If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think
in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.
- Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10th, 1856 in the village of Smiljan in what is now Croatia. His family was Serbian and today he is Serbia’s greatest hero. His Father was an Orthodox Priest, as were his Mother’s two brothers and grandfathers, so it was assumed that Nikola would follow the same path.
But his Mother was an inventor in her own right of appliances to use in the home and she also had the ability to memorize long Serbian poems. Tesla said that it was his Mother’s path, and his Mother’s abilities, that he followed. He was brilliant at school, some of the time, and brilliant at poker, some of the time. He nearly died from cholera and suffered at least one nervous breakdown.
But the brilliance could not be denied, and he worked for and transformed the Budapest Telephone Exchange and the Continental Edison Company. In 1884 he emigrated to New York and, for the next 40 plus years live a roller-coaster life of extraordinary and visionary success and moments of utter despair. He worked for Edison, was betrayed by Edison, dug ditches, invented the Alternating Current Induction Motor, lit up the 1893 Chicago World Fair and sent the power of Niagara Falls to New York.
He demonstrated a robotic boat and was, at the least, involved in the development of x-rays and radio. He laid out the principles of cell phones and, above all, believed in the wireless transmission of electricity, to be sent around the world. His labs burnt down, were bulldozed and dynamited, perhaps the price you pay for the idea of free power for humanity.
He lived alone in New York hotels, loved pigeons and imagined weapons to end all wars. On January 5th he put a Do Not Disturb sign on the door of his room 3327 at the New Yorker Hotel. A maid found him dead two days later. The FBI seized everything he had left behind and worked their way through every box and paper, looking for some dreadful weapon or magnificent machine. 9 years later it was shipped home to Serbia in 80 trunks.
Perhaps he saw a slightly wider range of the electro-magnetic spectrum, perhaps he heard the gravitation hum of the universe, perhaps he was simply a man born ahead of his time. But as Einstein said, when asked how it felt to be smartest man in the world, ”I don’t know, you'll have to ask Nikola Tesla.”