Edison Lightbulbs To Be Auctioned At Chrisites

Yesterday the US Department of Energy hosted a debate on the subject of Nikola Tesla versus Thomas Edison – who was more important and more inventive? The results are now in and the winner is…

Well, it may not be that cut and dry. They both played integral parts in developing one of the most important technologies produced in the modern world – electric light – and in so doing, they left an indelible mark on global society.

The speakers who discussed the topic via Google Plus hangout included Deputy Director of the Energy Department’s Advanced Manufacturing Office Dr. Rob Ivester, Commercial Building Engineer Dr. Stephen Frank from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and University of Virginia professor of science, technology and society Dr. Bernie Carlson, author of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age.

In the end they concluded the two inventors played very different roles in harnessing electrical power: Tesla was a true visionary who saw the possibilities and achievements electricity offered, while Edison was a master engineer and inventor, whose strength was building and commercializing practical technologies like the light bulb.

The speakers concluded Tesla was probably the most important contributor, but they were both geniuses who complemented each other in many ways.

Watch the debate in its entirety here: