"It wasn't until 1943—a few months after Tesla's death— that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Tesla's radio patent number 645,576. The Court had a selfish reason for doing so. The Marconi Company was suing the United States Government for use of its patents in World War I. The Court simply avoided the action by restoring the priority of Tesla's patent over Marconi."
Eventually Tesla was presented with a challenge. If he could increase the efficiency of the DC dynamos by 25% Edison would present him with a bonus of $50,000. A two-month deadline was imposed and Tesla kept to it, improving the efficiency of some dynamos by up to 50%.
Unfortunately, Tesla hadn't reckoned on Edison's notoriously tight-fisted nature. He reneged on the deal and refused to hand over the money. Tesla, infuriated at being betrayed by his idol, quit in disgust. It was at this point that he was approached by a group of investors interested in developing an arc light that he had invented. He went into partnership with them as the Tesla Arc Light Company. The arc lights sold well and Tesla expected to have enough money to develop his AC system. But, in the first of a series of business errors that were to plague his life, he found out that his 50% share did not entitle him to a 50% voting share and he was voted out of his own company. One of the finest engineers in the world was reduced to digging ditches for a dollar a day....
In an attempt to stress the dangers of AC power, Edison sponsored a minor electrical engineer called Harold Brown to travel the country electrocuting animals with both DC and AC. The frequency of AC confuses the heart, so AC electrocuted animals died but DC victims were stunned but lived. Edison used these sideshow 'experiments' to contrast the danger of AC compared with the relative safety of DC. He continued his campaign by a typically devious piece of subterfuge.
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