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Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

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Marc J. Seifer

Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius Paperback – August 30, 2016

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  • Print length 576 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Citadel
  • Publication date August 30, 2016
  • Dimensions 5.94 x 1.18 x 8.93 inches
  • ISBN-10 0806539968
  • ISBN-13 978-0806539966
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About the author, excerpt. © reprinted by permission. all rights reserved., the life and times of nikola tesla biography of a genius, kensington publishing corp..

Hardly is there a nation which has met with a sadder fate than the Servians. From the height of its splendor, when the empire embraced almost the entire northern part of the Balkan peninsula and a large portion of what is now Austria, the Servian nation was plunged into abject slavery, after the fateful battle of 1389 at the Kosovo Polje, against the overwhelming Asian hordes. Europe can never repay the great debt it owes to the Servians for checking, by the sacrifice of its own liberty, that barbarian influx.

Nikola Tesla

It was during a crackling summer storm in Smiljan, a small hamlet at the back edge of a plateau set high in the mountains, when Nikola Tesla was born. The Serbian family resided in the province of Lika, a plateau and gentle river valley in Croatia where wild boar and deer still dwell and farmers still travel on ox-drawn wagons. Only a cart ride from the Adriatic, the land is well protected from invasion by sea, by the Velebit ridge to the west, which runs the length of the province and towers over the coastline as a steep cliff, and by the Dinaric Alps to the east, a chain of mountains that emerge from Austria, span the Balkan peninsula and culminate in the south as the isle of Crete.

Though hidden, Smiljan was centrally located, fifteen miles east of the tiny seaport of Karlobag, six miles west of the bustling town of Gospic and forty-five miles southwest of the cascading wonder known as Plitvice Lakes, an interlinking chasm of caves and streams and magnificent waterfalls that lie at the base of the Dinaric chain.

In the early 1800s, having been briefly part of Napoleon's Illyrian provinces, Croatia was now a domain of Austria-Hungary. With its neighboring Slavic countries of Bosnia, Hercegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia, Croatia was sandwiched between the ruling Hapsburg dynasty to the north and the Ottoman Empire to the south.

In ancient times, and for many centuries, much of the coastline along the Adriatic was ruled by the Illyrians, a piratical tribe believed to have descended from regions around Austria. Successfully protecting their borders from such rulers as Alexander the Great, many Illyrians rose into social prominence; some, at the time of Christ, became emperors.

Slavs, traveling in close-knit clans known as zadrugas, were first recognized by the Byzantines in the second century A.D. in the areas around what is now Belgrade. Tesla's appearance resembled the characteristic features of the Ghegs, a tribe described as being tall and having convex-shaped noses and flat skulls. Like other Slavs, these people were originally pagans and worshiped nature spirits and a god of thunder and lightning. Tesla's early ancestors were probably born in the Ukraine. They most likely traveled down through Romania into Serbia and lived near Belgrade, along the Danube. After the Battle of Kosovo in the latter part of the fourteenth century, they crossed the Kosovo plains into Montenegro and continued their migration northward into Croatia in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

All Slavs speak the same language. The major distinction between Croats and Serbs stems from the differences in the histories of their respective countries. The Croats adopted the pope as their spiritual leader and followed the Roman form of Catholicism; the Serbs adopted a Byzantine patriarch and the Greek Orthodox view. Whereas Roman priests remain celibate, Greek Orthodox priests may marry.

In the east and central regions Slavs were more successful in maintaining their own control over what came to be called the kingdom of Serbia; whereas in the west, in Croatia, outside rulers, such as Charlemagne in A.D. 800, occupied the region. While Croatia maintained the Christianization policies of the Franks, the Serbs and Bulgarians drove out the papacy and revived their own pagan faith, which included animal sacrifice and pantheism. Many of the ancient pagan gods were made saints and were celebrated in higher esteem than Jesus. Tesla's patron saint Nicholas was a fourth-century god who protected sailors.

To further alienate the two groups, although speaking the same verbal language, Croats adopted the Latin alphabet, whereas Serbs and Bulgarians took on the Cyrillic alphabet used by the Greek Orthodox church.

Before Turkish rule, from the ninth century until the 1300s, Serbia had maintained autonomy. For Serbia, this period was its golden age, as the Byzantines accepted its autonomous status. Due to the philanthropic nature of its kings, a dynamic medieval art flourished, and great monasteries were erected.

Croatia, on the other hand, was in much more turmoil. Influenced by western Europe, the ruling class attempted unsuccessfully to institute a feudal system of lords and serfs. This policy directly opposed the inherent structure of the democratic zadrugas, and so Croatia was never able to establish a unified identity. Nevertheless, one independent offshoot of Croatia, Ragusa (Dubrovnik), which had established itself as a port of commerce and a rival of Venice as a major sea power, became a melting pot for south Slavic culture and a symbol for the Illyrian ideal of a unified Yugoslavia.

The identity of Serbia as a nation, however, changed for all time on June 15, 1389, the day 30,000 Turks obliterated the Serbian nation in the Battle of Kosovo. Cruel conquerors, the Turks destroyed Serbian churches or converted them to mosques. Drafting the healthiest male children into their armies, they skewered and tortured the men and forced the women to convert and marry Turks. Many Serbs fled, taking up residence in the craggy mountains of Montenegro or the hidden valleys of Croatia. Some of those that remained became wealthy as Turkish vassals; others, mostly of mixed blood, became pariahs.

The Battle of Kosovo is as important to the Serbs as the Exodus to the Jews or the Crucifixion to the Christians. It is commemorated every year on the anniversary of the tragedy as Vidov Dan, the day "when we shall see." As one Serb told the author, "It follows us always." The massacre and ensuing defilement of the kingdom became the dominant motif of the great epic poems which served to unify the identity of the Serbian people through their centuries of hardship.

Unlike the Croats, who did not have this kind of all-embracing exigency, the Serbs had Kosovo. Combined with their adherence to the Greek Orthodox religion in a twofold way, Serbs, no matter where they lived, felt united.

The century of Tesla's birth was marked by the rise of Napoleon. In 1809 the emperor wrested Croatia from Austro-Hungarian rule and established French occupation. Extending his domain down the Adriatic coast, Napoleon reunited the Illyrian provinces and introduced French libertarian ideals. This philosophy helped dismantle the outmoded feudal system of lords and serfs and reawaken the idea of a unified Balkan nation. At the same time, the occupation created an identity with the French culture. Tesla's paternal grandfather and maternal great- grandfather both served under the French emperor.

With support from the Russians, Serbian bands united in 1804 under the leadership of the flamboyant hog farmer George Petrovich, known as Kara-George (in Turkish, Black George), a man of Montenegrin heritage trained in the Austrian army. However, in 1811, Napoleon invaded Russia; thus, support for Serbia evaporated.

Forty thousand Turks marched against the Serbs, leveling towns and butchering citizens. Serbs were often executed by impalement, their writhing bodies lined up along the roads to the city. All males captured above the age of fifteen were slaughtered, and women and children were sold as slaves. Kara-George fled the country.

Milosh, the new Serbian leader, was a sly and treacherous character, able to walk a thin line between Serbs and the sultan. In 1817, when Kara-George returned, he was decapitated, his head sent by Milosh to Istanbul. A tyrant as terrible as any Turkish pasha, Milosh became the official head of Serbia in 1830.

One of the more sapient figures of the day was the scholar and Serb Vuk Karadjich (1787-1864). Schooled in Vienna and St. Petersburg, Vuk believed "all Yugoslavs were one."

Pleading with Milosh to build schools and to form a constitution, Vuk created, with a student, a Serbo-Croatian dictionary that combined the two written languages. He published the epic folk ballads, which gained the attention of Goethe, and through this means the Serbian plight and also its unique literature were translated and spread to the western world.

In Croatia, the land of Tesla's birth, Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, in 1843, issued a proclamation forbidding any discussion about Illyrianism, thereby helping keep the Serbs and Croats a separate people. In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy was created, and Croatia became a semiautonomous province of the new empire. Simultaneously, in Serbia, Michael Obrenovich was finally able to "secure the departure ... of the Turkish garrisons from Belgrade" and convert the state into a constitutional monarchy.

Tesla's background was thus a mixture of crossed influences, a monastic environment, a Byzantine legacy of a once great culture, and incessant battles against barbarous invaders. As a Serb growing up in Croatia, Tesla inherited a rich mix of tribal rituals, egalitarian rule, a modified form of Greek Orthodox Catholicism, pantheistic beliefs, and myriad superstitions. Women cloaked their bodies in black garb, and men packed a cross in one pocket and a weapon in another. Living at the edge of civilization, Serbs saw themselves as protectors of Europe from the Asian hordes. They bore that responsibility with their blood for many centuries.

CHILDHOOD (1856-74)

I cannot exaggerate the effect of this marvelous sight on my childish imagination. Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it.


Nikola Tesla descended from a well established frontier zadruga whose original family name had been Draganic. By the mid-1700s the clan had migrated to Croatia, and the Tesla name arose. It was "a trade name like Smith ... or Carpenter," which described a woodworking ax that had a "broad cutting blade at right angles to the handle." Supposedly, the Teslas gained the name because their teeth resembled this instrument.

The inventor's grandfather, also named Nikola Tesla, was born about 1789 and became a sergeant in Napoleon's Illyrian army during the years 1809-13. Like other Serbs living in Croatia, Nikola Tesla, the elder, was honored by fighting for an emperor who sought to unify the Balkan states and overthrow the oppressive regime of the Austro-Hungarians. He "came from a region known as the military frontier which stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the plains of the Danube including ... the province of Lika [where the inventor was born]. This so-called 'corpus separatum' in the Hapsburg monarchy had its own military administration different from the rest of the country, and therefore [they were] not subjects of the feudal lords." Mostly Serbs, these people were warriors whose responsibility was to protect the territory from the Turks. And in return, unlike the Croats, Serbs were able to own their own land.

