Empires Of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, And The Race To Electrify The World
In the final decades of the nineteenth century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. In Empires of Light, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death, and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires. At the heart of the story are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famous and folksy inventor, creator of the incandescent light bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct current electrical light networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, elegant, highly eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the generation and delivery of electricity; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and tough corporate entrepreneur, an industrial idealist who in the era of gaslight imagined a world powered by cheap and plentiful electricity and worked heart and soul to create it.
Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct current (DC) technology into the hurly-burly of New York City as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating current (AC), thus setting the stage for one of the eeriest feuds in American corporate history, the War of the Electric Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall Street, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Niagara Falls, and, finally, the death chamber—Jonnes takes us on the tense walk down a prison hallway and into the sunlit room where William Kemmler, convicted ax murderer, became the first man to die in the electric chair.
Empires of Light is the gripping history of electricity, the “mysterious fluid,” and how the fateful collision of Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse left the world utterly transformed.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
A very well researched and written historical novel. - Goodreads
Material is easy to read. - Goodreads
And the writing is fairly engaging. - Goodreads
That said, I loved this introductory overview. - Goodreads
Review: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the WorldUser Review - Elise - Goodreads
Excellent account of the AC-DC/Westinghouse-Edison rivalry. Read full review
Review: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the WorldUser Review - Smh624 - Goodreads
I learned a lot from this book, so it was very enjoyable. Read full review
List of Scientific Diagrams
Endeavor to Make It Useful
The Wizard of Menlo Park
He Is Ubiquitous
Edison Declares War
Constant Danger from Sudden Death
The Horrible Experiment
The Electricians Ideal City 247
Yoked to the Cataract 301
Other editions - View all
AC induction motor AC motor AC system alternating current American apparatus arc lights Archives Batchelor battery began Belfield Biography Buffalo building Cataract central station Charles Charles Batchelor Chicago Cockran Coleman Sellers commercial copper death direct current dynamo Edison Electric Edward Dean Adams elec electric chair Electric Company Electric Currents electric light Electrical Engineer electricians electrocution factories Faraday ﬁrst Forbes Franklin George Westinghouse Harold Brown horsepower huge Ibid incandescent light incandescent light bulb industrial inghouse installed invention inventor Kemmler laboratory lamps later lbid light bulb machines magnetic Manhattan Manufacturing Menlo Park million months Morgan nation Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Power Niagara Power night Nikola Tesla Paris patents Pittsburgh plant polyphase railroad reported Stanley Thomas Edison Thomson-Houston thousand tion transformer trical voltage volts Wall Street Westinghouse Electric Westinghouse Electric Company William wires World's Fair wrote York