- NAME: Nikola Tesla
- OCCUPATION: Engineer, Inventor
- BIRTH DATE: c. July 10, 1856
- DEATH DATE: January 07, 1943
- EDUCATION: Realschule, Karlstadt (renamed Johann-Rudolph-Glauber Realschule Karlstadt), University of Prague, The Polytechnic Institute (Graz, Austria)
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Smiljan, Croatia
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Nikola Tesla
Best Known For
Thomas Edison - Inventor (4:13)
Inventor Nikola Tesla developed the alternating current electricity supply system. After working briefly with Thomas Edison, Tesla struck out on his own and became world-famous through his inventions.
The inventor of the light bulb, phonograph, and motion picture, Thomas Edison was granted 400 patents from 1879 to 1886. Though he changed technology forever, not all of his inventions were successful.
Inventor Thomas Edison, known during his time as "The Wizard of Menlo Park," developed numerous practical devices that changed the world such as the phonograph, the movie camera, and the light bulb.
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Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born in July of 1856, in what is now Croatia. He came to the United States in 1884, and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two parted ways. He sold several patent rights, including those to his alternating-current machinery, to George Westinghouse. His 1891 invention, the "Tesla coil,
" is still used in radio technology today. Tesla died in New York City on January 7, 1943.
Famous Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in what is now Smiljan, Croatia. Tesla's interest in electrical invention was likely spurred by his mother, Djuka Mandic, who invented small household appliances in her spare time while her son was growing up. Tesla's father, Milutin Tesla, was a priest. After studying in the 1870s at the Realschule, Karlstadt (later renamed the Johann-Rudolph-Glauber Realschule Karlstadt); the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and the University of Prague, Tesla began preparing for a trip to America.
Tesla came to the United States in 1884, and soon began working with famed inventor and business mogul Thomas Edison. The two worked together for a brief periof before parting ways due to a conflicting business-scientific relationship, attributed by historians to their incredibly different personalities: While Edison was a power figure who focused on marketing and financial success, Tesla was a commercially out-of-tune and somewhat vulnerable, yet extremely pivotal inventor, who pioneered some of history's the most important inventions. His inventions include the "Tesla coil," developed in 1891, and an alternating-current electrical system of generators, motors and transformers—both of which are still used widely today.
On the AC electrical system alone, Tesla held 40 basic U.S. patents, which he later sold to George Westinghouse, an American engineer and business man who was determined to supply the nation with the Tesla's AC system. He would succeed in doing just that, not long after purchasing Tesla's patents. Around this time, conflict arose between Tesla and Edison, as Edison was determined to sell his direct-current system to the nation. According to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York, Tesla-Westinghouse ultimately won out because Tesla's system was "a superior technology," presenting greater "progress of both America and the world" than Edison's DC system. Outside of his AC system patents, Tesla sold several other patent rights to Westinghouse.
At the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago, Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system, which soon became the standard power system of the 20th century, and has remained the worldwide standard ever since. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed the first hydroelectric powerplant at Niagara Falls, a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world.
Around 1900—nearly a decade later after inventing the "Tesla coil"—Tesla began working on his boldest project yet: Building a global communication system—through a large, electrical tower—for sharing information and providing free electricity throughout the world.
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Everyday life is constantly changing and improving thanks to the ingenious ideas of famous inventors past and present. What once seemed impossible is now possible, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s forward-thinking concepts for flying machines (airplanes), Benjamin Franklin’s useful inventions like bifocals and the lightning rod, and Alexander Graham Bell’s revolutionary “talking machine” (telephone).
The modern era has also produced life-changing advancements whether in science, medicine, the arts, digital media. Music-makers can thank Les Paul for his amazing guitars, while Elon Musk launched the world's first commercial space ship, Steve Jobs' Apple products have made technology beautiful, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page's Google has changed how the world searches for information. These and so many other famous inventors and their creations changed the course of human history. See all inventors.
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