Edison vs. Tesla: Battle of Brilliance

InterestingShitPublished: June 28, 2017Updated: July 4, 201731 views
Published: June 28, 2017Updated: July 4, 2017

A tale of two inventors. One died rich and famous, the other broke and forgotten. Did the better inventor win?

We all know the names Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla, but many would argue about their connection. Here's their story:

We know Thomas Edison as the inventor of the lightbulb, the phonograph and the movie camera. But did you know that we have to thank Nikola Tesla for the advancements in alternating current (AC), X-Rays and the radio (remote) control?

Edison and Tesla met on a disagreement about the current. Edison favored direct current electricity, while Tesla though that alternating current was way better.

Tesla's alternating current electricity could be distributed more easily, without the need for multiple power plants across the cities. In an effort to throw him off the rails, Edison made a bet of $50.000 with Tesla that he couldn't make his machines more efficient on alternating current. Tesla managed to achieve significant progress, to which Edison reneged on the deal, telling Tesla “you don't understand our American humor” and offered him a $10 raise a week instead. This made Tesla quit.

Tesla was more interested in inventing than in business. He built the first hydro-electric power plant on Niagara Falls. By 1896, General Electric was also using Tesla's AC.

Edison would electrocute animals to prove that AC is dangerous, but still managed to make a fortune and die rich. Nikola Tesla died poor and alone in 1943.

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