Deck Spotlight - Innovation Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Jack of Spades

On July 9-10, 1856, a tremendous lightning storm struck. During this storm, a midwife looked into the eyes of the mother about to give birth, concerned that the lightning was a bad omen. She told the mother that the child would be a child of darkness. This information didn’t shake mother.

She replied, “No. He will be a child of light.”

Little did Duka Tesla know that her fourth of five children would harness the power of Niagara Falls, work for—and then against—Thomas Edison, create the A.C. induction motor that would be used all over the world in household (and industrial) appliances, conceive the polyphase alternating current system, win the “War of Currents” over Thomas Edison, and “light” the entire planet through his inventions. She couldn’t have known, but that was definitely some good foreshadowing!

Nicola Tesla’s stood 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 142 pounds for most of his adult life. He was persnickety personality about clothing, style, and hygiene, and had a flair for showmanship, which made him the perfect model for what we think of today as a “mad scientist.” But there was certainly nothing “mad” about him.

Nikola performed integrated calculus in his head! He spoke eight languages and had a photographic memory. When conceiving an invention, he completely built the project in his head, complete with dimensions and specifications, before building it physically. That system worked for him, because Nikola Tesla obtained around 300 patents worldwide, including one for a bi-plane that could take off vertically. However, he never saw his last project to reality. He described it to J.P. Morgan as a way of broadcasting information encoded into a frequency, using a device that would fit in your hand! The smartphone wasn’t quite ready yet. But, Tesla’s contribution to electricity earned him the title: THE GENIUS WHO LIT THE WORLD.

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