Tesla and Edison ignored by Nobel Prize committee

There was a tragic mistake during the 1915 Nobel Prize involving Nikola Tesla and Edison.

The report of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1915, to be jointly shared by Edison and Tesla, was carried in the Literary Digest and The Electrical World of New York. On November 14, 1915 Reuter's dispatch from Stockholm reported that the Nobel Committee announced The Nobel Prize for Physics would not be given to Edison and Tesla. Instead, two scientists by the name of William Henry Bragg of the University of Leeds, England and his son W. L. Bragg of Cambridge University were awarded the Nobel Prize for their use of X-rays to determine the structure of crystals.

Thomas Edison and Tesla were mentioned as potential laureates in 1915, but it is believed that due to their animosity toward each other neither was ever given the award, despite their enormous scientific contributions. There is some indication that each sought to minimize the other's achievements and right to win the award; that both refused to ever accept the award if the other received it first; and that both rejected any possibility of sharing it—as was rumored in the press at the time. Tesla had a greater financial need for the award than Edison: in 1916, he filed for bankruptcy.