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On the 10 of July 1856 on a stormy night in a small village called Smiljan Croatia, was born Nikola Tesla, Nikola Tesla would become one of the greatest inventor's of all time and helped to change the way we live. At a young age, Tesla had a fascination with electrical storms and had read a number of books on the development of electricity. The use of electricity and its development and experimentation during the 19th century was of gigantic interest to engineers and scientist.
In 1875, Tesla attended the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria where he earned the highest grades. Tesla was totally focused on learning and passing his grades, he worked harder than anyone else to the point that the principle of school sent a letter to his father warning him that his son is working too hard and feared he would have a breakdown. We now know that Tesla had a mental illness of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Tesla had a great interest in magnetic electricity and began learning about (AC) alternating current. Tesla had an obsession with alternating current and claimed he would see visions of a magnetic energy driven motors.
In 1882, Tesla began working for Continental Edison Company in France, designing and improving electricity equipment. He showed himself here to be a real genius and was highly regarded by his employers and management. In 1884 with letters of recommendation he immigrated to New York City where he met for the first time Thomas Edison and was employed. Tesla explains to Edison about AC power but Edison would have none of it as he had invested a lot of money in the development of DC power. Edison offered Tesla $50.000 if he could improve the existing DC motors and after months of hard work Tesla had overcome a number of drawbacks and had vastly improved several different DC motors, When Tesla went to collect on Edison’s promise of $50.000, Edison laughed and said he was only joking and that Tesla didn’t understand the American sense of humor. Tesla left Edison and after some time of poverty, he was able to get investors to back him on his AC powered motor.
As his reputation grew and his visual demonstrations of AC power sparked a lot of interest he came to the attention of George Westinghouse who would buy Tesla Patents and they would have a life long business relationship. This is when the current wars began between Gorge Westinghouse and Edison over the use of AC or DC power. Tesla AC power won! And with now the backing of financier JP Morgan Tesla in 1896 designed the first hydroelectric AC power generators to be used at Niagara Falls to power the city of Buffalo. Since then Tesla AC power system has powered up cities all over the world.
With his developing technology of rotating magnetic field Tesla come up with what we know today as wireless technology, this was now advancing way into the future! People were trying to get the head’s around the idea of an electric light bulb and here Tesla was working on remote controlled motors and demonstrated to the 19 Century media in 1898 at Madison Square Garden at an Electrical Exhibition a radio controlled boat, The media and audience were in total shock at this demonstration, some claiming it was some trick with a person in this small four foot boat, Tesla had to open the boat and show that it was no trick.
Fee Energy and lighting become Tesla goal and began experimenting on wireless energy, Tesla build a Tower in Colorado where there are many thunderstorms and high energy fields, by using vacuumed sealed bulbs with Phosphorus, Argon and mercury, Tesla was able to turn on more than 200 induction bulbs that he planted in the field using magnetic frequency from the tower, without any wires! Tesla believed he could create charged electrical fields by using large transmitters to transmit charges to the upper atmosphere using these towers. He envisioned a global network of these towers around the world providing free electricity to the world without wires. When he demonstrated his experiment to JP Morgan, Morgan asked Tesla where do you put the meter? Tesla had no answer and JP Morgan and other investor's dropped Tesla as they saw his technology as a serious threat to their current business model and was in fact, a threat to capitalism. Tesla was not able to get any more financial backing for this program and eventually went bankrupt. Tesla lived a very humble existence in a New York apartment until is death 1943.
Many of Tesla’s earlier inventions and patents were used to develop wireless communication, Fluorescent lighting, X-Rays, MRIs, the radio, TVs, the common spark plug and, of course, induction lighting. Induction lighting today is having a major comeback as it has continued to be redeveloped and used especially since the 1990s and is cheaper to produce and last twice as long as LED lighting and uses 50% less energy than most standard forms of lighting. The glow from induction also produces lower glare and a higher colour rendering with 360º light dispersal making induction lighting excellent for area lighting in warehouses, factories, supermarkets, car parks etc. Thanks to Tesla work on induction lighting and many of his other inventions we live in a brighter world. But just imagine where we would be if Tesla’s dream of free energy to the world had become a reality.