Spirit of America Bookstore

AC-DC  War  of  The  Currents
[1880s-1890s]

short history

non-fiction works

fiction works

movies & TV, other media

image gallery

links

             fictional TIME Magazine cover about 'The War For Electricity'

Thomas Edison invented direct current and working light bulbs and expected to make his fortune installing power plants one-half to two miles apart; Nikola Tesla invented alternating current electricity which could be transmitted for long distances, and industrialist George Westinghouse bought Tesla's patents in 1888. Over the following decade, Edison fought ruthlessly to stop the ascendence of AC but was eventually defeated.


          short history
          t e x t
          h e r e

'War of The Currents' entry at Wikipedia

inventor Thomas Alva Edison [1847-1931] Page

visionary inventor Nikola Tesla [1856-1943] Pages

industrialist George Westinghouse, Jr. [1846-1914] Page


Non-Fiction  Works

¨            ¨

The Race To Electrify The World book by Jill Jonnes  "Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse & The Race To Electrify The World" [2003] by Jill Jonnes
Random House 8x5¼ pb [10/2004] for $10.85
Random House 9&frac2x6½ hardcover [8/2003] out of print/used
The First Standards War book by Tom McNichol  
"AC/DC: The Savage Tale of The First Standards War" [2006]
by Tom McNichol

Jossey-Bass 9x6¼ hardcover [9/2006] for $18.21
Blackstone Audiobooks UNABR CD-ROM [5/2008] for $22.76
Power Makers / Modern America book by Maury Klein  "The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity & The Men Who Invented Modern America" [2008] by Maury Klein
Bloomsbury Press 9½x6½ hardcover [5/2008] for $19.79
Power Struggles book by Michael Brian Schiffer  "Power Struggles: Scientific Authority and The Creation of Practical Electricity Before Edison" [2008] by Michael Brian Schiffer
Kindle Edition from M.I.T. Press [1/2011] for $8.31
M.I.T. Press 9x7 pb [1/2011] out of print/many used
M.I.T. Press 9x7 hardcover [8/2008] for $8.75
'War of the Currents' YA book by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson  "War of The Currents: Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla" [ages 12-17; 2012]
by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson

Twenty-First Century Books 8¾x6 library hardcover [8/2012] for $33.27
Topsy The Crooked-Tailed Elephant book by Michael Daly  "Topsy: The Startling Story of The Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P.T. Barnum, and The American Wizard, Thomas Edison" [2013] by Michael Daly
Topsy the Elephant was a victim of the 'War of The Currents', electrocuted at Coney Island, New York in 1903; Edison was desperate to prove that his direct electric current system was best, that the alternating current system of his opponents George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla was dangerous; the execution of Topsy was successful, but Edison ultimately failed.
Kindle Edition from Atlantic Monthly Press [7/2013] for $9.99
Grove Press 8¼x5½ pb [6/2014] for $12.09
Atlantic Monthly Press 8¼x5½ hardcover [7/2013] for $8.00
Topsy the Circus Elephant [1875-1903] entry at Wikipedia
Edison Film Mfg. Co. record of the 1903 execution [1:17] online at YouTube


The  Electric  Chair

Edison & The Electric Chair book by Mark Essig  "Edison and The Electric Chair: A Story of Light & Death" [1980] by Mark Essig
Faced with competition against his direct current power system by the superior & cheaper alternating current system of Tesla & Westinghouse, Thomas Edison convinced the state of New York to switch capital punishment to electrocutions by 'lethal' AC (while insisting that DC was perfectly safe).
Kindle Edition from Walker Books [5/2009] for $8.49
Walker & Co. 8¼x5½ pb [9/2005] for $11.70
Walker & Co. 8¾x5¾ hardcover [2004] out of print/used
Sutton Publng hardcover [1980] out of print/used
Blood & Volts book by Th. Metzger  
"Blood and Volts: Edison, Tesla & The Electric Chair" [1997]
by Th. Metzger

Autonomedia pb [6/97] for $12.00
Electric Chair History book by Craig Brandon  "The Electric Chair: An Unnatural American History" [1999]
by Craig Brandon

Kindle Edition from McFarland & Co. [9/2009] for $9.99
McFarland & Co. 9x6 pb [9/2009] for $19.99
McFarland & Co. 9¼x6½ library hardcover [8/99] out of print/used
Executioner's Current book by Richard Moran  "Executioner's Current: Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse & The Invention of The Electric Chair" [2002] by Richard Moran
Vintage 8x5¼ pb [11/2003] for $15.00
Knopf 9½x6½ hardcover [10/2002] out of print/used