Shortly after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815, Nikola Tesla married Ana Kalinic, the daughter of a prominent officer. After the collapse of Illyria, the grandfather moved to Gospic, where he and his wife could raise a family in a civilized environment.

On February 3, 1819, Milutin Tesla, the inventor's father, was born. One of five children, Milutin was educated in a German elementary school, the only one available in Gospic. Like his brother Josip, Milutin tried to follow in his father's footsteps. In his late teens he enrolled in an Austro-Hungarian military academy but rebelled against the trivialities of regimented life. He was hypersensitive and dropped out after an officer criticized him for not keeping his brass buttons polished.

Whereas Josip became an officer and later a professor of mathematics, first in Gospic and then at a military academy in Austria, Milutin became politically active, wrote poetry, and entered the priesthood. Influenced by the philosopher Vuk Karadjich, Milutin promulgated the "Yugoslav idea" in editorials published in the local newspapers under the nom de plume Srbin Pravicich, "Man of Justice." Tesla wrote that his father's "style of writing was much admired ... pen[ning] sentences ... full of wit and satire." He called for social equality among peoples, the need for compulsory education for children, and the creation of Serbian schools in Croatia.

Through these articles, Milutin attracted the attention of the intellectual elite. In 1847 he married Djouka Mandic, a daughter from one of the more prominent Serbian families.

Djouka's maternal grandfather was Toma Budisavljevic (1777-1840), a regal, white-bearded priest who was decorated with the French Medal of Honor by Napoleon himself in 1811 for providing leadership during the French occupation of Croatia. Soka Budisavljevic, one of Toma's seven children, followed the family tradition by marrying a Serbian minister, Nikola Mandic, who himself came from a distinguished clerical and military family. Their daughter, Djouka, who was born in 1821, was Tesla's mother.

Eldest daughter of eight children, Djouka's duties increased rapidly, for her mother was stricken with failing eyesight and eventually became blind.

"My mother ... was a truly great woman of rare skill and courage," Tesla wrote. Probably due to the magnitude of her responsibilities, which included, at age sixteen, preparing for burial the bodies of an entire family stricken with cholera, Djouka never learned to read. Instead, she memorized the great epic Serbian poems and also long passages of the Bible.

Tesla could trace his lineage to a segment of the "educated aristocracy" of the Serbian community. On both sides of the family and for generations there could be found clerical and military leaders, many of whom achieved multiple doctorates. One of Djouka's brothers, Pajo Mandic, was a field marshal in the imperial Austro-Hungarian army. Another Mandic ran an Austrian military academy.

Petar Mandic, a third brother and later favorite uncle of Nikola's, met with tragedy as a young man when his wife passed away. In 1850, Petar entered the Gomirje Monastery, where he rose in the clerical hierarchy to become the regional bishop of Bosnia.

In 1848, through the help of the Mandic name, Milutin Tesla obtained a parish at Senj, a northern coastal fortress located just seventy-five miles from the Italian port of Trieste. From the stone church, situated high on austere cliffs, Milutin and his new bride could overlook the blue-green Adriatic Sea and the mountainous islands of Krk, Cres, and Rab.

For eight years the Teslas lived in Senj, where they sired their first three children: Dane (pronounced Dah-nay), born in 1849, the first son, and two daughters, Angelina, born the following year, who would later become the grandmother to the current honorary head of the Tesla Memorial Society, William Terbo, and Milka, who followed two years later. As with her other two sisters and like her mother, Milka would eventually marry a Serbian Orthodox priest.

Djouka was proud of her son, Dane, who used to sit with the fishermen on the shore and bring back stories of great adventure. Like his younger brother, who was yet to be born, Dane was endowed with extraordinary powers of eidetic imagery.

Due to a profound sermon on the subject of "labor," as a result of which Milutin was awarded a special red sash by the archbishop, the minister was promoted to a congregation of forty homes in the pastoral farming village of Smiljan, situated only six miles from Gospic. Milutin was returning home, where his father still lived. In 1855, the young minister, his pregnant wife, and his three children packed their oxcart and made the fifty-mile journey over the Velebit ridge through the Lika valley to their new dwelling.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Citadel; Reprint edition (August 30, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 576 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0806539968
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0806539966
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.31 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.94 x 1.18 x 8.93 inches
  • #5 in Physics of Electricity
  • #8 in History of Technology
  • #66 in Scientist Biographies

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Author Marc J. Seifer describes a segment from Wizard.

Marc Seifer

biography of nikola tesla book

Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla | A True Genius!

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biography of nikola tesla book

About the author

Marc j. seifer.

Marc J. Seifer, PhD has been a handwriting expert for more than 35 years and was editor-in-chief of The Journal of the American Society of Professional Graphologists for more than a decade. He has worked for the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office and Crime Laboratory, the Department of Defense, Undersea Warfare, United Parcel Service, and numerous banks, insurance agencies, and lawyers. He was featured on the History Channel discussing the Howard Hughes Mormon Will and on Associated Press International TV on the handwriting of bin Laden and on PBS American Experience discussing Nikola Tesla. He has lectured at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Brandeis, Cranbrook Retreat, and numerous conferences around the world. Featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and MIT's Technology Review, his articles have appeared in Wired, Civilization, The Historian, Extraordinary Science and Psychiatric Clinics of North America.

Having lived an extraordinary life in a variety of fields, Marc set out to fictionalize his interests and aspects of his life in THE RUDY STYNE QUADRILOGY, four novels spanning over 30 years of writing. In the first novel, RASPUTIN'S NEPHEW, having taught Parapsychology and having worked with a number of super psychics, Marc covers this complex and controversial field in an exciting thriller involving assassination and the attempted kidnapping of a super psychic by the Russians uncovered by his hero, ace reporter for Modern Times Magazine, Rudy Styne.

The next two novels, DOPPELGANGER and CRYSTAL NIGHT, continue the exploits of ace reporter Rudy Styne in the modern story as Rudy seeks to track down a major computer hacker. And in the back story, starting in 1906, Marc creates a full-bodied saga about the Maxwells, a Jewish family who build an elite airline in southern Germany, as we follow their travails as one of the brothers, Simon Maxwell, flies with the Red Baron and Hermann Goring for the Kaiser in World War I, and as the Maxwells work hard to maintain their airline as Hitler rises to power through the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II.

And in the fourth novel, FATE LINE, Marc fictionalizes aspects of his life as a handwriting expert by constructing a graphological murder mystery as he takes Rudy Styne to Bountiful Utah to track down a kidnapper of a child-star ice-skater, and then back to New York, Indiana, Florida and Rhode Island in his quest to uncover a diabolical plot involving the mystery killings of handwriting experts in all of these states.

Along the way, as with each novel, Marc constructs his stories so that the reader learns a great deal of history about each of these fields. These are unique stories that do not follow formula. They are original works that create characters that will stay with the reader long after the last page of each book has been turned.

A retired teacher of psychology and forensic graphology at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, his book WIZARD: THE LIFE & TIMES OF NIKOLA TESLA: BIOGRAPHY OF A GENIUS, translated into nine languages has been called "Revelatory" by Publisher's Weekly (a boxed and starred review), "Serious Scholarship" by Scientific American, a "Masterpiece" by Nelson DeMille and is "Highly Recommended" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

“The story of one of the most prolific, independent, and iconoclastic inventors of this century . . . fascinating.”—Scientific American Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology. Among Tesla’s creations were the channeling of alternating current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, and the giant turbines that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls. This essential biography is illustrated with sixteen pages of photographs, including the July 20, 1931, Time magazine cover for an issue celebrating the inventor’s career. “Wizard is a truly remarkable biography of a remarkable man. The expression ‘ahead of his time’ is used too loosely and too often today but in the case of Nikola Tesla ‘ahead of his time’ barely describes the genius of this man. Marc Seifer makes us understand not only the man but the times in which he lived.”—Nelson DeMille “A deep and comprehensive biography of a great engineer of early electrical science—likely to become the definitive biography. Highly recommended.”—American Association for the Advancement of Science “Vivid, revelatory . . . the fullest account yet of Tesla as an entrepreneur, experimental physicist and inventor.”—Publishers Weekly

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The 5 Best Books on Nikola Tesla

Essential books on nikola tesla.

nikola tesla books

There are numerous books on Nikola Tesla, and it comes with good reason, he made significant contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system, as well as conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging.

“My brain is only a receiver, in the Universe there is a core from which we obtain knowledge, strength, and inspiration. I have not penetrated into the secrets of this core, but I know that it exists,” he remarked.

In order to get to the bottom of what inspired one of history’s most consequential figures to the heights of societal contribution, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best books on Nikola Tesla.

Wizard by Marc J. Seifer

biography of nikola tesla book

Nikola Tesla, credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology. Among Tesla’s creations were the channeling of alternating current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, and the giant turbines that harnessed the power of Niagara Falls.

My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

Nikola Tesla was a prophet of the electronic age. His research laid much of the groundwork for modern electrical and communication systems, and his impressive accomplishments include the development of the alternating-current electrical system, radio, the Tesla coil transformer, wireless transmission, and fluorescent lighting.

Tesla’s research was so groundbreaking that many of his contemporaries failed to understand it, and other scientists are unjustly credited for his innovations.

The visionary scientist speaks for himself in this volume, originally published in 1919 as a six-part series in Electrical Experimenter magazine. Tesla recounts his boyhood in Croatia, his schooling and work in Europe, his collaboration with Thomas Edison, and his subsequent research. Written with wit and elan, this memoir offers fascinating insights into one of the great minds of modern science.

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy by Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

Part philosophical ponderings on humanity’s relationship to the universe, part scientific extrapolation on what technological advancement might bring to that understanding, this long essay, first published in Century Illustrated Magazine in June 1900, is yet another example of the genius of Nikola Tesla, the revolutionary scientist who forever changed the scientific fields of electricity and magnetism.

