The Brief: Edison vs. Tesla memes refer to scientist rivals Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.
Although the extent of their rivalry is hotly contested, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla crossed paths and ruffled feathers during their careers in science and invention. Memes pitting Edison against Tesla come from the discourse online about which was the better scientist, person, and innovator. Online, debaters largely favor Tesla, often characterizing him as a heroic, honest inventor and Edison as a greedy, idea-stealing capitalist.
Thomas Edison’s was born on February 11, 1847. On his birthday, some meme-makers have decided to post pro-Tesla and anti-Edison memes, thus hijacking Edison’s birthday to honor Tesla instead. The meme rivalry of these two long-dead historical figures stems from a sense of comradery that many people feel for Tesla as a fellow “geek” and underdog.