Where is Tesla?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by trunks14, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. trunks14

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    I don't know if this is the right forum to post this. I just wanted to share something that has been concerning me lately, Tesla is scarcely mentioned in Electricity/electronics books.... Take the following example: (I know this is no news though)

    [quote='"Electricity Fundamentals, page 21, published in 1971"]Edison violently opposed any change from his system of direct-current distribution, but the other groups of electrical men insisted that their type of electrical power was more useful than Edison's direct current.

    It was about this time that a newcomer in the electrical field entered the picture. This was George Westinghouse, who had already made a name for himself in other fields. he offered to build the new type of electrical power generator and demonstrate that its power was practical and was better than direct current.[/quote]

    Taken from 'Electricity Fundamentals', page 21, published in 1971, only 28 years after Tesla's death.

    As you see they refer to Edison as the father of electricity, Almost the creator of Direct Current electricity and it's almost as if they replaced 'Tesla' with 'electrical men'. The AC generator is awarded to Westinghouse....if I understand correctly, Westinghouse only provided the money for its construction...

    What do you think about it? I'm 17 years old, and even though I'm interested in Electricity since I was a child, I had never heard of Tesla, I was one of those who believed Marconi invented the Radio transmission... It was not until I saw 'The prestige' (the movie) that i became really interested in Tesla's work.

    I think it's a shame how such a man can be so easily forgot... now I'm running a campaign to let others know who Tesla was ^_^
  2. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Tesla indeed was regarded and is regarded as one of the intelligent men of his era.
    he can be easily compared to Edison. here you will love reading this of course he seemed a bit mad but Einstein was another one IMO (all gr8 scientists have been accused of being one)
    read the US one and if possible how the AC Vs DC battle did go its one hell of a story.
    BTW Westinghouse was no less a brilliant person he also was an inventor (and at least he did not resort to cheap tactics to win the battle).
  3. jpitz31

    Active Member

    Oct 24, 2007

    There are many a good book that has been written about Telsa, his life and accomplishments.

    "Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney"

    "Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius (Citadel Press Book) by Marc Seifer"

    I just finished reading "Tesla: Man Out of Time"

    There are several reasons why Tesla did not receive much attention.

    Tesla was more of an rouge inventor than a Business man. As a result he made several major business blunders that pretty much cost him his funding that
    he needed to continue his work on wireless power.

    Edison was wealthy, good at business and spent a lot of time and money discrediting Tesla.

    Later in life some of his eccentricities in dealing with other engineers cost him a lot of respect within the engineering community.

    As a result of being poor later in life he often made bold and exaggerated claims to the news media in order to get money just to pay his rent.

    This in no way should tarnish his achievements he made early in life.

    Recently MIT came out with an article on an application of wireless power and in this article made a ridiculous statement that "Its a wonder why no one has not thought of this concept before"

    I sent MIT a email reply pointing out Tesla's US patent (1914) on the topic of wireless power.

    I never did receive a reply from MIT.

    Keep up your campaign on Tesla.


  4. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Tesla very much over-shadowed Edison in many ways. Thomas Edison wasn't half the man he is credited as. Edison Research Lab, was a business, and everything that came out of it was wholely owned by Edison, whether Thomas Edison had a hand in the origional idea, or even in it's developement. There were a lot of briliant inventers (Nikola Tesla among them), who got ripped off this way.

    Many of Tesla's designs are still broadly used today, with little changed or improved. Not a lot stands the test of time... Tesla work through every detail, before even beginning construction. Edison was the king of trial and error, build it first, then tweak and fiddle with it until it works. There was usually a lot of tweaking and fiddling required by the consumer as well. Wouldn't doubt there are still a few Tesla built motors and alternators still running today...
  5. Salgat

    Active Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Very correct, the majority of Edison's patents were developed by his technicians.
  6. arthur92710

    Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    you should try to email a teacher or a student. They have helped me before.(i only emailed a student.) the main email probably goes to something like administration.
  7. nomurphy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 8, 2005
    Unlike Edison who was famous for knowing a thousand versions that didn't work, Tesla was a mathematician and scientist that could look straight into a problem and work it mathematically. His main interest, and obsession, was resonance.

