President’s Lecture: War of the Currents | Westinghouse
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President's Lecture: War of the Currents

DEC 31, 2019


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  On Monday, Dec. 30 at 3 p.m., Heinz History Center President and CEO, Andy Masich, held an illuminating conversation with the filmmakers of “The Current War.” The recently-released film explores the efforts of George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, and Nikola Tesla to electrify the world.

Pittsburgh-born screen writer Michael Mitnick joined Masich, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and co-producer Jayne Sullivan for an engaging conversation about the history and myths associated with the famous “War of the Currents” – the struggle for superiority between direct current (DC) versus alternating current (AC).


From the invention of the air brake and automobile shock absorbers to the development of railroad signaling and the modern weekend, the Westinghouse story is an integral part of Western Pennsylvania’s 250 year history of innovation.
Many Westinghouse archival materials and artifacts are included in the History Center’s collections. The History Center’s Westinghouse collection preserves the legacy of George Westinghouse and his many companies, and shows the impact his industrial innovations have made on the world.


Learn more about George Westinghouse and his influence on the world in the History Center’s Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition. The exhibit includes full-size reproductions of the Westinghouse robots “Electro” and his pal “Sparko,” and the original duplicate time capsule, which were on display at the New York World’s Fair in 1940.

Also in Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation are other artifacts from the Westinghouse Electric Company, The Westinghouse Air Brake Company, and George Westinghouse’s Union Switch & Signal Company, including an air brake. Visitors can also enjoy a touchscreen interactive of George Westinghouse and see a 17-foot Westinghouse sign in the History Center’s first floor Great Hall.

Additional information about the Westinghouse Collection at the Heinz History Center can be found here.  


The Heinz History Center is Pennsylvania’s largest history museum, and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Heinz History Center family of museums includes: the Heinz History Center, Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Detre Library & Archives, and the Museum Conservation Center.

The 370,000 square-foot museum presents exhibits from American history, with a Western Pennsylvania connection.

Additional information about the museum can be found here.