1893  Columbian  Exposition  in  Chicago
In many ways, the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 was the real beginning of the Twentieth Century. It was open for six months, was visited by 28 million people, and actually made a small profit. Dignitaries & celebrities noted as designing or attending or speaking include: suffragist Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton (The Red Cross), L. Frank Baum, Alexander Graham Bell, utopian author Edward Bellamy, Annie Besant, architect D.H. Burnham, Frederick Douglass, inventor Thomas A. Edison, George W.G. Ferris, retailer Marshall Field, Edward Everett Hale, Army Gen. Nelson A. Miles, actress Helena Modjeska, architect F.L. Olmsted, U.S. President Grover Cleveland, Prince Albert of Britain & Wales, wagonmaker Clement Studebaker, inventor Nikola Tesla, U.S. Vice President Adlai Stevenson I, Gen. Lew Wallace, and industrialist George Westinghouse • entry at Wikipedia

Columbian Exposition / Chicago World's Fair 1893 archive at Living History of Illinois [est. 2012]

Glimpses of the World's Fair 1893 book from Laird & Lee Publishers, Chicago  "Glimpses of the World's Fair: A Selection of Gems of The White City Seen Through A Camera" [1893] from Laird & Lee Publishers, Chicago
Kindle Edition from HardPress Publng [8/2014] for $9.95
HardPress Publng 9x6 pb [1/2012] for $21.95
Chicago Tribune Souvenir hardcover [1893] out of print/used
World's Fair Notes book by Marian Shaw  
"World's Fair Notes: A Woman Journalist Views Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition" [1893] by Marian Shaw
nice cover - long out of print - not found on Amazon (2016)
World's Fair Album of Chicago 1893 book by Rand McNally  "World's Fair Album of Chicago 1893" [Rand McNally 1893]
Forgotten Books 9x6 pb [8/2016] for $9.57
Palala Press 9¼x6 hardcover [4/2016] for $22.95
Andesite Press 9¼x6 hardcover [8/2015] for $22.95
Electricity at the Columbian Exposition 1894 book by John Patrick Barrett  "Electricity At The Columbian Exposition: Including An Account of The Exhibits In The Electricity Building, The Power Plant In Machinery Hall, The Arc Lighting of The Grounds and Buildings, Etc." [R.R. Donnelley 1894] by John Patrick Barrett
Nabu Press 9¾x7½ pb [2/2010] for $19.99
Sagwan Press 9¼x6 hardcover [8/2015] for $29.95
available as free online etext at Internet Archive
ad for 1894 'The Magic City' photographic book by James William Buel  "The Magic City: A Massive Portfolio of Original Photographic Views of The Great World's Fair and Its Treasures of Art" [1894] by J.W. Buel
Arno Press 10&fracx12 hardcover [6/75] out of print/used
Historical Publns 11x13¼ hardcover [1894] out of print/used
Chicago's White City of 1893 book by David F. Burg  
"Chicago's White City of 1893" [1976]
by David F. Burg

Univ Press of Kentucky 9x6 pb [11/2009] for $27.00
Univ Press of Kentucky 9x6¼ hardcover [7/82] out of print/used
Chicago World's Fair of 1893 Photographic Record book by Stanley Appelbaum  "The Chicago World's Fair of 1893: A Photographic Record" [1980]
with text by Stanley Appelbaum

George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla won a contract to electrify part of the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exhibition, and the astounding result was given the name 'The White City'.
Dover Publns 10¾x8¼ pb [6/80] for $10.36
Columbian Exposition / Chicago World's Fair of 1893 book by Norman Bolotin & Christine Laing   "The World's Columbian Exposition: The Chicago World's Fair of 1893" [1992]
by Norman Bolotin & Christine Laing

Univ Illinois Press 11x8½ pb [6/2002] for $17.78
Preservation Press 10¼x8¾ hardcover [10/92] out of print/used
Grand Illusions Chicago's World's Fair book by Chicago Historical Society  "Grand Illusions: Chicago's World's Fair of 1893" [1993]
by Neil Harris, Wim De Wit, James Gilbert & Robert W. Rydell

Chicago Historical Society/Sewall Co. 8¾x10½ pb [5/93] out of print/many used
Photography and the World's Columbian Exposition book by Julie K. Brown  "Contesting Images: Photography and The World's Columbian Exposition" [1994]
by Julie K. Brown

