Tesla Motor’s CEO Elon Musk to Receive the 2014 Edison Achievement Award

It’s fair to say that Elon Musk is a fan of Nikola Tesla; so much so that Musk named his automotive company after the great Serbian inventor who lived from 1854 to 1943 who brought about many innovations relating to alternating current.

Musk even went as far as personally donating an undisclosed amount to The Oatmeal’s campaign to get Tesla’s old lab in Shoreham, NY, turned into a museum.

Nikola Tesla Created the First AC Motor and Tried to Roll Out AC Electricity to Homes Rather then Edison's DC

Nikola Tesla Created the First AC Motor and Tried to Roll Out AC Electricity to Homes Rather then Edison’s DC

So it’s funny to see Musk’s name alongside that of Thomas Edison, Tesla’s rival in electrical engineering. But that’s just what is happening as this week The Edison Awards has recognised Elon Musk ‘for his continuous contribution to human-centered design, as well as his positive influence on creating entirely new market opportunities and inspiring future leaders and innovators worldwide.’

Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director of the Edison Awards, said, ‘Elon Musk is a true visionary of our time, and we could not be more honored to present him with the 2014 Edison Achievement Award.

‘His intense desire to improve lives and make our world a better place through his abilities and accomplishments serve as living acknowledgement and embodiment of Thomas Edison’s values and principles.’

Elon Musk to be Awarded the 2014 Edison Achievement Award

Elon Musk to be Awarded the 2014 Edison Achievement Award

Musk is one of two people to get the award this year, the other being Yang Tuanquig, CEO of Lenovo. Previous winners of the award include Steve Jobs of Apple and Chris Anderson of TED.

The award ceremony will be held on 29/30 April in San Francisco.

If you want to know more about why Nikola Tesla check out the Why Nikola Tesla Was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived page on The Oatmeal.


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  • Ivor O’Connor

    Didn’t Thomas Edison refuse to honor many of the deals and not make the payments due Tesla before they became enemies. Then didn’t Edison spend the rest of his life trying to sabotage everything Tesla did? History channels and such have a way of dramatizing things but the irony here seems very deep.

    • Mark Chatterley

      Edison really was a businessman who was also good at electronics. Tesla was electronics through and through. Tesla just didn’t concern himself with money – and thus died pretty much penniless in a hovel (although he did have the pigeon he’d fallen in love with to keep him company).nnTesla was very much into the idea of free energy for people – broadcasting electricity wirelessly to make it free to everyone. That didn’t go down so well.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        Nice polite summary. Though I thought Tesla died in his favorite hotel room the size of a shoe box which he had been living in for many years.nnnEdison certainly was a “businessman”.

        • Mark Chatterley

          You could be right about the hotel room. But I’m fairly sure he had not money – or very little.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Yes. Probably paid for by somebody else. I believe he was broke in his final years. It’s been awhile since I looked at his bio.

    • Erin Corral

      You are correct. Edison refused to pay Tesla the money he promised him. Interestingly enough, Tesla ALSO won the Edison Award at one point int time, and had to be coaxed inside to accept it. @MayaMediaInc is making a good miniseries about this.

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