When I was in the 4th grade, Mr. Kuplic told me about Nikola Tesla.

When I was in the 8th grade, I read more about the genius of the man who had created the future.  In 1989 the rock band Tesla came out with their album The Great Radio Controversy, which brought about more interest.  The battle between Marconi and Tesla, Tesla, and Edison.  It seemed like his ideas were being stolen out from under him.  I have a deep-rooted fascination and adoration for Nikola Tesla.  I have a picture of him hanging in my home.  Nearly everything I touch, I can connect back to his efforts.

Edison was nothing more than a businessman who jumped at the chance to electrocute an elephant in an attempt to prove to the world that Tesla’s Alternating Current was unsafe.  Edison was a PR genius and could manipulate the press and public like no other – but a genius inventor like Tesla he was not.  Marconi was a thief — who stole ideas from Tesla and put his name on them.  It was proven after Nikola died that there was no way that Marconi could have invented the radio without Tesla’s patent.  It was too late. Tesla died penniless in a New York hotel.  Nikola Tesla had a genuine interest in providing science and technology to the masses – for free.

Here is a quick low down on Nikola Tesla — but I suggest you look into his life further. Check out the Tesla Memorial Society.

Nikola Tesla (born July 10, 1856, Smiljan, Croatia – died Jan. 7, 1943, New York City), invented many things that to this day he does not get the credit.  Just sitting at your computer, you owe Nikola Tesla a great deal.  His Tesla Coil supplies the high voltage for the picture tube you use.  The electricity for your computer comes from a Tesla-designed AC generator, is sent through a Tesla transformer, and gets to your house through 3-phase Tesla power.  He holds over forty U.S. patents (circa 1888) covering our entire system of Polyphase Alternating Current (AC).  These patents are so novel that nobody could ever challenge them in the courts.  Tesla’s four-tuned circuits (two on the receiving side and two on the transmitting side, secured by U.S. patents #645,576 and #649,621) were the basis of the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Case #369 decided June 21, 1943) to overturn Marconi’s basic patent on the invention of the radio.  Unfortunately, the decision came five months, two weeks too late.  Nikola Tesla died in the New York City hotel room he had called home on January 7, 1943.

Tesla invented many things that we take for granted today. He also experimented with wireless communication, radio wave propagation, missile science, robots, remote control, satellites, beam weapons, and nuclear fusion.  So just about every time you use a gadget of technological wizardry, you have Nikola Tesla to thank for it.

If Thomas Edison was a “Man of His Time,” then Nikola Tesla was about 200 years before his.

In 1997 New York and New Jersey named July 10 as Nikola Tesla Day, but I think it should be a national holiday as well.

I joke that when I found out that Michael also admired Tesla for the genius he was, I knew I was going to “marry that man.” I’m only half-joking. I could never love anyone on Team Edison. =)



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