The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 was a major opportunity for expansion of the new medium of photography: stereopticon and motion pictures were taken at the Fair and shown around the world, Eastman Kodak and other manufacturers displayed their latest products, and photographs from France and other countries were offered as art.
Univ Arizona Press 11x8½ pb [2/94] out of print/60+ used
Univ Arizona Press 11¼x9 hardcover [2/94] out of print/used
Images of America 1893 World's Columbian Exposition book by Chaim M. Rosenberg  
"Images of America: America At The Fair - Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exposition [2008] by Chaim M. Rosenberg
Kindle Edition from Arcadia Publng [2008 edition] for $6.49
Arcadia Publng 9x6½ pb [2/2008] for $24.99
Spectacle in the White City book by Stanley Appelbaum  "Spectacle In The White City: The Chicago 1893 World's Fair" [2009]
Text by Stanley Appelbaum, Introduction by Peter B. Hales

Calla Editions 9x12 hardcover [2/2009] for $20.50
Historic Photos of the Chicago World's Fair book by Russell Lewis  "Historic Photos of The Chicago World's Fair" [2010]
Text & Captions by Russell Lewis

hardcover [5/2010] for $44.95
World's Greatest Sleuth! Western mystery novel by Steve Hockensmith  "World's Greatest Sleuth!: A Holmes On The Range Mystery" [#5 = 2011]
by Steve Hockensmith

'Big Red' Amlingmeyer is summoned to the Chicago World's Fair to compete for the title of World's Greatest Sleuth; the Amlingmeyer brothers do not relish the long trip but are eager to again meet the elusive Diana Corvus. But they barely arrive in Westinghouse and Tesla's electrified 'White City' before the contest organizer is found dead – face down in the Mammoth Cheese from Canada.
Kindle Edition from Minotaur/Macmillan [1/2011] for $7.59
St. Martin's Minotaur 9¼x6 hardcover [1/2011] out of print/used
Chicago's 1893 World's Fair book from Images of America  
"Chicago's 1893 World's Fair (Images of America)" [2012]
by Joseph M. Di Cola & David Stone

Arcadia Publng 9¼x6½ pb [10/2012] for $18.62
Arcadia Library Editions 9½x6¾ hardcover [10/2012] for $26.99
Chicago's Greatest Year 1893 book by Joseph Gustaitis  "Chicago's Greatest Year, 1893: The White City and The Birth of A Modern Metropolis" [2013] by Joseph Gustaitis
Kindle Edition from Southern Illinois Univ Press [5/2013] for $16.17
Southern Illinois Univ Press 9x6 pb [5/2013] for $24.65
World's Fair 1893 board game  "World's Fair 1893 Board Game" [2016] by J. Alex Kevern
card-collecting game for 2-4 players ages 10-15
Renegade Game Studios board game in 10½x8¼x2-inch box [5/2016] for $30.06

movie clips of the 1893 Chicago Worlds Fair
amatuer {cellphone?} capture of the amazing 1893 silent movie clips shown on the walls at the 2014 exhibition at Chicago's Field Museum
watch 9/2014 video [3:07] online at YouTube

"EXPO: Magic of The White City" [indep Sept 2005]
Magic of The White City documentary film  Detailed 2-hour documentary film about the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 using color postcards and contemporary photographs • Exec-produced by Michael Bussler; co-produced, directed & edited by Mark Bussler; written by Brian Connelly; narrated by Gene Wilder
Janson Media widescreen color DVD [8/2016] for $19.95
Inecom Ent. widescreen color DVD [9/2005] out of prodn/used
full credits at IMDb • movie entry at Wikipedia
watch full movie [1/2016 upload; 1:55:49] online at YouTube

"Columbian Exposition 1893: A Visit To Chicago's White City" [2013 slideshow]
a nice series of b&w still photographs (you can turn down/off the intrusive music)
watch 9/2013 video [6:15] online at YouTube


1895  Niagara  Falls  Power  Plant
entry at Wikipedia


Fiction  Works

Devil in the White City bestseller novel by Erik Larson  "The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness At The Fair That Changed America" [2003] by Erik Larson
While Chicago architect Daniel Hudson Burnham built the Columbian Exposition on swampy Jackson Park, medical doctor Henry H. Holmes lured single women to his hotel and tortured and killed scores of them.
Kindle Edition from Vintage/Random House [2004 edition] for $10.99
Vintage Books 8x5¼ pb [2/2004] for $9.04
Vintage Books 8x5¼ pb [2/2003] out of print/90+ used
Crown 9½x6½ hardcover [2/2003] for $17.09
publisher's official bookpage

