George Westinghouse was an amazing American who changed the world. He invented the air brake for trains. Until this invention, only locomotives had brakes and thousands died annually in train wrecks. Every train in the world today still uses his system. In addition, the AC power used all over the world was pioneered by Westinghouse. Edison wanted to use DC power because he could make more money but Nikolai Tesla convinced Westinghouse that AC was better . His impact on the world was huge.
Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse - With the big money supporting DC currents (Edison Electric, J.P. Morgan, Thomson-Houston Company - through a merger into G.E. General Electric), Pittsburgh magnate George Westinghouse stood by Tesla's AC current, because as an inventor himself, he knew that the technology was superior, and felt that it would eventually win the war of the currents. Tesla, amazingly, would later give up his $2.50 per horsepower of electrical capacity sold that he was due.
At the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system, which soon became the standard power system of the 20th century, and has remained the worldwide standard ever since. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed the first hydroelectric powerplant at Niagara Falls, a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world.
Nikola Tesla was the most popular scientist of the 19th century. In fact, Tesla worked with Edison in the 1880s but had a falling out because he believed Edison stole his ideas. Tesla developed AC power used all over the world now and worked with George Westinghouse to promote it. He laid the foundation for radio, TV and many modern inventions. He fell into insanity & became a recluse. He died in poverty in a tiny apt'mnt, by then considered a "mad scientist" in 1943.