The rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Edison started after Tesla was working for Edison, (after he had just invented the light bulb) and was told to fix the bugs in Edison’s new form of moving electricity which was called DC, or direct current. When Tesla did this, it upset Edison, so he did not pay Tesla money he said he would. After that happened, Tesla quit. Edison then vowed to discredit Tesla’s work.
In 1888 Tesla developed a better way to move electricity. When Tesla found this way, he named it alternating currents or (AC), replacing the bad direct currents, or (DC). The main difference was DC couldn’t be sent long distances and AC could. This was the start of long distance electric broadcasts, like TV and radio.
When George Westinghouse heard of AC, he offered to help fund the idea by paying Tesla $2.50 dollars for every kilowatt sold. After he received the money, Nikola Tesla finally had the money needed to continue his experiments on his own.
In the First World War, the United States Government needed ways to fight the Germen submarines, they went to Edison. When Tesla heard, he offered to make a way to see submarines using electrical pulses. These pulses later became known as sonar. Due to Edison getting the first opportunity to develop technology for the United States, sonar would not be fully realized for another 25 years.
When Edison was trying to disprove Tesla’s inventions, he accidentally invented the electric chair. Edison was trying to prove his DC was safe by putting it in people, unfortunately this ended up becoming the way to put people to death. When Tesla did the same with AC, he ran it through his body to power a light bulb without harming himself. To more fully impress the crowd, he then shot it out of his finger into the crowd.
In the end, a prize was created to celebrate creative minds. Tesla ironically received the Edison Prize. So all of Tesla’s great idea’s which help shape todays modern technology, was sadly frowned upon when first introduced. At the end, it was a hit to the face when he received a medal named after his lifelong rival, which really should have been named after him. When Tesla died in 1943, over 2000 people attended his funeral.