FEATURE FILM IN DEVELOPMENT STARRING LEONARDO DiCAPRIO /tt0959300/

Last Days of Night novel by Graham Moore  "The Last Days of Night: A Novel" [2016]
New York Times bestseller by Graham Moore

'an electrifying historical thriller about the battles between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse'; George Westinghoue hires just-graduated lawyer Paul Cravath to sue Thomas Edison over the right to electrify American homes & industry . . .
Kindle Edition from Random House [8/2016] for $14.99
Random House pb [8/2016] out of print/used
Random House 9½x6½ hardcover [8/2016] for $16.80

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EDDIE REDMAYNE /tt5718944/


Movies & Television,  Other  Media

'Tesla vs. Edison' board game  "Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents" board game [2015]
"A Game of Dire Enemies" • exceeded Kickstarter 2015 funding
request; game for 2-5 players, ages teen to adult

Artana game in 12x12x3-inch box [11/2015] for $45.21
Artana game from third-party vendor [11/2015] overpriced!
publisher's official game page

"Man, Moment, Machine: Thomas Edison & The Electric Chair"
TV docudrama
[History Channel Sept 2005]
'Thomas Edison & The Electric Chair' on the History Channel  Edison wants to prove that Westinghouse's alternating current is much deadlier than the Edison direct current; to prove the dangers of AC, Edison builds an electric chair powered by Westinghouse's AC system and axe murderer William Kemmler is its first victim - in an extended and horrific death.
Written by Sarah Kass & Josh Rosen; hosted by Hunter Ellis
50-minute A&E TV Networks color DVD [7/2008] for $13.50
episode credits at IMDb • series entry at Wikipedia

"Clash of The Electric Currents, 1877-1897: Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla"
TV docudrama
[National Geographic June 2015]
'Thomas Edison vs. Nikola Tesla' episode of 'American Genius'  Hour-long episode #8 of the "American Genius" TV mini-series {series credits at IMDb} shown on the National Geographic Channel; full biography of Tesla with emphasis on the battle over the AC versus DC electricity technologies • Directed by Paul Abascal; starring Eric Rolland {as Edison}, Anthony Misiano {as Tesla}; featuring interviews with W. Bernard Carlson, Paul Israel PhD, Dr. Michio Kaku, and Tom McNichol
VHS/DVD/Blu-ray not available • full credits at IMDb • official movie website
watch full movie [8/2015 upload; 47:52] online at YouTube

"American Titans" TV mini-series [AHC-TV Aug-Sept 2015]
American Titans TV mini-series on AHC-TV  Six little-known stories of the men who made America what it is today: Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Edison, Stanford, and Hearst (sic); their ferocious drive, innovation, and often sheer recklessness took them from obscurity to the top of the list of rich and powerful men. Episode titles: "Carnegie vs. Frick" (steel & coal), "Rockefeller vs. Scott" (petroleum), "Edison vs. Tesla" (AC-DC current), "Clark vs. Daly" (Montana copper), "Vanderbilt vs. Drew" (Erie Railroad), and "Hearst vs. Pulitzer" (New York newspapers)
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • Amazon Instant Video [8/2015] series purchase $9.99
messed-up credits at IMDb • official movie website

"Nikola Tesla: Genius Inventor [of] Electric Alternating Current - Fast Facts" [History Channel]
watch short promo [3/2016 upload; 2:50] online at YouTube

"The Current War" [The Weinstein Company release 2017?]  
'The Current War' 2016 movie  Announced 5/2012: Producer-director Timur Bekmambetov and his Bazelevs production company bought Michael Mitnick’s spec script, which was listed on the screenplay Black List; the story follows the real-life public clash between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse about the future of the new electric power industry • ADDED 9/2016: Michael Shannon is cast as Westinghouse, Benedict Cumberbatch is already cast as Edison; ADDED 11/2016: actor Tom Holland signed on to portray Samuel Insull
written by Michael Mitnick; to be directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
latest info at IMDb


Image  Gallery

                          


L i n k s
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Australian rock band "AC/DC" [est. 1973]: on Amazon.com | official website | entry at Wikipedia


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