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Transcript of Nikola Tesla
Move to America
In June of 1884, Tesla boarded a boat bound for New York City. On route, a mutiny broke out, and he lost most of his possessions and was nearly thrown overboard. When he arrived, he was hired by Edison Machine Works and was soon put to work on complex engineering problems that stumped even Edison. When Tesla's skill became evident, Edison offered him $50,000 to redesign the company's generators. When Tesla completed the task after several months of hard labor, Edison claimed that he had been joking and instead offered him a modest raise. Tesla promptly resigned.
After leaving Edison, the "War of the Currents" between DC and AC began with Tesla overcoming Edison's smear tactics and winning the "War of the Currents" by using AC to light up the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 instead of DC. In 1888, Tesla began to work for George Westinghouse in order to further develop AC. After winning the "War of the Currents" Tesla desired to make the world wireless and moved to Colorado Springs to construct a high voltage/frequency tower for the US government. The goal was for the tower to develop a wireless transmission of energy to generate unlimited and communications. Backed by J.P. Morgan he designed the first hydroelectric plant in Niagra Falls. In 1900 he returned to New York and began work on a "World-System of wireless transmissions" which was backed by J.P. Morgan once more.
Nikola Tesla was born July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Austria-Hungary (modern day Croatia) to Serbian parents. After running away to avoid being drafted into the Austro- Hungarian Army and spending a year exploring mountains, Tesla enrolled at the Austrian Polytechnic in 1875 where at first he earned the highest grades possible but later lost his scholarship, became addicted to gambling and never graduated. In 1882 Tesla began working at the Continental Edison Company in France.
Nikola Tesla outlined his
Dynamic Theory of Gravity
by saying that the "luminiferous ether" fills all space.
The tesla (T) is the SI derived unit of magnetic field strength, or magnetic flux density, commonly denoted as B. One tesla is equal to one weber per square meter, and it was defined in 1960 in honor of Nikola Tesla.
Rotating Magnetic Field (1882)
AC Motor (1883)
Tesla Coil (1891)
Tesla Induction Motor (1883)
Remote Controlled Boat (1898)
Wireless Transmission of Energy (1895-1897)
Bifilar Coil (1894)
Tesla's biggest contributions to electricity and magneticism include Alternating Current, or AC, which alone he held 40 patents for and the "Tesla coil" which he invented in 1891.
"If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. ... I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor."
- Nikola Tesla on Thomas Edison
Later Life and Legacy
While living in New York Tesla would walk to Central Park everyday to feed pigeons and let them into his hotel room where he fed and cared for them(he set up small beds for them). Tesla was especially fond of one pigeon in particular. He once said that “Yes, I loved that pigeon, I loved her as a man loves a woman, and she loved me.” Tesla later told his biographer that this pigeon flew to him one night to tell him that she was dying and a light shone in it's eyes brighter than that of his "most powerful lamps" in his laboratory. He said that with her death something left him and he knew his life's work was done.
Tesla received his last patent in 1928. He died very poor and generally ignored on January 7, 1943 at the age of 86 in New York City of coronary thrombosis. Tesla never married (he thought it would distract from his work) and held over 700 patents at the time of his death. After his death, the FBI seized all of his belongings and notebooks. In 1943 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tesla as "the father of the radio" rather than Marconi (who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1909 for it). He was relatively obscure after his death but has experienced a resurgence in popular culture beginning in the 1990s.
Personality and Characteristics
Tesla was very dedicated to his work and worked from 9 AM until 6 PM (but often worked much later). He suffered from OCD in his later years, developed a fear of round objects and jewelry, could not bear to touch hair, hated shaking hands and became obsessed with the number three. One of his closest friends was Mark Twain who would visit him at his laboratory. Tesla claimed to never sleep more than two hours a day though he did admit to occasionally dozing to recharge. He was very introverted and tended to seclude himself with his work. Tesla was 6 ft 2 and weighed 142 pounds and had almost no weight variance from 1888 to 1926. Tesla was also a polyglot, speaking eight languages.
"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."