The Grand Basin at the World Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL, 1893.
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Electric lights at the World Columbian Exposition at night

Credit: Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum Archives. Goodyear Archival Collection. Visual materials[6.1.016]

In 1893, Pittsburgh's George Westinghouse bested Thomas Edison by powering the Chicago's World Columbian Exposition. Westinghouse alternating current generators powered 250,000 light bulbs–and the Edison displays at the Exposition. Westinghouse followed this triumph by winning the contract to build three huge generators to transform the energy of Niagara Falls into electricity.

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