June 01, 2013

Switching DC Power on in New York, 120 Years After Thomas Edison

Jonathan P. Scoll

On November 14, 2007, Con Edison, New York City’s electric utility, ceremonially disconnected its last direct current (DC) cable, on 40 Street east of 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Most of Manhattan’s DC service had long before been replaced by the utility’s alternating current (AC) system, pioneered by Nikola Tesla, promoted by Thomas Edison’s rival George Westinghouse, and now standard throughout the world. Con Edison’s ceremony ended a service to New York City customers dating back to Edison’s first DC generating station on Pearl Street inaugurated in 1882.

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