From the possibilities presented by robotics to the “civilizing potency of aluminum,” from a “self-acting engine” to one of the first proposals to use solar power to run industrial civilization, and much more, this is a wide-ranging but illuminating look into the thoughts of an unsung hero of scientific philosophy.

The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

Nikola Tesla’s pioneering work in electrical engineering represented the state of the art when this summary of his research and inventions was published in 1893, and the book became a foundational treatise for students of the subject. This handsomely produced reprint is a facsimile of the original with a brief biography of Tesla followed by chapters describing his experiments and discoveries, including the alternating current technologies for which he is best known.

Prodigal Genius by John J. O’Neill

biography of nikola tesla book

Even the gods of old, in the wildest imaginings of their worshipers, never undertook such gigantic tasks of worldwide dimension as those which Tesla attempted and accomplished. The subject of this biography was a close friend of Pulitzer Prize-winning author John J. O’Neill, and here, O’Neill captures the man as a scientist and as a public figure, exploring how Tesla’s father inspired his life in engineering, why he clung to his theories of electricity in the face of opposition, his friendship with Mark Twain, the story of his lost Nobel Prize, and his dabblings in the paranormal.

If you enjoyed this guide to essential books on Nikola Tesla, check out our list of The 10 Best Books on Thomas Edison !

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20 Best Books on Nikola Tesla (2022 Review)

September 19, 2020 by James Wilson


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Nikola Tesla is a popular scientist, famous inventor and modern visionary, who is known for his work on the modern day Alternative Current (AC) we use. He also worked on several more popular inventions which have made our lives easier today.

What are the Best Nikola Tesla Books to read?

My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

Tesla was born in the Croatia, where he learned about modern engineering along with principles of physics through informal training. He mastered electrical and mechanical techniques through his work in various companies after he immigrated to the United States. Eventually he earned enough to finance his own inventions which he later patented.

His later work focused on wireless communication. Although he could not complete his work in his lifetime, his ingenious workings were the blueprint for the technology we have today. After his death, the SI unit for magnetic flux density was termed ‘Tesla’, as an honour to his scientific contributions.

He was not very popular during his lifetime or even after his death. However, recently his workings have come to light and the science community has renewed its interest in his work. This has given rise to many books on him, some of which are reviewed below:

Best Nikola Tesla Books: Our Top 20 Picks

Here are some of the best Nikola Tesla books that you can consider to expand your knowledge on the subject:

1. My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

My Inventions The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

This is an extensive autobiography of the great scientist. It is as detailed as it could be in a first-hand account. He was a genius and this book is enough proof of this.

His early life, his training and his working on numerous inventions are the main content of this book. His narrations are engaging and his work fascinating making it hard to put it down once you start it. His narration of his own life is gripping in a unique way.

Since his work has been underground for very long, this autobiography is ideal for someone who wants to find out more about his life. He was a very gifted scientist, with a wicked sense of humour. This is a highly recommended book for those who are interested in science and history.

  • Authors : Nikola Tesla (Author)
  • Publisher : Merchant Books; Illustrated Edition (October 2, 2013)
  • Pages : 92 pages

2. Tesla: Man Out of Time

Tesla Man Out of Time

This is a comprehensive biography of the wizard scientist, Nikola Tesla. His early life, through his life’s peak years, and up to his death are covered in detail by the author. His amazing story has been told as intriguingly as it could possibly have.

Tesla had developed an outlook of a mad scientist during his work. His theories, inventions and incomplete experiments were famous for being extraordinary, somewhat dangerous, and definitely ahead of his time. It was for this reason he never gained a good popularity until at least the 1990, when we started understanding his works’ true potential.

The author has shined a bright light on the misunderstood genius in this masterpiece. How he spent his life making a mark for centuries to come it is definitely worth a read!

  • Authors : Margaret Cheney (Author)
  • Publisher : Touchstone; Illustrated Edition (October 9, 2001)
  • Pages : 400 pages

3. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius

Wizard The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla Biography of a Genius

Yet another biography on the amazing work of Nikola Tesla, this one focuses entirely on his inventions and theories, and how he was deprived of several patents due to politics and conspiracies.

It is widely known now that many inventions that are originally the work of Tesla have been wrongly attributed to other people. Further, many of his working blueprints have yet to be given a physical form or even considered for use in modern times. All such unfortunate details form the main content of this volume.

Tesla’s unique personality traits and his inability to make a name for himself during his lifetime add an interesting personal touch to this book. His unfair treatment and falling victim to conspiracy theories are very interesting making this book a must-have for fans.

  • Authors : Marc Seifer (Author)
  • Publisher : Citadel; First Edition (November 1, 1996)
  • Pages : 542 pages

4. Nikola Tesla: A Life From Beginning to End (Biographies of Inventors)

Nikola Tesla A Life From Beginning to End (Biographies of Inventors)

One of the many biographies on his life, this one follows through his birth in Croatia, to his later life spent in the United States. It is short but covers all the major events in his life, right up to the point of his death. Some of his work is also discussed to give perspective to his life.

The author walks us through how Nikola Tesla developed an interest in the field of engineering as well as in physics, his work with various companies, his inventions and his later life being misunderstood and even feared by his generation. It goes into important details becoming monotonous and boring.

The crisp, to the point and relevant information given in this book is ideal for someone who wants to know more about Tesla’s life, his discoveries, theories and his inventions, without going into unnecessary details or drama.

  • Authors : Hourly History (Author)
  • Publisher : Independently published (April 19, 2017)
  • Pages : 48 pages

5. Tesla : The Lost Inventions (Tesla Technology Series)

Tesla The Lost Inventions (Tesla Technology Series)

Nikola Tesla was unfairly famous more for his dangerous theories and less for his amazing contribution to development of AC current and sources of renewable energy. His experiments include fascinating machines and blueprints for inventions that are termed dangerous even today.

This book is a unique read in that it describes some of these inventions and their mechanisms. It includes inventions which have never been actually developed physically, but have a lot of interest due to their potential benefits for the modern world. Tesla believed there is infinite energy in the universe available anywhere and his inventions made use of such sources.

This book is a like dream come true for science buffs. Its contents make it highly desirable for scientists, students and fans of the amazing mind.

  • Authors : George Trinkaus (Author)
  • Publisher : High Voltage Press; First Edition (July 2, 2011)
  • Pages : 36 pages

6. The Problem of Increasing Human Energy

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy

Written by the genius himself, this book is a piece of art from Tesla. He talks about how mankind is living on this planet and using up energy resources, and how he can optimise his living with renewable energy resources.

The contents of this book prove that Nikola Tesla was not just a scientist or an inventor, but a smart visionary as well. His correct understanding of where human activities are leading the world to and his proposed solutions show how much he cared about the human race. It also shows how misunderstood he was in his time.

For those who care about the planet and the diminishing energy resources, this book is a must-read. It has been written by one of the most genius minds of modern times, which warrants a fair consideration.

  • Publisher : Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2010)
  • Pages : 42 pages

7. Who Was Nikola Tesla?

Who Was Nikola Tesla

Targeted towards younger audience of primary school age, this book introduces Nikola Tesla to the young scientists. It covers the working life of Tesla after he arrived in the United States and his numerous inventions and discoveries of the electric current and wireless communication.

Tesla had a short working relationship with another famous, more widely known scientist of the time, Thomas Edison. This biography talks about their work and eventual separation. Young children would be fascinated to know more about how Tesla contributed to the modern machines and wireless communication that we take for granted today.

If you have a young kid interested in science, or teach primary school, this one is highly recommended as a fair and interesting introduction to one of the most innovative minds of the twentieth century.

  • Authors : Jim Gigliotti (Author), Who HQ (Author), John Hinderliter (Illustrator)
  • Publisher : Penguin Workshop; Illustrated Edition (December 4, 2018)
  • Pages : 112 pages

8. The Nikola Tesla Treasury

The Nikola Tesla Treasury

Another compilation of the legacy of Nikola Tesla, this one compiles his lectures and articles from various sources. Also included are his letters to the editors, covering the works of Marconi and Edison, and Tesla’s comments on several issues during that time.

The contents of this compilation demonstrate the true genius and visionary that he was. He highlighted several aspects not noticed by a common man. It also shines light on the amazing mind that he had as the letters and articles are unedited and are narrated in Tesla’s own words.

Although this is not a biography, not written as a narrative, the contents are all self-explanatory. It is of more use to engineers and skilled people than to the common man, since it talks about the technical aspects of Tesla’s inventions.

  • Publisher : Start Publishing LLC (July 1, 2013)
  • Pages : 670 pages

9. Tesla: Inventor of the Modern

Tesla Inventor of the Modern

Nikola Tesla is the man behind almost every technology or machine we use today, whether directly or indirectly. He invented the induction motor, the AC current, wireless communication, cell phones, internet, robots and remote control, amongst many others. Some of his work even gives details on death-ray weapons and interstellar communication, both of which have not yet been developed into their physical forms.

Given all this, it is fair to conclude that he is the man behind all modern inventions. This book depicts just this fact. It talks about his unmatched role in development of the modern world. His mind was way ahead of its time and his work are a true depiction of an almost miraculous standard.

This book reinforces the true visionary image that we should have of the great scientist, but unfortunately his genius was covered up in political controversies.

  • Authors : Richard Munson (Author)
  • Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; 1st Edition (October 15, 2019)
  • Pages : 20 pages

10. Prodigal Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla

Prodigal Genius The Extraordinary Life of Nikola Tesla

Going into more personal details rather than focusing on his work, this biography is unique in its approach. It talks about how Tesla’s mind worked; how he developed an interest in engineering, learned the subject, and went on to invent mind-blowing technologies.

