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Nikola Tesla (inventor)

A point of great importance would be first to know: what is the capacity of the earth? And what charge does it contain if electrified?
Nikola Tesla art
A point of great importance would be first to know: what is the capacity of the earth? And what charge does it contain if electrified? Though we have no positive evidence of a charged body existing in space without other oppositely electrified bodies being near, there is a fair probability that the earth is such a body, for by whatever process it was separated from other bodies — and this is the accepted view of its origin — it must have retained a charge, as occurs in all processes of mechanical separation.
Nikola Tesla art
Alternate currents, especially of high frequencies, pass with astonishing freedom through even slightly rarefied gases...
Nikola Tesla freedom
Alternate currents, especially of high frequencies, pass with astonishing freedom through even slightly rarefied gases. The upper strata of the air are rarefied. To reach a number of miles out into space requires the overcoming of difficulties of a merely mechanical nature.
Nikola Tesla freedom
Throughout space there is energy. ... it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.
Nikola Tesla time
Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point of the universe. This idea is not novel. Men have been led to it long ago by instinct or reason; it has been expressed in many ways, and in many places, in the history of old and new. We find it in the delightful myth of , who derives power from the earth; we find it among the subtle speculations of one of your splendid mathematicians and in many hints and statements of thinkers of the present time. Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic! If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic — and this we know it is, for certain — then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.
Nikola Tesla hope
There is something within me that might be illusion as it is often case with young delighted people, but if I would be fortunate to achieve some of my ideals, it would be on the behalf of the whole of humanity. If those hopes would become fulfilled, the most exciting thought would be that it is a deed of a Serb.
Nikola Tesla hope
This planet, with all its appalling immensity, is to electric currents virtually no more than a small metal ball.
Nikola Tesla men
All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.
Nikola Tesla life
Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
Nikola Tesla truth
Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.
Nikola Tesla life
To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.
Nikola Tesla space
I have harnessed the cosmic rays and caused them to operate a motive device.
Nikola Tesla
If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. ... I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.
Nikola Tesla sea
I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.
Nikola Tesla reason
The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes.
Nikola Tesla hope
Today'shave substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.
Nikola Tesla reality
The scientists fromtowere clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
Nikola Tesla think
Einsteins relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than .
Nikola Tesla people
Man's new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct. The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
Nikola Tesla marriage
Miss! Never trust a Jew!
Nikola Tesla trust
is a good fellow. Let him continue. He is using seventeen of my patents.
Nikola Tesla good
I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success ... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
Nikola Tesla love
Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.
Nikola Tesla men
We are all one.
Nikola Tesla
The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains.
Nikola Tesla man
Universal Peace, assuming it to be in the fullest sense realizable, might not require eons for its accomplishment, however probable this may appear...
Nikola Tesla men
in Electrical World and Engineer (7 January 1905)
Nikola Tesla world
Universal Peace, assuming it to be in the fullest sense realizable, might not require eons for its accomplishment, however probable this may appear, judging from the imperceptibly slow growth of all great reformatory ideas of the past. ... Our accepted estimates of the duration of natural metamorphoses, or changes in general, have been thrown in doubt of late. The very foundations of science have been shaken.
Nikola Tesla science
A state of human life vaguely defined by the term "Universal Peace," while a result of cumulative effort through centuries past, might come into existence quickly, not unlike a crystal suddenly forms in a solution which has been slowly prepared.
Nikola Tesla life
We begin to think cosmically...
Nikola Tesla think
We begin to think cosmically. Our sympathetic feelers reach out into the dim distance. The bacteria of the "," are upon us. So far, however, universal harmony has been attained only in a single sphere of international relationship. That is the postal service. Its mechanism is working satisfactorily, but — how remote are we still from that scrupulous respect of the sanctity of the mail bag! And how much farther again is the next milestone on the road to peace — an international judicial service equally reliable as the postal!
Nikola Tesla art
General disarmament being for the present entirely out of question, a proportionate reduction might be recommended. The safety of any country and of the world's commerce depending not on the absolute, but relative amount of war material, this would be evidently the first reasonable step to take towards universal economy and peace. But it would be a hopeless task to establish an equitable basis of adjustment. Population, naval strength, force of army, commercial importance, water-power, or any other natural resource, actual or prospective, are equally unsatisfactory standards to consider.
Nikola Tesla hope
To conquer by sheer force is becoming harder and harder every day. Defensive is getting continuously the advantage of offensive, as we progress in the satanic science of destruction. The new art of controlling electrically the movements and operations of individualized automata at a distance without wires, will soon enable any country to render its coasts impregnable against all naval attacks.
