Nikola Tesla Essay

1880 words - 8 pages

The nineteenth and twentieth century was a time of enormous prosperity and vast immigration for the United States. These two have a close correlation to each other; the U.S.’s prosperity was mostly as a result from the few ingenious immigrants that fled their home country for a better life in the U.S. Andrew Carnegie and Albert Einstein are a few examples, but none can compare to one man, one man that would change the way the whole world would view the power of electricity.
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in Smiljan, Lika, which is a region of Croatia. His mother was an inventor in household appliances and managed their family farm. His father was a Serbian Orthodox clergyman. He had three younger sisters and one older brother. His older brother died tragically in a horse riding accident, leaving young Nikola Tesla grief stricken from his lost loved one. Throughout the rest of his childhood, Tesla was interested in how things worked as well as in physics and mathematics. Later he went on to study at the University of Prague, and at the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria.
Tesla had an ingenious mind. He saw ideas and problems that others couldn’t see or understand. One day while he took a stroll in a park he came up with a revolutionary idea. His whole life, and the world around him, was about to changed. The young Tesla built and successfully ran a prototype of his induction motor. At first, no one was interested in this invention so he later moved to the New York in 1884, looking for a better chance to show to the world of his groundbreaking invention, and later accepted a job offer from Thomas Edison.
While working at Thomas Edison’s headquarters in Manhattan, Tesla amazed and impressed Edison with his inventiveness and thoroughness. Edison even offered to pay Tesla $50,000 to completely redesign and help improve his direct current systems, which was the most widely used power source at that time. Tesla accepted Edison’s offer with the hopes of the $50,000 award. After months of redesigning and making improvements, Tesla accomplished his task and asked for his payment. Edison’s company was well known for their low, tightfisted wages. Edison replied to Tesla, “Tesla, you don't understand our American humor," and exempted the $50,000 award and only offered him a $10 raise in his monthly pay, Tesla refused Edison’s offer and quickly resigned.
For Tesla, direct current was too insufficient because the electric current only flowed in one direction and was prone to frequent power outages due to its inability to supply such a high voltage. Power house had to been laid out every two mile intervals to keep up with the power demands. This inhabited it to travel long distances, but at that time it was the only power system that was used throughout the U.S. Tesla saw the disadvantages and inefficiency of direct current and came up with the idea of alternate current, or AC.
Alternative current was much more efficient because the electricity...

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