Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse waged an uncommon kind of war during the last quarter of the 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th century. The “currency wars” pitted Edison, a proponent of direct current (DC) against Westinghouse, a proponent of alternating current (AC), for control of the distribution of electricity to major cities and towns across America. While each system had certain advantages, eventually Westinghouse prevailed using patents owned by Nicolai Tesla. By the mid-1920s most of the country was receiving their power by AC and most of the individual electricity deliverers had merged into major utility companies. United Electric Light and Power Co., which printed our paper advertising fan, was New York City’s leading distributor. By 1895, in response to the forced removal of overhead lines, the company had confidently leased a total of 135 miles of underground ducts throughout Manhattan and later constructed a major power station at 26th Street and the East River. United would go on to anchor the merger of five other power companies into Con-Edison which today still illuminates the city’s streets as well as millions of homes and businesses. The beauty and fragility of this hand-painted fan with overall delicate gold decoration belie the fiercely competitive struggle between corporate giants then occurring for control of how to light the Nation. The fan’s fine state of preservation after considerably more than a century is remarkable. Condition: Some expected tears, but generally in very fine condition. Dimensions: Closed, 2" x 8.5". Open, 16" x 8.5'.