The author relates very interesting stories about Tesla’s life. Very few people know how Tesla was robbed of accreditation to several of his inventions, which even led to missing out on the Nobel Prize. The conspiracies and politics around his life sadly prevented him to the reach the fame he deserved.

The true beauty of his genius mind and the sad reality of how he was defamed and ridiculed, not to mention ignored in the books of history, presents a sad and tragic fairy tale of what mad scientists have to face.

  • Authors : John J. O’Neill (Author)
  • Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st Edition (November 1, 2014)
  • Pages : 322 pages

11. Nikola Tesla: Prophet Of The Modern Technological Age

Nikola Tesla Prophet Of The Modern Technological Age

Tesla was a man way ahead of his time. His work on various inventions was nothing short of near-miracle genius. His inventions while welcomed by many were also feared and even envied by several.

This book goes into the details of Tesla’s friendship with Mark Twain, competition with Thomas Edison, strained ties with J. P. Morgan and furious enmity with Albert Edison. His relationship with the other famous geniuses of his time, narrated in the words of the author, is a very intriguing read.

Tesla led a troubled life due to his eccentricities and almost super-human intelligence. However, his life workings left us with many technologies making our lives easier. His inventions are considered advanced even in today’s world. A fair tribute to his life, this book is highly recommended.

  • Authors : Michael W. Simmons (Author)
  • Publisher : Make Profits Easy LLC (April 13, 2016)
  • Pages : 242 pages

12. The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla: With Special Reference to His Work in Polyphase Currents and High Potential Lighting

The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla With Special Reference to His Work in Polyphase Currents and High Potential Lighting

This book is an interesting collection of some of the most important works of Nikola Tesla. His useful inventions, extensive researches and engaging writings have all been compiled in one volume. A special attention has been given to his most important invention to date: the electricity we use today.

The works have all been included as images in their original form, meaning we get to see exactly how Tesla worked through and his thought process. Due accreditations have been added with legal copyright information referring to the libraries where his working papers are originally held.

This compilation presents a unique tribute to one of the true geniuses the world has seen. Since it is Tesla’s own writings, the originality of the scientist is preserved. It is a must-have book for science buffs and avid readers alike.

  • Authors : Thomas Commerford Martin (Author), Nikola Tesla (Author)
  • Publisher : Andesite Press (August 8, 2015)
  • Pages : 522 pages

13. Master of Electricity – Nikola Tesla: A Quick-Read Biography About the Life and Inventions of a Visionary Genius

Master of Electricity - Nikola Tesla A Quick-Read Biography About the Life and Inventions of a Visionary Genius

This one is quite a short biography on the infamous genius scientist. The author talks about Tesla’s early life, his achievements for science and technology, and the las part of his life ending with his death. Although short, it covers all the main details of his life happenings.

Tesla’s life tragedy was him not getting due credit for all his genius and inventions. His work was acknowledged at least 50 years after his death. And even then, due to alterations in recorded history, several of his masterpieces remain missing or ignored. This book is an attempt to return the glory to the forgotten hero, without whom a basic life necessity such as electricity would not have been possible.

This book is quite short, ideal for those who want a main idea of this modern genius.

  • Authors : Cynthia A. Parker (Author)
  • Publisher : Timber Publishing; 1st Edition (February 28, 2015)
  • Pages : 70 pages

14. The Tesla Papers: Nikola Tesla on Free Energy & Wireless Transmission of Power

The Tesla Papers Nikola Tesla on Free Energy & Wireless Transmission of Power

An interesting compilation of some of Tesla’s most amazing working papers, this book focuses on the energy harnessing solutions that Tesla presented. It also includes the blueprints for his various inventions, which have been unfairly credited to other scientists.

Tesla wrote a unique paper on how energy of the human body can be increased by the sun, and this has been termed as his master blueprint for the future. His papers on wireless communication, anti-gravity, free energy and solar power. He presented his work to the US Navy, but it was not accepted and considered too advanced for the day.

Nikola Tesla was probably one of the best inventors of the modern times and a super-human visionary, who understood the problems of the future. The papers in this compilation are a fascinating and amazing read for all.

  • Publisher : Adventures Unlimited Press (December 1, 2000)
  • Pages : 100 pages

15. Electrical Wizard: Candlewick Biographies: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

Electrical Wizard Candlewick Biographies How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

This book tells the story of the young Tesla working hard on all his inventions, despite opposition from his would-be mentor, Thomas Edison. He succeeded in developing the alternating current even in such a situation, and also invented many smart machines still in use today.

He was a man of many eccentricities. He liked to display his inventions with flair. Some of his famous shows include demonstrating the AC current at the Chicago World Fair and using the energy from Niagara Falls to produce electricity for New York. The stories and their aftermath are discussed engagingly in this interesting book.

The book narrates the incident almost like a storybook, which are aptly supported with bright attractive pictures of the inventions. This biography is an important addition to the many books written on the great man.

  • Authors : Elizabeth Rusch (Author), Oliver Dominguez (Illustrator)
  • Publisher : Candlewick; Illustrated Edition (September 8, 2015)
  • Pages : 56 pages

16. Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah (Oxford People)

Tesla The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah (Oxford People)

With a great mind come greater challenges. Tesla is widely known as the inventor of the alternating current we use today. He is also responsible for radio signals, robots, fluorescent lights and several other modern everyday items that we take for granted.

However, few know the unique challenges he faced for being a misunderstood genius in his time. Although he had a photographic memory and could do complicated calculus and physics calculations in his head, he also suffered from hallucinations and what would today be diagnosed as obsessive compulsive disorder.

This book offers a unique perspective on how difficult life is for extraordinary minds. The challenges faced by geniuses such as Tesla cannot be comprehended by the common man. This book is therefore a must-read for those who sympathise with the modern ‘mad scientists’.

  • Authors : Nigel Cawthorne (Author)
  • Publisher : Chartwell Books; Illustrated Edition (April 5, 2014)
  • Pages : 192 pages

17. Nikola Tesla: Lectures and Patents

Nikola Tesla Lectures and Patents

This volume is a compilation for skilled scientist for their reference and information. It contains several of Tesla’s lectures which he gave to explain his discoveries and inventions, and also lists many of his patented designs.

There are five high-interest lectures included where Tesla talks about his work on high frequency technologies, high voltage machines, oscillators and other related machineries. These fascinating lectures are followed by 112 patents which Tesla had registered at the Patent Office of United States. These are organised categorically and chronologically, and include electricity producing motors, circuitry, aircrafts and wireless telecommunication devices.

This book is ideal for those who want to focus on Tesla’s amazing work. It is high level writing targeted for those learned readers who understand the technical aspects of Tesla’s inventions.

  • Authors : Nikola Tesla (Author), Vojin Popovic (Author), Radoslav Horvat (Author), Nikola Nikolic (Author), Rodoljub Colakovic (Introduction)
  • Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st Edition (December 1, 2014)
  • Pages : 736 pages

18. Inventions Researches & Writings Nikola

Inventions Researches & Writings Nikola

This book records the many, many inventions, research and narratives of the great scientist. His working on inventing technologies like the electricity we have today, the various motor designs, wireless transmissions, X-rays etc. are exemplary and are stated in this book in detail.

His findings in the field of engineering are quite astonishing, unique to the point where scientists are baffled even today. His intelligence outshined many geniuses of the times, and it was for this reason he has been misunderstood, envied and even shunned by the science community.

This beautiful compilation lists many of his working papers, inventions and ideas, which form a fascinating read for the scientists of today. Few men are as gifted as Tesla was and his futuristic work is valid proof of that.

19. Nikola Tesla: My Life, My Research

Nikola Tesla My Life, My Research

An engaging autobiography, this book talks about everything the history books did not. Tesla was not understood or cherished during his life, or even later. This meant that his work was either ignored by historians or credited to someone else. As unfair as it was to him, there is little the modern world could do to correct that.

This autobiography was an attempt by the great scientist himself to put right the misconceptions surrounding his life. He talks about his work and inventions as well as his role in developing many innovative technologies in use today, like electricity, wireless transmission and fluorescent lights, to name a few.

This book is divided into three main parts: his autobiography, his major research work and several good quality images of some of his life’s main events and highlights.

  • Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st Edition (June 30, 2014)
  • Pages : 336 pages

20. The Wall of Light: Nikola Tesla and the X-12 Spaceship

The Wall of Light Nikola Tesla and the X-12 Spaceship

Nikola Tesla was an eccentric believer of the extra-terrestrial. He claimed to see and hear voices and even have met alien lifeforms. One of these meetings has been described in this book by his friend, the author.

Tesla claimed to have met a couple from Venus, “Frank and Frances”, who are claimed to be Commander Thor and his wife Deena. The author gives an account of this meeting and the incidents that followed. It was believed that his work was influenced by this meeting encounter, and the author has focused on this belief while narrating the happenings.

Although there are many who do not believe in the existence of extra-terrestrial life, and therefore disregard this book as being a work of fiction, several also claim that Tesla himself was out of his world because of his unique genius.

  • Authors : Arthur H. Matthews (Author), Gray Barker (Author), Nikola Tesla (Contributor)
  • Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 27, 2017)
  • Pages : 146 pages

Choosing the Best Nikola Tesla Books

Nikola Tesla was a true visionary, a genius scientist and an unfairly treated inventor. He has been robbed of his due credit to his inventions like electricity, radio and modern telecommunication. His inventions and work have long been buried under the history books of the more famous names like Thomas Edison and Marconi, discovered and acknowledged only recently. If his published works gave us electricity, radio and the internet, who knows what wonders and miracles his unpublished papers are capable of giving he modern world!


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Nikola Tesla

Serbian American scientist Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla coil and alternating-current (AC) electricity, in addition to discovering the rotating magnetic field.

nikola tesla looks at the camera while turning his head to the right, he wears a jacket and white collared shirt

Quick Facts

When was nikola tesla born, nikola tesla and thomas edison, solo venture, how did nikola tesla die, legacy: movies, electric car, and wardenclyffe tower renovation, who was nikola tesla.

Engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla designed the alternating-current (AC) electric system, which is the predominant electrical system used across the world today. He also created the “Tesla coil” that is still used in radio technology. Born in modern-day Croatia, Tesla immigrated to the United States in 1884 and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two parted ways. The Serbian American sold several patent rights, including those to his AC machinery, to George Westinghouse . Tesla died at age 86 in January 1943, but his legacy lives on through his inventions and the electric car company Tesla that’s named in his honor.

FULL NAME: Nikola Tesla BORN: July 10, 1856 DIED: January 7, 1943 BIRTHPLACE: Smiljan, Croatia ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Cancer

Tesla was born on July 10, 1856, in the Austrian Empire town of Smiljan that is now part of Croatia.

He was one of five children, including siblings Dane, Angelina, Milka, and Marica. Nikola’s interest in electrical invention was spurred by his mother, Djuka Mandic, who invented small household appliances in her spare time while her son was growing up.

Tesla’s father, Milutin Tesla, was a Serbian orthodox priest and a writer, and he pushed for his son to join the priesthood. But Nikola’s interests lay squarely in the sciences.

Tesla received quite a bit of education. He studied at the Realschule, Karlstadt (later renamed the Johann-Rudolph-Glauber Realschule Karlstadt) in Germany; the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria; and the University of Prague during the 1870s.

After university, Tesla moved to Budapest, Hungary, where for a time he worked at the Central Telephone Exchange. It was while in Budapest that the idea for the induction motor first came to Tesla, but after several years of trying to gain interest in his invention, at age 28, Tesla decided to leave Europe for America.

In 1884, Tesla arrived in the United States with little more than the clothes on his back and a letter of introduction to famed inventor and business mogul Thomas Edison , whose DC-based electrical works were fast becoming the standard in the country. Edison hired Tesla, and the two men were soon working tirelessly alongside each other, making improvements to Edison’s inventions.

Several months later, the two parted ways due to a conflicting business-scientific relationship , attributed by historians to their incredibly different personalities. While Edison was a power figure who focused on marketing and financial success, Tesla was commercially out-of-touch and somewhat vulnerable. Their feud would continue to affect Tesla’s career.

In 1885, Tesla received funding for the Tesla Electric Light Company and was tasked by his investors to develop improved arc lighting. After successfully doing so, however, Tesla was forced out of the venture and, for a time, had to work as a manual laborer in order to survive. His luck changed two years later when he received funding for his new Tesla Electric Company.

nikola tesla looks at a gadget he holds in his hands, he stands in a suit in a room with framed drawings on the wall, there is a cabinet with lots of machinery on top of it

Throughout his career, Tesla discovered, designed, and developed ideas for a number of important inventions—most of which were officially patented by other inventors—including dynamos (electrical generators similar to batteries) and the induction motor.

He was also a pioneer in the discovery of radar technology, X-ray technology, remote control, and the rotating magnetic field—the basis of most AC machinery. Tesla is most well-known for his contributions in AC electricity and for the Tesla coil.

AC Electrical System

Tesla designed the alternating-current (AC) electrical system, which quickly became the preeminent power system of the 20 th century and has remained the worldwide standard ever since. In 1887, Tesla found funding for his new Tesla Electric Company, and by the end of the year, he had successfully filed several patents for AC-based inventions.

Tesla’s AC system soon caught the attention of American engineer and businessman George Westinghouse , who was seeking a solution to supplying the nation with long-distance power. Convinced that Tesla’s inventions would help him achieve this, in 1888, he purchased his patents for $60,000 in cash and stock in the Westinghouse Corporation.

As interest in an AC system grew, Tesla and Westinghouse were put in direct competition with Thomas Edison , who was intent on selling his direct-current (DC) system to the nation. A negative press campaign was soon waged by Edison, in an attempt to undermine interest in AC power.

Unfortunately for Edison, the Westinghouse Corporation was chosen to supply the lighting at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system there.

Hydroelectric Power Plant

In 1895, Tesla designed what was among the first AC hydroelectric power plants in the United States, at Niagara Falls. The following year, it was used to power the city of Buffalo, New York—a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world and helped further AC electricity’s path to becoming the world’s power system.

a large piece of machine with rings around a long tube sits in a room

In the late 19 th century, Tesla patented the Tesla coil, which laid the foundation for wireless technologies and is still used in radio technology today. The heart of an electrical circuit, the Tesla coil is an inductor used in many early radio transmission antennas.

The coil works with a capacitor to resonate current and voltage from a power source across the circuit. Tesla used his coil to study fluorescence, x-rays, radio, wireless power, and electromagnetism in the earth and its atmosphere.

Wireless Power and Wardenclyffe Tower

Having become obsessed with the wireless transmission of energy, around 1900, Tesla set to work on his boldest project yet: to build a global, wireless communication system transmitted through a large electrical tower that would enable information sharing and provide free energy throughout the world.

a large metal tower with a bulbous top stands outside, a building and trees are in the background

With funding from a group of investors that included financial giant J. P. Morgan , Tesla began work on the free energy project in earnest in 1901. He designed and built a lab with a power plant and a massive transmission tower on a site on Long Island, New York, that became known as Wardenclyffe.

However, doubts arose among his investors about the plausibility of Tesla’s system. As his rival, Guglielmo Marconi —with the financial support of Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison —continued to make great advances with his own radio technologies, Tesla had no choice but to abandon the project.

The Wardenclyffe staff was laid off in 1906, and by 1915, the site had fallen into foreclosure. Two years later, Tesla declared bankruptcy, and the tower was dismantled and sold for scrap to help pay the debts he had accrued.

After suffering a nervous breakdown following the closure of his wireless power project, Tesla eventually returned to work, primarily as a consultant. But as time went on, his ideas became progressively more outlandish and impractical. He grew increasingly eccentric, devoting much of his time to the care of wild pigeons in the parks of New York City . Tesla even drew the attention of the FBI with his talk of building a powerful “death ray,” which had received some interest from the Soviet Union during World War II.

Poor and reclusive, Tesla died of coronary thrombosis on January 7, 1943, at the age of 86 in New York City, where he had lived for nearly 60 years.

The legacy of Tesla’s work lives on to this day. In 1994, a street sign identifying “Nikola Tesla Corner” was installed near the site of his former New York City laboratory, at the intersection of 40 th Street and 6 th Avenue.

Several movies have highlighted Tesla’s life and famous works, most notably:

  • The Secret of Nikola Tesla , a 1980 biographical film starring Orson Welles as J. P. Morgan .
  • Nikola Tesla, The Genius Who Lit the World , a 1994 documentary produced by the Tesla Memorial Society and the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • The Prestige , a 2006 fictional film about two magicians directed by Christopher Nolan , with rock star David Bowie portraying Tesla.

In 2003, a group of engineers founded Tesla Motors, a car company named after Tesla dedicated to building the first fully electric-powered car. Entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk contributed over $30 million to Tesla in 2004 and serves as the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Tesla Motors unveiled its first electric car, the Roadster, in 2008. A high-performance sports vehicle, the Roadster helped changed the perception of what electric cars could be. In 2014, Tesla launched the Model S, a lower-priced model that, in 2017, set the MotorTrend world record for 0 to 60 miles per hour acceleration at 2.28 seconds. The company’s designs showed that an electric car could have the same performance as gasoline-powered sports car brands like Porsche and Lamborghini.

Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe

Since Tesla’s original forfeiture of his free energy project, ownership of the Wardenclyffe property has passed through numerous hands. Several attempts have been made to preserve it, but efforts to declare it a national historic site failed in 1967, 1976, and 1994.

Then, in 2008, a group called the Tesla Science Center (TSC) was formed with the intention of purchasing the property and turning it into a museum dedicated to the inventor’s work. In 2009, the Wardenclyffe site went on the market for nearly $1.6 million, and for the next several years, the TSC worked diligently to raise funds for its purchase. In 2012, public interest in the project peaked when Matthew Inman of collaborated with the TSC in an Internet fundraising effort, ultimately receiving enough contributions to acquire the site in May 2013.

Wardenclyffe Tower finally joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. Work on its restoration is still in progress. A $20 million redevelopment broke ground in April 2023, but those efforts were complicated by large fire that November. The site is closed to the public “for the foreseeable future” for reasons of safety and preservation, according to the Tesla Science Center.

  • Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more.
  • I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.
  • The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
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The Best Books About Nikola Tesla

Best Books About Tesla

“What are the best books about Nikola Tesla?” We looked at 83 of the top Tesla books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 11 titles, all appearing on 2 or more “Best Nikola Tesla” book lists, are ranked below by how many lists they appear on. The remaining 70+ titles, as well as the lists we used are in alphabetical order at the bottom of the page.

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Top 11 Nikola Tesla Books

11 .) famous scientific illusions by nikola tesla.

biography of nikola tesla book

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10 .) Light and other High Frequency Phenomena by Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

  • Tesla Memorial Society

9 .) Nikola Tesla and his Pioneering Work in Electrical Science by Slavko Boksan

biography of nikola tesla book

  • Tesla Society
  • Tesla Universe

8 .) Nikola Tesla, Colorado Springs Notes 1899-1900 by Aleksandar Marincic

biography of nikola tesla book

Due to his demonstration of wireless communication through radio, Nikola Tesla was widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers in America. In the United States, Tesla’s fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture. This book consists of Tesla’s research for the practical development of a system for wireless transmission of power (electricity) — the transmission of power from station to station. The notes are highly detailed, and clearly show his transmitting electricity without wires by means of his magnifying transmitter. A must-read for anyone interested in Tesla’s revolutionary experiments with transmitters.

