Nikola Tesla, born on this day (July 10) in 1856, would’ve been 160 years old today. Let’s make sure this dude isn’t forgotten.
Below is a sample from my book, which is free for download, along with a few other selected works, on Monday, July 11 only.
Please consider checking it out for a true picture of Nikola Tesla, without all the BS that usually accompanies bios.
Here is the sample, please check out this one as well as others:
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The Tragic Tale of Wardenclyffe
“As soon as it is completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place. Millions of such instruments can be operated from but one plant of this kind. More important than all of this, however, will be the transmission of power, without wires, which will be shown on a scale large enough to carry conviction.” – Nikola Tesla; On the Wardenclyffe Tower, in "The Future of the Wireless Art" in Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony (1908)
In 1900, with the financing of industrial magnate JP Morgan, Tesla secured a $150,000 (roughly $4 million in today’s dollars) investment into a structure which was to provide transatlantic wireless communication to the world.
The tower was 186 feet tall and had a shaft 120 feet deep, with iron pipes being driven 300 feet underground, in order to extract the earth’s energy; to “have a grip on the earth so the whole of this globe can quiver,” in Tesla’s words.
The stated objective of Wardenclyffe tower was similar to that of a modern cell phone tower – the idea of transmitting wireless communications throughout the world; though Tesla’s ultimate goal was to have free, clean energy broadcasted to the world.
Most people think of cell phone technology as a relatively recent breakthrough, but the concept has been around for well over one hundred years – as demonstrated by Tesla’s description of the communication device he planned that could be used with the tower: “an inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch…”
Tesla is largely responsible for the technology behind radio-waves, however one of his contemporaries, Guglielmo Marconi, receives most of the credit.
In 1895, as Tesla was close to transmitting radio waves over fifty miles, his lab mysteriously went up in flames, causing him to lose all of his work.
Marconi is credited with creating the first transatlantic wireless communication in 1902 and has been coined “the father of radio,” though he used much of Tesla’s technology to accomplish it.
As evidence of Marconi’s utilization of Tesla’s ideas, the US Patent Office, in 1903, replied to some of Marconi’s patent applications with the following: “Many of the claims are not patentable over Tesla patent numbers 645,576 and 649,621, of record, the amendment to overcome said references as well as Marconi's pretended ignorance of the nature of a "Tesla oscillator" being little short of absurd... the term "Tesla oscillator" has become a household word on both continents.”
Tesla was also aware of this. One of his engineers, Otis Pond, says to Tesla, “Looks as if Marconi got the jump on you.” Demonstrating his unselfish attitude and desire for the technology to be widely disseminated, Tesla responds: "Marconi is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents."
The money that JP Morgan provided became tight very quickly. So quickly, that Tesla apparently received a foreclosure notice in September of 1901, before all of the $150,000 from JP Morgan was remitted to Tesla.
Once Tesla’s funds ran out, JP Morgan informed Tesla that he would no longer fund the project.
With Marconi having ‘invented’ affordable radio technology that could be used on a wide scale, JP Morgan apparently saw no reason to continue to fund Tesla’s work.
Tesla informed JP Morgan that the almost-completed project had the capability to provide free wireless electricity to the world, but Mr. Morgan was not swayed.
On July 3, 1903, Tesla wrote JP Morgan a letter, asking that Morgan provide further assistance to the project:
"Will you help me or let my great work — almost complete — go to pots?"
JP Morgan’s responds on July 14, 1903:
"I have received your letter and in reply would say that I should not feel disposed at present to make any further advances.”
JP Morgan, one of the most powerful and wealthiest men in the world - considered by many to be a ‘philanthropist’ - decides to stop funding the project to provide free energy to the world.
That was the beginning of the end of mankind’s attempt to provide free energy to all humans on earth – rich or poor.
Once his funding ran out, Tesla was forced to use his own money to continue to fund the most ambitious project the modern world had ever seen.
Telsa’s patent on alternating current electricity expired in 1905, and as his royalty payments dried up, he went broke.
After JP Morgan turned his back on the project, backers were nowhere to be found. The stock market panic of 1903 also caused potential investors to think twice about funding a project that didn’t have a clear financial benefit.
Some speculate that JP Morgan, and his powerful contemporaries, made sure that others did not step forward with the required funding.
Tesla soldiered on, hoping that people would recognize his service to humanity and come forward with funding, but that never occurred.
For the rest of its brief existence, the Wardenclyffe project to provide free energy to the world was run on a shoestring budget.
Operations were eventually ceased in 1906.
Tesla was constructing an actionable model of a technology so profound that it could eliminate hunger and drastically change the landscape of the earth, and no one seemed to care.
When reviewing a biographical account of JP Morgan, the Wardenclyffe project is ironically listed as one of his “unsuccessful ventures.”
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." - Desiderius Erasmus's Adagia (1500)
an interpretive method, originally used to relate specific entities or events to the absolute idea, in which an assertable proposition (thesis) is necessarily opposed by its apparent contradiction (antithesis), and both reconciled on a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis).
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