NIKOLA TESLA (1856-1943)
Who Was Nikola Tesla?
late nineteenth century America, when rival inventors sought to reshape
the world, Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla was king. Six foot six inches
tall and lean, he had a photographic memory. He lived a life as ascetic
as a monk, eschewing women, coffee, tea and all stimulants, working himself to the
point of repeated nervous breakdowns.
Going head to head,
Tesla vanquished Edison and established the format for the generation
and transmission of electricity that is still in use today. He fought
Marconi over the authorship of the radio, finally winning in the
He created a variety of seminal inventions. In a 1947 tribute article
in the journal Science, he was credited with:
Alternating current generators and motors.
The radio and remote control.
Neon and fluorescent lighting.
every mature invention is the work of many, Tesla
was remarkable in his ability to envision the final product. Others
started inventions, Tesla finished them. And beyond that skill, he could
imagine their place in a world a century in the future—he blended Thomas
Edison with Jules Verne. When radio was in its infancy, he described
connecting the world, not just with sound, but with images, exchanging
information. He imagined the world wide web.
Tesla was also
notorious for pursuing quixotic inventions including those involving
the transmission of lightning and the creation of earthquakes. He
became obsessed with ending war forever. He proposed a device for
recording human thought.
As he grew older he became more and
more eccentric, his business failures and his collection of phobias
drove him into seclusion. Ultimately, he imagined himself a machine, an
automaton run by the will of the universe.
He died in debt, nearly forgotten. His papers were seized by the
government out of fear of what secrets they might hold.
after his death, his reputation has undergone a resurgence. His
uncompromising genius, his brilliant visions of the future, and even
his madness are now celebrated.
Nikola Tesla, The Thinking Man
Reference: Accomplishments of Nikola Tesla. Kenneth M. Swezey. Science, May 16, 1948, pp. 1147-59End
note: The name Tesla is Serbian for "adze," a chopping and
digging instrument. Tesla was the sharpest tool in the shed. More to the storyWho was Nikola Tesla, really?Tesla versus EinsteinTesla versus Adrian MonkHealth Tips from Nikola TeslaWas Tesla anti-Semitic?A Predatory Mind - Purchase the Book
copyright 2013, Martin Hill Ortiz