7 .) Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla by John J. O’Neill

biography of nikola tesla book

  • Sanjin Dumisic
Tesla’s eccentric personality gives his life story the quality of the strangest romance. He made his first million before he was forty, yet gave up the royalties on his profitable invention as a gesture of friendship, and died almost in poverty. In this penetrating study of the life and inventions of a scientific superman, the life of Tesla is revealed.

6 .) The Complete Patents of Nikola Tesla by Jim Glenn

biography of nikola tesla book

“The Complete Patents of Nikola Tesla” brings together in one volume all of Tesla’s patents issued in the United States. These patents have been arranged in chronological order by date of application. This presentation offers new meaning to Tesla’s work by providing a logical sequence of the inventor’s thought processes in the development of new principles, some of which are still in advance of today’s technology.

5 .) The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla by Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

Nikola Tesla’s Electricity Unplugged is a unique anthology of hand-picked Tesla articles, arranged historically, which presents overwhelming and convincing evidence for the reality of Tesla’s high efficiency, low cost wireless power transmission. Following in the footsteps of the editor’s first book in the series, Harnessing the Wheelwork of Nature, Dr. Tom Valone’s book chronologically traces the original intention that Nikola Tesla had for his wireless electricity and how he updated and expanded upon it later on, with reprints of his key articles, to the recent genius engineers and physicists who are now finally bringing this last and most elusive, highly advanced Tesla technology into reality.

4 .) The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla by Thomas Commerford Martin, Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

During the early twentieth century, the eccentric and brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla blazed the path that electrical development followed for many years to come. This fascinating illustrated record of Tesla’s pioneering work gathers many of his most famous findings and theories, allowing contemporary readers to experience the amazing range of his thinking. It includes lectures, articles, and discussions—particularly those bearing on polyphase motors and the effects obtained with currents of high potential and high frequency—and gives us a rare glimpse of a genius at work.

3 .) The Tesla Papers by Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

In the tradition of The Fantastic Adventures of Nikola Tesla, The Anti-Gravity Handbook and The Free Energy Device Handbook, science and UFO author David Hatcher Childress takes us into the incredible world of Nikola Tesla and his amazing inventions. Tesla’s rare article, ‘The Problem of Increasing Human Energy with Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy’ is included. This lengthy article was originally publishing in the June 1900 issue of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine and it was the outline for Tesla’s master blueprint for the world. Tesla’s fantastic vision of the future, including wireless power, anti-gravity, free energy and highly advanced solar power.

2 .) Wizard, The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc J. Seifer

biography of nikola tesla book

Nikola Tesla, credited by many as the inspiration for radios, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. “Wizard” is the definitive biography of this founding father of modern technology of photos .

1 .) My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla by Nikola Tesla

biography of nikola tesla book

“Written by Nikola Tesla at the age of 63, this autobiography is a fascinating glimpse into the interior life of a man who may have contributed more to the fields of electricity, radio, and television than any other person living or dead, a man certainly possessed of genius, and one who some consider the most important man of the 20th century. My Inventions is a firsthand account not only of the art and science behind the conception, execution, and reception of Tesla’s most famous inventions but of his early life and first creative efforts as well. History buffs, science enthusiasts, backyard inventors, and anyone who has ever dared to dream big will be thrilled to hear this engaging, informative, and uniquely humorous autobiography.”

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Biography Online


Nikola Tesla Biography

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was one of the greatest and most enigmatic scientists who played a key role in the development of electromagnetism and other scientific discoveries of his time. Despite his breathtaking number of patents and discoveries, his achievements were often underplayed during his lifetime.

Short Biography Nikola Tesla


Tesla was a bright student and in 1875 went to the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz. However, he left to gain employment in Marburg in Slovenia. Evidence of his difficult temperament sometimes manifested and after an estrangement from his family, he suffered a nervous breakdown. He later enrolled in the Charles Ferdinand University in Prague, but again he left before completing his degree.

During his early life, he experienced many periods of illness and periods of startling inspiration. Accompanied by blinding flashes of light, he would often visualise mechanical and theoretical inventions spontaneously. He had a unique capacity to visualise images in his head. When working on projects, he would rarely write down plans or scale drawings, but rely on the images in his mind.

In 1880, he moved to Budapest where he worked for a telegraph company. During this time, he became acquainted with twin turbines and helped develop a device that provided amplification for when using the telephone.

In 1882, he moved to Paris, where he worked for the Continental Edison Company. Here he improved various devices used by the Edison company. He also conceived the induction motor and devices that used rotating magnetic fields.

With a strong letter of recommendation, Tesla went to the United States in 1884 to work for the Edison Machine Works company. Here he became one of the chief engineers and designers. Tesla was given a task to improve the electrical system of direct current generators. Tesla claimed he was offered $50,000 if he could significantly improve the motor generators. However, after completing his task, Tesla received no reward. This was one of several factors that led to a deep rivalry and bitterness between Tesla and Thomas Edison . It was to become a defining feature of Tesla’s life and impacted his financial situation and prestige. This deep rivalry was also seen as a reason why neither Tesla or Edison was awarded a Nobel prize for their electrical discoveries.

Disgusted that he did not ever receive a pay rise, Tesla resigned, and for a short while, found himself having to gain employment digging ditches for the Edison telephone company.

In 1886, Tesla formed his own company, but it wasn’t a success as his backers didn’t support his faith in AC current.

In 1887, Tesla worked on a form of X-Rays. He was able to photograph the bones in his hand; he also became aware of the side-effects of using radiation. However, his work in this area gained little coverage, and much of his research was later lost in a fire at a New York warehouse.

“The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up… His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.”

– Nikola Tesla,  Modern Mechanics and Inventions (July 1934)

In 1891, Tesla became an American citizen. This was also a period of great advances in electrical knowledge. Tesla demonstrated the potential for wireless energy transfer and the capacity for AC power generation. Tesla’s promotion of AC current placed him in opposition to Edison who sought to promote his Direct Current DC for electric power. Shortly before his death, Edison said his biggest mistake was spending so much time on DC current rather than the AC current Tesla had promoted.

In 1899, Tesla moved to Colorado Springs where he had the space to develop high voltage experiments. This included a variety of radio and electrical transmission experiments. He left after a year in Colorado Springs, and the buildings were later sold to pay off debts.

In 1900, Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower facility. This was an ambitious project costing $150,000, a fortune at the time.

In 1904, the US patent office reversed his earlier patent for the radio, giving it instead to G. Marconi . This infuriated Tesla who felt he was the rightful inventor. He began a long, expensive and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to fight the decision. Marconi went on to win the Nobel Prize for physics in 1909. This seemed to be a repeating theme in Tesla’s life: a great invention that he failed to personally profit from.

Nikola Tesla also displayed fluorescent lamps and single node bulbs.

Tesla was in many ways an eccentric and genius. His discoveries and inventions were unprecedented. Yet, he was often ostracised for his erratic behaviour (during his later years, he developed a form of obsessive-compulsive behaviour). He was not frightened of suggesting unorthodox ideas such as radio waves from extraterrestrial beings. His ideas, lack of personal finance and unorthodox behaviour put him outside the scientific establishment and because of this, his ideas were sometimes slow to be accepted or used.

“All that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combated, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”

– Nikola Tesla, A Means for Furthering Peace (1905)

Outside of science, he had many artistic and literary friends; in later life he became friendly with Mark Twain , inviting him to his laboratory. He also took an interest in poetry, literature and modern Vedic thought, in particular being interested in the teachings and vision of the modern Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda . Tesla was brought up an Orthodox Christian, although he later didn’t consider himself a believer in the true sense. He retained an admiration for Christianity and Buddhism.

“For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one.”

– Nikola Tesla,  The Problem of Increasing Human Energy (1900)

As well as considering scientific issues, Tesla was thoughtful about greater problems of war and conflict, and he wrote a book on the subject called   A Means for Furthering Peace (1905).  This expressed his views on how conflict may be avoided and humanity learn to live in harmony.

“What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife.”

– Nikola Tesla,  My Inventions (1919)

Personal life

Tesla was famous for working hard and throwing himself into his work. He ate alone and rarely slept, sleeping as little as two hours a day.  He remained unmarried and claimed that his chastity was helpful to his scientific abilities. In later years, he became a vegetarian, living on only milk, bread, honey, and vegetable juices.

Tesla passed away on 7 January 1943, in a New York hotel room.  He was 86 years old.

After his death, in 1960 the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic field strength the Tesla in his honour.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan . “ Biography of Nikola Tesla” , Oxford, UK – . Last updated 25th September 2017

Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age

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Tesla: The Man who invented the Twentieth Century

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Key Inventions of Nikola Tesla

  • Development in electromagnetism
  • Theoretical work on Alternating Current (AC)
  • Tesla Coil – magnifying transmitter
  • Polyphase system of electrical distribution
  • Patent for an early form of radio
  • Wireless electrical transfer
  • Devices for lightning protection
  • Concepts for electrical vehicles

Important contributions in

  • Early models of radar
  • Remote control
  • Nuclear physics

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Inventions that changed the world  – Famous inventions that made a great difference to the progress of the world, including aluminium, the telephone and the printing press.

