tesla by the supreme courts in 1944 , the year AFTER Tesla died. So thats the ac motor and radio, two of the most useful inventions ever, surely that should be enough to be recognised as one of the greatest ever, but wait , theres more , a whole lot more………..

    • https://sites.google.com/site/doctorq814/ Dr.Q

      bradders has been right on his comment. If Tesla hasn’t been obstructed in his technology, we would not be fossil fuel dependent. The environment, land and sea would be not covered in oil killing the sea and the creatures.

  • fuckserbja

    please reup I want to watch this

  • bradders

    Wow they took this off in less than two days, the link was on youtube but thats gone too.

  • Johnny

    This is historical revisionism so it is not surprising it would disappear quickly from Youtube, revisionists are viewed very poorly these days by the corporate establishment that Youtube is well known for being part of.

    Just ask the JDL that once publicly stated on their website that all revisionists should be exterminated for seeking the truth about history.

    Revisionism is a threat to the established political and social order and under the definitions of the U.S, British and Canadian(and many more) governments that means revisionists are literally considered to be extremists or terrorists.

    I have seen it and it is definitely worth watching if you can find it.

    Some of the most advanced military and aerospace developments these days are making use of Tesla technology and science, it is not surprising that this stuff is being clamped down on in the public realm.

  • Mezmiro

    This documentary doesn’t exist anymore.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QEE5GQMXDNSTZXPOGOTSQKAQ2E dj

    Is this voiceover computer generated ??

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QEE5GQMXDNSTZXPOGOTSQKAQ2E dj

    Is this voiceover computer generated ??

  • fuckgreece

    fucking serb wheres the real “Electricity War” documentary you motherfucking this sounds like its done for Hight school project

  • Randall

    This documentary was shockingly fascinating and the comparative differences between these two great inventors was…simply electrifying. Nikola Tesla was a true genious and some of his incredible ideas are just being put forth. Unfortunately, as are many great ideas that are developed in the United States of America, the potential that they’ll be developed for military purposes is an impending fear for those who are opposed to war…