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Tesla: The Man Who Changed Our World

By James Donahue

It is well documented that the American inventor Nikola Tesla had an amazing impact on the world as we know it. But this poverty-stricken Serbian immigrant’s amazing mind was hampered by the fact that he had to turn to men of financial means to get his inventions introduced to the world. And in so doing, much of his genius was stolen by others, or blocked from ever seeing the light of day.

Tesla, who lived from 1856 to 1943, was involved in so many things linked to electrical energy that he had a hand in just about everything we use in our homes, offices and even the cars we drive. But few people know or remember this. In fact, his name was not mentioned in American history books until relatively recently and only because of the work of the diligent research by a few investigative journalists.

The official American historians told us that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and was the father of electricity. It is true that Edison found the filament that made the electric light bulb possible, and he designed a method of generating the electric current that made the bulb light up. But Edison’s master plan to build a generating plant to send this current to private homes and business places, thus replacing the old gas and oil lamps ran into a serious road block. The direct electric current produced by the Edison generators would not travel very far down an electric wire.

It was Tesla who saved the day. He invented a motor that created alternating current, which did move down copper wires. In fact it move for miles and miles down those wires, thus making Edison’s plan to sell electric power work. Tesla later designed and supervised the construction of the first alternating current electrical generating plant harvesting the power of Niagara Falls. That plant is still operating today.

The Edison designed plants utilized coal fired boilers to power the generators at the land-based electric plants that quickly sprang up all over America.

Tesla also invented a wide variety of things that included radio, remote control, robotics, improved versions of fluorescent lights, X-ray tubes, a bladeless turbine and a method of capturing and delivery free electricity without using a wire.

Tesla proved his invention of wireless transmission of electricity in 1891 after he opened two laboratories in New York that were both illuminated by electric lights that were not attached to wires.

Tesla also proved that the earth was a conductor when he produced artificial lighting from that source. He also experimented with harnessing power from space. By 1930, Tesla shocked witnesses when he operated a Pierce Arrow automobile that had an electric motor and no other sign of an energy source than an antenna and two strange metal bars projecting from a box he called an "energy receiver" mounted under the dashboard.

The car was tested for a week, sometimes reaching speeds of up to 90 miles an hour. There were no emissions. Tesla said the motor achieved a maximum of 1,800 rpm, which was enough power to not only run the car, but illuminate an entire house. After the testing, Tesla removed the motor and the apparatus that operated it. The car is reportedly still stored on a farm near Buffalo, New York.

The secret of Tesla’s amazing Pierce Arrow died with him. So did his other experiments in providing free and wireless energy. Tesla always said that electric power plants and wires and gasoline engines were not necessary. He said there was plenty of free energy available all around us. But big business interests never allowed Tesla to introduce what he knew to the world because there was no profit to be made.

Tesla invented many other devices and was involved in national defense during the great wars. He claimed to have created a means of transmitting a powerful "death ray" capable of destroying enemy aircraft in flight, although it was never known to have been used. Tesla also was involved in the strange Philadelphia Experiment that was said to have been an attempt to cloak naval ships at sea. But something went wrong and some say it sent the destroyer Eldridge and its crew into some strange place in time and possibly into another dimension.

Tesla died penniless and alone in his hotel room in New York in 1943. They say the FBI raided his personal files and seized all of his notes concerning the experiments conducted during his lifetime.

We must wonder what our world would be like today if Tesla had not been so dependent on corporate backers to finance his work. Tesla was opposed to using carbon fuels to produce energy. Had he been allowed to develop his alternative energy ideas the world might not be facing the problems of climate change and global warming that are plaguing us now.