Leaflets about the dangers of AC current were printed and distributed. Lobbying efforts were made in New York State to limit legal levels of electricity to volts, making AC distribution impractical "as a matter of public safety". Perhaps most horrifying, though, were Edison's weekend demonstrations of the dangers of Tesla's work.
Taking one of the frightened pets stolen from the streets of West Orange, Edison would place it on a sheet of metal, bring forth two wires attached to an AC generator, and announce to spectators:.
Edison directed his technicians, primarily Arthur Kennelly and Harold P. Brown, to preside over several AC-driven killings of animals, primarily stray cats and dogs but also unwanted cattle and horses. Acting on these directives, they were to demonstrate to the press that alternating current was more dangerous than Edison's system of direct current. He also tried to popularize the term for being electrocuted as being "Westinghoused". Years after DC had lost the " war of the currents ," in , his film crew made a movie of the electrocution with high voltage AC, supervised by Edison employees, of Topsy, a Coney Island circus elephant which had recently killed three men.
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The Edison's intention to disparage the system of alternating current led to the invention of the electric chair. Harold P. Brown, who was being secretly paid by Edison, built the first electric chair for the state of New York to promote the idea that alternating current was deadlier than DC. When the chair was first used, on August 6, , the technicians on hand misjudged the voltage needed to kill the condemned prisoner, William Kemmler. The first jolt of electricity was not enough to kill Kemmler, and only left him badly injured. The procedure had to be repeated and a reporter on hand described it as "an awful spectacle, far worse than hanging.
Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrowolsky Russian, naturalized Swiss , chief electrician at the AEG in Berlin used the basic ideas of Tesla and constructed the first three-phase cage induction motor. In the beginning of , his first motor is running properly. Hering wrote in the article Mr. The modesty of both of these gentlemen would, I feel sure, lead to a clear understanding. Regarding the subject of priority it may be of interest here to say that in a conversation with Prof.
Ferraris last summer that gentleman told me with very becoming modesty that, although he had experimented with the rotary field several years before Tesla's work was published he did not think it was possible that Tesla could have known of his work and he therefore believed Tesla invented it entirely independently. He also stated that Tesla developed it much further than he Ferraris did". The construction of Niagara falls power station began in with an extensive tunnel systems at ground level and below ground level on a 21 ft.
The tunnel took 3 years to build. For Westinhouse corporation, Schmid, Scott, and Lamme could confer with Tesla, while Stillwell and Schallenberger brooded, and the money men reluctantly agreed to dismantle the very lucrative but outmoded Gaulard-Gibbs machinery. At the beginning of Westinghouse engineer Benjamin Lamme had made great progress developing an efficient version of Tesla's induction motor and Westinghouse Electric started branding their complete polyphase phase AC system as the "Tesla Polyphase System", nothing how they believed Tesla's patents gave them patent priority over other AC systems.
Steinmetz was hired by General Electric to decipher the Tesla Patents. For the GE the situation was complex because they had hoped that someone like Steinmetz or Thomson could come up with a competing design, but they hadn't realized that Tesla held all the fundamental patents.
Tesla simply understood the foundation and any company couldn't proceed without him.
There was no other electrical system. By the same year, George Forbes was hired in the Westinhouse company as a technical consultant and in May he convinced the company to build a hydroelectric system based on polyphase alternating current. The turbines were to be installed into House No. Tesla and Westinghouse were already involved in the design and installation of generators of the polyphase type. The work of the Niagara falls Power Project Company, demanded from his technical advisors skill, vision and judgement of a high order.
Fortunately, the management of the company was eminently wise and far-sighted and under its direction the minds of a selected group of the ables scientists in America and Europe were brought to bear upon the problem of utilizing the power of the great falls. From America came Sellers, Herschell and Rowland. Plans and suggestions were obtained also from many others at home and aboard. The commission, charged with planning the power project, had solicited proposals from experts around the world only to reject them all.
The schemes ranged from a system using pneumatic pressure to one requiring ropes, springs and pulleys. And there were proposals to transmit DC electricity, one endorsed by Edison. With more than a few parties claiming the rights to various parts of the alternating current system, there was backstabbing and counter claims and more than a little industrial theft of ideas. Tesla advised Adams that a two phased system would be the most reliable, and that there was a Westinghouse system to light incandescent bulbs using two phase alternating current.
