(10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was
and a mechanical
and electrical engineer
. He was one of the
most important contributors to the birth of commercial electricity
and is best known for his many
revolutionary developments in the field of electromagnetism
in the late 19th and early
20th centuries. Tesla's
and theoretical work formed the basis of modern
systems, including the
distribution and the AC motor
, with which
he helped usher in the Second Industrial
ethnic Serb in the village of Smiljan, Croatian Military Frontier,
Empire (today's Croatia).
He was a
subject of the Austrian
Empire by birth and later became an American citizen.
demonstration of wireless communication through radio
in 1894 and after being the victor in the
"War of Currents
", he was widely
respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in
America. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical
engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking
importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame
rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history
, but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly
unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific
and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and
regarded as a mad scientist
never put much focus on his finances. It is said he died
impoverished, at the age of 86.
International System of
Units unit measuring magnetic
field B (also referred to as the magnetic
flux density and magnetic induction), the
tesla, was named in his honor
(at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, Paris, 1960), as
well as the Tesla
effect of wireless
energy transfer to wirelessly power electronic devices which
Tesla demonstrated on a low scale with incandescent light bulbs) as early
as 1893 and aspired to use for the intercontinental transmission of
industrial power levels in his unfinished Wardenclyffe
Aside from his work on electromagnetism and electromechanical engineering
, Tesla contributed in varying
degrees to the establishment of robotics
, and to the expansion of ballistics
, and theoretical
. In 1943, the Supreme Court of
the United States credited him as being the inventor of the radio.
A few of
his achievements have been used, with some controversy, to support
, UFO theories
, and early New Age occultism
born to Serbian parents in the village of Smiljan, Austrian Empire near the town of Gospić,
found in the territory of modern day Croatia.
His baptismal certificate reports that he was born on 28 June
July), 1856, to Father Milutin Tesla, a priest in the
Serbian Orthodox Church,
Metropolitanate of Sremski Karlovci and Đuka Mandić. His paternal origin is
thought to be either of one of the local Serb
clans in the Tara valley or from the Herzegovinian noble Pavle Orlović His mother Đuka , daughter
of a Serbian Orthodox Church priest came from a family domiciled in
Lika and Banija, but with
deeper origins to Kosovo.
was talented in making home craft tools and memorized many Serbian epic poems
, but never learned to
Nikola was the fourth of five children, having one older brother
(Dane, who was killed in a horse-riding
accident when Nikola was five)
and three sisters (Milka, Angelina and Marica). His family moved to
Gospić in 1862. Tesla went to school in Karlovac.
He finished a four year term in the span of
engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz
c.1879 at age 23
While there, he studied the uses of alternating
current. Some sources say he received Baccalaureate degrees from
the university at Graz. However, the university claims that he did
not receive a degree and did not continue beyond the first semester
of his third year, during which he stopped attending lectures. In
December 1878 he left Graz and broke all relations with his family.
His friends thought that he had drowned in Mura
. He went to Maribor, (today's Slovenia), where he was first employed as an assistant
engineer for a year.
He suffered a nervous breakdown
during this time.
later persuaded by his father to attend the Charles-Ferdinand University in
Prague, which he
attended for the summer term of 1880.
Here, he was
influenced by Ernst Mach
. However, after
his father died, he left the university, having completed only one
Tesla engaged in reading many works, memorizing complete books,
supposedly having a photographic
. Tesla related in his autobiography that he experienced
detailed moments of inspiration. During his early life, Tesla was
stricken with illness time and time again. He suffered a peculiar
affliction in which blinding flashes of light would appear before
his eyes, often accompanied by hallucinations. Much of the time the
visions were linked to a word or idea he might have come across;
just by hearing the name of an item, he would involuntarily
envision it in realistic detail. Modern-day synesthetes
report similar symptoms. Tesla would
visualise an invention in his brain with extreme precision,
including all dimensions, before moving to the construction stage;
a technique sometimes known as picture
. He typically did not make drawings by hand, instead
just conceiving all ideas with his mind. Tesla also often had
flashbacks to events that had happened previously in his life; this
began to happen during childhood.
he moved to Budapest to work under Tivadar Puskás in a telegraph company,
the National Telephone Company
. There, he met Nebojša
Petrović, a young, Serbian inventor who lived in Austria. Although
their encounter was brief, they did work on a project together
using twin turbines to create continual power. On the opening of
the telephone exchange
Budapest, 1881, Tesla became the chief electrician to the company,
and was later engineer for the country's first telephone system. He
also developed a device that, according to some, was a telephone repeater
, but according to others could
have been the first loudspeaker
United States and France
he moved to Paris, France, to
work as an engineer for the Continental Edison Company,
designing improvements to electric equipment brought overseas from
In the same year, Tesla conceived the
and began developing
various devices that use rotating magnetic fields
he received patents in 1888.
Soon thereafter, Tesla was awakened from a dream in which his
mother had died, "And I knew that this was so". After her death,
Tesla fell ill. He spent two to three weeks recuperating in
Gospić and the village of Tomingaj near Gračac, his mother's birthplace.
On 6 June
1884, Tesla first arrived in the US in New York City with little besides a letter of recommendation from
Charles Batchelor, a former
In the letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison
, Batchelor wrote, "I know two
great men and you are one of them; the other is this young man."
Edison hired Tesla to work for his Edison Machine Works
Tesla's work for Edison began with simple electrical engineering
and quickly progressed to solving some of the company's most
difficult problems. Tesla was even offered the task of completely
redesigning the Edison company's direct
Tesla claims he was offered US$
50,000 (~ US$1.1 million in
2007, adjusted for inflation) if he redesigned Edison's inefficient
motor and generators, making an improvement in both service and
economy. Tesla said he worked night and day on the project and gave
the Edison Company several profitable new
in the process. In 1885 when Tesla inquired about the
payment for his work, Edison replied, "Tesla, you don't understand
our American humor
," thus breaking
his word.Earning a mere US$18 per week, Tesla would have had to
work for 53 years to earn the amount he was promised. The offer was
equal to the initial capital of the company. Tesla then immediately
resigned when he was refused a raise to US$25 per week.
Tesla, in need of work, eventually found himself digging ditches
for a short period of time for the Edison company. He saw the
manual labor as a terrible job, but Tesla used this time to focus
on his AC polyphase system.
In 1886, Tesla formed his own company, Tesla Electric Light
. The initial financial investors
disagreed with Tesla on his plan for an
alternating current motor and eventually relieved him of his duties
at the company. Tesla worked in New York as a common laborer from 1886 to 1887 to feed
himself and raise capital for his next project.
In 1887, he
constructed the initial brushless
alternating current induction motor
which he demonstrated to the American Institute of Electrical
the same year, he developed the principles of his Tesla coil and began working with George Westinghouse at Westinghouse Electric &
Manufacturing Company's Pittsburgh labs.
Westinghouse listened to his ideas for
polyphase systems which would allow transmission of alternating
current electricity over long distances.
In April 1887, Tesla began investigating what would later be called
using his own single terminal vacuum tubes
(similar to his patent ). This
device differed from other early X-ray tubes in that it had no
target electrode. The modern term for the phenomenon produced by
this device is bremsstrahlung
). We now know that this device operated by emitting
from the single electrode through
a combination of field electron
. Once liberated, electrons are strongly repelled by
the high electric field
electrode during negative voltage peaks from the oscillating HV
output of the Tesla Coil, generating X rays as they collide with
the glass envelope. He also used Geissler
. By 1892, Tesla became aware of the skin damage that
identified as an effect of X rays.
In the early research, Tesla devised several experimental setups to
produce X rays. Tesla held that, with his circuits, the "instrument
will [... enable one to] generate Roentgen rays of much greater
power than obtainable with ordinary apparatus".He also commented on
the hazards of working with his circuit and single node X-ray
producing devices. Of his many notes in the early investigation of
this phenomenon, he attributed the skin damage to various causes.
One of the options for the cause, which is not in conformity with
conventional X-ray production, was that the ozone
generated rather than the radiation was
responsible. He believed early on that damage to the skin was not
due to the Roentgen rays, but the ozone generated in contact with
the skin, and to a lesser extent, nitrous
. Tesla held that these were in fact longitudinal waves
, such as those produced
in waves in plasma
. In a plasma or a
confined space, there can exist waves which are either longitudinal
or transverse, or a mixture of both. There are known examples of
this and these plasma waves can occur in the situation of force-free magnetic fields
hypotheses and experiments were confirmed by others.
Tesla continued research in the field and, later, observed an
assistant severely "burnt" by X rays in his lab. He performed
several experiments prior to Roentgen's
the bones of his hand;
later, he sent these images to Roentgen) but didn't make his
findings widely known; much of his research was lost in the 5th
Avenue lab fire of March 1895.
A "world system" for "the transmission of electrical energy without
wires" that depends upon the electrical conductivity
of the earth
was proposed in which transmission in various natural media with
current that passes between the two points are used to power
devices. In a practical wireless energy transmission system using
this principle, a high-power ultraviolet beam might be used to form
a vertical ionized channel in the air directly above the
transmitter-receiver stations. The same concept is used in virtual
, the electrolaser electroshock weapon
,and has been
proposed for disabling vehicles.
Tesla demonstrated "the
transmission of electrical energy without wires
" that depends
upon electrical conductivity as early as 1891. The Tesla effect
(named in honor of Tesla) is
a term for an application of this type of electrical conduction
(that is, the
movement of energy through space and matter; not just the
production of voltage across a conductor).
On 30 July 1891, he became a naturalized
of the United States at the age of 35. Tesla established his
35 South Fifth
Avenue laboratory in New York during this same
Later, Tesla would establish his Houston Street
laboratory in New York at 46 E. Houston
. There, at one point while conducting mechanical resonance
electro-mechanical oscillators he generated a resonance of several
surrounding buildings but, due to the frequencies involved, not his
own building, causing complaints to the police. As the speed grew
he hit the resonant frequency
of his own
building and, belatedly realizing the danger, he was forced to
apply a sledgehammer
to terminate the
experiment, just as the astonished police arrived.He also lit
electric lamps wirelessly at both of the New York locations,
providing evidence for the potential of wireless power
Some of Tesla's closest friends were artists. He befriended
editor Robert Underwood
, who adapted several Serbian poems of Jovan Jovanović Zmaj
translated). Also during this time, Tesla was influenced by the
(i. e. Hinduism
) teachings of the Swami Vivekananda
; so much so, that after
his exposure to Hindu-Vedic thought, Tesla started using Sanskrit
words to name some of his fundamental
concepts regarding matter and energy.
When Tesla was 36 years old, the first patents concerning the
polyphase power system were granted. He continued research of the
system and rotating magnetic field principles. Tesla served, from
1892 to 1894, as the vice president of the American Institute of
, the forerunner (along with the Institute of Radio Engineers
of the modern-day IEEE
1893 to 1895, he investigated high
alternating currents. He generated AC of one million
using a conical Tesla coil and
investigated the skin effect
, designed tuned
circuits, invented a machine for inducing sleep, cordless gas discharge
lamps, and transmitted electromagnetic energy
building the first radio transmitter
Louis, Missouri, Tesla made a demonstration related to radio communication in 1893. Addressing the
Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the National Electric Light
Association, he described and demonstrated in detail its
Tesla's demonstrations were written about widely
through various media outlets. Tesla also investigated harvesting
energy that is present
. He believed that it was just merely a
question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery
to the very wheelwork of nature, stating:
1893 World's Fair, the World's
Columbian Exposition in Chicago, an international exposition was held which for the
first time devoted a building to electrical exhibits.
a historic event as Tesla and George
introduced visitors to AC
by using it to illuminate the Exposition. On display were
Tesla's fluorescent lamps
single node bulbs. An observer noted:
Tesla also explained the principles of the rotating magnetic field
and induction motor
how to make an egg made of copper
end in his demonstration of the device he constructed known as the
Also in the late 1880s, Tesla and Edison became adversaries in part
due to Edison's promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power
distribution over the more
efficient alternating current advocated by Tesla and Westinghouse.
Until Tesla invented the induction motor, AC's advantages for long
distance high voltage
counterbalanced by the inability to operate motors on AC. As a
result of the "War of Currents
Edison and Westinghouse went nearly bankrupt, so in 1897, Tesla
released Westinghouse from contract, providing Westinghouse a break
from Tesla's patent royalties. Also in 1897, Tesla researched
which led to setting up
the basic formulation of cosmic
When Tesla was forty-one years old, he filed the first basic radio
patent ( ). A year later, he demonstrated a radio-controlled
boat to the US military,
believing that the military would want things such as
. Tesla had
developed the "Art of Telautomatics
", a form of robotics
, as well as the technology of remote
control. In 1898, he demonstrated a radio-controlled
boat to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison
This devices had an innovative coherer
and a series of electronic logic gates
. Tesla called his boat a
"teleautomaton". Radio remote control remained a novelty until the
1960s. In the same year, Tesla devised an "electric igniter" or
for Internal combustion
engines. He gained , "Electrical Igniter for Gas Engines", on this
mechanical ignition system
lived in the former Gerlach Hotel, renamed The Radio Wave building,
at 49 W 27th St. (between Broadway and Sixth Avenue), Lower Manhattan
, before the end of the
century where he conducted the radio wave experiments. A commemorative plaque
was placed on the
building in 1977 to honor his work.
