emplah: >Tesla patented his AC motors and power systems, which were said to be the most valuable inventions since the telephone. Soon, George Westinghouse, recognizing that Tesla’s designs might be just what he needed in his efforts to unseat Edison’s DC current, licensed his patents for $60,000 in stocks and cash and royalties based on how much electricity Westinghouse could sell. Ultimately, he won the “War of the Currents,” but at a steep cost in litigation and competition for both Westinghouse and Edison’s General Electric Company.
>Fearing ruin, Westinghouse begged Tesla for relief from the royalties Westinghouse agreed to. “Your decision determines the fate of the Westinghouse Company,” he said. Tesla, grateful to the man who had never tried to swindle him, tore up the royalty contract, walking away from millions in royalties that he was already owed and billions that would have accrued in the future. He would have been one of the wealthiest men in the world—a titan of the Gilded Age.
Pickle_riiickkk: And that’s how tesla died alone in a hotel room. Broke as a joke. With Edison overshadowing his world changing achievements
PaperPencilPolygon: It always breaks my heart when I read about him. Thank you Tesla.
brownribbon: What a bro. Thanks, Nik.
sanguiniuswept: “What a dumbass” — Edison
Srslywhyumadbro: We could use a lot more Nikola Teslas and Philo Farnsworths, and fewer David Sarnoffs in the world, I think.
mrblahblahblah: he regretted that move later in life
KitsuneKarishnacov: …Leaving Westinghouse a millionaire and Tesla dying alone falling in love with a pigeon.
ViveroCervantes: If more people thought like Tesla we would not a have huge disparity between the rich and poor and probably world peace.
robogo: The documentary on Tesla I saw today made me realize a slightly sad thing:
Ever since Nikola Tesla there has not been such a brilliant mind that pushed humanity towards the future like Tesla did.
He actually wanted to design a wireless electricity delivery system that would be free for everyone (Wardenclyffe tower).
EDIT: also, http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla
AtistocraticPlato: More like ‘I’m interested in not having the available funds to continue my research and eventually end up leaving almost nothing’
Jolly_Rocket: Then proceeded to be fully reliant on JP Morgan for his experiments, and that didn’t exactly turn out well. Probably should have just renegotiated terms.
TooShiftyForYou: *In early 1891, George Westinghouse explained his financial difficulties to Tesla in stark terms, saying that, if he did not meet the demands of his lenders, he would no longer be in control of Westinghouse Electric and Tesla would have to “deal with the bankers” to try to collect future royalties. The advantages of having Westinghouse continue to champion the motor probably seemed obvious to Tesla and he agreed to release the company from the royalty payment clause in the contract.*
$15,000 a year adjusted for inflation is about $370,000 today that Tesla let him off the hook for.
benjavari: He was also interested in fucking pigeons.
datums: Yep. Thomas Edison stole a bunch of his ideas, and about a century later, Elon Musk stole his name.
efrique: When Westinghouse got out of financial difficulties, did they do a similar good turn and go back to paying royalties even though there was no longer a legal requirement to*? [Or is such consideration only applied when it’s to their benefit?]
* (in the same way Tesla gave them relief when there was no legal requirement to)
rich6490: You watch history channel too!
SEI_LA_PORRA: Uh. He could just’ve said “sure, just give me enough monthly to live and pay me the rest whenever you can in the future, bro.”
Killercoddbz: I legitimately just watched a documentary on the history channel called “The men who built America.” It was wonderful and included a reenactment of the scene you described.
laminin1: And so, with that, Mr. George Westinghouse created one of the shittiest TV’s to have been manufactured.
Andreas11200: And as a reward he died destitute
yogasaurusrex: I thought this was about George Washington.
looklistencreate: Being a pretentious utopian doesn’t endear me to you.
kaiizza: I see someone else also watched the history channels segment on great men of America yesterday.
Ascii256: His grandson Elon is doing pretty well for himself.
Kingsolomanhere: Been watching this from 30 upvotes. Soon as I saw this was sure it would take off. A man of great debate concerning his legacy; I’d say Reddit will always keep it alive. That’s good
diamondrel: Thought it said George Washington, made reading that much more of a doozy.
BoneBenjamin: Sadly, TE did this to many others. His grip on the film industry was just as tight.
casra888: And Westinghouse and Edison fucked him over shamelessly.
sjryan: Tesla received $250,000 from Westinghouse for his patents. In today’s money, that would be about $15 million.
Nonetheless, Tesla died penniless in a hotel room, in love with a pigeon, having yearly news conferences to announce his ‘work’ on a death ray, still not receiving word back from the Martians he had earlier claimed to have contacted. And even a hundred years later, not a single engineer has any idea how to make Tesla’s wireless power broadcasting system economically viable.
Nonetheless, when Tesla claimed to have been cheated by Edison, everyone believes Tesla.
easybs: Tesla was a god
morgan423: Of course, if benefiting humanity is your end goal… money can make it easier to do that.