Genius: Edison vs Tesla – Ep 2 Sneak Peek

Thomas Edison is the most famous inventor in the world. What he lacks in formal education, he makes up for in tireless perseverance. With backing from some of the world’s wealthiest financiers, Edison sets out to expand upon his invention of the light bulb by building an electric empire, using the power of Direct Current.

Nikola Tesla is an eccentric math genius obsessed with electricity. He’s invented a motor that can use the largely unexplored – and far more complex power – of Alternating Current. His invention, he realizes, could change the world. He also believes there’s only one man with the vision and power to make his dream a reality: Thomas Edison.

The two men could not be more different. At first, Edison gives the strange young foreigner, Tesla, a shot. But it soon becomes clear Tesla’s idea will never see the light of day if Edison can help it. When Edison reneges on a $50,000 bonus, Tesla storms off, determined to prove he’s right.

But Tesla finds a powerful ally in mogul and fellow inventor George Westinghouse. And now, the “War of the Currents” is on.

Under enormous pressure from his investors, Edison fights back – using fear. To prove the dangers of Tesla’s technology, he invites the press to watch as he electrocutes animals using Alternating Current. When New York State representatives comes to Edison seeking a more humane way of executing criminals, he supplies “an electric chair” powered by a Westinghouse / Tesla Alternating Current generator.

At last, the ultimate showdown: Who will win the concession for harnessing Niagara Falls’ immense power with an electrical station? The answer will decide the standard for electrical current, and the fate of two of the most brilliant minds America has ever known.