An experiment in Colorado
Tesla decided to move and began research in Colorado
Springs, Colorado, where he would have room for his high-voltage,
high-frequency experiments. Upon his arrival he told reporters that
he was conducting wireless
telegraphy experiments transmitting signals from Pikes Peak to Paris.
This bank of lights is receiving power from a distant
Tesla's diary contains
explanations of his experiments concerning the ionosphere
and the ground's telluric currents
via transverse waves
and longitudinal waves
.At his lab, Tesla
proved that the earth was a conductor, and he produced artificial
(with discharges consisting of
millions of volts, and up to 135 feet long).Tesla also
, observing lightning signals via his receivers.
Reproductions of Tesla's receivers and coherer circuits show an
unpredicted level of complexity (e.g., distributed high-Q helical resonators
, radio frequency feedback
, crude heterodyne
effects, and regeneration techniques
that he observed stationary waves
during this time.
Tesla researched ways to transmit power and energy wirelessly over
long distances (via transverse waves, to a lesser extent, and, more
readily, longitudinal waves). He transmitted extremely low frequencies
the ground as well as between the Earth's surface and the Kennelly–Heaviside layer
He received patents on wireless transceivers that developed
standing waves by this method. In his experiments, he made
mathematical calculations and computations based on his experiments
and discovered that the resonant frequency of the Earth was
approximately 8 Hertz (Hz). In the 1950s, researchers confirmed
that the resonant frequency of the Earth's ionospheric cavity was
in this range (later named the Schumann resonance
In Colorado, Tesla carried out various long distance power
transmission experiments. Tesla effect
is the application
of a type of electrical conduction (that is, the movement of energy
through space and matter; not just the production of voltage across
a conductor). Through longitudinal
, Tesla transferred energy to receiving devices. He sent
electrostatic forces through natural media across a conductor
situated in the changing magnetic flux
and transferred power to a conducting receiving device (such as
Tesla's wireless bulbs).
In the Colorado Springs lab, Tesla observed unusual signals that he
later thought may have been evidence of extraterrestrial
coming from Venus
.He noticed repetitive signals from his receiver
which were substantially different from the signals he had noted
from storms and earth noise. Specifically, he later recalled that
the signals appeared in groups of one, two, three, and four clicks
together. Tesla had mentioned before this event and many times
after that he thought his inventions could be used to talk with other planets
There have even been claims that he invented a "Teslascope
" for just such a purpose. It is
debatable what type of signals Tesla received or whether he picked
up anything at all. Research has suggested that Tesla may have had
a misunderstanding of the new technology he was working with,or
that the signals Tesla observed may have simply been an observation
of a non-terrestrial natural radio source such as the Jovian plasma
Springs on 7 January 1900.
The lab was torn down and
its contents sold to pay debts. The Colorado experiments prepared
Tesla for his next project, the establishment of a wireless power
transmission facility that would be known as Wardenclyffe. Tesla
was granted for the means of increasing the intensity of electrical
oscillations. The United
States Patent Office
classification system currently assigns
this patent to the primary Class 178/43 ("telegraphy/space
induction"), although the other applicable classes include 505/825
("low temperature superconductivity-related apparatus").
In 1900, with US$150,000 (51 % from J. Pierpont
Morgan), Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe
In June 1902, Tesla's lab
operations were moved to Wardenclyffe from Houston Street. The
tower was finally dismantled for scrap during World War I
. Newspapers of the time labeled
Wardenclyffe "Tesla's million-dollar folly". In 1904, the US
reversed its decision
and awarded Guglielmo Marconi
patent for radio, and Tesla began his fight to re-acquire the radio
patent. On his 50th birthday in 1906, Tesla demonstrated his
(150 kW) 16,000 rpm
. During 1910–1911 at
the Waterside Power Station
in New York, several of his
bladeless turbine engines were tested at 100–5000 hp.
Since the Nobel Prize in
was awarded to Marconi
for radio in 1909, Thomas Edison
Tesla were mentioned as potential laureates to share the Nobel Prize of 1915
in a press
dispatch, leading to one of several Nobel Prize controversies
sources have claimed that due to their animosity toward each other
neither was given the award, despite their enormous scientific
contributions, and that each sought to minimize the other one's
achievements and right to win the award, that both refused to ever
accept the award if the other received it first, and that both
rejected any possibility of sharing it.
In the following events after the rumors, neither Tesla nor Edison
won the prize (although Edison did receive one of 38 possible bids
in 1915, and Tesla did receive one bid out of 38 in 1937).Earlier,
Tesla alone was rumored to have been nominated for the Nobel Prize of 1912
. The rumored
nomination was primarily for his experiments with tuned circuits
using high-voltage high-frequency resonant transformers.
In 1915, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Marconi attempting,
unsuccessfully, to obtain a court injunction against Marconi's
claims. After Wardenclyffe, Tesla built the Telefunken
Wireless Station in Sayville, Long
Island. Some of what he wanted to achieve at Wardenclyffe was
accomplished with the Telefunken Wireless. In 1917, the facility
was seized and torn down by the Marines
, because it was suspected
that it could be used by German spies.
Before World War I
, Tesla looked
overseas for investors to fund his research. When the war started,
Tesla lost the funding he was receiving from his patents in
European countries. After the war ended, Tesla made predictions
regarding the relevant issues of the post-World War I environment,
in a printed article (20 December 1914). Tesla believed that the
League of Nations
was not a remedy
for the times and issues. Tesla started to exhibit pronounced
symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder
in the years following. He became obsessed with the number three;
he often felt compelled to walk around a block three times before
entering a building, demanded a stack of three folded cloth napkins
beside his plate at every meal, etc. The nature of OCD was little
understood at the time and no treatments were available, so his
symptoms were considered by some to be evidence of partial
insanity, and this undoubtedly hurt what was left of his
time, he was staying at The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, renting in an arrangement for deferred
Eventually, the Wardenclyffe deed was turned over
to George Boldt
, proprietor of the
Waldorf-Astoria, to pay a US$20,000 debt. In 1917, around the time
that the Wardenclyffe Tower was demolished by Boldt to make the
land a more viable real estate asset, Tesla received AIEE's
honor, the Edison Medal
Tesla, in August 1917, first established principles regarding
frequency and power level for the first primitive radar
units.In 1934, Émile Girardeau
, working with the first
French radar systems, stated he was building said systems
"conceived according to the principles stated by Tesla".
1920s, Tesla was reportedly negotiating with the United
Kingdom government about a ray system.
also stated that efforts had been made to steal the so called
"death ray". It is suggested that the removal of the Chamberlain
On Tesla's seventy-fifth birthday in 1931, Time magazine
put him on its cover. The cover
caption noted his contribution to electrical power generation
received his last patent in 1928 for an apparatus for aerial transportation
which was the first instance
of VTOL aircraft
. By the end of 1931, Tesla released
"On Future Motive Power
" which covered an ocean thermal energy
system. In 1934, Tesla wrote to consul Janković of
his homeland. The letter contained a message of gratitude to
who had initiated a
donation scheme by which American companies could support Tesla.
