[D8933ABA], Letter from Harold P Brown to Westinghouse Electric Co, George Westinghouse, Jr., April 4th, 1889


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[D8933ABA], Letter from Harold P Brown to Westinghouse Electric Co, George Westinghouse, Jr., April 4th, 1889

Editor's Notes

[This is the enclosure to D8933AAZ] ##[next page: enclosure:##Geo. Westinghouse, Jr.##President Westinghouse Elecftric Co., Pittsburgh, Pa##Dear Sir: The public admission made at Hamilton by Mr. Stillwell, your electrician, that he knew of at least three men killed by the Westinghouse alternating current which you have pronounced safe, and the adoption of the same current by the State of New York for electrical executions, are sufficient reasons for your failure to accept my challenge of Dec, 18, 1888. I then offered to take the continuous alternating current at the same pressure and for the same number of seconds. You did not dare to risk your life to prove the sincerity of your statements conerning the safety of the Westinghouse alternating current. Will you now dare to risk your money to substantiate your claims as to the efficiency of the Westinghouse alternating current system?##If so, I hereby give you an opportunity to sell another electric-light station (with 650 lamps of 16-candle power each), and obtain an extensive advertisement at my expense.##You have asserted for many months, both by representations of yourself and agents and by authorized advertisements in electrical and other papers (see enclosed frokm the Electrical World), that "50 per cent. More light from a given expenditure of power (fuel) is guaranteed by the Westinghouse Electrical Company than can be obtained by any ccontinuous ("direct") current system.##If it is possible to convert force from one form into another and gain 50 per cent in operation, your company has made the most wonderful discovery of modern times, which carried to its logical conclusion, will give us perpetual motion by a series of [conversions?] from high to low tension or the reverse.##To substantiate this remarkable laim, I challenge you to send a complete 650-light Westinghouse alternating current plant with not less than thirty converters, to the Electrical Testing Bureau of the Johns Hopkins Univversity, to be there installed by your own experts and left for a three-months' test. I will sed a plant of the same capacity of the Mather, Schuyler, Jenney, or Thomson-Houston continuous-current apparatus.##The electricians of the Bureau shall then determine the efficiency of the dynamos from one lamp only to full capacity by dynamometer; the efficiency and life of lamps and efficiency of converters under full load, half-load, a single lamp on each converter and with secondaries open. The apparatus supplied to be standard commercial make, and burned-out lamps not to be replaced. At the end of the tests the Bureau's reports to be published, and if the Westinghouse alternating system gives 50 per cent more light from the same expenditure of power, or proves to be that much more economical in running expenses, then I will pay all expenses of tests of both apparatus and will purchase your plant at list price to present to the University.##If you claim that the remarkable advantages of the Westinghouse system are due to the use of the Westinghouse engine, which has so extensive a sale and is so highly recommended by your company, you an use it in the test, and I will arrange to operate against it some one of the standard high-speed, automatic cut-off engines.##If my challenge is accepted each apparatus is to have one expert in attendance, but he is not to be permitted to interfere with the machinery in any way or to take part in any of the tests.##If you fail to accept this challenge within a reasonable time, and are disinclined to have the value of the Westinghouse electric Company's guarantees publicly established, I shall feel at liberty to personally [blotted] your apparatus to the Bureau for an efficiency test and shall [blotted] their report.##sincerely Yours#Harold P. Brown##Electrical engineer, 45& Wall street




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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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