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Mario Black
R. Bennett
MATH 1030

Tesla the Unsung Hero of Wireless Technology
In a part of Serbia we now consider Croatia on July 10th, 1863 Tesla was born into a
family where his dad was a priest and his mother was a rug maker and inventor of the tools need
to weave the rugs. She also was a descendant of one of the oldest families in Serbia. Tesla had a
rough start in life. At age seven his brother died and he had his first “vision”. Not soon after he
had a constant disagreement with his father who wanted him to be an upright Orthodox priest.
Tesla only wanted to study science. At age seventeen Tesla contracted cholera and was bedridden
in a hospital. As he laid there recovering his father visited him in which they had a conversation
that ended in Tesla’s being allowed to go to the finest of engineering schools if he made a full
recovery. Surprisingly he did and went off to attend Austrian Polytechnic. There he would start
his career path as the world’s most eccentric inventor. He is also known as the modern day
Prometheus, and the master of lightning. On the more professional side he was considered an
engineer, physicist, and an inventor.
I am not going to go through his entire academic career, but he does not completely finish
school, due to his love for making a reliable and fully sustainable source of energy. This love led
him to create AC, alternating current, which we now see today everywhere. Some applications of
this technology can be seen in wireless communications, RC (radio communication), neon and
fluorescent lighting, x-rays, and guided missiles. With such a powerful influence why is he
underhanded in respect to Edison, Marconi, Westinghouse, and Morgan? As you will see, Tesla

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was quite the humanitarian and the others were mainly out for themselves in the end was the
harsh reality. Tesla did not start his inventions in America. He did some work over in Europe, but
after being denied funding for an “impractical” idea he moved to the U.S. in hope of getting his
technology out. In 1884 he moved to New York City where he soon met Thomas Edison. Edison
made it very clear how much he resented the idea of AC in his DC (direct current) world.
However he still hired Tesla and promised that if he could make a working AC Motor he would
pay Tesla $50,000. When done with the motor Tesla presented it to Edison and Edison in a few
choice words revealed that he was never going to let his invention be produced.
After leaving Edison Tesla focused on getting his AC Motor the publicity it deserved.
Four years after arriving in New York his hard work paid off. With twenty plus patents Tesla’s
AC technology proved how much more efficient it was in comparison to Edison’s DC. AC was
more reliable, adaptable, and just superior in every aspect. Therefore the war of the currents
began. Edison tried everything to dehumanize Tesla. He killed animals and people using AC to
try and persuade the public to hate him. It worked for a little while since electricity was still new
to almost the entire world. That was until 1893 where Tesla and Westinghouse partnered up and
created the AC motor on a large scale. At the Chicago expedition President Grover Cleveland
would be part of the world’s largest lighting event known by pressing a button, or flicking a
switch. After all the motors were in place and ready to go President Cleveland did his part and
the light overflowed. The world now knew that AC was not dangerous. To make things even
better Tesla held exhibitions showing AC working. The public now knew that AC was equal if
not better than DC. Later on Tesla and Westinghouse came up with the idea to harness the power
of Niagara Falls. After applying the AC Motor to the falls Tesla and Westinghouse made a
reliable and renewable source that powered New York 300 miles away! This impacted Edison

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very negatively. He started to lose his influence. Unfortunately soon after this Westinghouse
betrays Tesla in some way, which is still unknown, but results in his and Tesla’s departing ways.
Many believe Westinghouse tore up an old agreement between himself and Tesla. Either way
Tesla still kept moving forward and headed to the next big thing.
High Frequency, which is the transmission of electricity without wires. Thereafter
realizing his next big creation, Tesla was befriended by New York’s power elites. Three to be
exact. John Jacob Astor, William K. Vander, and Mark Twain. Now he had the support and
funding he needed. In 1873, Tesla created the Tesla Coil which inadvertently created radio
waves. Mark Twain became one of Tesla’s best friends and also helped with Tesla’s experiments.
These experiments led to the worlds first x-rays and fluorescent tube lights. These radio waves
helped Tesla realize just how vast our world, our universe really is. He had a vision of his
mother’s death, and this resulted in his belief that he and his mother were on the same
wavelength or frequency. Therefore Tesla started to realize that the entire universe in living and
full of energy and vibration and that if he tuned into the correct frequency he would connect on a
more cosmic level. This led to the invention of the conical coil. Unfortunately this was short
lived and was followed by a terrible fire that destroyed all of his work, but Tesla could not lose to
Marconi, an Italian inventor in New York, in the race for radio communication. Tesla soon
invented the first radio controlled device, the RC Boat. The RC Boat could do math like the
calculators we use today. The military wanted to weaponize this device, and Tesla sticking to his
guns wanted it only to be used for the goodness of everyone.
In 1893 Tesla moved to Colorado Springs, CO and studied the theory of lightning with a
magnifying transmitter, the largest coil Tesla ever made. He and his assistant turned on the
device. He was successful, he created lightning, but at the cost of destroying the towns power

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supply. People were not happy, but he still kept doing his experiments for years anyway.
Eventually Tesla received a radio transmission from space. He forwarded this information to the
government and they ridiculed him. In our world today we receive transmissions likely this
frequently, so Tesla was not as farfetched as they made him seem to be.
In 1900 due to Tesla’s attention being focused on wireless electricity, Marconi also started
to focus on the same. Tesla still stuck to the wireless communication for all project and Marconi
focused on what he stole from Tesla. In 1904 Marconi was given a patent for radio which he
previously could not procure due to Tesla being the inventor. One year later all of Tesla’s patents
expired and everyone especially Marconi took advantage of this. Tesla being abandoned and
isolated started to take care of the pigeons in the city. He said they were his real friends. To make
matters worse Marconi was rewarded the Noble Prize for inventions Tesla helped make. This led
to a downward spiral in Tesla’s mental health.
In 1943 Tesla passed away of coronary thrombosis, but his story is still remembered by
all in his field. There have been organizations like HARP that were founded in remembrance of
his impact on society.

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Works Cited
Sources, Various. Nikola Tesla. 26 Apr. 2016. <>.

Tesla: The Master of Lightning. Dir. Robert Uth. Perf. Stacy Keach and Elizabeth Noone. 2000.