(7) Nikola Tesla vs. (10) Alexander Graham Bell
(7) Nikola Tesla
Not since Benjamin Franklin has one man's name been so inextricably linked to electricity. Tesla's major breakthroughs, including the rotating magnetic field, made the alternating current we use in our homes possible. His Tesla coil was a key part of early radios. He's still revered as a god among electrical engineering fans, and he might just have been the most important inventor of the 20th century.
(10) Alexander Graham Bell
Bell was born to make some sort of breakthrough in the world of talking. He came from a long line of respected experts on elocution, so he had an innate gift of gab. With his invention of the telephone, Bell enabled everyone to practice enunciating with audiences hundreds of miles away, effectively changing communication forever and opening the door for the 900-number industry to flourish.
Sure, having a phone is nice, but Tesla's alternating current gives us electricity in our homes. Tesla could be ripe for a minor upset, though, if his fans are looking ahead to a second-round matchup with his old rival Edison. Wouldn't that be shocking?
[See the whole bracket here.]