Tesla and Edison Compared (Infographic)

Table compares Tesla and Edison facts.
Nikola Tesla, genius inventor, and Thomas Edison, expert businessman. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American, born in 1856 and died in 1943, age 86.

Thomas Edison was an American, born in 1847 and died in 1931, age 84.

Edison held 1,093 patents to Tesla's 112. Tesla is known for inventing the alternating current generator, while Edison is remembered for the electric light bulb.

Tesla could design complex systems in his imagination and could put on amazing demonstrations of the power of electricity. His downfall was an inability to convert ideas into business plans.


Edison, much like Steve Jobs of Apple, excelled at recognizing the potential of ideas to be converted into patents and profit. Edison was not an inventor of technology, but was the inventor of modern "innovation."


Karl Tate
LiveScience Infographic Artist
Karl has been Purch's infographics specialist across all editorial properties since 2010.  Before joining Purch, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University.