From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Original file(1,381 × 1,625 pixels, file size: 779 KB, MIME type: application/pdf)



Add a one-line explanation of what this file represents


English: TESLA POLYPHASE SYSTEM is unveiled to the world at Chicago's Columbian Exposition, 1893.

While still a student attending school in 1875, at Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria, Nikola Tesla began to think about the possibilities of alternating current or "A.C." electricity.

It was understood that A.C. electricity could generate high voltages over long distances without growing weaker, but little work had been done in that area. The field of electrical engineering of the day was primarily entrenched in the realm of "D.C." or the principles of direct current electrical generation and transmission. Tesla became thoroughly convinced that A.C. was much more effective and less costly than direct current D.C. electricity, the latter which was far more common at the time.

After graduation from school at Graz, Tesla went to Paris and began working for the Continental Edison Company, but in 1884 decided to go to New York. Upon arriving there Tesla immediately applied for a position with Edison's company. The great inventor Edison recognized Teslas abilities, but because of Tesla's preoccupation with arc light technology, Edison did not want to support Tesla's work in this area. Edison felt that arc lights were old, cumbersome and antiquated. Thus, in 1886 Tesla broke away from his position at the Edison concern and founded the Tesla Electric Company. This effort funded Tesla's arc light experiments. With this move Tesla was able to return to his A.C. experiments as well and within two years had applied for more than thirty patents on the A.C. system he had perfected.

Tesla eventually became associated with George Westinghouse, who had made a fortune producing the Westinghouse air brake for rail way cars. In 1881 Westinghouse began to experiment with A.C. electrical systems, after obtaining already manufactured equipment out of Europe. In 1886 the inventor Nikola Tesla demonstrated a polyphase brushless AC induction motor also based on a rotating magnetic field. In July 1888, George Westinghouse licensed Nikola Tesla's American patents for the induction motor and transformer designs. Tesla contract with Westinghouse turned over A.C. development and patents to the Westinghouse Corporation - and thus Tesla became wealthy from this keen business move. In 1893 the Westinghouse Company came to supply all lighting for the Chicago Worlds Fair / Columbian Exposition and introduced and employed the Tesla designed Polyphase system, including the engine, dynamo, and A.C. generator for the exposition fair.

With the success of Tesla's A.C. system, it soon became the preferred method of generating electricity worldwide. Tesla worked on a number of other inventions, including a transformer that would change a low voltage to a high voltage by means of safe A.C. electric current. This transformer came to be known as the Tesla coil.

The scene depicted herein shows the interior of the Electrical Building at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.
Source Image is from an original glass magic lantern projection slide discovered by American historian and photography archivist Richard Warren Lipack.
Author Unknown authorUnknown author


Public domain
Public domain
This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1929, and if not then due to lack of notice or renewal. See this page for further explanation.

United States
United States
This image might not be in the public domain outside of the United States; this especially applies in the countries and areas that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, such as Canada, Mainland China (not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany, Mexico, and Switzerland. The creator and year of publication are essential information and must be provided. See Wikipedia:Public domain and Wikipedia:Copyrights for more details.

File history

Click on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time.

current07:55, 3 May 2014Thumbnail for version as of 07:55, 3 May 20141,381 × 1,625 (779 KB)Richard Warren Lipack (talk | contribs)User created page with UploadWizard

There are no pages that use this file.