According to reports Tesla and Thomas Edison were bitter rivals and Tesla had every reason for his contempt. In 1885, Tesla claimed that he could redesign Edison's inefficient motor and generators. According to Tesla, Edison remarked, "There's fifty thousand dollars in it for you—if you can do it" . After months of work, Tesla accomplished this and then sought compensation. Edison, claiming that he was only joking, replied, "Tesla, you don't understand our American humor." Instead, Edison offered a $10 a week raise over Tesla's $18 per week salary; Tesla refused the offer and resigned.
Picture by Greg Chapin.