Editor says, what if Nicholai Tesla renegotiated (rather than ripped up) his contract with Westinghouse?, muses Jeff Provine on This Day in Alternate History Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, In reality, Tesla simply offered to tear up his contract with Westinghouse. The scientific genius was not known for his business-savvy, and the exceptionally generous offer cost him millions. Westinghouse, being a businessman, did not talk Tesla out of his offer, which saved his company.
Tesla would struggle with money and lack of recognition through the rest of his life. Marconi dominated the radio industry while Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower would fail from lack of funds and directions. It would not be until 1943 that the US Supreme Court finally awarded Tesla his patents (arguably as a way to avoid payment demanded by Marconi). The US Army and Navy would ignore his suggestions at weapon development, even though Tesla's newspaper editorials would correctly predict the length of the war and the failure of the League of Nations. Gradually, Tesla would descend into madness and die in severe debt and obscurity. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.