Nikola Tesla Day

I woke up this morning and shut off the alarm before its scheduled chirp ten minutes later.  I flicked on a lamp then padded out to run my electric shaver over my neck and upper cheeks.  I turned down the thermostat to start the air conditioning.  After starting coffee, I turned on my old police band scanner to listen to the weather radio broadcast.

All of this was made possible and convenient by one of Nikola Tesla’s major inventions.  He had worked out ideas and principles in the design of electrical systems to permit the long distance transmission of alternating current electricity. 

He also built a brushless alternating current induction motor.  In addition to that, Tesla investigated X-Rays using vacuum tubes.  All of this was done in 1887.  It was still the horse and buggy days!

Tesla was born in the Austrian Empire village of Smiljan on July 10th, 1856 to Milutin and Duka Tesla.  His father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church. Nikola was the fourth of five children.  He later studied electrical engineering at Austrian Polytechnic in Graz in 1875.  He investigated theoretical uses of alternating current.

He supposedly had photographic memory.  He was able to memorize entire books.  Also, following a youthful sickness, he developed a condition wherein he’d suffer blinding flashes of light.  These were followed by visions.  Often, these visions revealed solutions to intellectual problems he had.   Tesla was able to visualize complete inventions in his mind.  The visions included all the dimensions with precision of the device or machine.

Tesla’s AC Turbine Generator at the Chicago World Exposition

Tesla’s first work began at Continental Edison Company at Paris in 1882.  This is the same year he began development of his induction motor.

In 1884, Tesla came to New York City to work with Thomas Edison.  He was offered the job of reconfiguring the Edison Company’s direct current (DC) generators.  Edison made the offhand remark to Tesla that if he could improve the devices, “There’s $50,000 in it for you, if you can do it”.  After Tesla indeed completed the work, he claimed payment.  At that point, Edison said he was only joking.  He quipped, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.”  Instead, Edison offered to tack on $10 each week to his $18 a week salary.   Tesla refused and quickly resigned in disgust.

Nikola Tesla’s career and string of inventions continued in an amazing fashion into the 20th Century.  Arguably, Tesla was the inventor of wireless telegraphy and radio.  Tesla saw fit to file a lawsuit in 1915 to obtain a court order contesting Guglielmo Marconi’s claims of invention of radio.  The lawsuit was unsuccessful.  The Nobel Peace Prize for Physics was eventually awarded to Marconi in 1909.

Tesla, in his laboratory

Undaunted, Nikola Tesla continued thinking, inventing and researching advanced technologies and uses for electrical fields.  It is in that spirit that Nikola Tesla Day was conceived. The idea is to bring to the public attention the many accomplishments of Nikola Tesla.  The hope is to inspire other people to practice the science and art of discovery and invention.

Can you imagine the world without any of these important ingredients?  A.C. electricity, X Ray and diagnostic equipment, florescent lightbulbs, radio (in turn, television) broadcasting, the common electric motor, remote control devices, robotics, the laser, and wireless communications.

One overarching dream of Tesla’s was limitless, free energy via wireless.  He had thousands of other inventions and concepts that have been confiscated by corporate and governmental entities.  Perhaps, someday they may see the light of day?

One of Tesla’s accomplishments was vindicated in the year of his death in 1943, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Marconi radio patent.  It was proven beyond a doubt that Tesla invented the radio many years ahead of Marconi.  Tesla had demonstrated his transmitter and receiver in 1893 to the National Electric Light Association.

May you have a thoughtful and productive Nikola Tesla Day, today.  Want more?  Start here:  The page will knock your socks off. 


The Blue Jay of Happiness is glad that Nikola Tesla’s accomplishments are finally seeing the light of day.

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Controversy, cultural highlights, Gadgets, History, Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Nikola Tesla Day

  1. Wondering if Tesla is kind of the Van Gogh of inventors.
    Anyway, his contributions to the world were of great value, and I hope “the next Tesla” will get the credit who deserves and help to find solutions for some of the challenges humanity faces now.

    • swabby429 says:

      I’d say he was more like Leonardo da Vinci. I think they were kindred spirits. Yes, I agree that genius should receive full credit where it is due.

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