“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs, the future, for which I have really worked, is mine. ” Nikola Tesla The Father of Modern Technology It is difficult to imagine how today’s world would be without Nikola Tesla, the inventor who revolutionized the modern technology. His inventions touch our life on a daily basis and yet the majority of people don’t now anything about him. To be more specific, every time we switch the light , watch the TV, use a laptop , a computer or a cell phone we should thank Tesla for his creations.
This brilliant scientist invented the alternative current, wireless transmission, radio, X-rays , neon and many other things totaling 700 patents. His greatest dream was to obtain and deliver free energy for everybody and he proved that this is possible and, if helped, he would have materialized his dream. Nikola Tesla was born in Smijlan, Croatia in 1856. He had an extraordinary memory and spoke six languages: Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Italian, French, German, and English. He spent four years at the Polytechnic Institute at Graz studying math, physics, and mechanics.
During this period of time he became fascinated by electricity, a branch of physics that was still in its infancy. Tesla came to United States in 1884 and started to work for Edison. At that time Thomas Edison had problems with his DC (direct current) system, which contained many bugs. Being aware of Tesla’s great mind, Edison promised him 50,000 dollars (the equivalent of one million dollars in today’s money) for fixing the system. Nikola took the challenge and after hard and exhausting work managed to get the bugs out and thus saved Edison over $100,000.
Thomas refused to keep his promise and Tesla quit not long after that. From that point, Edison tried to discredit Tesla whenever it was possible. Besides the aforementioned reason of their separation is the fact that Nikola had a different point of view on the future of electricity, a view that made him a very unwilling and dangerous competitor for Edison. In 1888, Tesla devised a better system of transmission, the AC (alternating current) system used in houses around the world today. He didn’t stop here and in 1890 invented a motor to run on AC, which remains the prototype of motor used in every household appliance today.
As a result of these inventions Tesla got the attention of George Westinghouse and in 1893 they signed a contract which stipulate that Nikola will get $2. 50 per Kilowatt of AC sold and 60,000 for his patents. Tesla spent almost all his money on a new lab. During this period of time he developed the fluorescent bulb, neon, X-rays, speedometer for cars and in 1895 designed the world’s first hydroelectric plant at Niagara Fall. Unfortunately, in the same year his lab burned in strange circumstances . By 1897 Westinghouse ran into financial trouble and owed Nikola one million dollars.
Tesla was begged to give up his royalties contract and, for various reasons, Nikola accepted to do that and got 216,000 dollars outright for his patents. In those years, one of Tesla’s most important preoccupations was wireless transmission and in 1898 he managed to demonstrate the first remote controlled model boat at Madison Square Garden. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he stayed from May 1899 until early 1900, Tesla discovered terrestrial stationary waves. This discovery proved that the Earth could be used as a conductor and would be “as responsive as a tuning fork to electrical vibrations of a certain frequency. Nikola demonstrated this by lighting 200 lamps without wires from a distance of 25 miles and creating man-made lightning, producing flashes measuring 135 feet. In 1900 J. P. Morgan decided to invest 150,000 dollars in Tesla’s project of the construction of “Wireless Broadcasting System” tower on Long Island, New York. Nikola intended to use it to link the world’s telephone and telegraph and to transmit wirelessly pictures, stock reports, and weather information. The project was really grandiose and necessitated a lot of funds, but Morgan was not very quick to supply more money.
In the meantime (1901) Marconi managed to transmit the first transatlantic wireless message. By 1904 Morgan stopped financing Tesla declaring that he was satisfied with Marconi’s achievements. The real reason behind that was the fact that Morgan found out that Tesla wanted to use the tower in order to deliver free energy, something that was against his interests. Nikola intended to use the energy from the ionosphere, and if he had succeeded, better said, if he had been financed, the energy slavery would have ended. As a result Tesla ran in financial trouble, but he was unwilling to abandon the project.
Nikola continued the project on his own money. In order to get funds he designed the Tesla turbine and produced Tesla coils and electrotherapeutic coils for sale to various businesses. He also tried to find other investors, but Morgan, who didn’t want Tesla to succeed, discredited him, so no one was eager to invest funds in this project. That was Tesla’s greatest defeat. In September 1917 during World War I, the tower was blown up with dynamite on orders of the United States Government which feared that it could be used as a landmark for German submarines.
Tesla kept creating; however the lack of funds decreased his efficiency dramatically. His ideas remained mainly on his notebooks, for he had no money to conduct experiments. In 1917, when USA entered the World War I, the army was in need of a device that would detect the German submarines and ships. As a result Tesla designed in August 1917 a prototype of modern military radar. The army didn’t implement Nikola’s invention, much because Edison, who was positioned at the head of marine researches. Thus, the first radar appeared in American Navy in 1937.
It took twenty years for everybody to realize that Tesla was right. In 1928 Nikola would receive his last patented invention: the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. This date marks the beginning of the VTOL industry and Tesla’s great contribution is obvious. Being aware that a new World War is likely to happen, Nikola started to design a new spectacular invention; the Death Ray. His idea was to create a shield that would protect the borders of a country from enemy’s intrusion. The problem consisted in the fact that these rays could be used for aggression and not for defense only.
Tesla’s biographers considered that this is the primary reason of why Nikola kept the technical aspects of this invention in secret. The brilliant scientist died impoverished at age 86 on January 7, 1943 in the hotel New Yorker. More than two thousand people attended his funeral. I don’t think that a comparison between the mythical Prometheus and Tesla would be an exaggeration. They both sacrificed their life in order to benefit the mankind and make the life of every single human being easier.
The fact that Tesla was so impractical in what concerns money shouldn’t surprise us. He would say once that “Money does not mean to me what it means to other men. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life. ” These were not empty words, for Tesla’s entire life proves the statement above. As a relevant example might serve also the fact that he could have refused to give his royalties to Westinghouse and would have become millionaire, but he chose not to do that.
Tesla was indeed a heroic inventor and in a world where egoistic interests prevail, the need for such people gains more and more importance. Bibliography Cheney, Margaret, Tesla: Man Out of Time Touchstone, 1 edition, October 2001 O’Neil, John, Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla Adventures Unlimited Press, April 2008 Smith, Jerry. Haarp: The Ultimate Weapon of the Conspiracy Adventures Unlimited Press, August 1998 Tesla, Nikola , http://www. neuronet. pitt. edu/~bogdan/tesla/bio. htm W. C. Wysock, J. F. Corum, J. M. Hardesty and K. L. Corum Who Was The Real Dr. Nikola Tesla?