In our Legendary s series, we examine who these business people were who changed the world and inspired modern leaders.
The figure of Nicholas Tesla It has become very popular on the internet. In social networks we can see the figure of the lonely genius being trampled on by the powerful. People say that Thomas Edison made a smear campaign against him that Guillermo Marconi stole the credit and the Nobel Prize on the radio, and that of the industrialists George Westinghouse created an empire based on his ideas.
We know with certainty that Nikola Tesla was an inventor, mechanical engineer, physicist and promoter of commercial electricity. a revolutionary in the field of electromagnetism.
Tesla was born in what is now Croatia in 1856 – oddly during a thunderstorm – and studied at the University of Graz in Austria. He then moved to the United States, where he started as an electrical engineer with Edison.
Thanks to his great intellect, he started moving forward very quickly in the company. In his autobiography, he states that in 1884 he was offered $ 50,000 to redesign Edison’s inefficient engines. However, when he asked for payment for his work, Edison replied, “Tesla, you don’t understand American humor.”
He soon resigned and founded his own company, Tesla Electric Light Manufacturing, in 1886, which was excluded by investors. In 1887 he built the first AC induction motor and then started working with Westinghouse.
Tesla examined what became known later X-rays With his own vacuum tube, he recognized the damage they did if they weren’t handled carefully. One of his best known suggestions was the creation of a “world transmission system for electrical power without cables ”based on the conductivity of the earth.
Edison and Tesla were involved in the war of the currents. The inventor of the Electric lightbulb He hired Harold P. Brown to investigate the electric shock and develop the electric chair that uses Tesla’s alternating current, thereby giving him a bad name.
W. Bernard Carlson, author of Tesla: inventor of the electrical agebelieves that Tesla and Edison were more than deadly enemies Bill Gates and Steve Jobs its time. One is the brilliant salesperson and the other the technological visionary.
The Croatian inventor moved to Colorado Springs, USA to conduct high voltage experiments. He also observed signs that he believed came from Venus and Mars, which is why many consider him the forerunner of radio astronomy.
In 1900 he had to sell his laboratory to pay debts and spent the last phase of his life arguing with Marconi over the radio license. He died in poverty in a hotel room at the age of 86.
Tesla’s “mad scientist”
This genius was a very strange person. There are those who assure that he had Asperger syndrome for the long periods in which he retired to his laboratory. He is also considered compulsive because he is committed to work, so that in order not to be distracted, he has remained celibate all his life.
In his autobiography, the inventor claimed that in childhood he had visions of rays of light before his eyes; These experiences were accompanied by moments of inspiration. It is now known that the state of synesthesia – when a person hears colors and sees sounds – has similar symptoms.
Tesla also had a photographic memory because he could remember entire books. His thinking was visual, meaning that he was able to visualize an invention in great detail and in the third dimension – including measurements – before he started drawing.
His aversion to certain round objects stands out among his many eccentricities; He didn’t like pearls and refused to speak to women who wore them. He was afraid of germs and paid great attention to hygiene. As a teenager, he almost died of cholera. He was fixated on number “3” and in his later years assured that he had fallen in love with a white pigeon.
Today Nikola Tesla is synonymous with poorly understood genius (it is no coincidence that Elon Musk named his electric car company with his last name) and the small business owner who was put down by a giant competitor.