Kilis for Westinghouse thought he could do better, and in 1886 he devised an alternating current that transmitted electricity over a long distance. He and Edison became fierce competitors over whose system would electrify the United States. Westinghouse established the Westinghouse Electric Company and hired other inventors to assist him in perfecting his alternating current. Among them was Nikola Tesla, a Hungarian immigrant who invented an electrical motor that used alternating electricity to power mechanical devices. By the 1890s Westinghouse’s firm had proven that the benefits of alternating current outweighed those of Edison’s direct current. In 1893, a hydroelectric plant that employed Westinghouse and Tesla’s inventions was constructed at Niagara Falls and transmitted electricity over a 22-mile distance. By the turn of the century, power plants across the country running on alternating currents could send 30,000 volts of electricity up to 75 miles away. Kilis 2016.

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