Tesla refused the assistance, choosing instead to live on a modest
pension received from Yugoslavia, and to continue his
In 1936, Tesla wrote in a telegram to Vladko Maček
: "I'm equally proud of my
Serbian origin and my Croatian homeland. Long live all
When he was eighty-one, Tesla stated he had completed a "dynamic
theory of gravity". He stated that it was "worked out in all
details" and that he hoped to soon give it to the world.The theory
was never published.
The bulk of the theory was developed between 1892 and 1894, during
the period that he was conducting experiments with high frequency
and high potential
patenting devices for their use. Reminiscent of Mach's principle
, Tesla stated in 1925
Tesla was critical of Einstein's relativity work, calling it:
Tesla also argued:
Tesla also believed that much of Albert
had already been proposed by Ruđer Bošković
, stating in an
Later in life, Tesla made remarkable claims concerning a "teleforce
" weapon. The press called it a "peace
ray" or death ray
.In total, the components
and methods included:
- An apparatus for producing manifestations of energy in free air
instead of in a high vacuum as in the past.
This, according to Tesla in 1934, was accomplished.
- A mechanism for generating tremendous electrical force. This,
according to Tesla, was also accomplished.
- A means of intensifying and amplifying the force developed by
the second mechanism.
- A new method for producing a tremendous electrical repelling
force. This would be the projector, or gun, of the invention.
Tesla worked on plans for a directed-energy weapon
from the early
1900s until his death. In 1937, Tesla composed a treatise entitled
"The Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-dispersive Energy
through the Natural Media
" concerning charged particle beams
the document in an attempt to expound on the technical description
of a "superweapon
that would put an end
to all war". This treatise of the particle beam is currently in the Nikola Tesla
Museum archive in Belgrade.
It described an open ended vacuum tube with
a gas jet seal that allowed particles to exit, a method of charging
particles to millions of volts, and a method of creating and
directing nondispersive particle streams (through electrostatic
His records indicate that it was based on a narrow stream of
of liquid mercury
accelerated via high voltage (by means
akin to his magnifying
). Tesla gave the following description concerning
the particle gun'
The weapon could be used against ground based infantry or for antiaircraft purposes.
tried to interest the US War
Department in the device.
He also offered this invention
to European countries.None of the governments purchased a contract
to build the device. He was unable to act on his plans.
Another of Tesla's theorized inventions is commonly referred to as
, which appears to resemble an ion-propelled aircraft
. Tesla claimed that one of
his life goals was to create a flying machine that would run
without the use of an airplane engine, wings, ailerons
an onboard fuel source. Initially, Tesla pondered about the idea of
a flying craft that would fly using an electric motor powered by
grounded base stations. As time progressed, Tesla suggested that
perhaps such an aircraft could be run entirely
electro-mechanically. The theorized appearance would typically take
the form of a cigar or saucer..
Tesla was fluent in many languages. Along with Serbian
, he spoke seven other languages:
, and Latin
Tesla's father Milutin Tesla
Tesla may have suffered from obsessive-compulsive
,and had many unusual quirks and phobias
. He did things in threes, and was adamant
about staying in a hotel room with a number divisible by three.
Tesla was also noted to be physically revolted by jewelry, notably
pearl earrings. He was fastidious about cleanliness and hygiene,
and was by all accounts mysophobic
obsessed with pigeons, ordering special seeds for the pigeons he
fed in Central
Park and even bringing some into his hotel room with
Tesla was an animal-lover, often reflecting contentedly
about a childhood cat, "The Magnificent Mačak." Tesla never
married. He was celibate
and claimed that
his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities.
Nonetheless there have been numerous accounts of women vying for
Tesla's affection, even some madly in love with him. Tesla, though
polite, behaved rather ambivalently to these women in the romantic
Tesla was prone to alienating himself and was generally
soft-spoken. However, when he did engage in a social life, many
people spoke very positively and admiringly of him. Robert
Underwood Johnson described him as attaining a "distinguished
sweetness, sincerity, modesty, refinement, generosity, and force."
His loyal secretary, Dorothy Skerrit, wrote: "his genial smile and
nobility of bearing always denoted the gentlemanly characteristics
that were so ingrained in his soul." Tesla's friend Hawthorne wrote
that "seldom did one meet a scientist or engineer who was also a
poet, a philosopher, an appreciator of fine music, a linguist, and
a connoisseur of food and drink."
Nevertheless, Tesla displayed the occasional cruel streak; he
openly expressed his disgust for overweight people, once firing a
secretary because of her weight. He was quick to criticize others'
clothing as well, on several occasions demanding a subordinate to
go home and change her dress.
Tesla was widely known for his great showmanship, presenting his
innovations and demonstrations to the public as an artform, almost
like a magician. This seems to conflict with his observed
reclusiveness; Tesla was a complicated figure. He refused to hold
conventions without his Tesla coil blasting electricity throughout
the room, despite the audience often being terrified, though he
assured them everything was perfectly safe.
In middle age, Tesla became very close friends with Mark Twain
. They spent a lot of time together in
his lab and elsewhere.
Tesla remained bitter in the aftermath of his incident with Edison.
The day after Edison died the New
contained extensive coverage of Edison's life,
with the only negative opinion coming from Tesla, who was quoted as
saying: Shortly before he died, Edison said that his biggest
mistake had been in trying to develop direct current, rather than
the vastly superior alternating current system that Tesla had put
within his grasp.
Tesla was good friends with Robert Underwood Johnson
. He had
amicable relations with Francis
, Stanford White
Fritz Lowenstein, George Scherff, and Kenneth Swezey. He ripped up
contract that would have made him the world's first billionaire, in
part because of the implications it would have on his future vision
of free power, and in part because it would run Westinghouse out of
business, and Tesla had no desire to deal with the creditors.
lived the last ten years of his life in a two-room suite on the
33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker, room 3327.
There, near the end of his life,
Tesla showed signs of encroaching mental
, claiming to be visited by a specific white pigeon
daily. Several biographers note that Tesla viewed the death of the
pigeon as a "final blow" to himself and his work.
Tesla believed that war
could not be avoided
until the cause for its recurrence was removed, but was opposed to
wars in general.He sought to reduce distance, such as in
communication for better understanding, transportation, and
transmission of energy, as a means to ensure friendly international relations
Like many of his era, Tesla, a life-long bachelor, became a
proponent of a self-imposed selective
version of eugenics
. In a 1937
interview, he stated:
In 1926, Tesla commented on the ills of the social subservience of
women and the struggle of women toward gender equality
, indicated that humanity's
future would be run by "Queen Bees". He believed that women would
become the dominant sex in the future.
