Mankind Should Be Our Business! Scrooge was right! I think Tesla would agree!
Nikola Tesla was an immigrant who brought to America inventions which changed the world. People like Thomas Edison resented Tesla’s ideas; Marconi capitalized on his inventions; Westinghouse created his electric company with Tesla’s patents; JP Morgan first supported and then later abandoned Tesla.
On this day, December 13, 1892, Patent #487,796, describing a SYSTEM OF ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION OF POWER, is issued to Tesla.
“Be it known that I, NIKOLA TESLA…have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Systems for Electrical Transmission of Power…wherein are employed motors having two or more independent energizing-circuits, through which are passed alternating currents differing in phase that are produced by a magneto-electric machine having independent induced circuits, or that are obtained from any other suitable source or by any other suitable means.”
Tesla was an inventive genius. One time he captured the power of Niagara Falls with his automated current system making it possible to provide electricity to the world. Tesla also patented the technology for wireless communications which made radio and TV broadcasting possible.
Here’s the great irony: Tesla’s inventions helped build America and billion dollar corporations, yet Tesla himself didn’t die rich. Tesla did make money from his inventions; however, he wasn’t business savvy, having little interested in that aspect of things. Tesla’s real passion was coming up with a way to provide the world with an unlimited supply of energy – “to harness the forces of nature to meet human needs.” Tesla’s primary interest was improving the lot of humanity, not getting rich. He said,
“Money does not mean to me what it does to others. All my money has been invested in inventions to make man’s life a little easier.”
Some, unfortunately, who were more interested in the money aspect, seemed to have taken advantage of Tesla’s philanthropic spirit.
One of Tesla’s shining moments was at Chicago’s Great Fair in 1893, a celebration of the year Columbus discovered the Americas (a year late, I might add). The fair was to be the first lighted by electricity, and Tesla, who was with Westinghouse at the time, won the contract to light the event (Edison, having lost the bid, engaged in some unsportsmanlike like conduct after this loss, but that’s a part of the story for another time – the show went on successfully in spite of Edison). In May of 1893, 100,000 people converged on the fairgrounds to witness mankind’s latest inventions. The night began to fall as the people anxiously awaited the lighting spectacular. Then President Cleveland, at the appointed time, pressed a button, and to the thrill of the spectators tube lighting and search lights magically lit up the fair and the night sky. This was the greatest display of lighting the world had ever seen!
Tesla made history in Chicago. His generators provided the electricity for the fair thus proving, to the chagrin of his detractors, that AC could provide power on a large scale.
Get to know Tesla. Look up Tesla’s Egg of Columbus.