Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist Nikola Tesla passed away on 7 January 1943 in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel. He was born 10 July 1856 in the village Smiljan, Lika county, Serbia and raised in the Austrian Empire. Tesla received an advanced education in engineering and physics in the 1870s and gained practical experience in the early 1880s working in telephony and at Continental Edison in the new electric power industry. In 1881, Tesla moved to Budapest, Hungary, to work under Tivadar Puskás at a telegraph company, the Budapest Telephone Exchange. Upon arrival, Tesla realized that the company, then under construction, was not functional, so he worked as a draftsman in the Central Telegraph Office instead. Within a few months, the Budapest Telephone Exchange became functional, and Tesla was allocated the chief electrician and made many improvements to the Central Station equipment including the improvement of a telephone repeater or amplifier, which was never patented nor publicly described.
In 1882, Tivadar Puskás got Tesla another job in Paris with the Continental Edison Company.Tesla began working in what was then a brand new industry, installing indoor incandescent lighting citywide in the form of an electric power utility. The company had several subdivisions and Tesla worked at the Société Electrique Edison, the division in the Ivry-sur-Seine suburb of Paris in charge of installing the lighting system. There he gained a great deal of practical experience in electrical engineering. Management took notice of his advanced knowledge in engineering and physics and soon had him designing and building improved versions of generating dynamos and motors.They also sent him on to troubleshoot engineering problems at other Edison utilities being built around France and in Germany.
He emigrated to the United States in 1884, And got a job at the Edison Machine Works in New York City however he left in 1885 and began working on patenting an arc lighting system, In March 1885, he met with patent attorney Lemuel W. Serrell, the same attorney used by Edison, to obtain help with submitting the patents. Serrell introduced Tesla to two businessmen, Robert Lane and Benjamin Vail, who agreed to finance an arc lighting manufacturing and utility company in Tesla’s name, the Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing. Tesla obtained patents for an improved DC generator, which was installed in Rahway, New Jersey. Tesla new system gained notice in the technical press, which commented on its advanced features. However the Investors decided against Tesla’s idea and formed a new utility company, abandoning Tesla’s company and leaving the inventor penniless Tesla even lost control of the patents he had generated.
In 1886, Tesla met Alfred S. Brown, a Western Union superintendent, and New York attorney Charles F. Peck andbased on Tesla’s new idea’s for electrical equipment, including a thermo-magnetic motor idea,they agreed to back the inventor financially and handle his patents. Together they formed the Tesla Electric Company in1887, And set up a laboratory for Tesla at 89 Liberty Street in Manhattan. In 1887, Tesla developed an induction motor that ran on alternating current, a power system format that was rapidly expanding in Europe and the United States because of its advantages in long-distance, high-voltage transmission. The motor used polyphase current, which generated a rotating magnetic field to turn the motor. This innovative electric motor, patented in May 1888, was a simple self-starting design that did not need a commutator, thus avoiding sparking and the need for constantly servicing and replacing mechanical brushes. Physicist William Arnold Anthony tested the motor and Electrical World magazine editor Thomas Commerford Martin arranged for Tesla to demonstrate his alternating current motor on 16 May 1888 at the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. George Westinghouse was also working on a device similar device To Tesla’s polyphase induction motor and transformer and Westinghouse also hired Tesla for one year to be a consultant at the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’s Pittsburgh labs. His alternating current (AC) induction motor and related polyphase AC patents, licensed by Westinghouse Electric in 1888, earned him a considerable amount of money and became the cornerstone of the polyphase system which that company would eventually market.
In 1889, Tesla traveled to the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris and learned of Heinrich Hertz’ 1886–88 experiments that proved the existence of electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves. Tesla decided to explore it by repeating and then expanding on these experiments, Tesla tried powering a Ruhmkorff coil with a high speed alternator he had been developing as part of an improved arc lighting system but found that the high frequency current overheated the iron core and melted the insulation between the primary and secondary windings in the coil. To fix this problem Tesla came up with his Tesla coil with an air gap instead of insulating material between the primary and secondary windings and an iron core that could be moved to different positions in or out of the coil.
After 1890, Tesla experimented with transmitting power by inductive and capacitive coupling using high AC voltages generated with his Tesla coil. He attempted to develop a wireless lighting system based on near-field inductive and capacitive coupling and conducted a series of public demonstrations where he lit Geissler tubes and even incandescent light bulbs from across a stage. In 1893 at St. Louis, Missouri, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the National Electric Light Association, Tesla told onlookers that he was sure a system like his could eventually conduct “intelligible signals or perhaps even power to any distance without the use of wires” by conducting it through the Earth. Tesla served as a vice-president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers from 1892 to 1894, the forerunner of the modern-day IEEE (along with the Institute of Radio Engineers).
Tesla also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He also built a wireless-controlled boat, one of the first ever exhibited. Tesla became well known as an inventor And Throughout the 1890s, Tesla experimented with wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. In 1893, he Worked on a device enabling wireless communication and tried to put these ideas to practical use in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project, an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter.
After Wardenclyffe, Tesla went on to try and develop a series of inventions in the 1910s and 1920s with varying degrees of success. He is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories/companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop apower system using alternating current. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Towerproject.
Tesla’s achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous.Although he made a great deal of money from his patents, he spent a lot on numerous experiments. He lived for most of his life in a series of New York hotels although the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances. Despite this Tesla still continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working and make (sometimes unusual) statements. Because of his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation in popular culture as the archetypal “mad scientist”.
Sadly after his death Tesla’s work fell into relative obscurity, but since the 1990s, his reputation has experienced a comeback in popular culture. His work and reputed inventions are also at the center of many conspiracy theories and have also been used to support various pseudosciences, UFO theories and New Age occultism. In 1960, in honor of Tesla, the General Conference on Weights and Measures for the International System of Units dedicated the term “tesla” to the SI unit measure for magnetic field strength. There is also a range of Electric Cars named after him.