Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856- 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and futurist. He was born in Smiljan village, Austrian Empire (now in Croatia). His father Milutin Tesla was a priest in the Eastern Orthodox Church whereas his mother Duka Tesla was uneducated but highly intelligent. He always gave credit to his mother for his brilliant mind. He was the fourth of five children of his parents.

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Work with Edison-

In 1882, he took a job in Thomas Alva Edison’s company ‘Continental Edison Company’ in France and started improving electrical equipment designs.

In June 1884 he was transferred to New York, USA where he met Edison. Tesla had proposed to Edison to make his motor and generator more efficient. Edison told Tesla that if he succeeded in this task, he would get fifty thousand dollars. Tesla did that, but Edison went back on his promise. Edison made fun of Tesla by calling his promise American Humar and Tesla left Edison in anger.

Soon after leaving Edison, Tesla started his own company named “Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company”. He had to work at various electrical repair jobs and as a manual labourer for $2 per day in order to survive.

In late 1886, Tesla met Alfred S. Brown and Charles Fletcher Peck. Both individuals were skilled in establishing businesses and promoting inventions and patents to earn money. They decided to financially support Tesla and manage his patents based on his fresh concepts for electrical equipment, which encompassed a thermo-magnetic motor idea.

In 1887, Tesla created an induction motor powered by alternating current (AC), a type of power system that was gaining popularity in Europe and the United States for its benefits in sending electricity over long distances at high voltage.

A licence agreement for Tesla’s polyphase induction motor and transformer designs was arranged by Brown and Peck with George Westinghouse in July 1888. The terms of the agreements included $60,000 in cash and stock, as well as a royalty of $2.50 per AC horsepower produced by each motor. Additionally, Westinghouse paid Tesla a hefty $2000 ($65,100 in today’s dollars) a month for a year of consulting services in the Pittsburgh labs of Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.

War of Currents-

Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist

Edison launched a propaganda campaign to bring down AC and started electrocuting animals. The first electrocution took place in 1890 which was much more worse than hanging.

Tesla Coil-

Nikola Tesla

In 1889-90, Tesla introduced one of his notable inventions, the ‘Tesla Coil’, a high-frequency transformer that could generate remarkably high voltage at low current.

Wireless Lighting-

After 1890, Tesla conducted experiments involving power transmission using inductive and capacitive coupling with high AC voltages produced by his Tesla coil. His goal was to create a wireless lighting system utilising near-field inductive and capacitive coupling.

Wardenclyffe Tower-

Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist

Tesla was trying to find investors to finance the construction of Wardenclyffe Tower, a wireless station based on his ideas intended to transmit messages but he didn’t find any good investor, infact after sometime J. P. Morgan also refused to fund the project. Later, Tesla mortgaged the Wardenclyffe property to cover his debts.

In 1917, the Tower was demolished by the new owner and the project never became operational.


After suffering a nervous breakdown, Tesla died on 7 January 1943, at the age of 86, in New York City.

Tesla’s 369 Theory-

Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist

Nikola Tesla held a belief that the numbers 3,6 and 9 possess a unique energy that remains constant without losing its identity. To him, these numbers symbolised the non-physical aspects of frequency, vibration and energy present in physical objects within the third dimension. Tesla believed that understanding the significance of these numbers would unlock the secrets of the universe. He firmly believed that the essence of the universe could be unlocked by understanding the trio of energy, frequency and vibration.

A Mysterious Scientist-

Tesla was a mysterious scientist. Sometimes, it is said that he was a mad scientist. There are some reasons, why people think like this-

Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist
  • Tesla had a fear of pierced ears and jewellery, finding them unsetting. He remained celibate his entire life.
  • He had a fear of germs and frequently washed his hands.
  • He had a unique fascination with the number 3, carrying out activities and preferences in multiples of 3. Even the number of his hotel room in New York, where he resided for 10 years until his passing, was divisible by 3(3327).
  • He had a belief in supernatural powers and claimed to be in contact with extraterrestrial beings who offered guidance, leading some to question his mental state.
  • He had irregular sleeping habits, asserting that he rarely slept and never dosed for more than two hours at a time.
  • People said that Tesla could remember whole books with his amazing memory.
  • He also adored pigeons a lot but some folks thought his love for them was a bit strange.


Nikola Tesla: A Mysterious Scientist

Indeed, Tesla was an extraordinary and mysterious scientist. He faced many hard times and challenges but gave this earth many precious ideas. Later, Elon Musk named his company ‘Tesla’ to honour Nikola Tesla.