In his later years Tesla became a vegetarian
. In an article for Century Illustrated
he wrote: "It is certainly preferable to raise
vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism
is a commendable departure from
the established barbarous habit." Tesla argued that it is wrong to
eat uneconomic meat when large numbers of people are starving; he
also believed that plant food was "superior to [meat] in regard to
both mechanical and mental performance". He also argued that animal
slaughter was "wanton and cruel".
In his final years he suffered from extreme sensitivity to light,
sound and other influences.
died of heart failure alone in room
3327 of the New Yorker
Hotel, on 7 January 1943.
Despite having sold his
AC electricity patents, Tesla died with significant debts on the
books. Later that year the US Supreme
Court upheld Tesla's patent number 645576, in effect
recognizing him as the inventor of radio.
Soon after his death Tesla's safe was opened by his nephew Sava
Kosanović. Shortly thereafter Tesla's papers and other property
were empounded by the United States' Alien Property Custodian
Tesla's compound at the Manhattan Warehouse, even though he was a
At the time of his death, Tesla had been working on the Teleforce
weapon, or 'death ray,' that he had
unsuccessfully marketed to the US War Department. It appears that
Teleforce was related to his research into ball lightning
, and was conceived as a particle beam weapon
. The US government
did not find a prototype of the device in the safe. After the FBI
was contacted by the War Department, his papers were declared to be
. The personal
effects were sequestered on the advice of presidential advisers;
declared the case most secret, because of the nature of
Tesla's inventions and patents. One document stated that "[he] is
reported to have some 80 trunks in different places containing
transcripts and plans having to do with his experiments
Tesla's family and the Yugoslav embassy struggled with the American
authorities to gain these items after his death due to the
potential significance of some of his research. Eventually Mr.
Kosanović won possession of the materials, which are now housed in
the Nikola Tesla Museum.
funeral took place on 12 January 1943, at the Cathedral of
Saint John the Divine in Manhattan, New York
City. His body was cremated and his ashes taken to
Belgrade, Serbia, then-Yugoslavia in 1957.
The urn was placed in the Nikola
Tesla Museum in Belgrade, where it resides to this day.
Legacy and honors
He did not like posing for portraits, doing so only once for
princess Vilma Lwoff-Parlaghy
His wish was to have a sculpture made by his close friend, Croatian
sculptor Ivan Meštrović
, who was at that
time in United States, but he died before getting a chance to see
it. Meštrović made a bronze bust (1952) that is
held in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade and a statue (1955/56)
placed at the Ruđer
Bošković Institute in Zagreb.
This statue was moved to Nikola Tesla Street in Zagreb's city
centre on the 150th anniversary of Tesla's birth, with the Ruđer Bošković
to receive a duplicate.In 1976, a bronze
statue of Tesla was placed at Niagara Falls, New York.
A similar statue was also erected in his
hometown of Gospić in 1986.
SI unit tesla (T) for
measuring magnetic field
B (also referred to as the magnetic flux
density and magnetic induction) was named in Tesla’s
honor at the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures,
Paris in 1960.
The Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers
(IEEE) of which Tesla had
been vice president also created an award in recognition of Tesla.
Called the IEEE Nikola Tesla Award, it is given to individuals or a
team that has made outstanding contributions to the generation or
utilization of electric power, and is considered the most
prestigious award in the area of electric power.The crater Tesla on the far
side of the Moon and the minor planet
2244 Tesla are also named after
Tesla was featured on several Yugoslav-
and Serbian dinar
notes and coinage. The largest
complex in Serbia, the
TPP Nikola Tesla
is named in his
10 July 2006 the biggest airport in Serbia was renamed Belgrade
Nikola Tesla Airport in honor of Tesla’s 150th birthday.
The company, Tesla
was a large,
state-owned electrotechnical conglomerate in the former
Czechoslovakia. It was renamed in Tesla's honor from the previous
Electra on 7 March 1946. Some of its subsidiaries still trade in
An electric car
, named their company in
tribute to Tesla. Their website states: The namesake of our
Tesla Roadster is the genius Nikola
[...] We‘re confident that if he were alive today,
Nikola Tesla would look over our car and nod his head with both
understanding and approval.
The Croatian subsidiary of Ericsson
named 'Ericsson Nikola Tesla
d.d'. ('Nikola Tesla' was a telephone hardware
company in Zagreb before
Ericsson bought it in the 1990s) in honor of Tesla's pioneering
work in wireless communication.
2006 was celebrated by UNESCO as the
150th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla, scientist
, as well as being proclaimed by the governments of Croatia and
Serbia to be the Year of Tesla.
anniversary, 10 July 2006, the renovated village of Smiljan (which
had been demolished during the wars of the 1990s) was opened to the
public along with Tesla's house (as a memorial museum) and a new
multimedia center dedicated to the life and work of Tesla. The
of St. Peter and
Paul, where Tesla's father had held services, was renovated as
well. The museum and multimedia center are filled with replicas of
Tesla's work. The museum has collected almost all of the papers
ever published by, and about, Tesla; most of these provided by
Ljubo Vujovic from the Tesla Memorial Society.in New York.
Alongside Tesla's house, a monument created by sculptor Mile Blažević
has been erected. In
the nearby city of Gospić, on the same date as the reopening of the
renovated village and museums, a higher
school named Nikola Tesla was opened, and a replica
of the statue of Tesla made by Frano Kršinić
(the original is in
Belgrade) was presented.
The song "Tesla's Hotel Room" by the Handsome Family
, on their 2006 album
Last Days of Wonder
, is a fictionalized account of Tesla's
later years at the New Yorker hotel.
honoured Tesla on his birthday on the
10th of July 2009 by displaying a doodle in the Google search home
page, that showed the G as a tesla
The heavy metal group Tesla
, which made
famous the rock-ballad "Love Song", was named after Nikola
The famous Serbian composer-singer Željko Joksimović
2006 the instrumental song "Nikola Tesla"
, vocals by Jelena Tomašević
documentary film on Radio
Television of Serbia
. This song was released in 2008 at the
Balkan ethnic collection “Balkan
Routes Vol. 01: Nikola Tesla”
which is dedicated to
In the years since his death, many of his innovations, theories and
claims have been used, at times unsuitably and controversially, to
support various fringe theories that are regarded as unscientific.
Most of Tesla's own work conformed with the principles and methods
accepted by science, but his extravagant personality and sometimes
unrealistic claims, combined with his unquestionable genius, have
made him a popular figure among fringe theorists and believers in
conspiracies about "hidden knowledge
in Tesla's time, some believed that he was actually an angelic
being from Venus sent to Earth to reveal scientific knowledge to
humanity. This belief is maintained in present times by followers
monument to Tesla was established at Niagara
Falls, New York, USA.
