Inventor, Engineer, Physicist
B: July 10, 1856 – Croatia
D: January 7, 1943 – USA
Nikola Tesla developed the basis for much of the technology we rely on today. From the alternating current (AC) systems that power the world, fluorescent lighting, x-ray, radar, radio, and on to a technology concept reminiscent of smartphones; Tesla was ahead of his time. He is highly regarded in the paranormal community but, there seems to be little direct basis for the regard. Though, his ideas regarding electromagnetic fields merge nicely with many current philosophies on the paranormal. There is also mention of some potential mental problems and hallucinations following the death of his brother in 1863.
Born in Smiljan, Croatia, Nikola’s father was an Orthodox Priest and his mother ran the family farm. She may have influenced Nikola’s future heavily as she reportedly invented small items to use around their home. Nikola studied math and physics at Realschule Karlstadt in 1873 with a particular interest in electricity. In 1881, while working as an electrical engineer, he was already sharing his ideas to improve AC motors. Prior to coming to the USA in 1884, he worked as a design engineer for the Continental Edison Company in Paris. He had privately and successfully developed his AC motor ideas but, could not find interest for the device in Europe.
After coming to America in 1884, Nikola worked as an engineer for Thomas Edison. Edison, however, had based the future of his company on the use of direct current (DC) power rather than AC. Edison offered Nikola a large sum of money to improve DC technology. Nikola took the challenge and ultimately improved the technology but Edison never paid stating that the offer was some sort of joke. This, along with their differing opinions on AC and DC, led Nikola to leave Edison’s company after only two years.
Nikola endured the following year with a failed attempt to launch his own electric company and survived with odd jobs. During 1887 and 1888 he finally found support for his AC ideas. He was granted more than 30 patents and eventually caught the attention of George Westinghouse, Edison’s primary competitor. George hired Nikola and provided him a lab to develop his ideas further. George also purchased the patents Nikola had received for the AC system. Their partnership ultimately led to the first modern power station with the installation of hydroelectric AC generators at Niagara Falls.
Though the 1890s and early 1900s, Nikola pioneered many technologies for various measurement devices, improved lighting, x-ray, radio / wireless telegraph and wireless control, naval radar, and more. His most ambitious pursuit involved global wireless communication as well as global wireless power. He had demonstrated the technology for wireless power by lighting lamps a reported 25 miles away without the use of transmission wires. During this time he also reported receiving signals from another planet.
Nikola died alone in his New York apartment with more than 700 patents registered in his name.
Nikola Tesla, the Genius Who Lit the World. (1998). Tesla Society.com website. Retrieved Dec 21, 2014 from http://www.teslasociety.com/biography.htm
Nikola Tesla. (2009). History.com website. Retrieved Dec 21, 2014 from http://www.history.com/topics/inventions/nikola-tesla
Nikola Tesla (2014). Biography.com website. Retrieved Dec 21, 2014 from http://www.biography.com/people/nikola-tesla-9504443