• Tesla was born in Smiljan, Croatia, in 1856 (at that time part of the AustroHungarian Monarchy).
Tesla’s house (July 10, 2006).
• Smiljan is not far from the Plitvice Lakes National Park - included on the UNESCO's World's Heritage List.
Smiljan Interior of Nikola Tesla's home
Nikola Tesla Theme Park
Smiljan, the birth house of Nikola Tesla (July 10, 2006).
• Tesla went to school in Gospić and Karlovac, Croatia, and studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria and the University of Prague.
• He began his career as an electrical engineer with a telephone company in Budapest in 1881 and next year he joined Continental Edison Company in Paris, where he designed dynamos.
Invention of the induction motor One afternoon, which is ever present in my recollection, I was enjoying a walk with my friend in the city park and reciting poetry. At that age I knew entire books by heart, word for word. One of these was Goethe's Faust. The sun was just setting and reminded me of a glorious passage: The glow retreats, done is the day of toil; It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring; Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil Upon its track to follow, follow soaring! As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand the diagram shown six years later in my address before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. My inventions, Nikola Tesla
Alternating motor patent.
Coming to America • Nikola Tesla came to the United States in 1884 with an introduction letter from Charles Batchelor to Thomas Edison: “I know two great men,” wrote Batchelor, “one is you and the other is this young man.” • Tesla worked for Edison on improvement of DC dynamos but soon he founded his own company focusing on AC polyphase system.
Edison jumbo dynamo from Pearl Street.
"War of the Currents" DC vs. AC
Edison vs. Tesla
"Court of Honor" at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893, demonstrated the wonders of AC electricity. Alternating current became the standard power in the 20th century.
Pioneer in many fields Tesla designed the first hydroelectric power plant at the Niagara Falls in 1895, which was the ultimate victory of alternating current.
Two two-phase induction motor. Early Tesla induction motor.
Small Tesla coil designed for use by medical profession.
Here, a conical coil, demonstrated in his lab in 1895, is "specially adapted to excite the electrical charge of the earth".
Pioneer in many fields
Neon lights first displayed at Columbian Exposition, 1893.
The first photograph exposed by phosphorescent light, taken by Tesla in his laboratory.
Tesla’s apparatus - U.S. patent number 649,621. Still the fundamental means for transmitting and receiving radio waves.
Pioneer in many fields
Photo of Tesla's hand under fluorescent light
X-ray images of Tesla’s head, hand, and foot in the shoe
Pioneer in many fields
Tesla’s first remotecontrolled boat was the first practical remotecontrolled robot.
Tesla’s patent for system of electrical distribution.
Tesla sits below the Tesla Coil in his Colorado Springs Laboratory. The coil creates millions of volts of electricity with a frequency rate of 100,000 alterations per second.
The Experimental Station at Colorado Springs where the first wireless transmission experiments were preformed (1899-1900).
Transmitting Wardenclyffe Tower and Laboratory built in 1901-1905.
Mark Twain in Tesla's laboratory taking part in an experiment, 1895.
Tesla's first of three lectures on currents of high frequency and potential at Columbia College in New York, 1891.
Nikola Tesla, "after he has saturated himself with electricity", New York Sunday World, 1894.
• Tesla died of heart failure, alone, in a New York hotel in 1943, at the age of 86
Tesla’s ashes were placed in a golden sphere, Tesla Museum, Belgrade.
The death mask of Nikola Tesla in the offices of Gernsback Publications, New York City.
Poem, "Fragments of Olympian Gossip"
Nikola Tesla was a prolific inventive genius, poet, and a humanitarian visionary.
While listening on my cosmic phone I caught words from the Olympus blown. A newcomer was shown around; That much I could guess, aided by sound. "There's Archimedes with his lever Still busy on problems as ever. Says: matter and force are transmutable And wrong the laws you thought immutable." "Below, on Earth, they work at full blast And news are coming in thick and fast. The latest tells of a cosmic gun. To be pelted is very poor fun. We are wary with so much at stake, Those beggars are a pest—no mistake." "Too bad, Sir Isaac, they dimmed your renown And turned your great science upside down. Now a long haired crank, Einstein by name, Puts on your high teaching all the blame. Says: matter and force are transmutable And wrong the laws you thought immutable." "I am much too ignorant, my son, For grasping schemes so finely spun. My followers are of stronger mind And I am content to stay behind, Perhaps I failed, but I did my best, These masters of mine may do the rest. Come, Kelvin, I have finished my cup. When is your friend Tesla coming up." "Oh, quoth Kelvin, he is always late, It would be useless to remonstrate." Then silence—shuffle of soft slippered feet— I knock and—the bedlam of the street. Nikola Tesla, Novice
The Tesla unit for magnetism was established in 1956 in Munich, Germany by the International Electrotechnical Commission Committee in Action.