This monument, portraying Tesla
reading a set of notes, is a copy of a monument standing in front
of the Belgrade University Faculty of Electrical Engineering.
monument to Tesla, featuring him standing on a portion of an
alternator, was established at Queen
Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
The monument was officially unveiled on
Sunday, 9 July 2006 on the 150th anniversary of Tesla's birth.
monument was sponsored by St. George Serbian Church, Niagara Falls, and designed by Les Drysdale of Hamilton,
Mr. Drysdale's design was the winning
design from an international competition. Tesla's most famous
statue is the one erected on 23 May 1879 at Sycamore Peak showing
him and Dr. Brian S. Whitecross. Belgrade International Airport is
called "Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport".
Portrayals in popular culture
Nikola Tesla has appeared in popular culture as a character in
books, films, radio, TV, music, live theatre, comics and video
games. The lack of recognition received by Tesla during his own
lifetime has made him a tragic and inspirational character well
suited to dramatic fiction. Tesla has particularly been seen in
science fiction where his inventions are well suited. The impact of
the technologies invented by Nikola Tesla is a recurring theme in
several types of science-fiction.
- U.S. Supreme Court, "Marconi Wireless Telegraph co. of America
v. United States". 320 U.S. 1. Nos. 369, 373. Argued 9–12 April
1943. Decided 21 June 1943.
- Seifer, "Wizard" p. 7
- Margaret Cheney, Robert Uth, and Jim Glenn, "Tesla, Master of
Lightning". Barnes & Noble Publishing, 1999. ISBN
- Walker, E. H. (1900). Leaders of the 19th century with some
noted characters of earlier times, their efforts and achievements
in advancing human progress vividly portrayed for the guidance of
present and future generations. Chicago: A.B. Kuhlman Co.,
- " The Book of New York: Forty Years' Recollections of
the American Metropolis" says he matriculated 4 degrees (physics,
mathematics, mechanical engineering and electrical
- Harper's Encyclopædia of United States History from 458 A.D. to
1906. Harper & brothers 1905. Page 52.
- Nikola Tesla: the European Years, D. Mrkich
- . Cited in Seifer, Marc, The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla,
- James Grant Wilson, John Fiske, Appleton's Cyclopædia of
American Biography. P. 261.
- " Did Tesla really invent the loudspeaker?". 21st
Century Books, Breckenridge, CO.
- "Master of Lightning" by Public Broadcasting Service.
- http://www.westegg.com/inflation/ Adjusting the reported given
amount of money for inflation, the US$50,000 in 1885 would equal
US$1,140,112.60 in 2007
- Clifford A. Pickover, Strange
Brains and Genius: The Secret Lives of Eccentric Scientists and
Madmen. HarperCollins, 1999. 352 pages. P. 14. ISBN
- "My Inventions" by Nikola Tesla, printed in Electrical
Experimenter Feb–June, 1919. Reprinted, edited by Ben Johnson, New
York: Barnes & Noble, 1982. ISBN
- Jonnes,"Empire of light" p. 110
- Routledge, R., & Pepper, J. H. (1876). Discoveries and
inventions of the nineteenth century. London: G. Routledge and
sons. Page 545.
- Archie Frederick Collins, Wireless Telegraphy: Its History,
Theory and Practice. McGraw publishing company, 1905. Page 131
- Tesla, Nikola, "A New System of Alternating Current Motors and
Transformers". American Institute of Electrical Engineers, May
- Robert Routledge, Discoveries and Inventions of the
Nineteenth Century. G. Routledge and Sons, 1903. Page 542.
- " Tesla's invention of the electronic AND gate".
21st Century Books, Breckenridge, CO. (ed., this pertains
to electronic logic gates in general; and )
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, "The
IEEE standard dictionary of electrical and electronics terms".
6th ed. New York, N.Y., Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, c1997. IEEE Std 100-1996. ISBN 1-55937-833-6
[ed. Standards Coordinating Committee 10, Terms and
Definitions; Jane Radatz, (chair)]
- Dugan, William James, "Hand-book of electro-therapeutics".
F.A.Davis Company, 1910. Page 123. "[...] speak of "Tesla
currents" when we really mean the high frequency currents."
- Snow, William Benham, "Currents of high potential of high and
other frequencies". Scientific authors' publishing Co., 1918.
- Norrie, H. S., "Induction Coils: How to make, use, and repair
them".Norman H. Schneider, 1907, New York. 4th edition.
- Electrical experimenter, January 1919. Page 615
- The Electrical engineer. (1884). London: Biggs & Co.
- Bengt Anders Benson, Perseption apparatus for the
- Houston, E. J. (1889). A dictionary of electrical words,
terms and phrases. New York: W.J. Johnston. Page 956.
- Houston, E. J. (1889). A dictionary of electrical words,
terms and phrases. New York: W.J. Johnston. Page 801.
- Houston, E. J. (1889). A dictionary of electrical words,
terms and phrases. New York: W.J. Johnston. Page 878.
- N. Tesla, HIGH
FREQUENCY OSCILLATORS FOR ELECTRO-THERAPEUTIC AND OTHER
PURPOSES. Proceedings of the American Electro-Therapeutic
Association, American Electro-Therapeutic Association.
- Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Electrodynamics,
ISBN 0-13-805326-X and Jackson, John D. Classical
Electrodynamics, ISBN 0-471-30932-X.
- Proceedings of the American Electro-Therapeutic
Association, American Electro-Therapeutic Association.
- George Frederick Shrady, Thomas Lathrop Stedman, Medical
Record, 1897. Page 287.
- A Survey of Laser Lightning Rod Techniques.
Barnes, Arnold A., Jr.; Berthel, Robert O.
- Frequently Asked Questions. HSV Technologies
- Vehicle Disabling Weapon by Peter A. Schlesinger,
President, HSV Technologies, Inc. NDIA Non-Lethal
Defense IV 20–22 Mar 2000
- Norrie, H. S., "Induction Coils: How to make, use, and repair
them". Norman H. Schneider, 1907, New York. 4th edition.
- O'Neill, "Prodigal Genius" pp 162–164
- Krumme, Katherine, Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla: Thunder and
Lightning. 4 December 2000 (PDF)
- Grotz, Toby, " The Influence of Vedic Philosophy on Nikola Tesla's
Understanding of Free Energy".
- Waser, André, "Nikola Tesla’s Radiations and the Cosmic
- Tesla, Nikola, " My
Inventions", Electrical Experimenter magazine, Feb, June,
and Oct, 1919. ISBN ( also "The Strange Life
of Nikola Tesla" at rastko.org)
- Jonnes, Jill. Empires of Light ISBN 0-375-75884-4.
