Edison was so mean that he screwed Tesla's Nobel Prize
On 6 November 1915, a Reuters news agency report from London had the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla; however, on 15 November, a Reuters story from Stockholm stated the prize that year was being awarded to Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg "for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays."There were unsubstantiated rumors at the time that Tesla and/or Edison had refused the prize.The Nobel Foundation said, "Any rumor that a person has not been given a Nobel Prize because he has made known his intention to refuse the reward is ridiculous"; a recipient could only decline a Nobel Prize after he is announced a winner.
There have been subsequent claims by Tesla biographers that Edison and Tesla were the original recipients and that neither was given the award because of their animosity toward each other; that each sought to minimize the other's achievements and right to win the award; that both refused ever to accept the award if the other received it first; that both rejected any possibility of sharing it; and even that a wealthy Edison refused it to keep Tesla from getting the $20,000 prize money.
In the years after these rumors, neither Tesla nor Edison won the prize (although Edison did receive one of 38 possible bids in 1915 and Tesla did receive one of 38 possible bids in 1937).
HE DEVELOPED THE IDEA FOR SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY IN 1901 and no one cared about it.
Tesla may have had a brilliant mind, but he was not as good at reducing his ideas to practice. In the race to develop transatlantic radio, Tesla described to his funder and business partner, J.P. Morgan, a new means of instant communication that involved gathering stock quotes and telegram messages, funneling them to his laboratory, where he would encode them and assign them each a new frequency. That frequency would be broadcast to a device that would fit in your hand. In other words, Tesla had envisioned the smart phone and wireless internet.
This tesla coil snuffed out the power in Colorado Springs when this photo was taken. Photo by Dickenson V. Alley, photographer at the Century Magazines via Wikimedia Commons.
Tesla died a broke humanitarian.
"Tesla did what he did for the betterment of humanity, to help people have a better quality of life," said Alcorn. "He never seemed to be interested in monetary gain, although a possible downside of that was he never seemed to have enough money to do what he needed to do."
Tesla had famous friends, including Mark Twain and French actress Sarah Bernhardt, but he struggled financially. Edison and Westinghouse were much more successful businessmen, which partly explains the strength of their legacies.
Tesla rarely slept and suffered from OCD.
Tesla claimed to have required only two hours of sleep a night, although he occasionally napped. He loathed jewelry and round objects and wouldn't touch hair. He was obsessed with the number three and polished every dining implement he used to perfection, using 18 napkins.
Many of Tesla's inventions were classified and still a secret.
When Tesla died in 1943, during World War II, the Office of Alien Property took his belongings, Alcorn said. Most of his things were later released to his family, and many ended up in the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, which opened in the 1950s. But some of Tesla's papers are still classified by the U.S. government.
As a result of the years of secrecy, many people have speculated about what fantastic inventions might have been suppressed, perhaps to keep them out of enemy hands or, more darkly, to perpetuate the status quo. Perhaps supporting the former theory, Tesla had spoken publically about working on a "death beam." Those who fear the latter theory often point to his work on harvesting the energy in the forces of nature as something that would upset powerful oil companies