Why Nikola Tesla is obscure and unknown
A genuine gold will stand out and shine brightest against an acid test and backdrop of mud. An acetic acid poured onto a gold nugget will make the latter more sparkling and prove its purity. These proven statements perfectly matched Nikola Tesla, the most famous unknown inventor. This paper aims to elucidate the reasons for Nikola Tesla’s being obscure and unknown and prove that the inventor should be credited the laurels which are due him. While Tesla is recognized for his great inventions, most of his work is unknown. The reason is, he was naturally reclusive which made his image easy to manipulate. The fact of
his being reclusive was exposed by himself in his autobiography book. According to him, he was raised by his parents which were overprotective thus robbing him the chance to cognitively developed with the outside reality (Tesla, 2007). He admitted that as a result of over protectiveness of his parents, he developed less confidence with himself (p. 7). His life from childhood was constantly characterized with vivid imaginations of events and projects which were his inspirations as inventor (p. 12). As a result, people saw him as crazy and unwanted and this resulted to his obscurity and unknown figure despite his inventions which
basically fuel all the amenities that we are enjoying this 21st century. Thomas Edison improved DC or direct current concept based from the works of other early scientists named Gramme and Alteneck and Tesla himself who briefly worked with Edison for some time (Raimer, 1999, 7th par). Tesla invented the concept of AC or alternating current that can economically provide electricity over long distances through a system of generators, transmission lines, motors and transformers. According to Raimer (1999), the battle between the DC and AC concepts as to which is more efficient developed between Edison and Tesla.
In December of 1887, two years before electrification of New York using DC current by Edison, Tesla filed and approved by U. S. Patent Office seven patents in the polyphase AC motors and transmission of power (pbs. org. , 2000). Edison sensing that the AC technology of Tesla is a direct competitor of his DC concept waged a 2 demonstration of the dangers of the AC electrical technology which normally involved electrocuting dogs in view of many people. In the end, Tesla and his AC technology prevailed with the help of Westinghouse Corporation who used his technology over the DC concept of Edison (Raimer, 1999).
The Tesla-Edison battle for supremacy once again surfaced in the case of Niagara Falls harnessing to supply electricity over long distances. Tesla and his AC electrical technology won the bid to harness Niagara falls over the DC current technology of Edison for reason of cost consideration. The pbs. org (2000) reported that half of the bid cost by Edison covered the cost of copper wiring to transmit and distribute electricity. The successful harnessing of Niagara Falls was a realization of Tesla’s dream since childhood (Harnessing Niagara, 2nd par. ) This was also the reason for his having hallucinations (Tesla, 2007, p.
8) which is equated to OCD or Obsessive-compulsive disorder in the 21st century and a kind of mental disease during his time. Despite the use of Tesla’s AC technology in harnessing the Niagara Falls, credit was given to Thomas Edison as the one who revolutionized electricity in the U. S. by the Smithsonian Institute (SI), the agency responsible for giving credit to whom it is due. The SI claim that credit cannot be given to Tesla as he is a loner and full of mad ideas. Raimer (1999) revealed that the SI did this due to the fact that a substantial portion of SI private
funding came from Edison Institution (36th par. ) Another great invention of Tesla is the coil which was patented in 1891. The invention known as Tesla coil can make a fluorescent bulb approximate the brightness of the sun thus eliminating the Edison’s incandescent lamp which utilize only five percent of energy supplied and the rest is wasted and thus uneconomical. The Tesla coil also led to the discovery of the radio and the x-ray (pbs. org, 2000). A disastrous fire struck during the invention of the radio in his New York laboratory turning everything including the radio prototype into ashes.
At that time, Marconi, an Italian scientist is tinkering with his wireless telegraphy but could not transmit messages over long distances. He took hold of a 3 Tesla oscillator which enable transmission across the English channel (pbs. org, 2000). Tesla filed his basic radio patent in 1897 and approved in 1900. Marconi filed his own patent with the U. S. in November of 1900 but was turned down including the three successive tries in three years for the reason that Tesla oscillator which was earlier patented already was used by Marconi in his wireless telegraphy though he claim ignorance of its existence. Marconi
continued with his use of Tesla oscillator in his wireless telegraphy business in England which made him rich and influential. In 1904, the U. S. Patent Office granted patent over the wireless telegraphy in America to Marconi and in 1911, Marconi won the Nobel Peace Prize. It was revealed that the turn around of the patent decision was made possible by Marconi’s financial standing in the U. S. Tesla sue the patent office but he is short of money and died in 1943 but was not able to witness the winning of his patent case. Tesla carried out three separate experiments and resulted to inventions of the wireless
boat which prove that energy can be transmitted wireless over long distances. The Tangusta and the Philadelphia experiments resulted to invention of radar, the internet, the cell phone and light beam weaponry which is being used now by the U. S. military (pbs. org, 2000). The three experiments was regarded as crazy idea coming from a crazy man as it’s usefulness is not yet within the comprehension of man during that time. This advanced thinking of Tesla earned him the title of being a crazy man. Together with his hallucinations which serve as a
drawing board of his plans of invention, the man preferred to be reclusive which resulted to his being unknown among the list of inventors and inventions (Raimer, 1999). Today, his inventions and concepts which were considered out of this world during his time were being used by mankind. Historical records remain intact and despite the name calling of being a mad scientist, the golden gem of his achievements cannot be hidden and dwarfed by financial covers and mud covering that he is insane. The generation of the 21st century recognize Tesla as a golden gem polished and purified by acids of trials and
tribulations in life and shining brightly as if shouting the real truth to the whole universe. 4 References PBS (December 2000) Tesla: Master of Lightning. Retrieved June 6, 2009, from http://www. pbs. org/tesla/ll/index. html Raimer, M. A. (1999) “Semantic Sabotage at the Smithsonian: A Head Test. ” ETC. : A Review of General Semantics 56. 4 405. GeneralOneFile. Gale. Apollo Library. Retrieved June 6, 2009, from http://find. galegroup. com/ips/start. do? prodId=IPS Tesla, N. (2007). My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla. Massachusetts: Cosimo, Inc.Sample Essay of EduBirdie.com