Nikola Tesla, Russia, 1919
Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – c. January 7, 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer. Tesla is recognized among the most accomplished scientists of the late 19th and early 20th century. His patents and theoretical work form the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution system and AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution. Nikola Tesla was of Serbian descent, born in the small town of Smiljan in the Lika region (near Gospić, (Croatia, earlier in Yugoslavia). He was a citizen of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, after 1918, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. While conducting his work in the United States of America, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1891. The surname "Tesla" is a Serbo-Croatian word that means adze. In the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or in popular culture. After his demonstration of wireless communication in 1893 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as America's greatest electrical engineer. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. Never skilled at handling his finances, Tesla died impoverished and forgotten at the age of 86. In his later years, Tesla was regarded as a mad scientist and became noted for making bizarre claims about possible scientific developments. Tesla's legacy can be seen across modern civilization wherever electricity is used. Tesla considered his exploration of various questions raised by science as ultimately a means to improve the human condition with the principles of science and industrial progress, and one that was compatible with nature. However, many of his achievements have been used, sometimes inappropriately and with some controversy, to support various pseudosciences, UFO theories, and New Age occultism. 1
1. Taken from the Wikipedia online encylopeadia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla
“Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by power obtainable at any point in the universe...it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature. Throughout space there is energy.” 1
"We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the energy of the atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind... The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is preeminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun's energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land" 2
1. Tesla given in a talk to electrical engineers in 1891
2. Taken from My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla, Hart Bros., 1982. Originally appeared in the Electrical experimenter magazine in 1919.