INFIMA

Edison vs Tesla

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You know a feud’s gotten bad when someone kills an elephant.The electrocution of Topsy, an admittedly ornery circus elephant who was already scheduled for death, was perhaps the lowest blow in Thomas Edison’s campaign against Nikolai Tesla’s proposed alternating current-based electrical infrastructure (Tesla eventually won out).What started out as an argument over whether alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) could more practically serve the country’s power needs had, by the 1890s, turned into a war of accusations, with Edison arguing that alternating current was dangerous and could electrocute people.In the end, Tesla’s AC system won: not because it was better at electrocuting anyone, but because its power was easier to transmit and easier to convert to different voltages.

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