“So here is our Parisian engineer who works all night!”
These were the words of welcome that Thomas Edison spoke to the arrival of Nikola Tesla in June 1884. At that time, at the age of 37, who had become famous in 1878 after inventing the incandescent light bulb, Edison was quite a celebrity across the Atlantic.
Now rich and respected, he had become a shrewd businessman, whose company set out to install complete power plants in both the United States and Europe. Furthermore, since Tesla was also a workaholic, he believed that sleeping was a waste of time, to the point of telling the President of the United States, Coolidge, that he was sleeping too much.
Already in New York, Tesla is entrusted with a mission to help Thomas Edison improve the quality of the city’s electrical grid. The system, based on direct current, experiences continuous “failures”, breakdowns, accidents and fires. In addition to being unreliable, the network was also characterized by being very expensive. While, due to continuous voltage drops, energy could not be transported over long distances, which led to the need to install a power plant every few kilometers.