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  • Tesla Museum

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My inventions : the autobiography of Nikola Tesla

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Summary Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius

Table of Contents Cover Page Excerpt Title Page Dedication FOREWORD PREFACE 1 HERITAGE 2 CHILDHOOD (1856-74) 3 COLLEGE YEARS (1875-82) 4 TESLA MEETS THE WIZARD OF MENLO PARK (1882-85) 5 LIBERTY STREET (1886-88) 6 INDUCTION AT PITTSBURGH (1889) 7 BOGUS INVENTORS (1889-90) 8 SOUTH FIFTH AVENUE (1890-91) 9 REVISING THE PAST (1891) 10 THE ROYAL SOCIETY (1892) 11 FATHER OF THE WIRELESS (1893) 12 ELECTRIC SORCERER (1893) 13 THE FILIPOVS (1894) 14 NIAGARA POWER (1894) 15 EFFULGENT GLORY (1894) 16 FIRE AT THE LAB (1895) 17 MARTIAN FEVER (1895-96) 18 HIGH SOCIETY (1894-97) 19 SHADOWGRAPHS (1896) 20 FALLS SPEECH (1897) 21 LUMINARIES (1896-98) 22 SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (1896-97) 23 VRIL POWER (1898) 24 WALDORF-ASTORIA (1898) 25 COLORADO SPRINGS (1899) 26 CONTACT (1899) 27 THOR’S EMISSARY (1899) 28 THE HERO’S RETURN (1900) 29 THE HOUSE OF MORGAN (1901) 30 WORLD TELEGRAPHY CENTER (1901) 31 CLASH OF THE TITANS (1901) 32 THE PASSING OF THE TORCH (1902) 33 WARDENCLYFFE (1902-1903) 34 THE WEB (1903-1904) 35 DISSOLUTION (1904-1906) 36 THE CHILD OF HIS DREAMS (1907-1908) 37 BLADELESS TURBINES (1909-10) 38 THE HAMMOND CONNECTION (1909-13) 39 J. P. MORGAN JR. (1912-14) 40 FIFTH COLUMN (1914-16) 41 THE INVISIBLE AUDIENCE (1915-21) 42 TRANSMUTATION (1918-21) 43 THE ROARING TWENTIES (1918-27) 44 FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT (1927-40) 45 LIVING ON CREDIT (1925-40) 46 LOOSE ENDS (1931-43) 47 THE FBI AND THE TESLA PAPERS (1943-56) 48 THE WIZARD’S LEGACY APPENDIX A THE MAGNIFYING TRANSMITTER: A TECHNICAL DISCUSSION APPENDIX B BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTES ACKNOWLEDGMENTS INDEX ABOUT THE AUTHOR Copyright What the Critics Say About Wizard It was Seifer’s…intention to bring…Tesla’s…major scientific and technological contributions…together. He has done a very impressive job collecting a massive amount of documentation of original and secondary sources…The letters in the J.P. Morgan collection, in particular, shed considerable new light on Tesla’s connection with Morgan and his contemporaries. —Nature The best chapter in Seifer’s book describes late 19th century science fiction and locates Tesla’s projects among other predictions of the future…Seifer is [also] good at describing Tesla’s lack of practical, economic and personal judgment and the way his enormous ego invited unscrupulous partners… —Washington Post Book World Seifer paints a picture of Tesla that anyone familiar with the life of someone such as Orson Welles will recognize. Here was a man who peaked early, traveled in famous company…and started believing his own press hype. That made him spend the rest of his life trying to score another universe-changing coup…Wizard does a pretty good job of placing Tesla within the firmament of inventors, thinkers, and futurists. With Seifer’s scholarship to build on, anyone reconstructing those dizzy years of invention and litigation at the turn of the century would be foolish to try and leave out Nikola Tesla. —Winston-Salem NC Journal Despite Tesla’s impact on electricity, history does not regard him as highly as many of his inventive contemporaries…As Seifer shows in great detail…Tesla’s story is complicated and tests our definition of science…Where does someone like Tesla fit it? —MIT’s Technology Review Wizard…presents a much more accurate…picture of Tesla…[It] is thorough, informative, entertaining and a valuable addition to electrotechnological history, past and future. —Electronic Engineering Times Here is a deep and comprehensive biography of a great engineer of early electrical science. Indeed, it is likely to become the definitive biography of the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla. The book brings together, into a cohesive whole, the many complex facets of the personal and technical life of the “wizard” who stands alongside Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse as another great implementor and inventor…Highly recommended. —American Academy for the Advancement of Science In modern times, Tesla may be enjoying a comeback thanks to books like “Wizard.” —New York Times The next time you dial your cellular phone, there’s a guy you should think of. If you don’t use a cell phone, then look at the light by which you’re reading this newspaper. He helped make it brighter…WIZARD chronicles Tesla’s contributions to alternating current, or AC, the electrical system used in most homes today. Though today he is almost forgotten, written out of history by the people he once worked for, Tesla lived in New York’s Waldorf Astoria and was world famous…“His notebooks are filled with mathematics,” said Seifer. “He predates Einstein and Bohr with his description of the atom. He was one of the forefathers of quantum physics.” —Narragansett Times [Wizard] brings the many complex facets of [Tesla’s] personal and technical life together into a cohesive whole…The book contains excellent discussions of the controversies, fury of activity, and lawsuits surrounding the development of new hardware technology. In many ways, they are similar to the later legal battles in the development of computers…I highly recommend this biography of a great technologist. A.A. Mullin, U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command. —Computing Reviews Rare insight on a great mind. —New Bedford Standard Times Wizard The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla Biography of a Genius Marc J. Seifer In memory of my Dad, Stanley Seifer FOREWORD Nikola Tesla was my father’s uncle, and as such he was treated by our family much as any uncle might have been who lived at a considerable distance and was advanced in years. But there were stronger bonds between my father and Tesla than might otherwise have been the case. They came from identical social backgrounds, sons of Serbian Orthodox priests, born and raised a few miles apart in the Austro-Hungarian military frontier district county of Lika in the Province of Croatia (my grandmother was Tesla’s sister Angelina); they were the only members of a relatively limited extended family to emigrate to America; and they were the only members to undertake science and technology as their life’s work. My father, Nicholas J. (John) Terbo (Nikola Jovo Trbojevich), was thirty years younger than his uncle, came to America thirty years after him, and died thirty years after Tesla. Tesla was already famous as my father was growing up, and he became a model for my father’s technical career. Father held about 175 U.S. and foreign patents, the most important of which was his 1923 basic patent on the Hypoid gear, used on the vast majority of the world’s cars since 1930. The Hypoid gear introduced advanced mathematics to the art of gear design, much as Tesla’s work united electrical theory and electrical engineering. Tesla henceforth proudly referred to my father as “my nephew, the mathematician.” (That these patents brought considerable financial as well as professional recognition to my father was also not lost on the often cash-poor Tesla.) Because the ethnic and professional similarities between Nikola Tesla and my father were so striking, I feel that I have been granted a special privilege through this comparison in understanding Tesla’s private personality, including his well-developed sense of humor and his often cavalier disregard for money. Once, when Tesla was visiting us in the early 1930s, my father took him to lunch at the Book Cadillac Hotel, then the finest in Detroit. They arrived late, only a few minutes before a cover charge of $2 or $3 would end. (This was equivalent to $20 or $30 by today’s standards.) My father suggested waiting, but Tesla would hear none of it. They sat down amid a flurry of waiters and Tesla ordered a chafing dish, bread, and milk and proceeded to prepare his own lunch to his own specifications (to my father’s amusement and the unease of the maître d’). I had not yet reached thirteen when Tesla died in January 1943, and I did not have the sense of the ending of an epoch marked by his passing, both for our family and for an era of individualism in scientific discovery. I may have reflected with some uneasiness that I had had the opportunity to meet Tesla some three or four years earlier and that no further meetings would ever happen again. I remembered my reluctance to be dragged to the meeting in his suite at the Hotel New Yorker when my mother and I were spending a few days in New York before returning to Detroit after our summer vacation at the Jersey shore. (I would have preferred spending more time at Radio City Music Hall or at the docks, watching the ocean liners.) I was shy (rather, overwhelmed) and spoke hardly a word to this very tall, very gaunt old man. I would have been repelled—as any young “all-American boy” should have been—to be hugged and kissed by this stranger if my father hadn’t often done the same. (This is the way my mother’s women friends often acted, but my American mother’s brother would have only given me a firm handshake.) Little did I realize that Tesla’s hugging, kissing, and patting my head would belie his famous idiosyncrasy of an overriding phobia of germs. Surely, a young boy would have been teeming with “germs”! One could therefore speculate that this “idiosyncrasy” was possibly an affectation designed to preserve his “space.” While Tesla lived, some considerable degree of his fame endured—in no small measure because of his ability to stimulate the media. However, after his death the nation and the world were occupied with other more pressing matters —war and reconstruction, international political realignments, an unmatched explosion of new technology, a new consumer society—and Tesla’s fame and recognition nearly evaporated. Only a few in the U.S. and international scientific communities and the abiding respect and admiration of Serbs and all Yugoslavs worldwide kept his name alive. My awareness of a resurgence of interest in the life and works of Nikola Tesla began in the early 1970s, when I moved from Los Angeles (where it seemed no one had ever heard of Tesla) to Washington, D.C., where at least the name was recognized. In February 1975 my mother phoned to tell me that she had read in the Los Angeles Times that Uncle Nikola was to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and that I should look into it. I chanced to notice on a local TV news program that evening a short segment monitoring the Hall of Fame and an interview with a girl of ten or twelve who had invented a new can opener or some such. I dismissed the Hall as a commercial promotion and went on to something else. Only later did I read a newspaper account about the induction of Tesla (along with Orville and Wilbur Wright, Samuel F. B. Morse, and Tesla’s nemesis, Guglielmo Marconi) and citing the Hall’s sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The closest living relative of each honoree was to receive the induction diploma at an elaborate ceremony. Lacking any “Tesla” (or even any “Trbojevich”) to represent the family, an officer of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) accepted the Tesla diploma. (The IEEE considers Tesla one of the twelve “apostles” of electrical science and continues to offer an annual prize in the field of Power Engineering in his name.) When I presented myself at the Patent Office a few weeks later, they were delighted and made arrangements to make a second presentation to me at the 1976 awards ceremony held that year at Congress Hall in Philadelphia as part of the U.S. Bicentennial Year celebration. Since then, there has been an earnest revival of interest in the technological accomplishments of Nikola Tesla and in his personality, philosophy, and culture as well. Part of the drama of his life is that he was a man who not only revolutionized the generation and distribution of electrical energy and made basic contributions to many other facets of modern technology but that he did so without the specific aim of amassing great wealth. This altruism, which is often criticized as “poor business sense,” imposed a monetary limitation on future experimentation to test his new innovations. Who knows what advances might have been possible if he had been able to validate them through rigorous experimentation. New science is an expensive endeavor, and finding financial support is a frustrating task for even those as focused as Tesla. Among the associations that have supported the Tesla renaissance are: the Tesla Memorial Society, which I helped found in 1979, and of which I am pleased to be its Honorary Chairman and Chairman of its Executive Board, and the International Tesla Society, founded in 1983, and of which I am a Life Member. It was while speaking at the first ITS biannual Tesla Symposium in 1984 that I first met a fellow speaker, Dr. Marc J. Seifer, in person. His paper “The Lost Wizard” was the seed from which his new Tesla biography has sprung. I have been impressed with Dr. Seifer’s dedication and scholarship in developing his early theories into a well-rounded examination of the mystery of Tesla’s great genius. One of the things that has most intrigued me about a new work on this topic is how much new information keeps surfacing. Dr. Seifer has researched minor characters in Tesla’s life as well as the many major ones. This has given him additional insight into Tesla’s life and allowed the development of new and different interpretations of many important events, such as the failure of the Wardenclyffe tower project. Dr. Seifer provides a new look at Tesla’s college years, the time when many of his epochal ideas were forming. He has uncovered new information on Tesla’s relationship with a number of key individuals, such as his editor, Thomas Commerford Martin, and financial backers John Jacob Astor and John Hays Hammond. A great strength of Wizard is its adherence, chapter by chapter, to a rather strict chronology, which makes it easy to follow the breadth and scope of Tesla’s life and achievements in an orderly fashion. I congratulate Dr. Seifer on a decade’s journey with Nikola Tesla and am pleased to introduce to you Wizard. William H. Terbo Honorary Chairman Tesla Memorial Society PREFACE In 1976, while involved in research at the New York Public Library, I stumbled upon a strange text entitled Return of the Dove which claimed that there was a man not born of this planet who landed as a baby in the mountains of Croatia in 1856. Raised by “earth parents,” an avatar had arrived for the sole purpose of inaugurating the New Age. By providing humans with a veritable cornucopia of inventions, he had created, in essence, the technological backbone of the modern era.1 His name was Nikola Tesla, and his inventions included the induction motor, the electrical-power distribution system, fluorescent and neon lights, wireless communication, remote control, and robotics. Tesla—who’s he? I said to myself. Because my father had been a TV repairman for several years in the early 1950s and I had spent part of my childhood accompanying him on house calls, helping put up antennas, test and buy radio tubes, play with oscilloscopes, and watch him build TVs, I was amazed that I had never heard of this man. I remember vividly an event from my grade-school years on Long Island that prepared me for my latter-day interest. It was a Saturday, circa 1959, and I was working on a Boy Scout assignment when I came upon a design for a crystal radio set. My father and I gathered a glass jar and a set of headphones, a crystal detector for changing the ambient AC radio waves into audio DC pulses, some thin copper wire to be wrapped around the jar, a metal switch that was scraped across this coil for the “dial,” a small plank to hold the contraption together, and a hundred feet of normal rubbercoated wire for the antenna, which we strung out a second-story window. There was no plug; all energy was derived from the broadcast signals from the nearby radio stations. However, after hooking it all together, the reception was faint; I became discouraged. My father paced the room, considering the problem, muttering, “Something’s wrong.” After a few moments of deep thought, he made a motion which said, “I’ve got it.” Walking over to our radiator and dragging another wire, which he had hooked up to the jar, Dad attached a ground connection. Suddenly, all the stations began to come in loud and clear, and I marked each of them on the jar along the coil. It was apparent to me then that electrical power was being transmitted from these stations by wireless means and that the earth somehow was intrinsically linked to this system. And now, here I was, nearly twenty years later, two years out of graduate school with a master’s degree, well-read and somewhat knowledgeable about electronics, yet I had never heard of the principal inventor of the very device I had spent endless hours with as a kid. This astonished me in a way difficult to describe. Moreover, when I asked my father about Tesla, he barely knew of him. Because I believe in seeking original sources, I began to research Tesla’s life, starting with the two existing biographies, John O’Neill’s classic Prodigal Genius and Inez Hunt and Wanetta Draper’s Lightning in His Hand. Soon after, I began tracking down numerous turn-of-the-century references and also the weighty Nikola Tesla: Lectures, Patents, Articles, produced by the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Thus, I was able to ascertain, by following his actual patents, that indeed Tesla existed and that his work was fundamental to all these creations. That Tesla’s name was so little known puzzled me, so in 1980, three years after writing my first article on him, I began a doctoral dissertation on his life. My major purpose was to address the question of name obscurity. During the writing of my dissertation, several notable Tesla works were compiled. These included the comprehensive and encyclopedic Dr. Nikola Tesla Bibliography, by Leland Anderson and John Ratzlaff; Tesla’s 1919 autobiography, republished by Hart Brothers; Margaret Cheney’s biography Tesla: Man Out of Time; two compendiums of Tesla’s writings by John Ratzlaff; Colorado Springs Notes, produced by the Tesla Museum; and most recently, Leland Anderson’s edition of Tesla’s private testimony to his lawyers on the history of wireless communication. Even with all this new material, however, no comprehensive, all-embracing treatise had been achieved. In fact, after studying all these texts, a number of contradictions and glaring mysteries remained. These included not only Tesla’s obscure early years, tenure at college, and relationship to such key people as Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, George Westinghouse, and J. P. Morgan but also the worth of Tesla’s accomplishments and his exact place in the development of these inventions. This book attempts to solve the mysteries. Because there have been significant gaps in the record, a clear chronology of Tesla’s life is presented. Also addressed are such issues as why his name dropped into obscurity after being a page 1 subject in newspapers around the world at the turn of the century, why he never received the Nobel Prize, even though he was nominated for one, what Tesla did during the world wars, and whether his plan for transmitting electrical power by wireless was feasible. Using a psychohistorical perspective, the text discusses not only those factors that led to Tesla’s genius, but also quirks that led to his undoing. In this vein, it delineates Tesla’s relationship to many of his well-known associates, such as John Jacob Astor, T. C. Martin, J. P. Morgan Sr. and Jr., John Hays Hammond Sr. and Jr., Michael Pupin, Stanford White, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Sylvester Viereck, Titus deBobula, and J. Edgar Hoover. Many of these people are barely touched upon or are not discussed at all in other treatises. Because Tesla’s life is so controversial and complex, I also examine such questions as whether Tesla received impulses from outer space, why he ultimately failed in his partnership with J. P. Morgan in constructing a multifunctional global wireless system for distributing power and information, what his exact relationship to Robert and Katharine Johnson was, and what exactly happened to his particle-beam weaponry system and secret papers. Since I’ve based the text largely on firsthand documents rather than on the existing biographies, this book offers an essentially new view of Tesla’s life. The most recent biography, Tesla, by Tad Wise, an admittedly fictionalized version of the inventor’s life, was not referred to herein, as the goal of the enclosed is to separate out the myth and uncover who Tesla really was. However, one of Wise’s most prominent stories, that Tesla was responsible for the peculiar explosion that devastated Tunguska, Siberia in June of 1908, is addressed in a new appendix for this second edition. I have visited all major Tesla archival centers such as at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; Columbia University, in New York City; and the Tesla Museum, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. And because I have also utilized the Freedom of Information Act and accessed the arcane network of Tesla researchers, I have been able to compile hundreds of documents that have never been discussed before by any Tesla biographies. In addition, because I am a handwriting analyst, I have also utilized that expertise to analyze a number of the key personalities involved. Through this means, and as a total surprise, I have also been able to discover a heretofore unreported emotional collapse that the inventor suffered in 1906, at the time of the failing of his great wireless enterprise. Since Tesla lived until the age of eighty-six, the story spans nearly a


