Lots of people don’t know who Nikola Tesla was.
He’s less famous than Einstein. He’s less famous than Leonardo. He’s arguably less famous than Stephen Hawking.
Most gallingly for his fans, he’s considerably less famous than his arch-rival Thomas Edison.
But his work helped deliver the power for the device on which you are reading this. His invention of the induction motor that would work with alternating current (AC) was a milestone in modern electrical systems.
Mark Twain, whom he later befriended, described his invention as “the most valuable patent since the telephone”.
Born in what is now Croatia to Serbian parents, he moved to New York in 1884 and developed radio controlled vehicles, wireless energy and the first hydro-electric plant at Niagara Falls. But he was an eccentric. He believed celibacy spurred on the brain, thought he had communicated with extraterrestrials, and fell in love with a pigeon.
Over recent decades he has drifted into relative obscurity, while Edison is lauded as one of the world’s greatest inventors….Read more