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Nikola Tesla: The Father of Electrical Power

Bob Gillespie

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Born in the Austrian Empire (now Croatia) in 1856, Nikola Tesla was one of the most prolific inventors of the 20th Century with an amazingly large portfolio of inventions coming out of his fertile mind, including a viable free energy apparatus. Tesla traveled to the United States and in 1891 and became an American citizen. He died penniless in 1943 in New York City.

Tesla was most famous for his work with electricity, most notably in the areas of electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering. Tesla was employed by Thomas Edison shortly after Tesla came to America in 1888 but after a time, his relationship soured with Edison and Tesla went on to form his own company called Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing.

A celebrity then but almost unheard of these days, Tesla’s inventions and contributions are at the root of much of present day and possibly even future technological advances. This is even more astonishing when you become aware that all of this happened roughly 100 years ago! Tesla was a zealous promoter of alternating current as opposed to direct current (as was promoted by Edison) for the transmission of electrical current. The difficulty with direct (DC) current is that it is unable be sent more than a few city blocks before dropping voltage. AC current can be sent for exceptionally long distances at very high voltages and then stepped down by voltage transformers at or near its final destination.

All of Edison’s devices were based on DC current and he was unable to dismiss of the idea of having DC current turn into the standard for the transmission of electricity. Edison defended his position on DC current by pointing out that electrical motors could not operate on alternating (AC) current. Tesla removed that problem by producing the induction electric motor, still utilized today, that operates on AC power. Edison’s loyalty to DC power was slow to diminish and so a kind of war developed between Edison and Tesla after Tesla went into alliance with George Westinghouse for the purpose of developing 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 devices included wireless communications, although Gugliemo Marconi, an Italian inventor, beat Tesla to the punch by sending 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 sciences of ballistics, theoretical physics, nuclear physics, radar, robotics, remote control and computer science. Many of Tesla’s inventions were powered by another creation of his that was known as the “Tesla coil. ”

He also developed a way of sending electricity through the atmosphere, utilizing the conductivity of the earth to run vehicles remotely. One of his ideas was to have cars powered at a distance by a free energy transmitting station. The electricity would be transmitted through the atmosphere with the earth making up the other half of the circuit. This was never developed on a practical level.

Other Tesla inventions included the development of the initial hydroelectric power plant (in association with George Westinghouse) located at Niagara Falls and the AC electric lighting of the 1893 World’s Fair. Helped by financing from J. P Morgan, Tesla made an experimental electrical transmission tower known as the Wardenclyffe Tower in 1901. When Morgan discovered that one of the uses of Tesla’s tower would be the generation of free electricity, he pulled back his funding because he saw that the very lucrative business of commercial power generation would become obsolete and he would not let that happen.

The loss of funding for Wardenclyffe Tower came as terrible news to Tesla. After Tesla’s death, all of his paperwork and designs were taken away 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.

In the present day, as the people of the world search for cheap sources of non-polluting electricity, Tesla’s re-emergence into public awareness may be timed perfectly. Tesla truly did discover the secrets of free energy and his plans for a simple, inexpensive free energy machine are now available to consumers once more.

No doubt, great advances have been and are being made in the specialties of solar and wind electricity generation but, for the most part, electrical power still comes from fossil fuels. Home solar systems continue to be priced out of the reach of most residents as are residential windmills. Tesla’s free energy apparatus is fabricated from widely available electrical parts, has no moving parts and claims to use cosmic rays as a power source.

How could one individual come up with so many ingenious and valuable ideas and creations in just one lifetime? We can't ever be 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 stated that he often saw blinding flashes of light and that he concurrently saw visions of new creations and solutions to problems. He believed 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 featured an obsessive fear of germs and the need 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.

About the Author:

Bob Gillespie writes on many subjects including alternative energy devices. He is a full-time Internet marketer and author who lives on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Learn more about Nikols Tesla and alternative energy at Bob's blog at:

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