Back in time: The rise of power stations NOWADAYS, MAJOR POWER STATIONS Thomas Edison: Inventor and businessman Incandescent light bulbs, invented by Thomas Edison in 1879 and now a familiar part of our history, triggered this American inventor to create an electrical power distribution system. He needed the system to provide his 59 light-bulb customers in Lower Manhattan with power. Edison installed this network - 110-volt direct current - in 1882. Direct current was a big success in America and Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman, knew just how to commercialise it. George Westinghouse: Fervent engineer Not everybody was that excited about direct current: George Westinghouse was very interested in gas distribution and telephone systems and he considered Edison's electrical power supply inefficient. In his eyes, the design was not suitable for large-scale use. It was based on a low voltage, with a great deal of energy being lost in the cables. Westinghouse came up with the alternating current, based on a high voltage. In those days, Nikola Tesla, an important inventor and considered by many as the inventor of the alternating current generator, electrical motor and other components of today's electrical network, worked closely with Westinghouse. He was the brains behind alternating current and developed a transformer in which the voltage could be increased or decreased. This meant much less energy was lost. 2 GENERATE ELECTRICITY FOR BOTH PRIVATE AND COMMERCIAL USE WORLDWIDE. WE CAN HARDLY IMAGINE OUR LIVES WITHOUT POWER SUPPLY, BUT IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY, ELECTRICITY WAS FAR FROM COMMON IN MANY PLACES. IN THOSE DAYS, THOMAS EDISON AND GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE FOUGHT A RELENTLESS BATTLE FOR WHAT WOULD LATER BECOME THE CRADLE OF TODAY'S POWER STATIONS. THESE TWO COULD BARELY HAVE IMAGINED JUST HOW IMPORTANT THEIR EFFORTS WERE.
Smit - The Power Of Manufacturing
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