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 Nikola Tesla 
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Post Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla (Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла; 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American[3][4][5][6] 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.[7]

Tesla gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison in New York City. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla for a short time as a consultant. His work in the formative years of electric-power development was involved in a corporate alternating current/direct current "War of Currents" as well as various patent battles. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1891.[8]

Tesla went on to pursue his ideas of wireless lighting and electricity distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs and made early (1893) pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. He tried to put these ideas to practical use in an ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission, his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.[9] In his lab, he also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He also built a wireless controlled boat, one of the first ever exhibited.

Tesla was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal "mad scientist".[10] His patents earned him a considerable amount of money, much of which was used to finance his own projects with varying degrees of success.[11] He lived most of his life in a series of New York hotels through his retirement. Tesla died on 7 January 1943.[12] His work fell into relative obscurity after his death, but in 1960, the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in his honor.[13] There has been a resurgence in popular interest in Tesla since the 1990s


If you want to learn more about Tesla, I highly recommend reading Tesla: Man Out of Time
Also, this Badass of the week by Ben Thompson is what originally inspired me to write a comic about Tesla. Ben's also got a book out which is packed full of awesome.

There's an old movie from the 80s on Netflix Instant Queue right now about Tesla: The Secret of Nikola Tesla. It's corny and full of bad acting, but it paints a fairly accurate depiction of his life.

The drunk history of Tesla is quite awesome, too.

History.com has a great article about Edison and how his douchebaggery had a chokehold on American cinema.

X-rays: just to clarify, Tesla did not discover x-rays, but he was one of the early pioneers in its research.

Cryogenic engineering: I'm referring to the cryogenic engineering that has to do with using liquified air to cool a coil and reduce its electrical resistance (Patent No. 11,865), not freezing people and waking them up in the future so they can fight Wesley Snipes.
Transistor: Tesla's influence on the modern transistor can be found in patents 723,188 and 725,605. (a better explanation here)

Radio: Tesla was the nicest geek ever until he decided to sue Marconi a few years later. 8 months after Tesla died, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Marconi's patents on the invention of radio. So Tesla eventually won that battle, although he was dead by then.

Tesla VS Edison: I could write a novel on the differences between Tesla and Edison, but seeing as how this comic is already huge I decided to leave many things out. For instance, Edison killed cats and dogs, but Tesla loved animals and had a cat as a child. Originally Tesla wanted to be a poet, but after getting zapped by static electricity from his kitty he was inspired to study the effects of electricity. One could vaguely construe that Tesla's cat was responsible for the second industrial revolution, which arguably makes it the most awesome cat who ever lived.

Edison believed that fossil fuels were the future and that there were enough resources in South America to provide for the next 50,000 years. Tesla believed that renewable energy sources like hydroelectric, solar, and wind power were the future. This is remarkable because in the 1890s there was no such thing as "going green," so Tesla's ideas on conservation were very forward-thinking at the time.

Lastly, a big thank you to Jane C. Daugherty for proofreading this article for me. If you want to learn things from the most awesome librarian this side of the North American tectonic plate, follow her on Twitter.

Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:14 am
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