Nikola Tesla science
The distance at which it can strike, and the destructive power of such a quasi-intelligent machine being for all practical purposes unlimited, the gun, the armor of the battleship and the wall of the fortress, lose their import and significance. One can prophesy with a Daniel's confidence that skilled electricians will settle the battles of the near future. But this is the least. In its effect upon war and peace, electricity offers still much greater and more wonderful possibilities. To stop war by the perfection of engines of destruction alone, might consume centuries and centuries. Other means must be employed to hasten the end.
Nikola Tesla war
Fights between individuals, as well as governments and nations, invariably result from misunderstandings in the broadest interpretation of this term. Misunderstandings are always caused by the inability of appreciating one another's point of view. This again is due to the ignorance of those concerned, not so much in their own, as in their mutual fields. The peril of a clash is aggravated by a more or less predominant sense of combativeness, posed by every human being. To resist this inherent fighting tendency the best way is to dispel ignorance of the doings of others by a systematic spread of general knowledge. With this object in view, it is most important to aid exchange of thought and intercourse.
Nikola Tesla knowledge
Our senses enable us to perceive only a minute portion of the outside world.
Nikola Tesla world
Mutual understanding would be immensely facilitated by the use of one universal tongue. But which shall it be, is the great question. At present it looks as if the English might be adopted as such, though it must be admitted that it is not the most suitable. Each language, of course, excels in some feature.... A practical answer to that momentous question must perforce be found in times to come, for it is manifest that by adopting one common language the onward march of man would be prodigiously quickened. I do not believe that an artificial concoction, like Volapuk, will ever find universal acceptance, however time-saving it might be. That would be contrary to human nature. Languages have grown into our hearts.
Nikola Tesla war
Within a few years a simple and inexpensive device, readily carried about, will enable one to receive on land or sea the principal news, to hear a speech, a lecture, a song or play of a musical instrument, conveyed from any other region of the globe.
Nikola Tesla music
Within a few years a simple and inexpensive device, readily carried about, will enable one to receive on land or sea the principal news, to hear a speech, a lecture, a song or play of a musical instrument, conveyed from any other region of the globe. The invention will also meet the crying need for cheap transmission to great distances, more especially over the oceans. The small working capacity of the cables and the excessive cost of messages are now fatal impediments in the dissemination of intelligence which can only be removed by transmission without wires.
Nikola Tesla intelligence
The ideal solution of the problem of transportation will be arrived at only when the complete annihilation of distance in the transmission of power in large amounts shall have become a commercial reality. That day we shall invade the domain of the bird. When the vexing problem of aerial navigation, which has defied his attempts for ages, is solved, man will advance with giant strides.
Nikola Tesla reality
That electrical energy can be economically transmitted without wires to any terrestrial distance, I have unmistakably established in numerous observations, experiments and measurements, qualitative and quantitative. These have demonstrated that is practicable to distribute power from a central plant in unlimited amounts, with a loss not exceeding a small fraction of one per cent, in the transmission, even to the greatest distance, twelve thousand miles — to the opposite end of the globe.
Nikola Tesla power
Whatever the future may bring, the universal application of these great principles is fully assured, though it may be long in coming.
Nikola Tesla future
I have obtained... spark discharges extending through more than one hundred feet and carrying currents of one thousand amperes, electromotive forces approximating twenty million volts, chemically active streamers covering areas of several thousand square feet, and electrical disturbances in the natural media surpassing those caused by lightning, in intensity.Whatever the future may bring, the universal application of these great principles is fully assured, though it may be long in coming. With the opening of the first power plant, incredulity will give way to wonderment, and this to ingratitude, as ever before.
Nikola Tesla power
It should be borne in mind that electrical energy obtained by harnessing a waterfall is probably fifty times more effective than fuel energy. Since this is the most perfect way of rendering the sun's energy available, the direction of the future material development of man is clearly indicated.
Nikola Tesla time
All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
Nikola Tesla power
The economic transmission of power without wires is of all-surpassing importance to man. By its means he will gain complete mastery of the air, the sea and the desert. It will enable him to dispense with the necessity of mining, pumping, transporting and burning fuel, and so do away with innumerable causes of sinful waste. By its means, he will obtain at any place and in any desired amount, the energy of remote waterfalls — to drive his machinery, to construct his canals, tunnels and highways, to manufacture the materials of his want, his clothing and food, to heat and light his home — year in, year out, ever and ever, by day and by night. It will make the living glorious sun his obedient, toiling slave. It will bring peace and harmony on earth.
Nikola Tesla art
It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific , only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! . . . Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discover's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the heartless strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
Nikola Tesla art
What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet Immortal, with his powers fearful and Divine?
Nikola Tesla fear
Variant 1 :as quoted by Tesla in a letter (dated 19 April 1908) published in The New York Times (21 April 1908)
Nikola Tesla quote
What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement?
