Electricity Wars: Tesla, Edison, Westinghouse, and Marconi

Stephen Kowel
History / Science

Course Description

Toward the end of the 19th Century, a fierce battle was waged to control the development of the mysterious new technology, electricity. The "War of the Currents" was a personal, political, legal, financial, and technical battle waged by some of the most fascinating people of the era to control electrical energy. Just as that battle was resolving, its combatants joined the struggle to own radio, another electrical technology that would give rise to television, computing, and the Internet. The entrepreneurial environment of 1900 was profoundly different from today’s. How invention created the American technological revolution that continues to play an ever more crucial role will be discussed. What is electricity? How did alternating current (AC) vanquish direct current (DC)? How did the Chicago Exposition and The Niagara Power Station Project end the War of the Currents and create an industrial revolution?  Who really invented radio? Where is electricity taking us next? 

About the Instructor

  • Stephen Kowel, PhD, received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held faculty positions at Syracuse University, the University of California, Davis, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of Cincinnati, where he also served as Dean of the College of Engineering. Kowel has contributed to more than 100 papers and patents in the fields of acousto-optics, electro-optics, liquid crystal adaptive lenses, and 3-D autostereoscopic displays. He has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and of the Optical Society of America (OSA).

Upcoming programs presented by Stephen Kowel.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
One-Time WPL02071 Stephen Kowel Cyber Insecurity: Attack by Internet
Friday, February 7: 10:00 am - 11:30 am