Dimensional Coordinates: QUARANTINED
Divergence Date: 1889
Welcome to Edison World, where direct current is king.
“The War of the Currents” is well-documented on Earth Prime. Thomas Edison, inventor and proponent of direct current (the kind you get when you lick a 9v battery) was battling to popularize his brand of energy over alternating current, created by Nikola Tesla.
Tesla’s innovation was far more appropriate for a world that was growing quickly under industrialization. Power could be generated hundreds of miles away, stepped up to high voltages for transportation across power lines, and brought back down with the use of transformers that made the electricity relatively safe. Edison’s DC required power generators nearby as the current level couldn’t travel as far over long distances.
This didn’t stop Edison one bit. He launched a smear campaign against alternating current and hired Harold Brown to spread negative propoganda, going so far as to electocute dogs and animals with AC in front of large audiences.
What killed alternating current on Edison World began as well on Earth Prime — the electrocution of criminal William Kemmler. Brown surreptitiously purchased an alternating current power supply and sold it to the state to fry Kemmler with. His electrocution was less than painless and took almost 18 full hours to kill him. The public outcry was enormous — a shift our world took only briefly.
Tesla’s power was scandalized, sending him into virtual exile. George Westinghouse, the financier behind much of the AC technology, went broke. The two died destitute. Niagara Falls on this world is not a hydro-electric power plant because of their fall.
The final nail in the AC coffin came when Edison underbid Westinghouse in a move that nearly bankrupted him but cemented the DC name on every American’s tongue. In 1892, Edison provided all the power for the World’s Fair in Chicago for only $250,000, $750,000 less than his bid on Earth Prime. When President Grover Cleveland threw the ceremonial switch and lit up over 100,000 lights, DC became the de facto standard of electricity.
It isn’t the first time superior technology lost out to publicity. Remember Beta? Exactly.
Because of this, neighborhoods all have their own personal generators. Large cities have huge facilities smack dab in the center of town for all their power needs. Forget about taking the Light Rail.
Because of the sheer overabundance of electromagnetic pollution, this world is quarantined as a stable sliding vortex cannot be created.