Nikola Tesla ( 1856-1943 )

Inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)

Nikola Tesla was an engineer and inventor born in Croatia and is best known for designing the alternating current electrical distribution system. The AC system is still the primary electrical system in use around the world today. Tesla created around 300 patents worldwide, yet only 278 are accounted for. In his early years, Tesla displayed his raw talent and ability and is credited with having an eidetic memory. From a young age, he was able to remember facts and figures easily and visualize diagrams for future inventions all in his mind.

He was employed by Thomas Edison, however, the partnership was very brief, only lasting months before they parted ways due to differences. Edison focused his energy on marketing and financial success while Tesla was not interested in commercial fame. Tesla went on to work for George Westinghouse and both are credited for influencing technology during the Industrial Revolution. Westinghouse funded many of Tesla’s inventions and this put him in direct competition with Edison and his company. Thus began the “War of Currents” with Tesla’s alternating current system eventually winning out over Edison’s direct current system.

Although known for many inventions, Tesla created the “Tesla coil” in 1889. Its main function was to insulate material between primary and secondary windings via an air gap. It resonates current and voltage from a power source with a capacitor. This coil laid the foundation for radio technology and is still currently used today. Following that invention, Tesla created many different devices and is credited with attempting to invent an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter known as the Wardenclyffe Tower project.

Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors) was founded in 2003 in Tesla’s honor. The car company specializes in electric automobiles and is based in Palo Alto, California. Much like its namesake, the company has made many improvements to the electric motor industry and have mastered many technologies including batteries, sensors, and artificial intelligence.