“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human need.” (Tesla 619). Nikola Tesla is responsible for harnessing the power of Niagara Falls with the use of alternating current (AC) motors, thereby electrifying America and the world. It was Tesla who patented the wireless technology that made all radio and television transmissions possible. Nikola Tesla’s legacy can be seen in everything from radio controlled (R/C) devices, to neon and fluorescent lighting, x-rays and even guided missiles. Yet despite all of Tesla’s technological contributions to society, somehow Tesla’s part in these contributions was overlooked and he has been left out of the pages of history. You may well ask, how could that be possible?
Nikola Tesla was brought into this world in poverty in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and died with slightly less wealth than that with which he was born. Nikola was born at the stroke of midnight during an extraordinary electrical storm in 1856 in a remote area of the Balkan Peninsula known as Lika. Nikola’s father, Milutin, and his mother, Djuka, were both Serbian. Tesla’s Father was an Orthodox priest, as well as a writer and poet. At a young age Nikola had a desire to learn, and he would immerse himself in his father’s library. In school, mathematics was Nikola’s favorite subject and the one in which he truly excelled (Raybak 36). When given a complex problem to solve, he needed neither a blackboard nor a sheet of paper to accomplish the task because of his almost photographic memory. As a child, Nikola loved to read and retained knowledge extremely well. He also learned several foreign languages. This enabled him to read far more than what was written in his native Serbo-Croatian.
Tesla’s father worried that engineering would take many years...