Friday, April 17, 2009

Westinghouse @ 1893 Worlds Fair in Chicago

Ah I have been fascinated with the topic of The White City
for about week now quietly reading before
I drift off into a deep deep sleep .. So I have decided to do a series on bits of the fair as it really was indeed a City .. What better place to start then that of the contract won by dear Mr George Westinghouse a good fair man of the 19th century .. The proof his company still lives on today ! With out scandal .. I might add (( ie that of GE )) .. Watch the video because it is indeed relative to today's time .. Westinghouse to a huge risk (( love that )) to forgo profit for Promotion it paid off and made History ..
This is not a robber Baron this is a prime example of Growth thru hard work and the best word of mouth show and tell (( top of mind awareness )) Promotion !!
A form of marketing that I use and live by !!!
Thank You for taking the time to read and I hope at least one is perhaps sparked
as I am to seeing the light !!!

In 1893, in a significant victory, the Westinghouse company was awarded the contract to set up an AC network to power the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, giving the company and the technology widespread positive publicity. Westinghouse also received a contract to set up the first long-range power network, with AC generators at Niagara Falls producing electricity for distribution in Buffalo, New York, 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.
With AC networks expanding, Westinghouse turned his attention to electrical power production. At the outset, the available generating sources were hydroturbines where falling water was available, and reciprocating
steam engines where it was not. Westinghouse felt that reciprocating steam engines were clumsy and inefficient, and wanted to develop some class of "rotating" engine that would be more elegant and efficient.
One of his first inventions had been a rotary steam engine, but it had proven impractical. British engineer
Charles Algernon Parsons began experimenting with steam turbines in 1884, beginning with a 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) unit. Westinghouse bought rights to the Parsons turbine in 1885, and improved the Parsons technology and increased its scale.
The War of Currents
Tesla and Edison did not get along well. Earlier Tesla had worked for the Edison General Electric company in Europe, but was unpaid for his service and had to go into labour for a few years. Later, Edison promised Tesla $50,000 if he could redesign his DC electrical dynamos. When Tesla did this, Edison told Tesla that he had been joking about the money. Edison and Tesla quickly parted companycitation needed.
Westinghouse contacted Tesla, and obtained patent rights to Tesla's AC motor. Tesla had conceived the rotating magnetic field principle in 1882 and used it to invent the first brushless AC motor or induction motor in 1883. Westinghouse hired him as a consultant for a year and from 1888 onwards the wide scale introduction of the polyphase AC motor began. The work led to the modern US power-distribution scheme: three-phase AC at 60 Hz, chosen as a rate high enough to minimize light flickering, but low enough to reduce reactive losses, an arrangement also conceived by Tesla.
Westinghouse's promotion of AC power distribution led him into a bitter confrontation with Edison and his DC power system. The feud became known as "the War of Currents." Edison claimed that high voltage systems were inherently dangerous. Westinghouse replied that the risks could be managed and were outweighed by the benefits. Edison tried to have legislation enacted in several states to limit power transmission voltages to 800 volts, but failed.
The battle went to an absurd level when, in 1887, a board appointed by the state of New York consulted Edison on the best way to execute condemned prisoners. At first, Edison wanted nothing to do with the matter.

Probably the most famous American electric chair -
Old Sparky from Sing-Sing Prison
Westinghouse AC networks were clearly winning the battle of the currents, and the ultra-competitive Edison saw a last opportunity to defeat his rival. Edison hired an outside engineer named Harold P. Brown, who could pretend to be impartial, to perform public demonstrations in which animals were electrocuted by AC power. Edison then told the state board that AC was so deadly that it would kill instantly, making it the ideal method of execution. His prestige was so great that his recommendation was adopted.
Harold Brown then sold gear for performing electric executions to the state for $8,000. In August 1890, a convict named William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electrocution. Westinghouse hired the best lawyer of the day to defend Kemmler and condemned electrocution as a form of "cruel and unusual punishment". The execution was messy and protracted, and Westinghouse protested that they could have done better with an axe. The electric chair became a common form of execution for decades, although it had been proven to be unsatisfactory for the task. However, Edison failed in his attempts to have the procedure named "Westinghousing".
Edison also failed to discredit AC power, whose advantages outweighed its hazards. Even General Electric, which absorbed Edison General Electric in 1892, decided to begin production of AC equipment.
In 1889, Westinghouse hired Benjamin G. Lamme (1864-1924) electrical engineer and inventor. Interested in mechanics and mathematics from childhood, Lamme graduated from Ohio State University with an engineering degree (1888). Soon after joining Westinghouse Corp, he became the company's chief designer of electrical machinery. His sister and fellow Ohio State gradutate, Bertha Lamme (1869-1943), the nation’s first woman electrical engineer, joined him in his pioneering work at Westinghouse until her marriage to fellow Westinghouse engineer, Russel Feicht. Among the electrical generating projects attributed to Bertha Lamme is the turbogenerator at Niagara Falls. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railway adopted the Lamme’s single-phase electric rail system in 1905. Benjamin Garver Lamme was Westinghouse's trusted chief engineer from 1903 until his death.
Historical significance of the World's Columbian Exposition
The second half of the 19th century was an age of fairs and expositions held in London, Paris, and other great cities throughout the world. The World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893, was the first critically and economically successful U.S. world's fair. Conceived as a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the new world, the Exposition held a near-mythological appeal for people of the time.

The Giant Ferris Wheel that I dreamt about .......
to be continued ...

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