Page 355, referencing O'Neill, John J., Prodigal Genius:
The Life of Nikola Tesla (New York: David McKay, 1944),
- Tesla, Nikola, "The True Wireless". Electrical
Experimenter, May 1919. ( also
- Gillispie, Charles Coulston, "Dictionary of Scientific
Biography"; Tesla, Nikola. Charles Scribner's Sons,
New York. ISBN
- Corum, K. L., J. F. Corum, and A. H. Aidinejad,
"Atmospheric Fields, Tesla's Receivers and Regenerative
- Corum, K. L., J. F. Corum, "Nikola Tesla, Lightning
Observations, and Stationary Waves". 1994.
- Tesla, Nikola, " Talking
with Planets". Collier's Weekly, 19 February 1901.
- O'Neill, "Prodigal Genius" pp 228–229
- Seifer, "Wizard" pp 378–380
- Page, R.M., "The Early History of RADAR",
Proceedings of the IRE, Volume 50,
Number 5, May, 1962, (special 50th Anniversary Issue).
- http://www.teslasociety.com/teslavillage.htm Tesla
telegram to Vladko Maček
- Prepared Statement by Nikola Tesla downloadable
- "Tesla's Ray". Time, 23 July 1934.
- "Tesla, at 78, Bares New 'Death-Beam"', New York Times, 11 July
- "Tesla Invents Peace Ray". New York Sun, 10 July 1934.
- "Death-Ray Machine Described", New York Sun, 11 July 1934.
- "A Machine to End War". Feb. 1935.
- Seifer, Marc J., "Wizard, the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla".
ISBN (HC) p. 454
- Seifer, "Wizard" p. 454
- "'Death Ray' for Planes". New York Times, 22 September
- "Aerial Defense 'Death-Beam' Offered to U. S. By Tesla" 12 July
- O'Neill, John J., " Tesla
Tries To Prevent World War II". (unpublished Chapter 34 of
Prodigal Genius) (PBS)
- Velox, Particle beam weapon. everything2.com
- The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla By
Nikola Tesla, David Hatcher Childress. p. 256.
- The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla. by Tim Swartz.
Inner Light – Global Communications (October 15, 2000). Also see
- Secor, H. Winfield, " Tesla's views on Electricity and the War",
Electrical Experimenter, Volume 5, Number 4, August, 1917.
- " Giant Eye to See Round the World" Albany
Telegram, 25 February 1923 (doc).
- Kennedy, John B., " When
woman is boss, An interview with Nikola Tesla".
Colliers, 30 January 1926.
- Nikola Tesla, " The
Problem of Increasing Human Energy". Century Illustrated Magazine,
- Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla by John Jacob O'Neill
- Hoover, John Edgar, et al.
- The portrait survived in the collection of Ludwig Nissen,
Brooklyn, see: Klaus Lengsfeld: Sammlung Ludwig Nissen : Husum 1855
– 1924 New York; Dokumentation d. Kunstsammlung Ludwig Nissens
anlässl. d. Ausstellung zu seinem 125. Geburtstag im Nissenhaus zu
Husum, 1980, 169 Pages. (= Schriften des Nordfriesischen
Museums Ludwig-Nissen-Haus, Nr. 16)
- IEEE, " IEEE Nikola Tesla Award. 1 April
- Why the Name "Tesla"?, Tesla Motors, Inc.,
- Tesla Memorial Society of New York | Tesla Monument in
- Margaret Cheney, Robert Uth, and Jim Glenn, Tesla, Master
of Lightning, published by Barnes & Noble, 1999. ISBN
- Germano, Frank, Dr.
Nikola Tesla. Frank. Germano.com.
- Lomas, Robert, The Man who Invented the Twentieth Century.
Lecture to South Western Branch of Instititute of Physics.
- Martin, Thomas
Commerford, The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of
Nikola Tesla, New York: The Electrical Engineer, 1894 (3rd
Ed.); reprinted by Barnes & Noble, 1995 ISBN-X
- O'Neill, John J., Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola, 1944. ISBN
(Tesla reportedly said of this biographer "You understand me better
than any man alive"; also the version at uncletaz.com with other items at
- Penner, John R.H. The
Strange Life of Nikola Tesla, corrupted version of "My
- Pratt, H., Nikola Tesla 1856–1943, Proceedings of the
IRE, Vol. 44, September, 1956.
- Nikola Tesla. IEEE History Center,
- Seifer, Marc J. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla;
Biography of a Genius, Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group,
- Weisstein, Eric W., Tesla, Nikola (1856–1943). Eric Weisstein's World
- Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, Moon Nomenclature: Crater. USGS, Astrogeology Research
- Dimitrijevic, Milan S., Belgrade Astronomical Observatory
Historical Review. Publ. Astron. Obs. Belgrade,), 162–170.
Also, Srpski asteroidi, Tesla. Astronomski magazine.
- Hoover, John Edgar, et al., FOIA FBI
- Pratt, H., Nikola Tesla 1856–1943, Proceedings of the
IRE, Vol. 44, September, 1956.
- W.C. Wysock, J.F. Corum, J.M. Hardesty and K.L. Corum,
Who Was The Real Dr. Nikola Tesla? (A Look At His
Professional Credentials). Antenna Measurement Techniques
Association, posterpaper, October 22–25, 2001 (PDF)
- Roguin, Ariel, Historical Note: Nikola Tesla: The man
behind the magnetic field unit. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging
2004;19:369–374. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
- Sellon, J. L., The impact of Nikola Tesla on the cement
industry. Behrent Eng. Co., Wheat Ridge, CO. Cement Industry
Technical Conference. 1997. XXXIX Conference Record., 1997 IEEE/PC.
Page(s) 125–133. ISBN
- Valentinuzzi, M.E., Nikola Tesla: why was he so much
resisted and forgotten? Inst. de Bioingenieria, Univ. Nacional
de Tucuman; Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE.
July/August 1998, 17:4, pp. 74–75. ISSN
- Waser, André, Nikola Tesla’s Radiations and the Cosmic
- Secor, H. Winfield, Tesla's views on Electricity and the
War, Electrical Experimenter, Volume 5, Number 4, August,
- Florey, Glen, Tesla and the Military. Engineering 24,
5 December 2000.
- Corum, K. L., J. F. Corum, Nikola Tesla, Lightning
Observations, and Stationary Waves. 1994.
- Corum, K. L., J. F. Corum, and A. H. Aidinejad, Atmospheric
Fields, Tesla's Receivers and Regenerative Detectors.
- Meyl, Konstantin, H. Weidner, E. Zentgraf, T. Senkel, T.
Junker, and P. Winkels, Experiments to proof the evidence of
scalar waves Tests with a Tesla reproduction. Institut für
Gravitationsforschung (IGF), Am Heerbach 5, D-63857
- Anderson, L. I., John Stone Stone on Nikola Tesla’s
Priority in Radio and Continuous Wave Radiofrequency
Apparatus. The Antique Wireless Association Review, Vol. 1,
1986, pp. 18–41.
