Tesla's demonstration of his induction motor and Westinghouse's subsequent licensing of the patent
Tesla's demonstration of his induction motor and Westinghouse's subsequent licensing of the patent, both in 1888, came at the time of extreme competition between electric companies. The three big firms, Westinghouse, Edison, and Thomson-Houston, were trying to grow in a capital-intensive business while financially undercutting each other. There was even a "war of currents" propaganda campaign going on with Edison Electric trying to claim their direct current system was better and safer than the Westinghouse alternating current system. Competing in this market meant Westinghouse would not have the cash or engineering resources to develop Tesla's motor and the related polyphase system right away.