The Stepping Stones of Dr. Nikola Tesla
To witness the ‘War of Currents’ was indeed a most shocking experience for all of us. It brought forth the true nature of Thomas Alva Edison who has been idolised across the world for his scientific discoveries and genius. Edison opposed Dr. Nikola Tesla tooth and nail and yet lost to him without Dr. Tesla doing anything either actively or passively to counter him. Dr. Tesla’s nature and his faith in god is apparent from this instance as he did not get involved in an ego struggle but rather carried on his own work quietly and quelled all resistance through the means of his discoveries and his science. Now let us move to the point from where we left off last time. After resigning from Edison Machine Works, Dr. Nikola Tesla went on to form his own company namely, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing in 1886 at New Jersey.
The first and the most well-known invention of Dr. Nikola Tesla working at Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing was "Arc Light". The Arc Lights that Tesla invented were highly efficient and were designed very elegantly in a stylized manner. This Illumination systems of these Arc Lights were installed during those times on the streets of New York. Tesla’s company earned good revenue but it was pocketed mainly by all the investors. The other patents that Tesla received while at Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing ones for Dynamo Electric Machines. At Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing, Nikola Tesla had a plan to launch equipment powered by his Alternating Current system. But investors disagreed with Dr. Tesla’s plan and as a result Dr. Tesla was forced out of the company with few meagre stock certificates at his disposal. These happenings paradoxically did happen even though Nikola Tesla was the one who had founded the company.
This left Nikola Tesla nearly penniless. But Dr. Tesla always had a big heart. Dr. Tesla never considered any job, including manual labour to be of inferior grade and this, supported him during this precarious phase of his life. Dr. Tesla worked as a ditch digger. But Dr. Nikola Tesla had a tendency to always bounce back from the worst possible conditions. This was only due to his firm unshakable faith in God. We can also conclude that this was the prime reason why God also never let him down. Dr. Nikola Tesla has exemplified this quality on number of other occasions as well and this situation was no exception to it.
In April 1887, Dr. Nikola Tesla started with a new company named ‘Tesla Electric Company’. Tesla had found this company with the financial backing of New York attorney Charles Peck and director of Western Union, Alfred Brown. Tesla’s primary aim behind floating this company was to work further-on and propagate his alternating current system and devices powered by it. Accordingly a laboratory was created for Dr. Tesla by the Company at Manhattan to carry on with his work. Here in the year 1887, Dr. Tesla constructed a brushless alternating current induction motor, based on a rotating magnetic field principle which we have already seen. Nikola Tesla also received a patent for this brushless AC induction motor of his in the year 1888.
In the same year the editor of Electrical World magazine, Thomas Martin who was a friend of Dr. Nikola Tesla arranged for him to demonstrate his alternating current system, including his induction motor, at the gathering of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) which is now famously known across the world as IEEE i.e. the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The demonstrations startled just everyone who was present. During the demonstration, Dr. Tesla also showed superiority of AC system over DC and clearly demonstrated the advantages of AC system over DC.
This gathering was attended by the who’s who of industry and science; the demonstration hall was filled with researchers, physicists, engineers, technologists, business leaders and media personnel. During this gathering Dr. Tesla proposed his AC system to produce electricity and optimize it for supply of power to factories, industries, transport systems, households, etc. Also, it was here that Dr. Tesla envisioned his AC system that would in-turn lead to new discoveries and would revolutionize life on our planet. Though extremely impressed, the business leaders who were present at the gathering asked for guaranties of successful implementation of Dr. Tesla’s AC system if adopted. The meeting was also attended by a visionary business magnet, George Westinghouse who then headed the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. Not only was Westinghouse keen to secure the viable AC motor and power system of Nikola Tesla but he was also extremely impressed by this demonstration in front of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers that reflected Nikola Tesla’s belief in himself and his confidence that he had on his technologies and science.
After the end of this gathering, George Westinghouse approached Dr. Nikola Tesla and invited him for a dinner at Waldorf Hotel. It was here that the relationship between Dr. Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse was stitched together. During this meeting Westinghouse proposed to buy all of Dr. Tesla’s patents of AC system for a million dollars. Westinghouse also promised Dr. Tesla, freedom to decide how his technologies behind these patents would be used at Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company. Finally the meeting ended with Westinghouse promising Tesla to pay one dollar for every horsepower of electricity produced and distributed by his plants that would be run on Dr. Tesla’s AC systems. In the coming days, Westinghouse also hired Nikola Tesla as a consultant at their Pittsburgh lab. During his time at Pittsburgh Tesla created an alternating current system to power streetcars. Yes by streetcars I mean electric cars. It is worth noting that the concept of fully evolved electric car running of roads is yet to happen in this world. But here we see this genius, Dr. Nikola Tesla, way back in the late 1880s’ building a detailed and an evolved AC current system to power streetcars.
Further in 1891, at the age of 35, Nikola Tesla was given citizenship of the United States of America which he valued a lot. The same year, another laboratory was created under Dr. Nikola Tesla at South Fifth Avenue and later another one at Houston Street both in New York. Here he lit electric lamps wirelessly at both of these laboratories, providing evidence for the potential of wireless power transmission. Yes, WIRELESS POWER TRANSMISSION also knows as ‘Tesla Effect’. Doesn’t it sound amazing and astonishing? Also remember the fact that we are talking about the year “1891”.
What we have seen of Dr. Nikola Tesla so far were very generic and basic inventions of his. And yes, your guess is right!!! Very soon we are going to enter the world of inventions of Dr. Nikola Tesla that though seem seemingly impossible but are yet totally and perfectly logical and scientific, and have spiritual basis as all of the inventions of Dr. Nikola Tesla.
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Published at Mumbai, Maharashtra - India