Nikola Tesla: Maverick, Visionary and Master of Light.
Although his name is not well-known, Nikola Tesla has come to be acknowledged as one of the great geniuses of scientific invention, with numerous brilliant ideas and patents to his credit. Perhaps the greatest of these is The Nikola Tesla Generator, a device by which the scientist hoped to utilize, access and offer free energy. This free energy idea, which posits electricity as universally available and in limitless quantities, has ruffled a few feathers, leading to conspiracy theories suggesting the suppression of many inventions. However, the concepts behind modern day delivery, use and access to alternating current are derived from Tesla’s inventions and theories. Often considered the genesis for the archetype of the “mad scientist,” Tesla’s worldview was shaped by three main conceits: Wild invention, rigorous scientific experimentation, and futurism.
Origins of Genius
Tesla was born in 1856 in that region of Europe known as the Austrian Empire; currently, this area is called Croatia. He obtained solid grades by overworking himself at school. During his formative years, he developed a reputation for frightening intelligence and eccentricities, which would only grow over his life.
Tesla immigrated to the United States in 1884 with a letter of recommendation, which encouraged Thomas Edison to employ him at Edison Machine Works. He began working for Edison as an engineer working on simple electrical devices. He later went on to solve numerous problems for the company, including a redesign of Thomas Edison’s DC motors and generators. Tesla considered the DC motors to be highly inefficient, and he dedicated himself to making them service-ably and economically more efficient. This may well be one of the major factors in the inventor’s later efforts to quantify and access free energy as well as the creation of The Nikola Tesla Generator. Although the details behind his resignation from Edison’s employ are somewhat controversial, legend has it that Tesla posted his resignation after the notoriously stingy Edison refused to pay an offered bonus for the DC generator overhauls.
After leaving Edison, Tesla worked tirelessly to unleash a series of seemingly miraculous devices, which stunned the world and earned him an unparalleled and unequaled reputation for both madness and brilliance.
Patents and Proposals
Over the course of his life, Nikola Tesla developed remarkable devices and obtained over 300 patents. These included such items as the electric arc lamp, the over unit, electro magnetic motors and various improvements. A perusal of the patent list reveals that many of the devices driving the modern world emerged from Tesla’s laboratory. Quite a large portion of Tesla’s output involved the access and use of free energy. Often, his machines were viewed as marvels. An inveterate showman, Tesla was fond of large demonstrations. He would use the concept of free energy to light up light bulbs he held in his hand.
Key Component of Nikola Tesla Generator
The Tesla coil is perhaps the most well-known of his creations. A key component in the Nikola Tesla generator, the coil produces a high voltage, low current, high frequency electrical discharge. The device in his Colorado Springs laboratory was reputed to generated discharges on the order of millions of volts. His powerful coils could create indoor lightning storms. Light bulbs in the vicinity would remain on, even when extinguished.
Tesla was also passingly interested in concepts that would subsequently revolutionize the world. He was fascinated by a form of radiant energy that damaged film by its presence. Tesla also explored the generation and use of radio waves, even going so far as to develop a unit by which he could control a boat in 1898. This would be the first radio-controlled device. Though he tried to sell the idea of a radio-controlled torpedo to the United States military, he was unsuccessful. Ultimately, Tesla’s passions carried him away from some projects and back to others. Other innovators and scientists eventually laid claim to ideas Tesla had discarded. Thus, Tesla remains known as the alternating current and free energy innovator instead of the inventor of X-rays or radio. However, when Marconi made his trans-Atlantic radio broadcast, Tesla quipped that it was possible only by the use of several of Tesla’s patents.
Tesla’s final conception was his infamous electricity powered “tele force” weapon, a device of such limitless stopping power that it would enforce world peace simply by virtue of its existence. Though he claimed to have built and tested the device, he could not interest the War Departments for the United State, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia in it.
Although Tesla courted controversy in just about every aspect of his social life, he was also concerned with the fate of humankind. The man’s views on socio-economic politics were sometimes contradictory. For example, he was reputed to have seen women’s suffrage in an ill light, and he was an advocate for selective breeding to better the species as a whole. However, he was also publically concerned with the uses of electricity to drive mankind to technologic heights as yet undreamed of.
One key to resolving this concern would be access to power. He advocated free energy as a widely available resource that would drive innovation and advances. Furthermore, by means of such devices as the Nikola Tesla generator, he would grant universal access to the power source. He put his theories to the test at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
A power plant was built for the Fair, which relied upon the polyphaser alternating current supplied through use of the two phase, alternating current Nikola Tesla generator. 1000 horsepower of power came from each Nikola Tesla generator. A dozen of the machines were sufficient to revolutionize the populace’s conception of the value of alternating current.
Although there has been no substantial proof of its existence, theorists have espoused conspiracies about the suppression of numerous devices and ideas. They believe that following his death, many of Tesla’s wilder ideas have been removed from public consideration or consumption, particularly the Nikola Tesla generator and free energy. While the notion that greedy individuals might benefit from a suppression of freely available electricity, there have been no substantiations to these claims. While Tesla coils remain abundant, the Nikola Tesla generator has again found public fascination, but these are only two parts of the lingering legacy of a true American maverick.