Chicago International Exposition of 1893

Use of electricity

Column: Use of Electricity

At the Chicago International Exposition, many products were exhibited to demonstrate cases of electricity application and general use, indicating the fact that the United States had entered into a new age of technologies. At the venues, a total of approximately 120,000 electric lamps were installed, enabling illumination at night. At the opening ceremony, the U.S. President pushed a button, followed by the operation of a dynamo by a steam engine in the Electricity Building to supply electricity.Outside the venues, an elevated railroad carried 50,000 visitors per hour, while within the venues, visitors were transported by a loop-line elevated electric railcar, an electric boat on a canal, and a moving sidewalk.

The exhibits at the Electricity Building included the Electric Tower (Edison Tower) and a direct current dynamo by General Electric Co., as well as an alternating current dynamo by Westinghouse Co.. For about 10 years from around 1890, the above companies competed against each other for supremacy in the direct current and alternating current industry. Following the invention of the transformer, the alternating current became the norm for electric lamps and electric power.


Kamatani, Chikayoshi.: Koryu shisutemu no keisei katei to kenkyu kaihatsu - Westinghouse denki gaisha o chushin ni in Keizai keiei ronshu n. 49 (1968.6) <Z3-205>
Notoji, Masako.: Sekai koronbusu kinen hakurankai - Hyakunengo no shiten kara mita shikago no yume in Rossiter, J. ed.: A history of the World's Columbian Exposition : held in Chicago in 1893. v. 1 (Athena Press, 2004) <D7-B5>