021 – Tesla – War of the Currents Part 5: The Second Front (1890 – 1892)

Edison and Westinghouse battle over lightbulbs and high finance as we return to the trenches of the War of the Currents, and see how the war whittled itself down from fifteen combatants to just two…

Show Notes for Episode 17 – The Biggest Mistake Nikola Tesla Ever Made (1890-1891)

As mentioned in this week’s episode, to get a good visual sense of how Tesla would use the ‘skin effect’ of his oscillating transformer to wow Gilded Age audiences, you need look no further than David Bowie’s portrayal of Nikola Tesla from the Christopher Nolan movie, The Prestige (if you haven’t seen it–seriously, do so right away):

And while there are apparently no photographs of these moments, Tesla would also create a glowing halo of energy around himself at his demonstrations, as illustrated here:

Tesla saturated with electricity glowed with a halo

(Source: New York World, 09 Dec 1906)

016 – Tesla – War of the Currents Part 4: The Executioner’s Current (1889-1890)

The War of the Currents enters its most ghoulish and macabre phase: when the combatants were willing to play with a man’s life. William Kemmler became the first person put to death by deliberate electrocution. Viewer discretion is very much advised.