Nikola Tesla, Inventor
Lived 1856-1943. Born in Yugoslavia, went to engineering school and then emigrated to America in 1884. He worked with Thomas Edison for about a year Then he got funding from George Westinghouse to build an Alernating Current power system. A working prototype was successfully built in Telluride, Colorado, and after that major power generation systems were built all over the continent. This brought Tesla into direct competition with Thomas Edison. Several aspects of this conflict became legendary.
In 1899, Tesla lived for about a year in Colorado Springs, where he conducted extensive experiments in a special laboratory he built there. After that, he returned to New York and began building a large power transmission station at Wardenclyffe, on Long Island. The purpose of this station was apparently to resonate the entire planet in such a way that anyone with a special small antenna could draw as much electricity as needed, for free. When J.P. Morgan figured this out, he withdrew funding, ordered all the banks on the continent not to fund him, and also sent orders to textbook publishers that Tesla's name be eliminated.
In addition to the basic AC generators and motors still in use today, Tesla invented a number of other items. Some were built, and some weren't. A few of his other inventions were: Tesla Turbine pump, Violet Ray medical device, a mechanical resonator for demolition, remote controlled boat, and radio.
An excellent biography of Tesla was written by Marc Seifer, PhD, entitled Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla It is available through Tesla Tech
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