Nikola Tesla

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Robert Gibson
20FEB13
Persuasive Essay
US History
Nikola Tesla was a Serbian born American citizen who changed the face of electrical current as we know it. He was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist. Tesla was a person well ahead of his time and he paid dearly for it. Tesla’s achievements and his ability as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world famous but later became the archetypal “mad scientist”. Tesla’s later works were surrounded in controversy and brought him to his knees as a recluse living in a room of the New Yorker Hotel. Tesla died in 1943 penniless and in debt leaving a legacy that will never be forgotten. He began his work in 1844 working under Thomas Edison. Soon after he struck out on his own with financial backing and set up his own laboratories and companies developing a wide range of electrical devices. The most prominent being his alternating current (AC) transformer which was licensed by George Westinghouse. The AC transformer would be the winner in the “current wars” that went on with Thomas Edison. In 1893 Tesla powered the Worlds Fair in Chicago beating Edison with his safe and more practical electrical current. By 1900 Tesla was regarded as the world’s greatest electrical engineer. In May of 1899 Tesla moved to Colorado Springs to begin work on his wireless telegraphy experiment. This would transmit signals from Pikes Peak to Paris without the need of a wired system. Tesla transmitted extremely low frequency waves through the ground as well as between the earth’s surface and the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. While doing this Tesla proved that the earth was a conductor and he produced artificial lightning. These artificial lightning bolts were so powerful that people walking the streets observed sparks jumping between their feet and the ground. It is said that butterflies were electrified flying with blue halos or St. Elmo’s fire around their wings. One...
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