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Nikola Tesla’s Great Legacy

July 20, 2008

“The present is theirs; the future, for which I really work, is mine.” — Nikola Tesla

Do you know who this man is?

Do you know who this man is?

I’m a hero worshiper. Among the great men who I really admire, on top of them is none other than the man who gave us the future. Without him the world would still remain a chaotic realm of ignorance, of chaos, and of mysticism. This man is none other than the man in the title of this blog.

Even though I’m strongly opposed to his philosophy of Humanitarianism, I believe that the world should recognize Tesla’s unparalleled contribution to man’s store of knowledge. Tesla gave us the world where men should live. He singlehandedly pulled the world out of the black hole of ignorance, stupidity, and mysticism.

I’m sure that many of you are not aware of the name Nikola Tesla. I’m also certain that it is your first time to know that such a great man graced this “doubting world”. No, Tesla is not dead. He is here among us, breathing, inspiring, and still electrifying us.

I would like to introduce Tesla in this simple line— he is the Man who ought to live—the great Man who gave us the future. Over fifty years after leaving this “fainthearted, doubting world”, to borrow his own words, Tesla still has big and great things to offer— the future of the modern world.

He was an inventor, a visionary, a humanitarian, a hero, a peace icon, a creator, a legend… If there’s a story I would love to tell, it is Tesla’s.

When I learned about the life, works, and vision of Tesla, it was as if I met a man who lives in the future. Tesla’s life is one of the greatest stories never told. He discovered alternating current that we still universally use today.

He is the father of wireless technology. He discovered remote control and introduced robotics, which ignited many inventions and discoveries years after his death in 1943.

Tesla was a Serbian-born American who migrated to the United States to fulfill his vision— to turn the Niagara falls into a potent generator of electricity. He was not amazed when he first landed in the United States. He was shocked at what he saw when he arrived in New York. The disappointed inventor uttered these words: “What I had left was beautiful, artistic and fascinating in every way; what I saw here was machined, rough and unattractive. It [America] is a century behind Europe in civilization.”

Tesla, who only had four cents in his pocket, worked for Thomas Edison, the man he admired in his early years. However after completing his first project, Tesla furiously resigned after Edison reneged on his promise to pay him $50,000. Edison claimed that the offer was just an “American joke”. A man who loved to live, he worked odd jobs in order to make both ends meet.

This 6’4” inventor finally met his first investor, Mr. A.K. Brown who agreed to invest in his AC motor idea. His invention would soon electrify the world. Tesla is the only inventor who created many a great inventions that we still use today. He was a creator, and we are his beneficiaries. He devoted his whole life discovering things so that the next generation would live a comfortable life. No, it is not self-sacrifice that made him devote his life to his work so that men may live well; it is his great passion for his work that made him dedicate his whole life. In this regard, Tesla said:

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”

He is a genius. After inventing his AC power generation and transmission, he said: “The motors I build there were exactly as I imagined them. I made no attempt to improve the design, but merely reproduced the pictures as they appeared to my vision and the operation was always as I expected.”

The rivalry between Tesla and Edison began when Tesla met George Westinghouse, a wealthy industrialist who invented railroad air brakes.

Then the war between Tesla’s alternating current and Edison’s direct current erupted. What was at stake in this rivalry was the future of the United States. The people became the judge. They were to choose which of the two currents would be the chosen technology. Edison regarded Tesla as his dangerous competitor, and he wanted to destroy him so that he would survive. In the words of Westinghouse, Edison tried to make the people believe that his “direct current was like a river flowing peacefully to the sea, while alternating current was like a torrent rushing violently over a precipice.” In fact, Edison and his group even hired an incompetent professor to talk to people, and resorted to smear campaign by electrocuting dogs and old horses just to “show how dangerous alternating current was.”

To demonstrate that alternating current was a deadly and dangerous technology, Tesla’s enemies had their first human example. They illegally purchased a used Westinghouse generator to power the first electric chair that would be used in executing a convicted murderer named William Kemmler. Kemmler was executed on August 6, 1890. Ironically I was born on August 6.

