Friday, February 03, 2012

Invention of the Day: AC Electricity Distribution.

Today's system for delivering AC electricity to lights and devices was invented over one hundred years ago by Charles Proteus Steinmetz. By the early 20th century, his inventions, in combination with Tesla's AC motor and long-distance power lines, had displaced Edison's original DC designs.

In addition to that, Steinmetz pioneered corporate research as a model for systematically producing innovations. In the early 1900s, he convinced General Electric to open up its first research facility, which was built literally in Steinmetz backyard. Eventually, both his AC system and corporate lab had become exemplars for others to follow.

tags: invention, innovation, research, business, model

I thank Paul Grant for telling me the story of C.P. Steinmetz.

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