In good company 19 units are named after physicists • Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) • Isaac Newton (1643–1727) • Anders Celsius (1701–1744) • Charles Coulomb (1736–1806) • James Watt (1736–1819) • Alessandro Volta (1745–1827) • Andre-Marie Ampere (1775– 1836) • Georg Ohm (1789–1854) • Michael Faraday (1791–1867) • Joseph Henry (1797–1878) • Wilhelm Weber (1804–1891) • Werner Siemens (1816–1892) • James Joule (1818–1889) • William Thomson Kelvin (1824–1907) • Henri Becquerel (1852–1908) • Heinrich Herz (1857–1894) • Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) • Rolf Sievert (1896–1966) • Louis Gray (1905–1965)
One of the Moon’s craters is named after Nikola Tesla.
Statue of Nikola Tesla in Niagara Falls State Park (Croatian sculptor Fran Kšinić).
Bronze bust at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade (Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, friend of Tesla).
Tesla monument at Niagara Falls, Canadian side (Canadian sculptor Les Dryzdale).
Statue donated by Ivan Meštrović to the Ruđer Bošković Institute; erected 2006 in the centre of Zagreb.
Tesla on stamps
Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla! "Nikola Tesla Year 2006" proclaimed by UNESCO, and the Croatian and Serbian governments
TRIBUTES TO NIKOLA TESLA Lord Kelvin: "Tesla has contributed more to electrical science than any man up to his time." Sir J.A. Fleming: "Tesla captured the attention of the whole scientific world by his fascinating experiments." W.H. Eccles [Flip-Flop circuit]: "Tesla was the greatest inventor in the realm of electrical engineering." • Noble Prize Winners: [Dr. Tesla was nominated for an undivided Nobel Prize (in Physics) in 1937.] Niels Bohr: "With deepest admiration we think of how Tesla could accomplish such great achievements." Ernest Rutherford: "... all scientific men will be delighted to extend their warmest congratulations to Tesla and to express their appreciation of his great contributions to science." Albert Einstein: "[Tesla is] an eminent pioneer in the realm of high frequency currents... I congratulate [him] on the great successes of [his] life's work." W.H. Bragg: "[Dr. Tesla's] experiments were the most original and daring... I shall never forget." Arthur Holly Compton: "Tesla is entitled to the enduring gratitude of mankind." Robert A. Millikan: "I am sending [Dr. Tesla]... my gratitude and my respect in overflowing measure." • IEEE Presidents: [Dr. Tesla was a Life Fellow of the AIEE and the 1917 recipient its highest award.] Thomas Commerford Martin: "Tesla's influence may truly be said to have marked an epoch in the progress of electrical science." J.S. Stone: "He did more to excite interest and create an intelligent understanding [of RF]...than anyone." L.W. Austin: "I am glad to express... my feeling of the great debt that the radio art owes to [his] genius." H.W. Buck: "The work of Nikola Tesla... in his great conception of the rotary field seems to me one of the greatest feats of imagination which has ever been attained by the human mind." Ernst F.W. Alexanderson: "In almost every step of progress in electrical power engineering as well as in radio, we can trace the spark of thought back to Nikola Tesla." Charles Proteus Steinmetz: "I can find no mistakes in Tesla's thoughts." Lee de Forest: "If I could be any other man I would be Nikola Tesla." Michael Pupin: "The credit of showing the practical importance of AC for motors belongs entirely to Tesla." G. Dunn: "[Dr. Tesla] solved the greatest problem in electrical engineering of his time." Haraden Pratt: "Our existing industrial era would cease to function without Tesla's great contributions." Arthur E. Kennelly: "... what he showed was a revelation to science and art unto all time." Charles F. Scott: "The evolution of electric power from the discovery of Faraday to the initial great installation of the Tesla polyphase system in 1896 is undoubtedly the most tremendous event in all engineering history." • IEEE Vice-Presidents: [Tesla served two years as an IEEE (AIEE) Vice-President: 1892 to 1894.] Bernard A. Behrend: "Were we to seize and to eliminate from our industrial world the results of Mr. Tesla's work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark, our mills would be dead and idle." Edwin Howard Armstrong: "[He was] a prophet of the wireless-controlled engines of war." Jonathan Zenneck: "[Dr. Tesla's] lectures opened a new physical world to me... [He was] one of the kindest men I've ever encountered. The hours which I was permitted to spend together with [him] will always be among the fondest memories of my life."
