What is meant by the ‘War of Currents’?

        The ‘War of Currents’ was the term used to refer to the dispute between two brilliant inventors – Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla. It happened towards the end of the 19th century, when there arose a question over which was better-direct, or alternating current.

        Edison was the brains behind the development of DC, which ran continually in a single direction. In the early years of electricity, DC was regarded as the standard. But it had a problem; it couldn’t be easily converted to higher or lower voltages.

       Tesla strongly believed that alternating current was a solution to this. AC, which he co-developed could reverse its direction unlike DC, and could also be converted to different voltages using an electrical transformer. It made possible long distance electricity transmission too.

       However, Edison saw Tesla’s argument as a threat to his work. He thus started off a public campaign, trying to discredit AC. The main reasons for the campaign was that Edison did riot want to lose the royalties he had been earning from his DC patents.

      But in spite of all the efforts Edison made, it was Tesla and his AC that won in the end. Today, electricity is mainly powered by alternating current.