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IPFS News Link • Inventions

Nikola Tesla - The Untold Story

•, UFOTVstudios
 This program reveals the discoveries of a forgotten genius, many of which went virtually unnoticed for nearly a century. Nikola Tesla is considered the father of our modern technological age and one of the most mysterious and controversial scientists in history. How did this obscure visionary from what is now Croatia, lay the foundation for modern communications and energy research?

Nikola Tesla's contributions to science and technology include the invention of radio, television, radio-astronomy, remote control and robotics, radar, medical x-ray and the wireless transmission of electricity. Many of Nikola Tesla's inventions were and in some cases still are considered too revolutionary by government agencies and the power brokers of the time and are discussed in detail in this program.

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Comment by Dennis Treybil
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By some accounts, Edison was the consummate tinkerer.  At one point, he worked in a brokerage office which received real-time (sorta') information by ticker tape.  One day, the ticker tape machine in his office broke.  The service company was backed up for several days, so Edison took it upon himself to fix the machine.  His repair is said to have resulted in improved performance of the device beyond its original design.

As a reward, Edison received a $50,000 bonus for his work.  I think that is the money he used to establish his laboratory.

When Tesla arrived in the USoA, I'm told he approached Edison about a job with 4 cents in his pocket and a letter of recommendation.  Edison hired Tesla.  It is said that he promised Tesla $50,000 if he could improve the performance of Edison's dynamos to a certain level.  Tesla did so.  Edison reneged, saying he was joking when he made the offer.

The film mentioned a conflict between Edison and Tesla.  I think this could be the conflict.

Tesla then joined Westinghouse.  Tesla's talents paid off well for both men.  Westinghouse won the contract to light the world exhibition mentioned in the film.  This would be a huge feather in the cap for Westinghouse and Tesla's a/c current.  The number of light bulbs required was beyond Westinghouse's capacity, so they contracted with Edison for 1/4th of the bulbs needed.  At some point, it became clear that Edison had no intention of delivering.  This would be an equally huge blow to Westinghouse and Tesla.

Westinghouse called Tesla to his office.  He explained the situation.  He told Tesla that if the bulbs were not there, he would never be able to pay Tesla what was stated in their contracts.  Tesla asked Westinghouse to produce the contracts.  Westinghouse complied.  Tesla tore up the contracts.  They were said to have been worth $60 million in the late 1800's.  Such was Tesla's contempt for Edison and his devotion to Westinghouse and gratitude for bringing Tesla's a/c current into wide use.

The entire Westinghouse company went into overdrive and delivered all the bulbs in time.

I have mentioned the controversy involving Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla over the execution of a rogue elephant in another comment recently.

Tesla refused the Nobel Prize.  Maybe he publicly accepted the Edison medal (I find it hard to believe that he would), but I doubt he accepted it in his heart.  The film is not completely clear about this.

DC Treybil

PS:  What, exactly, is a "fearture" film?!