The Battle of the Titans: How JP Morgan and Thomas Edison Outsmarted Nikola Tesla
Firstly, it's important to understand the context of the time. The late 19th century was a time of great innovation, particularly in the field of electricity. Both Edison and Tesla were pioneers in this field, but they had very different approaches. Edison was a proponent of direct current (DC) electricity, while Tesla championed alternating current (AC).
At the time, there was a great debate over which system was better, and Edison was fiercely protective of his own DC system. He went so far as to launch a public smear campaign against AC, even going as far as to electrocute animals using AC to demonstrate its supposed danger.
Morgan was a savvy businessman who saw the potential for great profit in the burgeoning electrical industry. He recognized that Edison's DC system had many advantages, particularly in the field of lighting, and so he threw his support behind Edison.
However, it's true that Morgan's CFO, Charles Batchelor, played a key role in the decision. Batchelor had a long-standing relationship with Edison, and he was instrumental in convincing Morgan of Edison's potential.
Batchelor also played a role in one of the most infamous events in the rivalry between Edison and Tesla. In 1888, Tesla patented his AC motor, which was far more efficient than Edison's DC motors. However, Edison refused to acknowledge the superiority of Tesla's invention and launched a campaign to discredit it. Batchelor was a key figure in this campaign, and he played a role in persuading the New York Board of Electrical Control to reject Tesla's AC system.
In the end, Morgan's support proved crucial in Edison's victory over Tesla. However, it's important to remember that there were many factors at play, and the rivalry between Edison and Tesla was a complex and multifaceted one.
In conclusion, while it's true that JP Morgan's CFO Charles Batchelor played a role in convincing Morgan to support Edison, there were many other factors at play in the rivalry between Edison and Tesla. The debate over DC vs. AC was a heated one, and Edison's smear campaign against AC was a key factor in his victory. However, Tesla's contributions to the field of electricity cannot be overlooked, and his innovations continue to influence the world today.