Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World

Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World

Jill Jonnes

within the ultimate a long time of the 19th century, 3 marvelous and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each one vied to create an unlimited and robust electric empire. In Empires of Light, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this awesome trio and their riveting and ruthless global of state of the art technological know-how, invention, intrigue, funds, loss of life, and hard-eyed Wall road millionaires. on the middle of the tale are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famed and folksy inventor, author of the incandescent mild bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct present electric gentle networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, dependent, hugely eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the iteration and supply of electrical energy; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and difficult company entrepreneur, an commercial idealist who within the period of gaslight imagined an international powered through affordable and considerable electrical energy and labored center and soul to create it.

Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct present (DC) expertise into the hurly-burly of recent York urban as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating present (AC), therefore surroundings the degree for one of many eeriest feuds in American company historical past, the battle of the electrical Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall road, the 1893 Chicago World’s reasonable, Niagara Falls, and, ultimately, the loss of life chamber—Jonnes takes us at the stressful stroll down a jail hallway and into the sunlit room the place William Kemmler, convicted ax assassin, turned the 1st guy to die within the electrical chair.

Empires of Light is the gripping heritage of electrical energy, the “mysterious fluid,” and the way the fateful collision of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse left the area totally transformed.

From the Hardcover edition.

Show sample text content

Download sample