Nikola Tesla timeline When
Tesla born to Serbian parents in Croatia
Nikola Tesla was born a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the region of Lika on July 10th, 1856.
Tesla begins technical schooling in Graz, Austria
In his sophomore year, Tesla's father has a stroke and dies shortly thereafter. Tesla is forced to drop out of school due to lack of funds. Tesla learns to speak 5 languages.
Tesla begins working for the American Telephone Company in Budapest
Tesla suffers a nervous breakdown.
Tesla conceives of AC induction motor
Tesla sees the rotating fields in a vision, meticulously detailing the construction of both single and polyphase motors in his notebook. He later designs his motor just "as seen" and it works just as he envisioned.
Tesla begins working for Edison (in Paris, France)
Tesla begins working for Continental Edison in Paris, France, helping them to resolve problems with their DC dynamos.
Tesla constructs the first polyphase AC motor
While on assignment to Strasburg, France, Tesla constructs a working brushless polyphase AC induction motor. It is demonstrated before the former Mayor of the town and to wealthy potential investors. Unfortunately, Tesla is unable to secure financing.
Tesla immigrates to the United States
Fleeing from war, Tesla arrives in New York at the age of 28 with only 4 cents in his pocket!
Tesla begins working for Thomas Edison
Tesla comes highly recommended by Charles Batchelor, Manager of Continental Edison in France. Tesla is hired to improve Edison's DC dynamos.
Nikola Tesla timeline 1885
Tesla quits working for Edison
Edison reneges on a promise to pay Tesla $50,000 for improvements to his dynamos, saying he was just joking - Tesla resigns in disgust…
Tesla launches Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing
However, his financial backers, Robert Lane and B. A. Vail, refuse to fund Tesla's AC Motor, and they fire Tesla! Tesla is forced to work as a manual laborer.
Tesla builds first AC Induction Motor
This is the world's first brushless AC motor. Tesla files key worldwide patents, locking the rights to the invention.
Tesla demonstrates AC motors to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)
Once thought impossible, Tesla demonstrates a brushless 2 phase 1/5 HP AC motor to the foremost group of Electrical Engineers in the USA.
Inventor and businessman George Westinghouse buys Tesla's key Polyphase Patents after buying patent for the AC transformer
Westinghouse now controls AC motors and transformers - and the "War of the Currents" begins between Westinghouse (AC) and Edison (DC)…
Tesla begins working for Westinghouse
Tesla sets 60 Hz as the North American standard for AC power distribution.
Tesla becomes a US citizen
Tesla builds his own experimental laboratory at 46 East Houston Street, New York City.
Nikola Tesla timeline 1891
Tesla invents 2-coil, "Tesla Coil"
Tesla lights evacuated tubes with no wires, demonstrating the possibility of wireless power transmission.
First Polyphase Power System installed
Tesla is granted 40 patents, thereby locking in his rotating magnetic field principles and polyphase power distribution.
Tesla discovers x-ray radiation while experimenting with HV and evacuated tubes
This is THREE YEARS before they are rediscovered by Wilhelm Roentgen.
Demonstrates Wireless Transmitter/Receiver
Tesla demonstrates the system in St. Louis TWO YEARS before Marconi's first demonstration…
Lighting the 1893 World's Fair Exposition
Westinghouse and Tesla provide AC power to light the Chicago's Columbian Exposition, even though Edison forbids the use of Edison's light bulbs... The public sees firsthand the capability of AC power.
Tesla generates 1,000,000 volts
Using a conical air-core Tesla Coil, Tesla later achieves 16 foot discharges in his New York City lab.
Tesla harnesses Niagara Falls
Tesla's 1st commercial 2-phase power plant, built by Westinghouse - designed to deliver power to the industries of Buffalo, NY.
Fire destroys Tesla's laboratory
Tesla's laboratory is completely destroyed by fire, ruining the work of half a lifetime. Tesla is devastated.
First long-distance transmission of polyphase AC Power
AC Power from Niagara Falls is transmitted to Buffalo via Tesla's High Voltage Polyphase System.
Nikola Tesla timeline Tesla files the basic Radio Patent
Tesla's patents stand the test of time - he is indeed the Father of Radio.
Tesla releases Westinghouse from contract
The "War of the Currents" between DC and AC nearly bankrupts Edison and Westinghouse. Tesla gives Westinghouse a break on AC motor royalties, saving the company from bankruptcy.
