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Nikola Tesla
Birth: Jul. 9, 1856
Death: Jan. 7, 1943
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

Inventor, Electrical and Mechanical Engineer, and Futurist. He is best remembered for contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system and was renowned for his achievements and showmanship, eventually earning him a reputation in popular culture as an archetypal "mad scientist." Born the 4th of five children to Serbian parents in Smiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia), his father was an Orthodox priest. He attended local schools until 1862, when his family moved to Gospic, Austrian Empire where he completed his primary education. In 1870 he moved to Karlovac, Croatia to attend school at Higher Real Gymnasium, finishing a four-year term in three years, and graduated in 1873. He then returned to Smiljan where he contracted cholera and almost died, being bedridden for nine months. In 1874 he evaded being drafted into the Austro-Hungarian Army by running away to Tomingaj, near Gracac where he explored the nearby mountains dressed in hunter's garb. The following year he enrolled at Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria, on a Military Frontier scholarship, never missing a class and received the highest grades possible. At the end of his second year, he lost his scholarship and became addicted to gambling. During his third year he gambled away his allowance and his tuition money, later winning back his initial losses and returning the balance to his family. In 1878 he dropped out of school and severed all relations with his family. In January 1880, after his father's death, two of his uncles financed his tuition at the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague but arrived too late to enroll. He did, however, attend some lectures as an auditor but never received grades for the courses. In 1881 he moved to Budapest, Hungary to work at the Budapest Telephone Exchange. When he realized the company, then under construction, was not functional, he obtained a job as a draftsman in the Central Telegraph Office. A few months later he transferred back to the Budapest Telephone Exchange when construction was completed and he became the chief electrician. During his employment he made many improvements to the Central Station equipment. In 1882 he began working for the Continental Edison Company in France, designing and making improvements to electrical equipment. In June 1884 he relocated to New York City, New York where he was hired by Thomas Edison to work for his Edison Machine Works, beginning with simple electrical engineering and quickly progressing to solving more difficult problems. In 1885 he was offered the task of completely redesigning the Edison Company's inefficient direct current generators. After completing the task, he resigned over a dispute regarding payment for his services and in 1886 he went into partnership with two businessmen, Robert Lane and Benjamin Vale, who agreed to finance an electric lighting company in Tesla's name, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing, installing his designed electrical arc light based illumination systems. The investors showed little interest in his ideas for new types of motors and electrical transmission equipment and also seemed to think it was better to develop an electrical utility than invent new systems. They eventually forced him out leaving him penniless, even lost control of the patents he had generated since he had assigned them to the company in lieu of stock. He was forced to take menial work as an electrical repairman and even digging ditches. In late 1886 he met Alfred S. Brown, a Western Union superintendent, and New York attorney Charles F. Peck, who were experienced in setting up companies and promoting inventions and patents for financial gain. Based on Tesla's patents and other ideas they agreed to back him financially and handle his patents and in April 1887 they formed the Tesla Electric Company with an agreement that profits from generated patents would be split evenly. In 1888 he developed and patented an induction motor that ran on alternating current, with a simple self-starting design that did not need a commutator, which avoiding sparking and the high maintenance of constantly servicing and replacing mechanical brushes. His alternating current work put him firmly on the "AC" side of the so-called "War of Currents," an electrical standards battle waged between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. His patents, along with the others that Westinghouse's company had acquired or developed, allowed Westinghouse to build a rival AC system that could compete with Thomas Edison's DC system. In July 1891 he became a naturalized citizen of the US and established his South Fifth Avenue laboratory, and later another at 46 E. Houston Street, in New York. In the same year he patented the Tesla coil. From 1892 until 1894 he served as vice president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the forerunner (along with the Institute of Radio Engineers). In May 1899 he moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where he established a laboratory for his high-voltage, high frequency experiments. In his lab he also conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillator/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He remained there until January 1900 when he moved to Shoreham, Long Island, New York to begin his establishment of the trans-Atlantic telecommunications facility known as Wardenclyffe, which lasted until 1917 and was never finished. In 1928 he received his last patent for a biplane capable of taking off vertically. While the aircraft was probably impractical at that time, it may be the earliest known design for what became the tilt-rotor/tilt-wing concept. He later made claims concerning a "teleforce" weapon after studying the Van de Graaff generator, and the press referred to it a "peace ray" or death ray. He described the futuristic weapon as being able to be used against ground-based infantry or for antiaircraft purposes. An avid reader, he would memorize complete books and supposedly possessed a photographic memory. He spoke eight languages, including Serbo-Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin. He also suffered a peculiar affliction in which blinding flashes of light would appear before his eyes, often accompanied by visions, which were often linked to a word or idea he might have come across and at other times they would provide the solution to a particular problem he had encountered. Just by hearing the name of an item, he would be able to envision it in realistic detail. He possessed the ability to visualize an invention in his mind with extreme precision, including all dimensions, before moving to the construction stage, a technique sometimes known as picture thinking. He wrote books, including "My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla" (1919, compiled and edited by Ben Johnston), and "The Telsa Papers." Another book, "The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla," was compiled and edited by David Hatcher Childress and published in 1993. He obtained around 300 patents worldwide for his inventions. In his later years he became a vegetarian, living on only milk, bread, honey, and vegetable juices. Despite having sold his AC electricity patents, he died impoverished and in debt at the age of 86 and was cremated. His work fell into relative obscurity after his death. In 1957 his ashes were transported from the US to Belgrade, where they are displayed in a gold-plated sphere on a marble pedestal in the Nikola Tesla Museum. Numerous honors were bestowed upon him, as well as memorials and plaques. He was placed on the cover of Time magazine for his 75th birthday in July 1931. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 

Cause of death: Coronary Thrombosis
Nikola Tesla Museum
City of Belgrade (Grad Beograd), Serbia
Plot: Third room
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1623
Nikola Tesla
Added by: Jelena
Nikola Tesla
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Nikola Tesla
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- Mike
 Added: Jul. 10, 2016
One of the brightest minds this world has ever known!!
- Lori Beckett Zukerman
 Added: Jul. 10, 2016

- Allan Miller
 Added: Jul. 10, 2016
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