Nikola Tesla

Essay by Bransin LendHigh School, 10th gradeF, January 1994

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Few people recognize his name today, and even among those who do, the

words Nikola Tesla are likly to summon up the image of a crackpot rather than

an authentic scientist. Nikola Tesla was possibly the greatest inventor the

world has ever known. He was, without doubt, a genius who is not only credited

with many devices we use today, but is also credited with astonishing, sometimes

world-transforming, devices that are even simply amazing by todays scientific


Tesla was born at precisely midnight between July 9th and 10th, 1856, in

a small Hungarien village. He was born to his father, a priest, and his mother,

an unschooled but extremely intelligent women. Training for an engineering career,

he attendedthe Technical University of Graz, Austria and was shortly employed in a

government telegraph engineering office in Budapest, where he made his first

invention, a telephone repeater. Tesla sailed to America in 1884, arriving in New

York City with four cents in his pocket, and many great ideas in his head.

He first

found employment with a young Thomas Edison in New Jersey, but the two inventors,

were far apart in background and methods. But, because of there differences, Tesla

soon left the employment of Edison, and in May 1885, George Westinghouse, head of

the Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh, bought the patent rights to many

of Tesla's inventions. After a difficult period, during which Tesla invented but

lost his rights to many inventions, he established his own laboratory in New York

City in 1887, where his inventive mind could be free. In 1895, Tesla discovered

X-rays after hours upon hours of experimentation. Tesla's countless experiments

included work on different power sources and various types of lightning. The Tesla

coil, which he invented in 1891, is widely used today in radio and...