    I read he would sometimes calculate the resonant frequency of a building or bridge, and then test his math by causing the entire structure to shake by simply attaching a small solenoid at a prime location. The solenoid would beat at the calculated resonant point, and the motion would be additive over time (sometimes days) to the point of replicating an earthquake within the structure. This is the same reason a long line of soldiers are required to march out of step when crossing a bridge. It also became on of the theories as to how the walls at Jericho fell.
  8. Gary-

    New Member

    Nov 9, 2007
    When I was in elementary school in the sixties, we had a reading on Edison that said Edison would sketch-out/scrawl-out some of his ideas and then a "workman" --I forget his name--had a talent for deciffering Edison and would then go a direct the construction of the idea.

    That Edison ran the first R&D lab is not misleading.

    As for Tesla mentioned above, by a US Supreme Court ruling(1949?), he is credited as the inventor of talking radio --not Marconi-- since he had an improved system near completion before Marconi did his public demonstration.

    Most books on Tesla play the "mystery" angle which is misleading. One of Tesla's accomplishments is the the development of the modern electrical power grid, starting at Niagra Falls, and standardizing 60Hz as the transmission frequency.
  9. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    Tesla was the first guy to figure out rotating magnetic fields for induction motors and generators. His inventions included things like the three-phase motor.

    According to Burke, Edison had not one, but thirty people in his "think tank." Quotas imposed by Edison on his team were 1 new invention every week, with something "really big" every month. Burke also cites Edison as a showman. His presentations were spectacular, whether the inventions were or not.
  10. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    They teach about Edison in grade schools, never mention Tesla. I grew up thinking Edison must have been a pretty cool dude. In my teens, I got interested in electronics, and kind of liked high voltage sparks and arcs. So. I found out about Nikola Tesla, and started reading a different side of Edison. Tesla and Edison had a life long feud going over several issues. But the thing that bothers me, is the extremes he went through, trying to demonstrate the dangers of AC currents. He publicly electricuted animals, even an elephant

    Edison the man, probably wasn't even half the inventor he is credited as being in the history books. His greatest accomplishment was probably the creation of the R & D business. Tesla was more the inventer and less the businessman.

    Always wonder if Tesla's wireless power idea would have worked out as well, as his previous inventions. He seemed so confident, and spent many years trying to get it built. There must have been something to it. It's been a huge debate ever since. He should have kept the part where consumers could tap into the power for free, anytime, any place,a secret. No way to meter or charge for usage.
  11. Fenris

    Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    hi all

    interesting thread, when i was at school Edison taught
    alongside Faraday, and a host of names i cant recall.
    tesla i discovered for myself many years later and as
    already mentioned in this thread wireless power is
    being looked at as if its a 'new' invention. who also
    remembers Ralph Blumlien the father of stereo? killed
    in a lancaster testing airborne radar. History can be
    dry and dusty at times, bringing the forgotten genii
    back to the classroom could do a lot to rekindle and
    nurture an interest in the science and application of
    electricity and electronics. these forgotten 'heroes'
    had far more interesting lives at times and sadly
    we may never know what changes they could have
    wrought on this world. how many others are there?


  12. trunks14

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Another Tesla's invention is the Alternating current, isn't it.
  13. recca02

    Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    if i m correct he was the mastermind behind transformers thus making possible ac transmission.

    not to forget the execution of a criminal. reminds me of a bad conductor joke posted here.
  14. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    The main point that should have goten Tesla a good mention in the history books, was that he brought electricity into most every home, factory and business. I don't believe he invented AC, but he did design the alternators to generate, the transformers to transmit the power, and the motors to make mechanical use of it. DC doesn't travel over long distances well, making it expensive and unreliable. Imagine the inviromental impact of a coal burning power plant every 2-3 miles... Tesla's AC system hasn't changed much, and many people wouldn't know how to live without it.