Nikola TESLA (Smiljan, Austrian Empire, present-day Croatia; July 10, 1856 – New York, January 7, 1943) was a Serbian nationalized American inventor, electrical engineer and mechanic,1​2​3​ famous for his contributions to design. of modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply.

Born and raised in the Austrian Empire, Tesla studied engineering and physics in the 1870s without obtaining a degree, although he gained practical experience in the early 1880s working in telephony for the Continental Edison company, which he then led. the new electric energy industry. In 1884 he emigrated to the United States, where he acquired dual nationality. He worked for a short time at Edison Machine Works in New York before striking out on his own. With the help of partners to finance and commercialize his ideas, Tesla founded laboratories and companies in New York to develop electrical and mechanical devices. His asynchronous alternating current (AC) motor and the patents related to the polyphase system, licensed by Westinghouse Electric in 1888, brought him large sums of money and also became the cornerstone of the polyphase system finally commercialized by this company.

Tesla gained fame as an inventor, displaying his achievements in his laboratory to numerous personalities and wealthy patrons, as well as standing out for his showmanship at public conferences. Throughout the 1890s, Tesla continued research into wireless lighting and distribution of electrical power around the world through his experiments with high-voltage, high-frequency power in New York and Colorado Springs. He built one of the first wireless remote control boats. In 1893 he announced the possibility of establishing wireless communication with his devices and tried to put it into practice in his unfinished project of the Wardenclyffe Tower, an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter, but the financial financing he received was withdrawn due to the lack of progress.​ After 1910 he became involved in projects with little success. He died in that city in January 1943. Tesla’s work fell into relative oblivion after his death, but in 1960 the unit of electromagnetic induction in the International System of Units was named tesla in his honor. Since the 1960s 1990 there is a clear resurgence of recognition of his contributions to engineering.

Early years

Milutin Tesla, Orthodox Priest, father of Nikola Tesla.

Nikola Tesla in 1879, at the age of 23.

Tesla’s birth certificate (1883)Reconstruction of Tesla’s birthplace. Nikola Tesla Memorial Center in Similjan, Croatia.

Nikola Tesla was the son of Serbian parents. He was born in the town of Smiljan, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, near the city of Gospić, belonging to the territory of present-day Croatia. His baptismal certificate states that he was born on June 28, 1856 of the Julian calendar, corresponding to July 10 of the Gregorian calendar in current use. His father was Milutin Tesla, a priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the jurisdiction of Sremski Karlovci, and his mother, Đuka Mandić, a housewife of Serbian descent, who dedicated part of her time as a self-taught scientist to the development of small homemade devices. It is believed that his paternal origin comes from one of the Serbian clans of the Tara River Valley, or from the Herzegovinian nobleman Pavle Orlović. His mother, Đuka, came from an Orthodox family domiciled in Lika and Banija, but with deep origins in Kosovo. He was proficient at making homemade craft tools and had memorized numerous Serbian epic poems, but he never learned to read.

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