Wednesday, April 25, 2012

John Jacob Astor IV and the "War of the Currents"

Texts on Wikisource:

Millions of reasons to kill John Jacob Astor IV

Astor's huge fortune and financial empire:  The Astor Trust

Photo of Astor Trust Building in New York (1917)

Friendship with Nikola Tesla and investments in Tesla's Experiments

Business partnerships with J.P. Morgan in Niagara power station schemes

War of the Currents (AC vs DC, metered electricity versus free electricity)

J.P. Morgan's decision to back Thomas Edison and metered electricity

Opposition by Astor, who continues to back Tesla

First Wife: Ava Lowle Willing

A Nasty Divorce: Yet Another Motive for Murder?

Ava remarries in 1911 to an English Baron: Thomas Lister, 4th Baron Ribblesdale

J.J. remarries in 1911 to a young beauty: Madeleine Talmadge Force

Social scandal convinces the newly weds to get out of town

Honeymoon in Egypt


Wikipedia "Ava Lowle Willing"

Below, left: A grief-stricken Madeleine Astor captured by a newsman's camera. Below, right: Newsies hand out papers announcing the Titanic Disaster, subheaded "Mrs. Astor Is Saved" . . . as if she were the only person among 1,514 dead who really counted.  

Above: Funeral procession for John Jacob Astor IV, 4 May 1912