Thomas Edison was a cranky American asshole who was sort of involved with the invention of the light bulb. Nikola Tesla was a crazy Serbian who was instrumental in harnessing electric power. Also, he blew shit up with lightning.
In 1884, Tesla got a job with Edison, and in many of their arguments, Tesla said that he could improve Edison's electricity and save him money. Edison said there was $50,000 in it for Tesla if he could do it. After months of slaving over Edison's shitty excuses for electronics, Tesla made huge improvements.
When Tesla told Edison to pay up, Edison response was: "You don't understand American humor."
Tesla got pissed and got a job working for Westinghouse (Edison's rival). Soon after, the three men got into "THE WAR OF CURRENTS!!!" *enter lightning and blazing metal music* with Westinghouse, Tesla and his Alternating Current against Edison with his Direct Currents.
Of course, Tesla was right, but because he was a shitty businessman, it didn't matter. His inventions are still being used to funnel fuck you money into the pockets of Edison's descendants. His legacy has experienced a popular resurgence in recent years, mostly by people who know him as "the guy who enabled Hugh Jackman to be killed hundreds of times in a single movie."
Tesla held around 700 patents in 26 countries. These include:
And that's not all. In 1943, the Supreme Court invalided Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi's patents for the radio and radio equipment and giving credit to Tesla based on his patents that predated Marconi's. But, by that time, Tesla was--dead.
Tesla once predicted, "The household's daily newspaper will be printed 'wirelessly' in the home during the night". Hey! That sounds like the Internet!
Tesla turning on a lamp to read
Tesla was the first to harness the power of Niagara Falls into a hydroelectric power plant, constructed a bath designed to cleanse the human body of germs using nothing but electricity, and created a 130-foot long bolt of lightning from one of his massive coils (which remains the world record for man-made lightning). In addition he, once, caused an earthquake in New York City that was so powerful that it almost destroyed 5th Avenue (where his lab was at.)
Outside of Tesla's laboratory on a daily basis
Though, Tesla's feats keep going on and on and on and on, he remains largely overlooked and while Edison and Westinghouse have their name stamped on huge cooperations, Tesla can merely lay claim to the B list rock band.