Tesla demonstrates Wireless Control
Tesla demonstrates a wireless controlled boat, but does not succeed to interest the US military…
Tesla develops electric igniter for gasoline engines
Basically the same approach used in today's internal combustion engines.
Tesla begins his Colorado Springs Research
Research phase: wireless transmission of messages and electrical power.
Tesla begins Wardenclyffe Transmitter
Wardenclyffe 200 kW system is funded by $150,000 from J. Pierpont Morgan (51 %) Morgan is told that the system is for radio communication.
Tesla runs out of money
Morgan refuses to provide any additional funding after learning of Tesla's true plans for Wireless Power Transmission.
Marconi awarded the patent for radio
The US Patent Office reverses itself, wrongly awarding Guglielmo Marconi the radio patent! Tesla begins his fight as the inventor of radio.
Wardenclyffe forced to close operations
Tesla runs out of funds and cannot pay his workers, which forcing him to close his lab.
Tesla announces Bladeless Turbine
Tesla's 200 hp 16,000 RPM Bladeless Turbine is demonstrated on his 50th birthday.
Nikola Tesla timeline 1907
During the financial panic of 1907, Tesla agrees to release Westinghouse from paying royalties on every induction motor
Weakened by the "War of the Currents", Westinghouse convinces Tesla to sell his royalty rights to Westinghouse for $216,000 - they were worth over $12 Million at the time. The Westinghouse Company survives the crisis...
Marconi wins the Nobel Prize for Radio
Tesla deeply resented the fact that Marconi got the prize and not himself…
Tesla's bladeless turbines tested in New York
Several turbines were tested, 100-5000 HP in Waterside Power Station, New York.
Tesla signs over Wardenclyffe deed to pay his debts
Wardenclyffe deed is turned over to George Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria to pay a $20,000 debt.
Tesla files lawsuit against Marconi
This starts a patent fight that lasts for 29 years. Tesla vs. Marconi is ultimately resolved in Tesla's favor.
Tesla declares bankruptcy
Tesla owed back taxes, but was penniless, living in poverty, on credit, at the WaldorfAstoria.
Wardenclyffe Tower demolished
George Boldt destroys tower to make property more saleable. Although the tower was blown up, the main building still stands today.
Tesla receives the Edison Medal
The Edison Medal is the most prestigious honor the AIEE can bestow upon an engineer.
Nikola Tesla timeline 1928
Tesla receives his last patent (#113) at the age of 72
"Apparatus for Aerial Transportation" - similar to a helicopter or VTOL aircraft.
Tesla turns 75
Tesla is honored by being on the cover of Time Magazine, and receives congratulations from more than 70 pioneers in science and engineering including Einstein.
15 out of 16 of Marconi's Patent claims are invalidated by the Court of Claims
Tesla is acknowledged to have been prior inventor on these portions of Marconi's patent. The case is eventually decided by the US Supreme Court in 1944.
Tesla dies penniless in a NY hotel on January 7, 1943
Tesla's dies a lonely man at the age of 87 in the New Yorker Hotel room No. 3327, his only remaining friends being the pigeons he fed in the park. The FBI orders the Office of Alien Property to seize Tesla's papers and possessions although Tesla had been a US citizen since 1891. These were eventually inherited by Tesla's nephew, Sava Kosanovich, and are now housed in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Tesla awarded Patent for Radio
The US Supreme Court confirms that Marconi’s patents infringed Tesla's. Tesla finally wins…
The "Tesla", a new unit of magnetic flux density in the metric system, is named in Nikola Tesla's honor
The new unit is equivalent to 10,000 Gauss.
Links • My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla (http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jul/teslaauto01.html) • Tesla from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla) • Tesla: Master of lightening (http://www.pbs.org/tesla/) • The amazing life of Nikola Tesla (http://web.archive.org/web/20010602083213/http://onlinetools.chipcenter. com/netsim/tesla/tesla1.html) • The Tesla timeline (http://22.214.171.124/frames/tesla.html) • Various writings and lectures (http://www.opendepth.com/node/46) • Selected Tesla writings (http://www.tfcbooks.com/tesla/contents.htm) • List of Tesla’s patents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tesla_patents) • Nikola Tesla memorial centre in Smiljan, Croatia (http://www.gospic.hr/info/Mem_centar_Nikola_Tesla.asp) • The Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade, Serbia (http://www.tesla- museum.org/) • The Tesla Memorial Society (http://www.teslasociety.com/)