BIRTH & EARLY LIFE
• Nikola Tesla was born on July 10,1856 in Smiljian, Lika, then part of Croatia, a
region in the Austo-Hungrarian Empire.
• Tesla studied at several institutions of higher learning including the
Polytechnic institute in Graz, Austria, and the University of Prague.
• Tesla had originally planned on studying Physics and Mathematics, but
found himself fascinated with Electricity.
• Tesla first started his career with a telephone company in Budapest, in 1881.
He was an Electrical Engineer.
EDISON COMPANY & EARLY
• In the early 1880’s Tesla joined the Continental Edison Company in Paris.
• Thomas Edison offered Nikola Tesla an opportunity to work for Edison himself
in New York.
• Tesla came to the united states in 1884.
• Tesla and Edison had two differing views on Electric Current, Edison was in
favor of Direct Current (DC), and Tesla in favor of Alternating Current (AC).
• Direct current flows all in one direction, meanwhile Alternating Current
changes direction several times per second. Tesla believed that AC would
be the future as it could transport much farther along power lines than the
very limited DC, which could only go about 2 miles.
WORKING WITH WESTINGHOUSE
• Tesla had designed and held 40 patents on generators, motors, and
transformers, all developed for the AC system.
• George Westinghouse purchased the patents from Tesla in hopes of bringing
Alternating Current to America, and therefore the world.
• In 1882 Tesla created the Induction motor, based off his recently discovered
Rotating Magnetic Field principle. The Induction motor is used throughout
the world today, in both industrial and home settings.
• In 1893 Tesla demonstrated his work on Alternating Current at the “World
Columbian Expo” in Chicago. This lead to AC power beating DC power, and
being the standard used across the globe, and it is still in use today.
TESLA’S NOTABLE WORK
• Tesla held a patent for the basic system of radio, which was later used, along with
Tesla’s schematics, by Marconi when he created his radio. The US Supreme Court
found Marconi’s most important patent invalid, citing Tesla as the inventor of radio
• Wireless communication and Wireless transmission of electricity.
• Designed a Vertical Take off and Land (VTOL) Bi-plane in 1928. Nearly 3 Decades
before any other VTOL craft was designed.
• Tesla released photos of a man taken with X-Rays in the “Electrical Review” at the
same time as Roentgen announced his discovery of X-Ray technology.
• The “Tesla Coil” may be his most notable work, a Tesla coil creates an extremely
powerful Magnetic Field, and has been shown to wirelessly light up Florescent lights
from 50 feet away.
• While in Colorado Springs, Tesla discovered what he would say was his most
important discovery. Terrestrial Stationary Waves. This discovery meant that
the Earth could be “Used as a conductor and would be as responsive as a
tuning fork to certain frequencies of electrical vibrations.”
• Using this technology, Tesla was able to light 200 lamps without wires from 25
• He also created man-made lightning, using this same technology.
• Using what he discovered in Colorado Springs, Tesla built the Wardenclyffe
laboratory on Long Island.
• The tower was 187 feet high, and had a 68 foot in diameter copper dome at
the top, housing the magnifying transmitter.
• This tower was supposed to be the first broadcast station, capable of
transmitting power without wires to anywhere on Earth. This would essentially
turn the whole planet into a Dynamo, allowing unlimited amounts of
electricity to be projected to anywhere on the globe.
• Unfortunately the Tower was never finished, as Tesla’s Financier withdrew his
funding due to a dispute over the use of the tower. His famous comment
was “If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?”
Meaning that if you can get the power anywhere on the globe, how can
you charge someone for the electricity?
• Tesla Died on January 7th, 1943, in his room at the Hotel New Yorker, where he
had stayed for ten years.
• Over 2000 people attended his funeral at the St. John divine cathedral in
New York. Most Notably Eleanor Roosevelt, Vice President Henry Wallace,
and with several Nobel Laureautes.
• He was Cremated, and his ashes placed in a Golden Sphere, which was
Tesla’s favorite shape. His ashes are permanently on display in the Tesla
Museum in Belgrade.
• Tesla has been recognized in numerous ways since his death
• Elected into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1975
• The Institute of Electrical Engineers created the Nikola Tesla Award, which is
one of it’s most distinguished honors.
• A “Tesla” is now an international Magnetic Density measurement.
• Tesla Motors was named in honor of Nikola Tesla and everything he did for
engineering and science, namely for developing the Induction motor, which
is used in every Tesla car.
• "Tesla's Biography." Tesla's Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.
• "Tesla Roadster World Tour Pays Homage to Namesake Nikola Tesla." Motor
Trend Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <
• "Tesla Coil." Tesla Coil. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.