Nikola Tesla: Man of Lightning

Section 1: Introduction

Nikola Tesla was born at midnight between July 9 and 10, 1856, in Similjan, a small Croatian village. Tesla’s father, an orthodox priest had insisted Tesla follow in his path. His mother was unschooled yet highly intelligent. Tesla’s brother, Dane, died at the age of twelve which upset Tesla greatly "He became unusually preoccupied with the thought of death." (Beckhard 19), causing him to try and measure up to Dane\'s accomplishments. Tesla studied in the Polytechnic institute college, in Graz, where he would first witness a Direct Current motor, "Professor Poeschl was anxious to demonstrate the motor to the class. He explained that this motor , designed by the brilliant Mr. Edison, was the only one of it\'s kind. It would make it possible to someday use Direct current to light up homes and cities." (Dommermuth 34). When Tesla observed how inefficient direct current is and in his mind he had already devised a plan, to construct a motor which will use the more efficient alternat!
ing current. When his professor heard that, he exclaimed "‘Mr. Tesla may accomplish great things in his life,’ he admonished. ‘but he certainly will never do this. It is an impossible idea!’" (36). After graduating from Graz and later from the university of Prague, Tesla set out on his own. he worked in the Continental Edison Company in Paris in the morning and at night he would hire a small shop so he could build his alternating current motor. A friend, which worked at the Edison Company saw his new motor and was amazed, he urged Tesla to go to the united states, giving him a letter to hand to Mr. Edison so that he would hire Tesla. When Tesla arrived at the United States, he had no more than 4 cents, his clothes, and a letter of recommendation for a Mr. Thomas Edison, he went to see Edison in his shop. He was hired immediately as he arrived, but after being cheated by Edison he quit. Later, he befriended Mr. George Westinghouse who had Trusted in Tesla and offered him a con!
tract, $1,000,000 for his patent rights, including the AC system of power, plus a dollar per horsepower as royalty (Kosanovic 2). Tesla accepted but years later he would dissolve it in favor of his friendship with Mr. Westinghouse. Tesla went on with his own experimentation in New York and Colorado Springs with various other subjects. As he was approaching old age, he was bankrupt again, living out the last days of his life in a hotel in New York, His Only joy coming from feeding the pigeons.

Section 2: Forgotten genius
Nikola Tesla was a very private man and very little is known about his private life and several sources often contradict on unavailing details. He was born on July 9th, 1856, in the small Croatian village of Smilijan. His father was an Orthodox priest, his mother, Djuka Mandic, never went to school in her life yet she was very intelligent "She had learned to speak German, French, and Italian, as well as her native Serbia, even though she never learned to read or write" (Walters 13) she also invented many items to keep housework easier. Tesla himself was very bright but his older brother, Dane, was considered the brilliant one in the family. Dane, died at the age of twelve through an accident of mysterious circumstances, Tesla was only 5 at the time and was adversely affected. Margaret cheney in her book noted "Anything Nikola did thereafter, he claimed, seemed dull in comparison to the promise of the dead brother. His own achievements ‘merely caused my parents to feel thei!
r loss more keenly. So I grew up with little confidence in myself. But I was far from being considered a stupid boy…’" (9).
Following Dane’s death the family moved from the small town of Similjan to the larger, more urban, city of Gospic where he went to the Real Gymnasium, similar to a junior high, his grades were highest in his class; After graduating from the Real Gymnasium he went on to the Higher Real Gymnasium, much like a high school. Tesla was extremely talented in Mathematics and Physics due to his unique ability to memorize whole