Nikola Tesla

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Born in 1856 the son of an Orthodox priest in Smiljan, Croatia, Nikola Tesla had an early exposure to inventing. His mother, although unschooled, was a very intelligent woman who often created appliances that helped with home and farm responsibilities, such as a mechanical eggbeater. Young Nikola was schooled at home during his early years and later attended a school in Carlstadt, Croatia. He soon developed advanced skills such as doing calculus integrals in his head. He very deeply wanted to attend college and become an engineer, but his father wanted him to join the priesthood. When Nikola was seventeen, he caught cholera and made his father to promise that if he survived the illness that he would be allowed to go to college. Obviously, Nikola lived. At the Austrian Polytechnic School at Graz Tesla studied mechanical and electrical engineering. One day, one of his professors showed him a Gramme Dynamo that could be used as a motor and generator. Tesla looked at it and asked if the Dynamo could do away with its sparking communicators. The professor replied that it would be similar to building a perpetual motion machine. The idea of such a machine tantalized Tesla for years until one day at the age of 24 when he was living in Budapest working for the Central Telephone Exchange he had an epiphany and began making sketches that would soon develop into the world's first induction motor. After several unsuccessful jobs with German and French electrical power companies where he tried to improve their DC generators, 29-year-old Tesla came to New York City with four cents in his pocket. Nikola went to Thomas Edison with a letter of recommendation from a business associate of Edison's that read, "My Dear Edison: I k... ... middle of paper ... ...aimed that he had perfected his "death beam". He died shortly after in the Hotel New Yorker, where he had been living. The next morning after Tesla died, when his nephew came to his uncle's room at the hotel, the body was gone and many of his papers were missing. Naturally, if Tesla indeed had invented anything that had to do with weaponry, the FBI would be interested. Thus, all the way up until 1952, Tesla's papers which were held on to by the government eventually made it back to his family. However, the papers having to do with the beams are still missing. Some people today believe that Tesla took that knowledge to the grave with him. Bibliography Text Sources all accessed April 2003:
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