Nikola Tesla men
Variant 2:
Nikola Tesla
Can man control this grandest, most awe-inspiring of all processes in nature?
Nikola Tesla nature
When a child is born its sense-organs are brought in contact with the outer world. The waves of sound, heat, and light beat upon its feeble body, its sensitive nerve-fibres quiver, the muscles contract and relax in obedience: a gasp, a breath, and in this act a marvelous little engine, of inconceivable delicacy and complexity of construction, unlike any on earth, is hitched to the wheel-work of the Universe.
Nikola Tesla art
To create and to annihilate material substance, cause it to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man's mind, his most complete triumph over the physical world...
Nikola Tesla power
To create and to annihilate material substance, cause it to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man's mind, his most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement, which would place him beside his Creator, make him fulfill his Ultimate Destiny.
Nikola Tesla power
first published in Electrical Experimenter magazine (1919); republished as My Inventions : The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla (1983)
Nikola Tesla men
I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours …
Nikola Tesla work
Chapter 1 : Early Life
Nikola Tesla life
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 needs. This is the difficult task of the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded. But he finds ample compensation in the pleasing exercises of his powers and in the knowledge of being one of that exceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished in the bitter struggle against pitiless elements. Speaking for myself, I have already had more than my full measure of this exquisite enjoyment; so much, that for many years my life was little short of continuous rapture.
Nikola Tesla life
I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers. Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts.
Nikola Tesla life
Our first endeavors are purely instinctive prompting of an imagination vivid and undisciplined. As we grow older reason asserts itself and we become more and more systematic and designing. But those early impulses, though not immediately productive, are of the greatest moment and may shape our very destinies. Indeed, I feel now that had I understood and cultivated instead of suppressing them, I would have added substantial value to my bequest to the world. But not until I had attained manhood did I realize that I was an inventor.
Nikola Tesla men
The moment one constructs a device to carry into practice a crude idea, he finds himself unavoidably engrossed with the details of the apparatus. As he goes on improving and reconstructing, his force of concentration diminishes and he loses sight of the great underlying principle.… I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. I even note if it is out of balance.
Nikola Tesla art
Of all things I liked books best. My father had a large library and whenever I could manage I tried to satisfy my passion for reading. He did not permit it and would fly in a rage when he caught me in the act. He hid the candles when he found that I was reading in secret. He did not want me to spoil my eyes. But I obtained tallow, made the wicking and cast the sticks into tin forms, and every night I would bush the keyhole and the cracks and read, often till dawn.
Nikola Tesla books
Chapter 2 : Extraordinary Experiences
Nikola Tesla experience
I feel convinced that my preservation was not altogether accidental, but was indeed the work of divine power.
Nikola Tesla power
From childhood I was compelled to concentrate attention upon myself. This caused me much suffering, but to my present view, it was a blessing in disguise for it has taught me to appreciate the inestimable value of introspection in the preservation of life, as well as a means of achievement. The pressure of occupation and the incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways. Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious to what is passing on within themselves. The premature death of millions is primarily traceable to this cause. Even among those who exercise care, it is a common mistake to avoid imaginary, and ignore the real dangers. And what is true of an individual also applies, more or less, to a people as a whole.
Nikola Tesla life
I feel convinced that my preservation was not altogether accidental, but was indeed the work of divine power. An inventor's endeavor is essentially life saving. Whether he harnesses forces, improves devices, or provides new comforts and conveniences, he is adding to the safety of our existence. He is also better qualified than the average individual to protect himself in peril, for he is observant and resourceful.
Nikola Tesla life
One day I went alone to the river to enjoy myself as usual. When I was a short distance from the masonry, however, I was horrified to observe that the water had risen and was carrying me along swiftly.… The pressure against my chest was great and I was barely able to keep my head above the surface.… Slowly and gradually I became exhausted and unable to withstand the strain longer. Just as I was about to let go, to be dashed against the rocks below, I saw in a flash of light a familiarillustrating the hydraulic principle that the pressure of a fluid in motion is proportionate to the area exposed and automatically I turned on my left side. As if by magic, the pressure was reduced.
Nikola Tesla joy
Chapter 3 : The Rotary Magnetic Field
Nikola Tesla
In one of the sinking spells [due to Cholera] which was thought to be the last, my father rushed into the room. I still see his pallid face as he tried to cheer me in tones belying his assurance. "Perhaps," I said, "I may get well if you will let me study engineering." "You will go to the best technical institution in the world," he solemnly replied, and I knew that he meant it. A heavy weight was lifted from my mind.… I came to life like Lazarus to the utter amazement of everybody.
Nikola Tesla life
He declared that it could not be done and did me the honor of delivering a lecture on the subject, at the conclusion he remarked, "Mr. Tesla may accomplish great things, but he certainly will never do this. It would be equivalent to converting a steadily pulling force, like that of gravity into a rotary effort. It is a perpetual motion scheme, an impossible idea." But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.