A born fighter and a believer of human intellect, Tesla was never undaunted by the black propaganda of his enemies who never ran out of devices. Instead he focused all his attention on his inventions. He had no time to deal with his enemies. They were not even considered his enemies; to him, they were nothing. They were no match.

All the bad press and black propaganda launched by his critics were proved wrong when he singlehandedly illuminated the Columbian Exposition during the Chicago World’s Fair, the first all-electric fair in history.

His next greatest achievement was the Niagara Falls Power Project that was soon devoured by the robber barons. Tesla who made the feat possible was left behind, while the robber barons amassed great wealth. Without Tesla’s ingenuity those robber barons would have remained as they were. They would have not added millions to their loot. They were looters-by-law. They used the law and employed enterprising lawyers in order to defraud those who worked hard on the Niagara Falls Power Project.

Edison was forever proven wrong. His propaganda failed. Many suspected that Edison even masterminded the destruction of Tesla’s laboratory in Philadelphia.

Edison’s name, being the inventor of light bulb, is one of the most popular in science books today. Every school kid who loves science subjects knows him. Why not? He even popularized this scientific adage— “five percent inspiration, 95 percent perspiration.”

Tesla is the total opposite of Edison. He said of Edison: “If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. … I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”

Tesla also discovered wireless technology. That is why without Tesla, there would be no Internet today. In fact he even predicted that through his invention, the future generation would be able to communicate wireless and transmit files and pictures without the use of cable and wire. He envisioned a world as a machine.

But his greatest discovery would have been his concept of free electricity which was strongly opposed by the rich during his time, particularly J.P. Morgan. He believed that he would be able to generate electricity out of static energy.

Today, the world is now suffering from energy crisis. The escalating prices of petrol seems endless and uncontrollable. Most inventors and scientists are trying to discover possible alternative fuels. Some thought of Tesla’s vision— to create a machine that would generate free electricity out of thin air. But still after over half a century after his death, no one was ever born to follow the great inventor’s footsteps. Governments remained passive, and the world remained fainthearted and doubtful.

Now more than ever, the world needs Tesla. It is our duty as individuals to resurrect the vision of Tesla. We need to tell and spread his story, his vision in order to inspire the young generation. This man who tried to prevent World War II through his invention was shunned and ignored by his country of choice. Tesla believed that through science, man would be able to prevent war, or even to make war impossible.

If Tesla strongly believed that he could create electricity out of nothing, then I also believe his idea of peaceful and war-free world is not just possible but probable. Ironically after Tesla’s death, the United States that considered Tesla as a mad scientist scrambled to get hold of all his inventions and ideas. It is believed that the US government ordered the illegal seizure of all the records, books, notebooks, and works of Tesla. His New York apartment was robbed by state agents after his demise.

What a sad irony. The country that ignored him looted his precious ideas and priceless works.

The world needs a man like him.

Tesla Motors honors Tesla.

Tesla Motors honors Tesla.

  • Check the complete patents of Nikola Tesla here.

The Following are Tesla’s famous quotations:

” The last 29 days of the month [are] the toughest ”
— Nikola Tesla

” If ever we can ascertain at what period the earth’s charge, when disturbed, oscillates, . . .
we shall know a fact possibly of the greatest importance to the welfare of the human race. ”
— Nikola Tesla, 1893

” As soon as [the Wardenclyffe plant is] completed, it will be possible for a business man in New York to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type at his office in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call up, from his desk, and talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, without any change whatever in the existing equipment. An inexpensive instrument, not bigger than a watch, will enable its bearer to hear anywhere, on sea or land, music or song, the speech of a political leader, the address of an eminent man of science, or the sermon of an eloquent clergyman, delivered in some other place, however distant. In the same manner any picture, character, drawing, or print can be transferred from one to another place. . . .”
— Nikola Tesla, 1893

