The Chicago World's Fair also known as the World's Columbian Exposition had been coveted by both Westinghouse with Tesla's AC system and Thomas Edison with his DC system. Hard work, perseverence and extreme confidence from both parties turned the competition into quite a blazing fire of the minds. But it was Nikola Tesla with his novel AC Current Distribution that won over Edison's. Westinghouse and Tesla got the contract to light up the fair... which put an end to "The War of the Currents" between Tesla and Edison. DT
"The greatest men of science have told me [the Tesla coil] was my best achievement. . . For instance, a man fills this space with hydrogen; he employs all my instrumentalities, everything that is necessary, but calls it a new wireless system—I cannot stop it. Another man puts in here a kind of gap. He gets a Nobel prize for it. . . . The inventive effort involved is about the same as that of which a 30-year old mule is capable."
...Which was a tremendous success for Nikola Tesla since it marked a sensational victory against Edison but as well put an end to the famous "War of the Currents." Tesla manufactured sunlight for the Columbian Exposition of the World with his AC and fluorescent lighting. Hundreds of lights brought a fantastic glitter of glory throughout it all. But most of all it enlighted the minds of millions about this incredible man and inventor named Nikola Tesla. DT
The World's Columbian Exposition (the official shortened name for the World's Fair: Columbian Exposition, also known as The Chicago World's Fair) was a World's Fair held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492. The iconic centerpiece of the Fair, the large water pool, represented the long voyage Columbus took to the New World. Chicago bested New York City; Washington, D.C.; and St. Louis for the honor of hosting the fair. The fair was an influential social and cultural event. The fair had a profound effect on architecture, sanitation, the arts, Chicago's self-image, and American industrial optimism. The Chicago Columbian Exposition was, in large part, designed by Daniel Burnham and Frederick Law Olmsted. It was the prototype of what Burnham and his colleagues thought a city should be. It was designed to follow Beaux Arts principles of design, namely French neoclassical architecture principles based on symmetry, balance, and splendor.
Chicago World's Fair 1893
Looking Down at the Fair!
Boston Public Library
Electricity at the World's Fair
WAR of the Currents:
Transmission loss: the advantage of AC for distributing power over a distance is due to the ease of changing voltages using a transformer. Available power is the product of current × voltage at the load. For a given amount of power, a low voltage requires a higher current and a higher voltage requires a lower current. Since metal conducting wires have an almost fixed electrical resistance, some power will be wasted as heat in the wires. This power loss is given by Joule's laws and is proportional to the square of the current. Thus, if the overall transmitted power is the same, and given the constraints of practical conductor sizes, high-current, low-voltage transmissions will suffer a much greater power loss than low-current, high-voltage ones. This holds whether DC or AC is used.
Converting DC power from one voltage to another requires a large spinning rotary converter or motor-generator set, which was difficult, expensive, inefficient, and required maintenance, whereas with AC the voltage can be changed with simple and efficient transformers that have no moving parts and require very little maintenance. This was the key to the success of the AC system. Modern transmission grids regularly use AC voltages up to 765,000 volts. Power electronic devices such as the mercury arc valve and thyristor made high-voltage direct current transmission practical by improving the reliability and efficiency of conversion between alternating and direct current, but such technology only became possible on an industrial scale starting in the 1960s.
Alternating-current transmission lines have losses that do not occur with direct current. Due to the skin effect, a conductor will have a higher resistance to alternating current than to direct current; the effect is measurable and of practical significance for large conductors carrying thousands of amperes. The increased resistance due to the skin effect can be offset by changing the shape of conductors from a solid core to a braid of many small (isolated) wires. Total losses in systems using high-voltage transmission and transformers to reduce (or increase) the voltage are very much lower than DC transmission at working voltage.
Current Wars: Edison's publicity campaign
Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use of alternating current, including spreading disinformation on fatal AC accidents, publicly killing animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures. 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 1903, 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.
Edison opposed capital punishment, but his desire 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, 1890, 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." George Westinghouse commented: "They would have done better using an axe."
a system for detecting the presence, direction, distance, and speed of aircraft, ships, and other objects, by sending out pulses of high-frequency electromagnetic waves that are reflected off the object back to the source.
high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments
Rotating magnetic field
Radio remote control vehicle (torpedo):355
Order of St. Sava, II Class, Government of Serbia (1892)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1894)
Order of Prince Danilo I (1895)
Edison Medal (1916)
Order of St. Sava, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1926)
Order of the Yugoslav Crown (1931)
John Scott Medal (1934)
Order of the White Eagle, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1936)
Order of the White Lion, I Class, Government of Czechoslovakia (1937)
University of Paris Medal (1937)
The Medal of the University St. Clement of Ochrida, Sofia, Bulgaria (1939)
"The world's fairs were paeans to progress, concrete demonstrations of how order and organization, high culture and art, science and technology, commerce and industry, all brought together under the wise administration of business and government, would lead inevitably to a brighter, more prosperous future." In many ways, they were the ultimate expression of their age.