- Anderson, L. I., Priority in Invention of Radio, Tesla
v. Marconi. Antique Wireless Association monograph,
- Marincic, A., and D. Budimir, Tesla's contribution to
radiowave propagation. Dept. of Electron. Eng., Belgrade Univ.
(5th International Conference on Telecommunications in Modern
Satellite, Cable and Broadcasting Service, 2001. TELSIKS 2001.
pp. 327–331 vol.1) ISBN-X
- Page, R.M., The Early History of Radar, Proceedings of
the IRE, Volume 50, Number 5, May, 1962, (special 50th Anniversary
- C Mackechnie Jarvis Nikola Tesla and the induction
motor. 1970 Phys. Educ. 5 280–287.
- Giant Eye to See Round the World
- Nichelson, Oliver, Nikola Tesla's Latter Energy Generation Designs,
A description of Tesla's energy generator that "would not consume
fuel." 26th IECEC Proceedings, 1991, Boston, MA (American Nuclear Society) Vol. 4,
- Nichelson, Oliver, The
Thermodynamics of Tesla's Fuelless Electrical generator. A
theory of the physics of Tesla's new energy generator. (American
Chemical Society, 1993. 2722-5/93/0028-63)
- Toby Grotz, The Influence of Vedic Philosophy on Nikola Tesla's
Understanding of Free Energy.
A New System of Alternating Current Motors and
Transformers, American Institute of Electrical Engineers,
- Selected Tesla Writings, Scientific papers
and articles written by Tesla and others, spanning the years
- Light Without Heat, The Manufacturer and
Builder, January 1892, Vol. 24
- Biography: Nikola Tesla, The Century Magazine,
November 1893, Vol. 47
- Tesla's Oscillator and Other Inventions,
The Century Magazine, November 1894, Vol. 49
- The New Telegraphy. Recent Experiments in Telegraphy wih
Sparks, The Century Magazine, November 1897, Vol. 55
- Tesla, Nikola, "My Inventions"
Parts I through V published in the Electrical Experimenter monthly
magazine from February through June, 1919. Part VI published
October, 1919. Reprint edition with introductory notes by Ben
Johnson, New York: Barnes and Noble,1982, ISBN; also online at
Lucid Cafe, et
cetera as My Inventions:
The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla, 1919. ISBN
- Martin, Thomas C.,
Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla, 1894
- Tesla, Nikola, Colorado Springs
Notes, 1899–1900, ISBN-X
- Anderson, Leland I., Dr.
Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), 2d enl. ed., Minneapolis, Tesla
- Ratzlaff, John and Leland
Anderson, Dr. Nikola
Tesla Bibliography, Ragusan Press, Palo Alto, California,
1979, 237 pages. Extensive listing of articles about and by Nikola
- O'Neill, John Jacob,
Prodigal Genius, 1944.
Paperback reprint 1994, ISBN 978-0914732334. (ed. Prodigal Genius is available online)
- Cheney, Margaret, Tesla: Man Out of Time, 1981.
- Seifer, Marc J., Wizard, the Life and
Times of Nikola Tesla, 1998. ISBN (HC), ISBN (SC)
- Jonnes, Jill
Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to
Electrify the World. New York: Random House, 2003.
- Auster, Paul, Moon Palace, 1989. Tells Tesla's story
within the history of the United States.
- Lomas, Robert, The Man Who Invented
the Twentieth Century: Nikola Tesla, forgotten genius of
electricity, 1999. ISBN
- Childress, David H., The Fantastic
Inventions of Nikola Tesla, 1993. ISBN
- Glenn, Jim, The Complete Patents of
Nikola Tesla, 1994. ISBN
- Trinkaus, George TESLA: The Lost Inventions, High
Voltage Press, 2002. ISBN 09-7096-182-0
- Valone, Thomas, Harnessing
the Wheelwork of Nature: Tesla's Science of Energy, 2002.
- Carlson, W. Bernard, "Inventor of dreams". Scientific American, March 2005
Vol. 292 Issue 3 p. 78(7).
- Jatras, Stella L., "The genius of Nikola Tesla". The New American, 28 July 2003 Vol. 19
Issue 15 p. 9(1)
- Rybak, James P., "Nikola Tesla: Scientific Savant".
1042170X, November 1999, Vol. 16, Issue 11.
- Lawren, B., "Rediscovering Tesla". Omni, March 1988, Vol. 10 Issue
- There are at least two films describing Tesla's life. In the
first, filmed in 1977, arranged for TV, Tesla was portrayed by
Rade Šerbedžija. In 1980, Orson Welles produced a Yugoslav film named Tajna Nikole
Tesle (The Secret of Nikola Tesla), in which Welles
himself played the part of Tesla's patron, J.P. Morgan.
The film was directed by Krsto
Papić, and Nikola Tesla was portrayed by Petar Božović.
- " Tesla: Master of Lightning". 1999. ISBN
(Book) ISBN (PBS Video)
- Lost Lightning: The Missing Secrets of Nikola
Tesla (at Google Video.) Tesla's designs for free energy and
defensive weapons systems.
- David Bowie portrayed Tesla in the
2006 film The Prestige.
Tesla's time in Colorado Springs was the focus of several scenes in
the film, which featured speculations on the explosive power of
Tesla's electrical experiments.
Master of Lightning, produced by Robert Uth for New Voyage
Communications in 2003, tapped Stacy
Keach to supply the voice of Tesla.
- The Nikola Tesla Museum
- Nikola Tesla Niagara Falls Power
Resource Surrounding the PBS "Master of Lightning"
- World of Scientific Biography: Nikola Tesla, by
- Nikola Tesla Page
- Tesla's grand-nephew William H. Terbo's
- Nikola Tesla,
Forgotten American Scientist
Wardenclyffe Project, Long Island New York. Mission is the
adaptive reuse of the Wardenclyffe laboratory
- Nikola Tesla's Father: Milutin Tesla
- Tesla: The European Years
- Tesla's Case File at The Franklin Institute containing
information about his 1894 Franklin Award for research in
- Dr. James Corum's Tesla Engineering Papers, from Arcs
- Fred Walters' hand-scanned Tesla patents
- Jim Bieberich's The Complete Nikola Tesla U.S. Patent Collection
archive of many of Tesla's writings, articles and published
- Seifer, Marc J., and Michael Behar, Electric Mind, Wired
Magazine, October 1998.
- Nikola Tesla on various Yugoslavian and Serbian
- Nikola Tesla's FBI file in pdf
- Nikola Tesla Complete Patents in pdf
- Kenneth M. Swezey Papers, 1891–1982, Archives Center, National
Museum of American History, archival resources.
Case Files of Nikola Tesla, Franklin Institute