” My project was retarded by laws of nature.
The world was not prepared for it. It was too far ahead of time.
But the same laws will prevail in the end and make it a triumphal success. ”
— Nikola Tesla … speaking of his “World Wireless” project on Long Island, 1919
consider the date … his majestic Wardenclyffe and Tower were already lost to him

” I have fame and untold wealth, more than this, and yet,
how many articles have been written in which I was declared to be an impractical unsuccessful man,
and how many poor, struggling writers have called me a visionary.
Such is the folly and shortsightedness of the world! ”
— Nikola Tesla

” I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart
like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…
Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything. ”
— Nikola Tesla

” Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter.
When they separate, man is no more. ”
— Nikola Tesla

” Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments
and they wander off through equation after equation and eventually build a structure
which has no relation to reality. ”
— Nikola Tesla

” My method is different. I do not rush into actual work.
When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain. ”
— Nikola Tesla

” Before I put a sketch on paper, the whole idea is worked out mentally.
In my mind I change the construction, make improvements, and even operate the device.
Without ever having drawn a sketch I can give the measurements of all parts to workmen, and when completed all these parts will fit, just as certainly as though I had made the actual drawings. It is immaterial to me whether I run my machine in my mind or test it in my shop.
The inventions I have conceived in this way have always worked. In thirty years there has not been a single exception. My first electric motor, the vacuum wireless light, my turbine engine and many other devices have all been developed in exactly this way. ”
— Nikola Tesla

” Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence- by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantery, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed – only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle. ”
— Nikola Tesla

War cannot be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only through annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife… Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment…
— Nikola Tesla 1919

” Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has, as its ultimate goal, the betterment of humanity ”
— Nikola Tesla 1919

” It was during the Christmas holidays of 1911 that I began to realize the fact that the energy I was
working with was not of a static nature but of an oscillating nature, and that the energy was not
coming out of the Earth but that it rather was coming in to the Earth from some outside source. ”
— Nikola Tesla
On Invention:
” It is the most important product of man’s creative brain.
The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world,
the harnessing of human nature to human needs. ”

” I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor
as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…
Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything. ”

” Of all the frictional resistance, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance, what Buddha called “the greatest evil in the world.” The friction which results from ignorance can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent. ”

” Universal peace as a result of cumulative effort through centuries past might come into existence quickly — not unlike a crystal that suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared. ”

” The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly.
One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. ”

” No matter what we attempt to do, no matter to what fields we turn our efforts, we are dependent on power. We have to evolve means of obtaining energy from stores which are forever inexhaustible, to perfect methods which do not imply consumption and waste of any material whatever. If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly. This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations. ”

” The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planter — for the future. His duty is to lay foundation of those who are to come and point the way. ”

” Even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of a living principle within. Everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. ”

” We are confronted with portentous problems which can not be solved just by providing for our material existence, however abundantly. On the contrary, progress in this direction is fraught with hazards and perils not less menacing than those born from want and suffering. If we were to release the energy of the atoms or discover some other way of developing cheap and unlimited power at any point of the globe this accomplishment, instead of being a blessing, might bring disaster to mankind… The greatest good will come from the technical improvements tending to unification and harmony, and my wireless transmitter is preeminently such. By its means the human voice and likeness will be reproduced everywhere and factories driven thousands of miles from waterfalls furnishing the power; aerial machines will be propelled around the earth without a stop and the sun’s energy controlled to create lakes and rivers for motive purposes and transformation of arid deserts into fertile land… ”
— Nikola Tesla … “My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla”, Hart Bros., 1982.
Originally appeared in the Electrical Experimenter magazine in 1919.

” War cannot be avoided until the physical cause for its recurrence is removed and this, in the last analysis, is the vast extent of the planet on which we live. Only through annihilation of distance in every respect, as the conveyance of intelligence, transport of passengers and supplies and transmission of energy will conditions be brought about some day, insuring permanency of friendly relations. What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife… Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment… ”
— Nikola Tesla … “My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla”, Hart Bros., 1982.
Originally appeared in the Electrical Experimenter magazine in 1919.

