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Tesla is a name that sounds more or less familiar to you than Edison's? I bet less, if you don't take into account the car that bears this name. Yet both of these men have recorded an immense number of projects, striving to create useful objects and tools. Sometimes they have made it, beyond less, but if Edison remained in history, Tesla he didn't make it and spent a lifetime having great ideas but never being able to get much out of it. Both in economic and social terms. Someone will feel sorry, someone else sympathy, but it is a story that is worth knowing, also to understand the logic of success that can also be valid in the modern society in which we live.
Nikola Tesla is of Serbo-Croatian descent but moved very early to the United States and that's where he (not) made a career as an inventor. Most of his ideas were born in the laboratory located on the New York City South Fifth Avenue, including those inherent in the various ways of making light. The memorable year is 1899, when in this space he was experimenting with whether electric current could be transported through the air, like radio waves. At the time it was a bit like doing magic and in fact Tesla he posed and proposed himself to the society of the time a bit like a showman, like the "wizard of electricity ".
He did not spend his life bent over papers or in the laboratory but he loved to show his steps forward in the note "Gurra delle currents", for the electrification of the world, which fought with the famous and winning Edison. Winning yes, and not so much for the quality of his ideas as for his entrepreneurial spirit and his cunning. Tesla, on the contrary, even if at first he seemed very "aggressive" and active, he concluded little with his demonstrations to the people. It has in fact remained known as a "poet of science”With great ideas, but completely useless. Scenographic, but which did not fill his pockets.
Born on July 10, 1856 of Serbian parents in Croatian village of Smiljan, as a child he was fascinated by the phenomenon of light and has always wanted to investigate it. Who knows if he imagined that he would have dedicated his entire life to it. He applied himself a lot but he also had real visions that over time he had learned to channel in a way that would be useful to him. The strong imagination of this man certainly helped in his discoveries and inventions, but not from a practical point of view.
He was able to arrive at objects to be patented, without even designing them on a sheet, he had already built everything in mind. With the study, thanks to a scholarship to the Graz Polytechnic, in Styria, his passion increases more and more and becomes almost an obsessive mania. Tesla also had several compulsive behaviors regardless of his scientific dedication, for example he could not stand the hair of others and woe betide wearing pearl earrings in his presence. He counted the steps as he walked and also the volume of what he ate, whatever it was.
His primary obsession was certainly that ofelectricity which soon became the center of his thoughts and actions. He was convinced that it was necessary to focus everything on alternating current, at the time still to be invented because all electrical appliances were powered indirect current. An alternative was unthinkable.
After seven years, while earning a living in a telephone company of Budapest, in 1882 he had the real enlightenment, imagining an absolutely innovative motor, alternating current. Convinced that it was very profitable and promising, he "took" it to the United States to present it toThomas Alva Edison.
Tesla: story of a cheated genius
To better understand why we are talking about Cheated genius, it is necessary to enter into the merits of the War of the currents, a battle based on inventions that took place between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries between our protagonist and Edison whom Tesla met as soon as he arrived in United States. It is a war that few people know even though we all turn on the light every day several times thanks to it. Tesla has in fact won this battle but has since been the loser.
Naive and overly enthusiastic Tesla, a nice sly Edison, the fact is that the latter hired the young man with the brilliant idea capable of improving Edison's limping invention. But Tesla did not receive the promised remuneration and resigned trying to make himself known in the "circle" of scientists and to go it alone. In the following years Tesla sought revenge in many ways: he founded his own company, the Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company and he worked for the Western Union Telegraph Company which gave him the ability to work on alternating current
To the sound of patents, with the hand of the entrepreneur George Westinghouse, the war became more and more heated and Edison did not fail to play dirty trying to defame his rival Tesla by connecting the alternating current with the brutal practice of the electric chair. His project failed and Tesla's idea, thanks to Westinghouse, he illuminated the whole of the Chicago Expo, and in the following years, all the United States and the world. The contracts for Tesla were not important compared to the idea of having your invention realized. Precisely for this he ended up cheated and did not take a penny for his lighting.
Despite the fame and its 700 patents, Tesla even in the following years, with other ideas around electricity, never managed to break through and died with his pants on the ground in a New York hotel at the age of 86