PHOTO: Brooklyn Museum Archives. Goodyear Archival Collection. Visual materials [6.1.016]:
World's Columbian Exposition lantern slides. World's Columbian Exposition: Electricity Building, Chicago, United States, 1893.
Nuts and Volts
At the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, no light blazed as bright as the rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. Competing against each other in the 265,200-square-foot Electricity Building, the two inventors shocked attendees with their high-energy showmanship. Tesla used his famed eponymous coil to run 250,000 volts through his body, causing him to spark and glow with the intensity of a lightning storm. Not to be outdone, Edison's exhibit offered an 82-foot-high tower topped by a 1,000-pound incandescent light bulb glistening through 5,000 prisms.