The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century, Man Out of Time, and other book titles describe one of the most fabulous yet forgotten inventors of our age. Ask an electrician today, do you know who Nikola Tesla was? Many don’t know outright but some say, didn’t he invent the Tesla coil?
The true inventor of radio, fluorescent light, and the man who gave the world the electric grid, Nikola Tesla is hardly remembered because he kept selling his patents to Westinghouse, Edison and J.P. Morgan to raise money for his research on wireless power, the aether and gravity control. Whether he ever actually built and flew a craft capable of gravity control is conjecture.
He built the world’s largest Tesla coil and used the entire earth as a conductor and he said if he could put a wire around the entire planet Earth he could make it move like a giant space ship. Gravity control on a large scale would allow us to skirt incoming planet killer asteroids Tesla never got credit for first inventing radio until it was proven that his patents pre-dated Marconi’s.
A man who convinced Edison that DC wouldn’t travel and AC electricity was the answer. And the man who built the world’s first power station at Niagara Falls which when fired up launched the grid, electricity on a wire. It was Nikola Tesla who now allows us heat, light and power from a central grid. Strangely, the name, Nikola Tesla, does not appear in America’s education system. The schoolbooks all read Edison.
The life of Nikola Tesla is well documented but the father of electricity was Edison not Tesla, even though Edison’s idea of DC electricity wouldn’t have worked till Tesla dropped by and convinced him of AC. The traveling electricity show of Nikola Tesla had begun.
Unlike Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla was merely a visionary and inventor and not a businessman. He sold his patents to Westinghouse who financed his further research until he claimed he could deliver free power to every person on the planet, wirelessly. JP Morgan is said to have given Tesla just enough money not to succeed. After all, Tesla had given the world universal power on a wire and the meter was ticking dollars into the wallets of Edison, Morgan and Westinghouse and others. Why would they fund Tesla for free wireless power when they were already charging for electricity?
It is said that Tesla studied John Worrell Keely and through his understanding of Keely simply swiped his work and called it his own. Tesla met with Keely more than once and later declared that he thought Keely’s scientific methods were lacking. More pioneering, might have been a better way to describe it. But it’s also easy to point the finger at Einstein and accuse, plagiarist. Albert just didn’t pull relativity out of the air. His theory is based on those before him. Tesla criticized Einstein but others criticized Tesla for ripping off Keely. But when it was regarded that it was Tesla who created the electric grid he was King of the World and later Man of the Year in Time Magazine, 1932. It’s hard to believe that only 75 years later Tesla is mostly unknown. In his later life Tesla lost his credibility by speaking of death rays, wireless power and gravity control. These are the three topics that Tesla was unable to deliver due to the loss of his backers, Edison, Westinghouse and JP Morgan. For those and others who had invested in Tesla and found themselves suddenly rich, when it came to invest again there was little interest. Those with financial clout had lost confidence in Time’s Man of the Year.
The “wild” side of Tesla involves three stories. If true, they put Tesla above Einstein and Edison in a class of his own.
Story Number One
Nikola Tesla in 1932 converted a Pierce Arrow from combustion to electric. With the car prepped to run electrically, Tesla visited a nearby hardware store and with items off the shelf, built a unit in his hotel room the night before the test that reportedly captured power from the aether and converted it to electricity. The gizmo sat next to Tesla on the passenger seat of the car. He inserted two rods into the unit and declared, “Now we have power”. After running the car on this mysterious source of power for four hundred miles he said he could continue until the car wore out and fell apart. In other words, the power derived from the aether was limitless, and free. There is some conjecture that the power didn’t come from the aether but instead from one of Tesla’s magnifying transmitters delivering wireless power. That car and it’s aether generator have disappeared. This story helps form the “Tesla Church”, those who have formed an unswirving belief in everything Tesla. Update: the car has been found but no aether generator
Story Number Two – The Nikola Tesla Death Ray
In a nutshell, the Tunguska explosion was thought to be a meteor that exploded before it hit the ground. And yet, It’s 7:17 AM on the morning of June 30, 1908, the exact moment when Nikola Tesla is testing his “Death Ray” by aiming his beam towards the Arctic Circle where he hopes Admiral Peary will see a visual display in the sky. In a small Siberian village, herders of Reindeer are awakened by a huge ball of light, followed by an enormous explosion. Seismic vibrations were recorded by sensitive instruments as much as 1000 km (600 mi) away. At 500 km (300 mi), observers reported “deafening bangs” and a fiery cloud on the horizon…..
Story Number Three – The Tesla Flying Machine
The Tesla flying machine was called the Telautomaton. No propellor, no jet, not saucer shaped, more like a torpedo. Other: http://www.svpvril.com
These three Tesla stories are what fascinate people interested in Tesla today. They may be myths only because the man never got funding. Based on his previous notoriety it’s easy to wonder why he never got the opportunity to carry on. You would think his reputation for lighting the world would have carried over to allow what was regarded as fantasies and decisions of a man who had proved his worth. The world will never know nor benefit if there were a hidden truth to Tesla’s wild side. Wireless power for everyone, antigravity machines and a powerful death ray. Three Tesla inventions that never got done due to lack of confidence and finance and an attitude that Tesla was now a mad scientist, depicted as such in cartoons of the time.
Why was Tesla never given his due? They say, when Tesla died penniless in a hotel with unpaid bills, his scientific papers were seized. Nikola Tesla’s death in 1943 meant that all of his work would now go underground. And his name would be expunged from history. But not completely.
What remains of the man is the fact that we have power. Also the Tesla coil. Radio, fluorescent lighting, brushless turbines and a host of other new ideas. Many today use the term tesla coil and don’t know that the name is its inventor. The power of a magnet is measured in ‘teslas’. This man of the century has for the most part been written out of science and education today.
One man is making a difference in correcting erased history of Nikola Tesla, John Wagner. http://www.ntesla.org/index.php
The best current bio of the man can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla
‘we should push the development of flying machines and wireless transmission of energy without an instant’s delay and with all the power and resources of the nation‘ Nikola Tesla, My Inventions
Other spellings; Tesla, Nikola Tesla, Nicola Tesla, Nickola Tesal, Nikolai Tesla, Nicolas Tesla