Nikola Tesla truth
When I understood the task, it was not with a resolve such as men often make. With me it was a sacred vow, a question of life and death. I knew that I would perish if I failed. Now I felt that the battle was won. Back in the deep recesses of the brain was the solution, but I could net yet give it outward expression.
Nikola Tesla life
A thousand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidentally, I would have given for that one which I had wrested from her against all odds and at the peril of my existence…
Nikola Tesla nature
One afternoon, which is ever present in my recollection, I was enjoying a walk with my friend in the city park and reciting poetry. At that age I knew entire books by heart, word for word. One of these was 's Faust. The sun was just setting and reminded me of a glorious passage:
Nikola Tesla poetry
The idea came like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed …
Nikola Tesla truth
Sie r
Nikola Tesla
Chapter 4 : Tesla Coil and Transformer
Nikola Tesla
For a while I gave myself up entirely to the intense enjoyment of picturing machines and devising new forms. It was a mental state of happiness about as complete as I have ever known in life. … When natural inclination develops into a passionate desire, one advances towards his goal in seven
Nikola Tesla life
Chapter 5 : The Influences That Shape Our Destiny
Nikola Tesla destiny
Up to that time I never realized that I possessed any particular gift of discovery, but , whom I always considered as an ideal man of science, had said so and if that was the case, I felt that I should concentrate on some big idea.
Nikola Tesla science
The gift of mental power comes from God, Divine Being, and if we concentrate our minds on that truth, we become in tune with this great power.
Nikola Tesla truth
He had the highest regard for my attainments and gave me every evidence of his complete faith in my ability to ultimately achieve what I had set out to do. I am unwilling to accord to some small
Nikola Tesla faith
What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife.
Nikola Tesla art
Chapter 6 : The Magnifying Transmitter
Nikola Tesla
It would be calamitous, indeed, if at this time when the art is in its infancy and the vast majority, not excepting even experts, have no conception of its ultimate possibilities, a measure would be rushed through the legislature making it a government monopoly. …universal evidence unmistakably shows that the best results are always obtained in healthful commercial competition.
Nikola Tesla time
This mental activity, at first involuntary under the pressure of illness and suffering, gradually became second nature and led me finally to recognize that I was but an automaton devoid of free will in thought and action and merely responsible to the forces of the environment. Our bodies are of such complexity of structure, the motions we perform are so numerous and involved and the external impressions on our sense organs to such a degree delicate and elusive, that it is hard for the average person to grasp this fact. Yet nothing is more convincing to the trained investigator than the mechanistic theory of life which had been, in a measure, understood and propounded bythree hundred years ago.
Nikola Tesla life
At present, many of the ablest minds are trying to devise expedients for preventing a repetition of the awful conflict which is only theoretically ended and the duration and main issues of which I have correctly predicted in an article printed in the Sun of December 20, 1914. The proposed League is not a remedy but, on the contrary, in the opinion of a number of competent men, may bring about results just the opposite. It is particularly regrettable that a punitive policy was adopted in framing the terms of peace, because a few years hence, it will be possible for nations to fight without armies, ships or guns, by weapons far more terrible, to the destructive action and range of which there is virtually no limit. Any city, at a distance, whatsoever, from the enemy, can be destroyed by him and no power on earth can stop him from doing so.
Nikola Tesla art
We crave for new sensations but soon become indifferent to them. The wonders of yesterday are today common occurrences.
Nikola Tesla wonder
To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without.
Nikola Tesla mind
in Liberty, (February 1937)
Nikola Tesla liberty
While I am not a believer in the orthodox sense, I commend religion, first, because every individual should have some ideal — religious, artistic, scientific, or humanitarian — to give significance to his life. Second, because all the great religions contain wise prescriptions relating to the conduct of life, which hold good now as they did when they were promulgated.
Nikola Tesla life
It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.
Nikola Tesla men
I don’t care that they stole my idea… I care that they don’t have any of their own.
Nikola Tesla care
Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.
Nikola Tesla man
The desire that guides me in all I do is the desire to harness the forces of nature to the service of mankind.
Nikola Tesla nature
The last 29 days of the month are the hardest.
Nikola Tesla day
He had the highest regard for my attainments and gave me every evidence of his complete faith in my ability to ultimately achieve what I had set out to do. I am unwilling to accord to some small−minded and jealous individuals the satisfaction of having thwarted my efforts. These men are to me nothing more than microbes of a nasty disease. My project was retarded by laws of nature. The world was not prepared for it. It was too far ahead of time, but the same laws will prevail in the end and make it a triumphal success.About the role of J. Pierpont Morgan, and the failure of Teslas World System project
Nikola Tesla faith

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