‘’I don’t care that they stole my idea...I care that they don’t have any of their own’’, were the words of one of the greatest inventors of all times.
Nikola Tesla is well known for his numerous inventions without which the modern world could not exist in a way we know it today. He is an icon of the scientific world, who invented alternating current, wireless signal and energy transfer, electric motor, radio communication, remote control and many other things most people have never heard of and yet they are using them every day.
Therefore, here are ten interesting facts about Nikola Tesla you probably didn’t know:
1. A man of thunder - It is interesting to note that Tesla, who invented alternating current, was born during a storm around midnight between the 9th and the 10th of July 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, today’s Croatia. According to a story told by his family, a midwife put her hands in the air and in panic she said, ‘’This baby will be a child of the darkness’’, to which Tesla’s mother replied, ‘’No, he will be the child of light’’.
2. The Nikola Tesla Museum in the US was funded thanks to a comic book – Tesla’s tower or Wardenclyffe was restored thanks to the intervention of the largest fans of his life and work. In May this year, the building purchased the Tesla Science Center for around $1,3 million. The funds were donated by the popular website for public financing IndieGoGo. The organizer and the main initiator of this campaign is Matthew Inman, an illustrator known for his online comic book Oatmeal.
3. Tesla was a true ecologist – Nikola Tesla was very concerned by the fact that people are spending planet resources very quickly so he engaged himself in renewable sources of energy. Therefore, he decided to study ways of extracting natural energy from land and air.
4. Tesla conceptualized the smart phone technology back in 1901 – Tesla truly had excellent ideas, however, they rarely came into practice. For example, he presented new ways of instant communication to his business partner J.P.Morgan - sending stock exchanges info and short telegram messages. Tesla would receive every message through a tube connected to his lab, where he would encode them and join to the selected frequency, which would then be transmitted to a handheld device.
5. Tesla succeeded in scaring Mark Twain –Tesla had a machine called a frequency oscillator in his lab on Manhattan. During his experiments, the machine made such a tremendous noise and an ‘’earthquake’’ kind of trembling that he almost crushed a whole block once. However, there were no damages whatsoever, but he managed to scare Mark Twain. The great writer was widely known for his digestive problems. One day Tesla invited Twain to his lab. When he turned on the fierce machine, Twain was so terrified and had to rush off to the nearest toilet.
6. Tesla would go nuts every time he saw pearls – Hmm, pearls were obviously Tesla’s kryptonite. Every time he saw them, he would be so disgusted that he wasn’t able to talk to a woman who wore them. However, nobody ever knew why he had such an aversion to this jewellery and yet Tesla had a very specific taste for style and aesthetics.
7. Tesla was in panic with microbes and used a photographic memory – Tesla was known for his photographic memory. He used to memorize photos in books and use them later as a basis for his inventions. On the other hand, Tesla suffered from a terrible fear of bacteria because he almost died from cholera when he was a young boy.
8. Tesla made a tower for extracting electric current from the air – Tesla planned to extract electric current for the air and send it through the ground to a final recipient with a 56-metre high tower on Long Island. Unfortunately, this project was never completed.
9. Some Tesla's inventions have become state secrets – After Tesla died in 1943, the Foreigners’ Property Office took all his things. Most of them ended up in the Tesla family, out of which a large number of them were transported to the Tesla Museum in Belgrade. However, some documents are still hidden and buried in the US government’s archives.
10. Tesla literally planned to light up the entire planet – Tesla was convinced that he could light up the Earth’s atmosphere, dispel the darkness and create a new era of eternal light. He developed a theory that the upper atmosphere contains gases that can conduct high frequency electric energy that would create ‘’a night light for the whole planet’’.