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Fascinating facts about Nikola Tesla
inventor of AC
Induction Motor in 1888.
Nikola Tesla
Inventor: Nikola Tesla
Portrait of Nikola Tesla derived from public domain
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. First practical.
Birth: July 10, 1856 in Smiljan Lika, Croatia
Death: January 7, 1943 in New York, New York
Nationality: Serbian
Nikola Tesla, Serbian-born American physicist, electrical engineer, and inventor, recognized as one of the outstanding pioneers in the electric power field.

Tesla was born to Serbian parents in Smiljan, Croatia (then part of Austria–Hungary), and educated at the Polytechnic School in Graz, Austria, and at the University of Prague. After working for three years as an electrical engineer he immigrated (1884) to the United States, where he later became a naturalized citizen. For a brief period he was employed by Thomas Edison, but he left that position to devote himself exclusively to experimental research and invention.

In 1888 Tesla designed the first practical system of generating and transmitting alternating current for electric power. The American rights to this epoch-making invention were bought by the American inventor George Westinghouse, who demonstrated (1893) the system for the first time at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Two years later Tesla's alternating-current motors were installed at the Niagara Falls power project.

Tesla's many inventions include high-frequency generators (1890) and the Tesla coil (1891), a transformer with important applications in the field of radio communications.


Evolution of Electricity   from The Great Idea Finder
History of Energy   from The Great Idea Finder

Popular Patents
by Travis Brown / Paperback - 224 pages / Scarecrow Press (September 1, 2000)
Eighty stories of America's first inventions. Each includes a sketch of the invention, a profile of the inventor and a glimpse of how the invention has found its way into American culture.

Tesla : Man Out of Time
by Margaret Cheney / Paperback: 400 pages / Touchstone; 1 Touchsto edition (October 9, 2001)
From Tesla's childhood in Yugoslavia to his death in New York in the 1940s, Cheney paints a compelling human portrait and chronicles a lifetime of discoveries that radically altered -- and continue to alter -- the world in which we live.
My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla
by Ben Johnston (Editor) / Paperback  / Hart Brothers Publishing (October 1982)
My Inventions has been the primary source for all Tesla biographers. Editor Ben Johnston has a 16 page introduction that traces Tesla's career through a maze of sensationalism and controversy.
The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla, David Hatcher Childress / Paperback / Publication 1993
Informs you about what Tesla was famous for, and especially act as an excellent introduction to the marvelous work's of Nikola Tesla.
Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius
Marc J. Seifer / Paperback - 560 pages / Citadel Press - Reprint Edition 1998 
Perhaps because his life did not culminate in wealth and acclaim, Nikola Tesla has largely slipped from the national memory.
Colorado Springs Notes 1899-1900
by Nikola Tesla / Hardcover: 439 pages / Angriff Pr; (August 2001)

Tesla's time at Colorado Springs is the critical period in his life. In his Notebook, we have Tesla in his own words, shifting effortlessly between startlingly original technical suppositions and his characteristic cosmic imaginings.
Empires of Light : Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World
by Jill Jones / Hardcover: 432 pages / Random House; (August 19, 2003)
The genius of such poet-scientists as Nikola Tesla depended on the more finely tuned business skills of George Westinghouse and the towering capital of J.P. Morgan to achieve actualization.

Power Plants
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00 / Also VHS
Though the basic technology has remained constant for decades, continual improvements and refinements have made them far more efficient and powerful.

Tesla - Master of Lightning
Video /  VHS NTSC format / Color / 90 Miniutes / PBS Home Video (2000)
Informative, professionally produced by PBS, the entire tale is told with accuracy, insight and detail unavailable in any other documentary on his life and work.


Tesla Wardenclyffe Project
A project to preserve and utilize Wardenclyffe, the century-old laboratory of electrical pioneer Dr. Nikola Tesla located in Shoreham, Long Island, New York.
Tesla - Master of Lightning
Visit the PBS site for information on the Master of Lightning show. Explore the accomplishments of this electrical inventor, enter an interactive laboratory, his Life and Legacy, Inside the Lab. Tesla for Teachers. Discussions. and Resource listing.
Nikola Tesla Museum
The museum has the complete personal belongings of Nikola Tesla, which were, according to his last will, collected and transfered to Belgrade after his death in 1943.
Third Graders from Summers-Knoll Elementary School in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA undertook a project that resulted in duplicates of a $6,000 bronze bust (mounted on granite) being donated to 14 major universities. Their goal is to increase awareness of the accomplishments of Nikola Tesla, America's forgotten scientist / inventor.
Nikola Tesla Biography
From Britannica Online, courtesy the University of Pittsburgh.
Tesla Memorial Society of New York
Nikola Tesla symbolizes a unifying force and inspiration for all nations in the name of peace and science. He was a true visionary far ahead of his contemporaries in the field of scientific development. New York State and many other states proclaimed July 10, Tesla’s birthday- Nikola Tesla Day.
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Located at Inventure Place, the online home of creative minds.Nikola Tesla invented the induction motor with rotating magnetic field that made unit drives for machines feasible and made AC power transmission an economic reality.
Invention Dimension - Inventor of the Week
Celebrates inventor/innovator role models through outreach activities and annual awards to inspire a new generation of American scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.
Nikola Tesla - U.S. Patent Collection
Provides a searchable database of Nikola Tesla's patents. You can even order copies.
IEEE History CenTer Nikola Tesla
After his death on 7 January 1943, his papers and notes were seized by the Alien Property office; they are now housed in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Nikola Tesla (1856 -1943)
Born of Serb parents in Croatia, Tesla was educated in Europe. He came to New York in 1884 and worked briefly for Edison. He patented a practical AC motor in 1888. Other AC patents were used in the Westinghouse generators at Niagara Falls. He is also known for high-frequency experiments and inventions in the field of radio.
The Complete Patents of Nikola Tesla
His list of astounding inventions is truly awe-inspiring. Tesla demonstrated each of these systems for a select group of witnesses. Article by Jim Glenn .
Nikola Tesla Patents
His motor was the solution which made long-distance energy transmission possible, due to the possibility of transforming alternating currents into high voltage for more efficient transmission and low voltage for practical use.
Tesla Roadster
The Tesla Roadster, isn‘t a plan, pipedream or prototype; this car exists and is for sale now. It‘s a no-compromise driver‘s car that can accelerate faster than a Porsche 911 and hit a top speed of nearly twice what the law permits. With a range of 250 miles on a single charge, you can use it all day long and not worry you‘ll run out of juice. Just plug it in at night the same way you drop your cell phone into its charger, and sleep well, without guilt.

"Were we to seize and eliminate from our industrial world the result of Mr. Tesla's work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark and our mills would be idle and dead.  His name marks an epoch in the advance of electrical science."  -
In his speech presenting Tesla with the Edison medal, Vice President Behrend of the Institute of Electrical Engineers


  • Nikola Tesla received Patent No. 381,968 on May 1, 1888 for an alternating current induction motor
  • Nikola Tesla received Patent No. 382,280 on May 1, 1888 for the polyphase system of power transmission.
  • Nikola Tesla received Patent No. 645,576 on March 20, 1900 for the system of electrical transmission energy
  • On his 75th birthday in 1931, the inventor appeared on the cover of Time Magazine. On this occasion, Tesla received congratulatory letters from more than 70 pioneers in science and engineering including Albert Einstein and Mark Twain. These letters were mounted and presented to Tesla in the form of a testimonial volume.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised October 20, 2006.

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