How Nikola Tesla Changed the World

May 30


Robert Gillespie

Robert Gillespie

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

It's strange but true that a good part of modern technology is based on the inventions of a man who was deliberately "erased" from history almost 100 years ago. Nikola, Tesla was the real father of the generation of electricity in the form of alternating current. He was also responsible for numerous other related inventions, many of them still in use today.


Born in the Austrian Empire (now Croatia) in 1856,How Nikola Tesla Changed the World Articles Nikola Tesla became one of the foremost inventors of the 20th Century with a staggeringly long record of inventions springing from his fertile mind, including a viable free energy device. Tesla immigrated to the United States and in 1891 and became an American citizen. He passed away penniless in 1943 in New York City.

Tesla was well-known for his work with electricity, especially in the disciplines of electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering. Tesla was employed by Thomas Edison shortly after Tesla arrived in America in 1888 but after a time, his relationship deteriorated with Edison and Tesla went on to form his own entity called Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing.

Well-known then but almost unheard of today, Tesla’s inventions and contributions are behind much of present day and possibly even future technology. This is even more fabulous when you consider that all of this took place around a hundred years ago! Tesla was a fierce supporter of alternating current as opposed to direct current (as was espoused by Edison) for the transmission of electricity. The problem with direct (DC) current is that it can not be transmitted more than a few city blocks before dropping voltage. AC current can be transmitted for very long distances at very high voltages and then stepped down by voltage transformers at or near its final destination.

All of Edison’s ideas were based on DC current and he was loathe to release the concept of having DC current become the standard for the transmission of electricity. Edison justified his position on DC current by saying that electrical motors could not function on alternating (AC) current. Tesla answered that difficulty by designing the induction electric motor, still used today, which functions on AC power.  Edison’s adherence to DC power was slow to fade and so a kind of conflict developed between Edison and Tesla after Tesla went into partnership with George Westinghouse in order to develop AC as the standard for electrical power transmission. Tesla and Westinghouse eventually won the “current war” and alternating current became the standard and remains so today.

Tesla’s ideas included wireless communications, although Gugliemo Marconi, an Italian inventor, beat Tesla to the punch by transmitting the first transatlantic radio signal. Tesla also did some of the first work with X-rays, lasers, cellular technology, neon and high voltage devices. Tesla also was behind early advances in the fields of ballistics, theoretical physics, nuclear physics, radar, robotics, remote control and computer science. Many of Tesla’s inventions were powered by another invention of his that became known as the “Tesla coil.”

He also developed a way of transmitting electricity through the atmosphere, employing the conductivity of the earth to electrify vehicles remotely. One of his ideas was to have cars powered at a distance by a free energy transmitting station. The electricity would be sent through the atmosphere with the earth becoming the other conductor of the circuit. This was never brought into existence on a practical level.

Other Tesla undertakings included the development of the first hydroelectric power plant (in association with George Westinghouse) located at Niagara Falls and the AC electric lighting of the 1893 World’s Fair. Assisted by financing from J.P Morgan, Tesla built an experimental electrical transmission tower named the Wardenclyffe Tower in 1901. When Morgan realized that one of the uses of Tesla’s tower would be the public distribution of free electricity, he rescinded his funding because he saw that the very lucrative business of commercial power generation would be rendered obsolete and he would not let that occur.

The loss of financing for Wardenclyffe Tower came as a great disappointment to Tesla. After Tesla’s death, all of his paperwork and designs were confiscated by an agency of the Federal Government at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover, then head of the F.B.I. Most of Tesla’s inventions were far ahead of his time and represented a real financial threat to those who stood to profit from the existing technology of the day. Because of this, Tesla was deliberately “erased” from history and his name is only now becoming known again.

Today, as humanity, more than ever, needs low-cost sources of non-polluting electricity, Tesla’s return into public awareness may be timed perfectly. Tesla truly did uncover the secrets of free energy and his blueprints for a simple, inexpensive free energy system are now obtainable to the people once more.

Certainly, great advances have been and are being made in the specialties of solar and wind electricity generation but, for the most part, electrical power is still generated by fossil fuels. Residential solar systems continue to be priced out of the reach of most residents as are residential wind turbine generators. Tesla’s free energy apparatus, is constructed from commonly available electrical parts, has no moving parts and purportedly utilizes cosmic rays as a power source.

How could one man come up with so many intelligent and beneficial ideas and creations in just one lifetime? We will never know for sure but the answer to that question, ironically, may have something to do with a mental affliction that Tesla suffered from for most of his life. Tesla reported that he often saw blinding flashes of light and that he saw visions of new inventions and solutions to problems in the same moment. He said that these flashes were almost always triggered by a single word he read or heard that stuck in his mind.

In later years, Tesla also suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder that included a fear of germs and the requirement to have the significant numbers in his life (such as his hotel room number 3327) be divisible by 3. In spite of his mental challenges, Tesla seemed to turn them to his advantage as did another obsessive-compulsive giant of the 20th century, Howard Hughes.