Nikola Tesla: Legends Never Die
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in Belgrade, Serbia. He was the son of Serbian poet and engineer Sava Tesla, who was an engineer in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was educated at a technical institute in Vienna. Sava’s early career in the Austro-Hungarian Navy meant he was unable to attend elementary school with his son and, because of this, Nikola was educated at home until he was 13. He did not receive his diploma until age 15, and though he had a thirst for knowledge and a phenomenal memory, he did not excel in his formal studies. In fact, when he was 12 years old, he showed no interest in formal education. Tesla’s parents did their best to encourage their son’s interest in science and inventions.
Nikola Tesla experienced his first mechanical interest when, at the age of nine, he saw his uncle work a strange machine, created from a hollow log. According to Tesla, when his uncle opened the machine, the sawed-off log rotated as it was being operated by a single iron “driving cylinder” driven by the iron “wind-power” drive pulley. At the time, this is exactly what Tesla described as a “magneto-mechanical” engine. Tesla’s uncle was so impressed with the machine; he quickly brought another log and told Tesla to saw off a second one. At that point, Tesla was hooked. Two years later, his family moved to Belgrade, where Tesla worked in a glass factory to support himself.
The Life of Nikola Tesla:
As a child, Tesla was a lonely child, a hopeless nerd, whose experiences only improved when he entered New York University in 1884, where he earned degrees in physics and chemistry and earned the nickname “The World’s Great Scientific Genius.” However, it was not until 1892 that he discovered his true calling: electricity. Most people were terrified of the specter of electricity. It was used in hospitals for heating and lighting, for instance, and in gas meters. It was seen as dangerous and an accident waiting to happen. Yet Tesla saw electricity as the most powerful force in the world, capable of creating more powerful explosions than a tornado.
Modernizing the World with Electricity:
Tesla developed many devices with an impressive ability to produce and control electrical currents, especially Tesla coils. He invented the direct current alternator, the electromagnetic induction motor, the induction motor, and the Tesla coil. Tesla was also the first to produce alternating current (AC) for the general public. Electricity has long been used to explain the paranormal phenomena of strange lights in the sky, luminous apparitions, unearthly sounds, and even physical touch sensations. Tesla believed that electricity could be used to influence people, control consciousness and physical events, and perhaps even to travel through the air, as he had proposed in his famous paper that was published in 1892 by the name of “Outline of a Motor for Flying Machines.
The New York Times article about Nikola Tesla:
At long last, some written words have been composed for Nikola Tesla, one of the great scientific minds of his age and even the century. Although the words are not by an original author, they are a truthful and frank account of one of the most famous human figures in modern history, the polymath and inventor who made enormous contributions to the development of science, the idea of electricity, nuclear energy, light, magnetism, and wireless telegraphy, among others. We hope that they will help some people to realize the value of the great man who helped open up the dark and previously unimaginable realm of free energy.
What was the general reaction to his work?
Despite the many great inventions and improvements attributed to him, few scholars or physicists came to his defense during his lifetime. No wonder, he was considered by his contemporaries to be both brilliant and delusional. He may have been both, but he was definitely able to cross the scientific achievement divide. A whole can of half-baked ideas, that’s for sure. Yet, more than anything else, Tesla was known as an eccentric. He didn’t much care about appearances or flaunting his wealth or power. Being a genius, he cared more about penetrating the secrets of the universe. “I was born to end the world!” he once famously proclaimed.
Tesla and Edison:
The two extremely interesting and interconnected people in American history are Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Tesla was hired by Edison’s company in 1884, but Edison thought he should return to Sweden to help his wife. Instead, Tesla stayed in New York and did not go home for over a year. It was during this time that Tesla created his rotary motor, which also included a frequency converter, a compact distilling refrigerator, and a device that prevented fatigue when driving a vehicle. Tesla left Thomas Edison’s company in 1887. Edison did not respond well to Tesla’s departure. He felt that he would never amount to much without Tesla and had him put under surveillance to make sure he didn’t get back on Edison’s radar. The two had a falling out, and Edison later patented a competing version of Tesla’s alternating current.
Conclusion: Nikola Tesla: Legends Never Die
Tesla was one of the great scientific minds of the modern age. It may be argued that he lived at a time when humanity was at its peak scientific and technical achievement, but there’s no doubt that Tesla was among the leaders of those times, and the world at large should be thankful for his contribution to our knowledge and our understanding of the universe.
When first created, no one could imagine how well Tesla’s coils would work. Yet when harnessed with batteries and circuits, they show exactly how to create a clean and efficient electrical power system for all people.