At the head of the commission was Lord Kelvin , the famous British physicist, who had been as opposed to alternating current as Edison until he attended the Chicago Exposition in Now, a strong convert to AC, Kelvin and his commission asked Westinghouse to use alternating current to harness the power of the falls.
The Westinghouse Company was chosen to provide the powerhouse and alternating current system, while the General Electric Company was awarded construction of the transmission lines. Niagara plans and alternating-current machinery developed simultaneously and in less than a decade they mutually contributed to the inauguration of modern hydro-electric power service. To start with the project it was necessary for Tesla to devote some time to develop the design of the engines in Pittsburgh plant, and then the production could start up. During that period of time, Tesla could not avoid many conflicts that arose in converting theoretical and pilot plant design to full scale production and gladly returned to New York at the end of the year.
The construction period was traumatic for engineers, mechanics and workers, but it weighed most heavily on investors.
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The project approached completion after a five-year nightmare of doubt and financial crises but Tesla had not doubted the results for a moment. The investors, however, were not at all sure the system would work. While the machines were running smoothly in Tesla's three-dimensional imagination, they were still unproved and expensive. During development of the poly-phase motor there was a re-design and alternations from Hz. This remains the standard North American frequency. Westinghouse started the development of three-phase motors in , which lead to success in The inventor was happy again in his laboratory and the manufacture of the motors began soon afterwards.
During this period of time the inventor dedicated so much effords to create new inventions and he applyed for a number of forty-five U. Laboratory where Tesla and Westinghouse engineers developed apparatus for AC systems. The exhibit shows his "Egg of Columbus," which stood on end when the table it rested on was magnetically excited by AC. Another smaller table with ball can be seen to the left; to the right, an early high-frequency machine. Located on Lake Michigan to facilitate access by sea, road and rail.
It was a gathering of ideas, men and technologies from every quarter of the globe, with each country contributing its best of their industrial, cultural, commercial and educational enterprises. The Renaissance style of the exposition buildings was unsurpassed by its architecture beauty.
The Exposition itself was a work of art. It was a brilliant spectacle of science, art and industry. All the world has its pilgrimage to Columbian Exposition in Westinghouse became dedicated to promoting the polyphase alternating current system and felt that this was his best chance to introduce it to the public at large.
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The exposition was the greatest event in America and in the world at that time. That bid did not go over well. The ingenious promoter Westinghouse outbid Edison for the contract to power the expositions lighting and electrical systems, and the company and the AC technology recieved a widespread positive publicity. When Westinghouse was notified of his winning bid, he attempted to purchase the necessary longer-life lamps from Edison-G. However, he found that his purchase order was rejected.
The courts sustained this blockage and refused to require Edison-G. The need for a non-infringing lamp was immediate and urgent. Fortunately, Westinghouse engineers were working on a 2-piece variation of the Sawyer-Man lamp. This newly designed Westinghouse light bulb was invented by Reginald Fessenden. He ingeniously replaced Edison's delicate platinum lead-in wires with an iron-nickel alloy and therefore greatly reducing the cost and increasing the life of the lamp.
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Trials indicated that the lamp would have a limited lifetime, but adequate for the exposition and long enough for his other needs until the Edison patents expired. On May 1, , President Grover Cleveland pushed a button and near , incandescent lamps illuminated the White City. Over 27 million people came through the gates of the fair.
Over Two Hundred thousand electric light bulbs were illuminated by Tesla's polyphase alternating current system. Electricity, and AC current, was going to spread coast and coast and beyond.
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The fair showed how safe AC current could be. It was a spectacular display of lights and energy, which illuminated the exposition and it was said to be a beautiful sight to behold. The lamps that laced every building and walkway produced the most elaborate demonstration of electric illumination ever attempted and the first large-scale test of alternating current.
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The fair alone consumed three times as much electricity as the entire city of Chicago. These were important engineering milestones, but what visitors adored was the sheer beauty of seeing so many lights ignited in one place, at one time. Every building, including the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building, was outlined in white bulbs. Large colored bulbs lit the hundred-foot plumes of water that burst from the MacMonnies Fountain. While the hydraulic tunnel was under construction, the development of the of polyphase apparatus justified the official decision of May 6, , five years and five days after the issuing of Tesla's patents, to use his system since Westinghouse received a contract to set up the first long-range power network, with AC generators at Niagara Falls producing electricity for distribution in Buffalo, New York, 40 kilometers 25 miles away.