Tesla 1856 - 1943 (87)

In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.


My inventions

Invention is the most important product of man's creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs.

Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 - January 7, 1943) was a Serbian-American electrical and mechanical engineer, an inventor of more than 700 inventions, some of which founded the modern world; inventions such as: alternating current (AC) electricity supply system, rotating magnetic field, neon Lamps, the Induction Motor, Tesla coil, the Magnifying Transmitter, radio etc.

He was born in the village Smiljan, in the Austrian Empire (present day Croatia). His father was the orthodox priest of the village. When Nicolas was 7 years old, his 14-year-old brother, who was considered particularly talented, was killed by falling off the horse. The event dipped the family in great sadness and resulted in Nicholas being neglected; as he wrote. In 1863 he moved with his parents to Gospic where he received basic education and learned the German language. Returning to his village, he suffered from cholera and it took him 9 months to recover. He then spent 9 months on the mountain to avoid being armed. All these months he spent many hours imagining possible inventions. His parents wanted him to become a priest, but he wanted to become a mechanic. He won a scholarship for the High School of Engineering and he had excellent performance in the first year, but he was gradually bored and dropped out without a degree. For a short time he worked as an engineer and in January 1880 he enrolled in the German-speaking University of Charles in Prague. He again abandoned his studies and went to Budapest. He was trained as a technical designer at Hungary's Central Telegraph Office where he gained valuable practical experience and managed to make significant improvements to the equipment of the newly established telephone center. He then worked at the Edison Electric Company where he came in contact with Edison's work and gained deeper knowledge and experience about electric generators and motors. Soon he stood up for his skills and in 1884 he was offered a position in the headquarters of the company in America. Two days after arriving in New York, Tesla began working at Edison's engineering center; he redesigned the electric generators to improve their performance and made a significant contribution to the development of an arc lamp system. Frustrated by the fact that the system he designed was not implemented, and because he was never rewarded for his valuable contribution, beyond the $ 18 a week salary, he resigned in 6 months. In the following years Tesla made hundreds of inventions and improvements in the field of electricity and magnetism, while Edison and his colleagues tried hard to discredit him.

In October 1887, the Tesla Polyphase System was patented, in the period 1890-1891 he gave dozens of lectures on alternating current and its use, in 1891 he invented the coil bearing his name. On the night of May 1, 1893, at the Chicago International Exhibition he illuminated the city of Chicago with alternating current lamps. Tesla from 1892 to 1903 struggled to prove that the broadcast and reception of radio waves was his own invention as it was relied on 13 of his own patents. He was eventually justified in 1943, and was recognized as the inventor of the radio in 1955. In 1934 Tesla told reporters he had designed a super weapon, a death ray. Because of his eccentricity and the strange and perceived as outrageous claims about the possibilities of technology, many started to regard him as a mad scientist. In 1937 a car hit him and seriously injured him. In his last years, he was becoming more and more lonely and detached, he had as friends the pigeons that he picked up from the streets and cared for. He died on 7 January 1943 from coronary thrombosis at the New York Hotel. He was found dead two days later as he had hanged the “Do Not Disturb” message at the door of his room. Modern scholars of his work have called him "the man who invented the Twentieth Century".