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Who was Nikola Tesla?


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One of the great inventors, he is largely forgotten these day. An immigrant to the United States, his inventions paved the way for our modern power grid. He also believed he could do so much more.

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Who was Nikola Tesla?

  2. 2. When we turn a light on, plug any device in, we owe a debt to Nikola Tesla for his contributions to the design of modern alternating current electricity. In essence: the power grid. NIKOLA TESLA
  3. 3. Tesla was born a Serb in the Austrian Empire on 10 July 1856. His father was a priest; his mother was known for inventing things to make their home life easier. She was also known for amazing mind—she could recite epic Serbian poems from memory. NIKOLA TESLA
  4. 4. After seeing a demonstration of electricity, this ‘mysterious phenomena’, he became fascinated by its potential. In school he was known for being able to do calculus in his head. Which led his teachers to accuse him of cheating. NIKOLA TESLA
  5. 5. He failed out of University, partly because of his addiction to gambling. He subsequently suffered a nervous breakdown. NIKOLA TESLA
  6. 6. At 26, he ended up in Paris, working for Continental Edison, helping develop a rudimentary power utility. NIKOLA TESLA
  7. 7. Noticed by his boss for his hard work and innovations, Tesla received a letter of recommendation to Thomas Edison. NIKOLA TESLA
  8. 8. In 1884, 28 years old, he emigrated to the United States. NIKOLA TESLA
  9. 9. He went to work for Edison in New York City, trying to build a power grid. NIKOLA TESLA
  10. 10. Six months later he wrote in his diary: “Good by to the Edison Machine Works.” NIKOLA TESLA
  11. 11. He tried starting his own lab, but couldn’t find backers. He did small repair jobs and worked as a ditch digger for $2 a day. NIKOLA TESLA
  12. 12. He finally got some backers and worked on developing Alternating Current as opposed to Edison who was a proponent of Direct Current. NIKOLA TESLA
  13. 13. He eventually cut a deal with George Westinghouse to design a motor and transformer. He received $60,000 in cash and stock and a royalty for $2.50 per AC horsepower produced by his motors. NIKOLA TESLA
  14. 14. When there was turmoil in the stock market, Westinghouse renegotiated the deal and Tesla lost out on potential billions. NIKOLA TESLA
  15. 15. Tesla and AC were pitted against Edison and DC. Edison declared AC current dangerous. He’d ‘prove’ this by publicly electrocuting animals. THE CURRENT WARS
  16. 16. This included publicly electrocuting an elephant in Chicago in 1897. THOMAS EDISON
  17. 17. Tesla put on public displays to show that his invention was harmless. NIKOLA TESLA
  18. 18. Note that this photo is a double negative, as Tesla wasn’t adverse to his own shameless publicity. NIKOLA TESLA
  19. 19. Tesla believe electricity could do more than just turn on lights. NIKOLA TESLA
  20. 20. Westinghouse won the contract to light the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Tesla designed the system. NIKOLA TESLA
  21. 21. NIKOLA TESLA
  22. 22. Among many things Tesla invented was a radio-controlled boat. He tried selling it to the US Navy as a radio controlled torpedo. They weren’t interested. NIKOLA TESLA
  23. 23. Tesla’s main focus was the wireless transmission of power. He believed he could use the planet itself to conduct electricity. NIKOLA TESLA
  24. 24. NIKOLA TESLA
  25. 25. Tesla also picked up what he believed were transmissions from outer space. NIKOLA TESLA
  26. 26. At the turn of the 20th Century, he shifted to Wardenclyffe on Long Island, NY, to pursue his ideas. NIKOLA TESLA
  27. 27. NIKOLA TESLA
  28. 28. Tesla claimed he would be able to transmit to any place around the world. Also, that he could light up the ocean using electricity. NIKOLA TESLA
  29. 29. However, funds dried up and Wardenclyffe was shut down. NIKOLA TESLA
  30. 30. Tesla and Edison had opposite approaches to their research. Edison believed in experimentation. Tesla preferred to think out his problems. NIKOLA TESLA
  31. 31. Tesla never married. NIKOLA TESLA
  32. 32. NIKOLA TESLA
  33. 33. But what if Tesla was someone else? What if Wardenclyffe was more than just an attempt to transmit across the Atlantic. What if it were a weapon? NIKOLA TESLA
  34. 34. In the Area 51 series we first learn of Tesla when he shoots down a Swarm scout ship in 1908. This caused the Tunguska incident. NIKOLA TESLA
  35. 35. NIKOLA TESLA
  36. 36. On 30 June 1908, a massive explosion over Russia, devastated an area of a thousand square miles. NIKOLA TESLA
  37. 37. In the series, Tesla is part of the rogue Watchers. He interacts with the famed explorers Sir Richard Burton and Sir George Mallory. Part of an ancient order who draw their lineage from Myrddin. Merlin. NIKOLA TESLA
  38. 38. In Area 51: Redemption, Tesla’s granddaughter is a key player. NIKOLA TESLA
  39. 39. Area 51: Redemption Do we deserve a Second Chance? Mike Turcotte, the Special Forces officer who led the fight against the Airlia, which ruled our planet from the shadows for over 10 millennia, has returned to Area 51. Earth has freed itself from the shackles of alien domination, but at high cost while winning World War III. He has learned what he believes is the truth about human origins. A truth so devastating he insists it cannot be made public. But the thing no one on Earth knows is that in winning the war they’ve initiated the seeds of their own doom. Something worse than World War III. Something worse than the Airlia. Something that means the end of all life in the Solar System. But there is one who might have a solution; except she’s not human.
  41. 41. Bob Mayer is a New York Times bestselling author, a graduate of West Point, a former Green Beret, and the feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had over seventy books published, including the #1 bestselling series Time Patrol, Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world (usually not the tourist spots), he now lives peacefully with his wife and labs. Sort of.