War of the Currents

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War of the Currents

During the Second Industrial Revolution, the War of the Currents took place.  This conflict was not a military campaign, but rather a conflict between idiological theories as the best method of electricity distrobution.  Thomas Edison, one of the most well-known inventors of the later 19th century, promoted the DC, or direct current, form of distribution, and George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla (known as the Wizard of the West) promoted the AC, or alternating current, form of distribution.

Through many public relations and media campaigns, ones that almost bankrupt all involved, DC would eventually win out, being adopted throughout most of the world.  One of the major conflicts in the beginning of the War of the Currents was the ease of transferring power over great distances.  DC power could easily be converted to another voltage through the use of a transformer, and required less of an infrastructure, but AC would require a much more complex infrastructure and the system for converting it to a proper voltage required more equipment.

The main conflict was that all electric motors in use during the development of these two distribution systems operated on a DC current, and an AC motor had yet to be developed.  Once Nikola Tesla identified rotating magnetic fields, he would soon use this technology to develop the AC motor.  Since an AC current was much easier to create and distribute throughout the nation, it was adopted in 1896, with the successful transmission of an AC current from Niagara Falls to Buffalo, NY.

You did read that correct, Nikola Tesla is the father of the modern electric grid in the United States and most of the free world.