Tesla History

Credits.. The following information is largely extracted from Wikipedia.

Nikola Tesla
head-and-shoulder shot of slender man with dark hair and moustache, dark suit and white-collar shirt

Tesla, aged 34, 1890, photo by Napoleon Sarony
Born 10 July 1856
Smiljan, Austrian Empire(modern-day Croatia)
Died 7 January 1943 (aged 86)
New York City, New York
Cause of death
Coronary thrombosis
Ethnicity Serb
Citizenship Austrian (in 1891 prior to becoming a U. S. citizen)[1]
United States(30 July 1891 – 7 January 1943)
Education Graz University of Technology(dropped out)
Engineering career
Engineering discipline Electrical engineering,
mechanical engineering
Significant projects Alternating current,
high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments
Significant design Induction motor
Rotating magnetic field
Tesla coil
Radio remote control vehicle(torpedo)[2]
Significant awards
Signature TeslaSignature.svg

Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла; 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

Early years (1856–1885)

Tesla wearing a folk costume, c. 1880.

Rebuilt, Tesla’s house (parish hall) in Smiljan, Croatia, where he was born, and the rebuilt church, where his father served. During the Yugoslav Wars, several of the buildings were severely damaged by fire. They were restored and reopened in 2006.

Tesla’s baptismal record, 28 June 1856.

Nikola Tesla’s father Milutin, Orthodox priest in the village of Smiljan.

Nikola Tesla was born on 10 July [O.S. 28 June] 1856 into a Serb family in the village ofSmiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia).   His father, Milutin Tesla, was anOrthodox priest.   Tesla’s mother,  Đuka Tesla (née Mandić), whose father was also an Orthodox priest, had a talent for making home craft tools, mechanical appliances, and the ability to memorize Serbian epic poems.  Đuka had never received a formal education.  Nikola credited his eidetic memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence.   Tesla’s progenitors were from western Serbia, near Montenegro.

Tesla was the fourth of five children. He had an older brother named Dane and three sisters, Milka, Angelina and Marica. Dane was killed in a horse-riding accident when Nikola was five.  In 1861, Tesla attended the “Lower” or “Primary” School in Smiljan where he studied German, arithmetic, and religion.   In 1862, the Tesla family moved to Gospić, Austrian Empire, where Tesla’s father worked as a pastor. Nikola completed “Lower” or “Primary” School, followed by the “Lower Real Gymnasium” or “Normal School.”

In 1870, Tesla moved to Karlovac, Croatia  to attend school at the Higher Real Gymnasium, where he was profoundly influenced by a math teacher Martin Sekulić.  Tesla was able to perform integral calculus in his head, which prompted his teachers to believe that he was cheating.   He finished a four-year term in three years, graduating in 1873. 

In 1873, Tesla returned to his birth town, Smiljan.  Shortly after he arrived, Tesla contracted cholera; he was bedridden for nine months and was near death multiple times. Tesla’s father, in a moment of despair, promised to send him to the best engineering school if he recovered from the illness, (his father had originally wanted him to enter the priesthood).

In 1874, Tesla evaded being drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army in Smiljan  by running away to Tomingaj, near Gračac. There, he explored the mountains in hunter’s garb. Tesla said that this contact with nature made him stronger, both physically and mentally. He read many books while in Tomingaj, and later said that Mark Twain’s works had helped him to miraculously recover from his earlier illness.

Tesla died in 19 43

Tesla History – His Death.


Gilded urn with Tesla’s ashes, in his favorite geometrical object, a sphere, Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade.

On 7 January 1943, Tesla, 86, died alone in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel. His body was later found by maid Alice Monaghan after she had entered Tesla’s room, ignoring the “do not disturb” sign that Tesla had placed on his door two days earlier. Assistant medical examiner H.W. Wembly examined the body and ruled that the cause of death had beencoronary thrombosis.  Tesla’s remains were taken to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home at Madison Ave. and 81st St. A long-time friend and supporter of Tesla, Hugo Gernsback, commissioned a sculptor to create a death mask, now displayed in the Nikola Tesla Museum. 

Two days later, the FBI ordered the Alien Property Custodian to seize Tesla’s belongings,  even though Tesla was an American citizen.  Tesla’s entire estate from the Hotel New Yorker and other New York City hotels was transported to the Manhattan Storage and Warehouse Company under Office of Alien Property (OAP) seal.  John G. Trump, a professor at M.I.T. and well-known electrical engineer serving as a technical aide to the National Defense Research Committee, was called in to analyze the Tesla items in OAP custody.  After a three-day investigation, Trump’s report concluded there was nothing that would constitute a hazard in unfriendly hands, stating:

“Tesla’s thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character often concerned with the production and wireless transmission of power; but did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.”

Editors Note -Some would say “Yeah – right!, Sure.”

In a box purported to contain a part of Tesla’s “death ray”, Trump found a 45-year-old multi-decade resistance box.

On 10 January 1943, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia read a eulogy written by Slovene-American author Louis Adamic live over the WNYC radio while violin pieces “Ave Maria” and “Tamo daleko” were played in the background.  On 12 January 2,000 people attended a state funeral for Tesla at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. After the funeral, Tesla’s body was taken to the Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, New York, where it was later cremated. The following day, a second service was conducted by prominent priests in the Trinity Chapel (today’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava) in New York City.

His legacy is still being written..

Nikola Tesla Genius

Nikola Tesla.

Nikola Tesla Genius
Nikola Tesla

Who is this Nikola Tesla Genius?

Nikola Tesla was responsible for many of the inventions we use today including alternating current electricity, radio transmission, remote control etc.  Many other inventors used his discoveries to further their own reputations.

For example Marconi was initally credited with the discovery and production of the first successful wireless transmission (radio), but as Tesla said, “He used 21 of my patents to do it!”  Many industrialists of the day also took advantage of him and made large sums of money based on his inventions and ideas.

Here are some of the words used to describe the man.  If you can think of more, add a comment and I will update the list.








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