On Edison:
Tesla made a very definite distinction between the inventor of useful appliances and the discoverer
of new principles . . . a pioneer who opens up new fields of knowledge into which thousands of
inventors flock to make commercial applications of the newly revealed information. Tesla declared
himself a discoverer and Edison an inventor; and he held the view that placing the two in the same
category would completely destroy all sense of the relative value of the two accomplishments …

” If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. … I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor. ”
— Nikola Tesla … New York Times, October 19, 1931.

On Mark Twain:
” I had hardly completed my course at the Real Gymnasium when I was prostrated with a dangerous illness or rather, a score of them, and my condition became so desperate that I was given up by physicians. During this period I was permitted to read constantly, obtaining books from the Public Library which had been neglected and entrusted to me for classification of the works and preparation of the catalogues. One day I was handed a few volumes of new literature unlike anything I had ever read before and so captivating as to make me utterly forget my hopeless state. They were the earlier works of Mark Twain and to them might have been due the miraculous recovery which followed. Twenty-five years later, when I met Mr. Clemens and we formed a friendship between us, I told him of the experience and was amazed to see that great man of laughter burst into tears. ”
— Nikola Tesla … “My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla”, Hart Bros., 1982.
Originally appeared in the Electrical Experimenter magazine in 1919.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Syed Qamar Afzal Rizvi permalink
    July 28, 2008 3:38

    To my humble understanding, the great works of the great men always have been the source of providing white heat of enthusiasm that has given rise to the birth of many discoveries and has remained an ultimate cause of knowing the hidden truths. Yet the irony the present day moderised/ civilised world faces that in practice, we have learnt nothing regarding the semblence of human peace, security and love among the fellowbeings.The powerful nations are yet striving to dominate the poor nations.

  2. August 8, 2008 3:38

    The very reason why we learned “nothing” from the great men of the past is because of the kind of social structure that we have today. I can blame it to the new world order of today that is dictating the structure, codes and standards of the globe. Am I clear? I’m sure some do not know I’m talking about and they might mistake me for a person with skewed thinking.
    Let me give you an example. Why the hell most people never encountered the name of Nikola Tesla in science and history books?! I only learned about Tesla two months ago, and it was as if I was cheated by the educational structures we have today! Why, of all people in history, did “they”, whoever these people are, deny Tesla’s rightful place in history? But thank God, Tesla made a way so that the people of the future would be able to recognize his works. He is the father of wireless technology, and Internet is using this kind of amazing technology. Thanks to Information Technology, I was able to know the man who invented not just wireless technology but also the electric technology that is universally used today.

    • DoTA Greed permalink
      January 13, 2010 3:38

      I do not support Tesla being robbed of recognition for his achievements but it would be a nightmare if his inventions and improvements of which were protected by intellectual property laws. Multinational corporations that own it would be able to control the price of much of our technology today just like “big pharma” control 70% of the Philippine health care market. Technological advancement would be stumped because nobody will be able to work on the technology except the corporation that owns the “rights” and less and less will be able to enjoy the fruits of technology.

    • butch permalink
      November 14, 2010 3:38

      Because he was died poor, as just he wants it! So others might not recognized his GREAT, SPECTACULAR, and SIGNIFICANTLY FUTURE INVENTIONS!

  3. September 3, 2008 3:38

    i had a great read here and decided to bookmark it on digg. Great job and thanks for the share.

  4. May 20, 2009 3:38

    Good page. hope to definitely come back again soon!!

  5. Gaxevareelace permalink
    October 12, 2010 3:38

    The restaurants list with thousands of restaurants reviewed by visitors.

  6. butch permalink
    November 14, 2010 3:38

    Hi! I was reading the novel of Samantha haunt “The Invention of Everything Else” it’s so wonderful. I knew some of you’ve been already read that novel. I was really like him for his being passionate and hardworking inventor. He inspired me, when I always remember his life story as kid (7 yrs old) who loves and fascinates of experimenting! I SALUTE HIM!

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  1. Nikola Tesla’s Uncanny Smart Phone Prediction 100 years Ago « THE VINCENTON POST

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