War of Currents
War of Currents

A Timeline of Important Events.


Thomas Edison builds the first DC generator.


Thomas Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Co. in New York City.


AC systems develop in Europe with the Siemens Company, while DC dynamos remain the prominent system in America.


The first public electricity supply was generated in Godalming, Surrey (England) using a waterwheel at a nearby mill.


Thomas Edison opens the Pearl Street Power Station in New York City. It was one of the world’s first central electric power plants and could power 5,000 lights.


Nikola Tesla invents the Tesla Coil, a transformer that changes electricity from low to high voltage. This makes it easier to transport electricity over long distances, and is an important part of Tesla’s alternating current system.


Tesla invents the electric alternator, the first motor capable of generating an alternating current.


Tesla demonstrates the first polyphase alternating current electrical system. His system includes everything needed for electricity production and use: a generator, transformers, transmission system, motor (used in appliances) and lights. George Westinghouse, the head of Westinghouse Electric Company, buys the patent rights to the AC system.


Executions are carried out by the electric chair for the first time with Edison's prompting of using alternating current to do the job.


The Westinghouse Electric Company outbids Edison General Electric and uses an alternating current system to light the Chicago World’s Fair.