Our modern conveniences and technology result from slowly improving and innovating on endless amounts of designs and inventions from the past.

Current lighting results from improvements made to gas lamps, oil lamps, all the way back to wax candles. Human beings excel at using their resources to solve problems in new, more efficient ways.

Those of us who are the best at it are hailed as genius inventors. And few were more genius than Nikola Tesla.

Tesla is more than a car brand. He was a man responsible for inventions and ideas that reshaped the world as he lived in it.

Many of his inventions were not products of solutions for his time but for problems far, far into the future, which he could not see but assume to a frighteningly familiar degree.

Tesla is often claimed to be one of the greatest geniuses in history for his many ideas, and he was still coming up with new solutions to the future’s problems until his death.




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10 /10 Born For Invention

Tesla was born in what is today Croatia, formerly Serbia, in 1856.

He was studious as a boy and a young man, to the point where he overworked himself so hard that his college cut him off to keep him from dying during his semesters.

Eventually, he left for America and came to work at the Edison Machine Works, which he later abandoned to pursue his inventing in a less controlled environment.



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9 /10 Tesla Electric Light And Westinghouse

Tesla’s first foray into American industry was met with a mix of disappointment and dejection.

He initially entrusted his patents and ideas to a group of investors who pushed him out of the business side of things and ran the company for themselves.

Tesla was relegated to minimum wage work until the Westinghouse Electric Company took in the induction motor that ran on an alternating current and paid him handsomely for the designs he made.

They even paid his rent indefinitely 50 years later, up until his death, for his service.






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8 /10 Growing Famous

Nikola Tesla’s life was marked with fateful meetings of vital American figures. One was his often heated rivalry with the fellow inventor and patent-mogul Thomas Edison.

Tesla’s alternating current was more favored than Edison’s then ubiquitous direct current, which caused them to clash in the market as well.

Tesla also met and befriended Mark Twain, the American author, who was fascinated by his inventions. Tesla also worked to disprove Albert Einstein’s various theories later in life, citing them as “not substantial.”

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7 /10 Wireless Energy

One of Tesla’s lifelong pursuits was the transferal of energy without wires.

The ability to charge electronic objects from a power source that never directly touched them occupied many of his later phases of design and invention.

This is where the famous Tesla Coil came into existence, one of his many attempts to direct energy between two points touching nothing but air. This is the technology we have only theorized about in the modern-day.

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6 /10 The Tesla Turbine

One of the last fundamental inventions Tesla created was late in his life. On his 50th birthday, in 1906, he revealed a bladeless turbine that was capable of over 16,000 rpm.

They were later implemented for testing at the Waterside Power Station in New York. They achieved incredible success but were so unwieldy and difficult to manage that they are never formal production.

The problem at hand was material. The generators spun so fast that the material would warp and threaten to break, despite the massive charge it could generate.

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5 /10 Nobel Prize Snubs

Tesla was famously rumored to be in the running for the Nobel Prize in Physics for years.

Every year it was rumored to be either him or his lifelong rival Edison, including claims that the prize would be dual-awarded to them both despite their animosity towards one another.

None of the rumors ever came true, though. He lived his life without achieving that accreditation.

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4 /10 Hotel New Yorker

Tesla lived his later years in New York under dodgy circumstances.

Despite holding so many patents and being the highly acclaimed mind he was, he changed between expensive hotels until he couldn’t pay his bills; they would leave and ignore the debt.

The one thing he did take accountability for and stay current with was feeding pigeons every day.

He spent more to care for an injured pigeon than he managed to spend on his rent or other bills. Eventually, he stayed in one place for the rest of his life, the Hotel New Yorker.

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3 /10 Old Genius

Many people see Tesla as an old-world genius from long ago, but his death was within the 20th century. He lived to be 86 and died in 1943. He continued to be a great thinker and inventor of new ideas even into old age.

However, many of his projects and propositions were outright fantastical. Even by today’s standards, he was dreaming of creations we still consider science fiction.

He was awarded the Order of the White Lion, a Czechoslovakian honor when he was 81. Shortly after that, he was struck by a car and was severely injured but refused to see a doctor and returned home.

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2 /10 Changed Man

The accident considerably changed how Tesla lived out the last few years of his life. It was a minor miracle that he survived at all. For the next five years, he never left his room in the Hotel New Yorker.

He had food delivered and became increasingly sedentary and depressed. His ideas became more manic and less scientifically sound, even when combined with his other potential inventions.

In January of 1943, a maid entered his room and found Tesla dead. He was diagnosed with coronary thrombosis, which didn’t fit his previous daily exercise and vegetarian diet, showing just how much the accident altered him.

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1 /10 The Missing Cases

Of the 80 crates of personal belongings the FBI seized to research, only 60 were returned to Tesla’s nephew as his only heir. That left 20 crates unaccounted for.

It was speculated – and still is – that those contained his late-life research on new inventions that the US Government didn’t want to fall into enemy hands.

His more ideal-driven and philosophical concepts could have had more merit with today’s technology than they did back then. Tesla was a man with visions for the future, and we’re pretty much in that future now.

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