Landmarks, Monuments

Who made possible distant transfer of electricity from Niagara Falls ?

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Statue of Nikola Tesla in Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara River’s first hydroelectric generating station generated direct current electricity, which could only run the machinery of local mills and light up some of the village streets. When Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla invented the three-phase system of alternating current power transmission, distant transfer of electricity became possible. In 1896, with financing from moguls like J.P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor IV, and the Vanderbilts, giant underground conduits were constructed leading to turbines generating upwards of 100,000 horsepower (75 MW), and sending power as far as Buffalo, 20 miles (32 km) away. In 1976, a bronze statue of Nikola Tesla was placed in Niagara Falls State Park on Goat Island, New York. This monument, portraying Tesla reading a notebook, is a copy of a monument standing in front of the Belgrade University Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Belgrade International Airport is called “Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport”.

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