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Nikola Tesla - Quotes Collection

Biography, achievements and life lessons, publisher description.

NIKOLA TESLA - QUOTES COLLECTION BIOGRAPHY, ACHIEVEMENTS AND LIFE LESSONS ABOUT NIKOLA TESLA Nikola Tesla, born on July 10, 1856, in the small village of Smiljan in the Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia), would go on to become one of the most influential and enigmatic figures in the history of science and technology. His life was marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge, groundbreaking inventions, and a visionary approach that transcended the boundaries of his time. QUOTES SAMPLES: "It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects." "Modern science says: 'The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future.' From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom." "I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men." "Every living being is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its immediate surrounding, the sphere of external influence extends to infinite distance." "Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality."

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  3. Nikola Tesla

    Nikola Tesla (born July 9/10, 1856, Smiljan, Austrian Empire [now in Croatia]—died January 7, 1943, New York, New York, U.S.) was a Serbian American inventor and engineer who discovered and patented the rotating magnetic field, the basis of most alternating-current machinery. He also developed the three-phase system of electric power transmission. He immigrated to the United States in 1884 ...

  4. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography o…

    Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.

  5. Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

    Format Paperback. ISBN 9780806539966. "The story of one of the most prolific, independent, and iconoclastic inventors of this century . . . fascinating."—Scientific American Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity.

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    Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla : Biography of a Genius. Wizard. : Marc J. Seifer. Citadel Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 542 pages. " [ Wizard] brings the many complex facets of [Tesla's] personal and technical life together in to a cohesive whole. . .. I highly recommend this biography of a great technologist."

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    Citadel Press. Publication date. 1998. ISBN. 978-1-55972-329-9. The book Wizard, the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla is a biography of Nikola Tesla by Marc J. Seifer published in 1996.

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    Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.

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    Nikola Tesla (/ ˈ t ɛ s l ə /; Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла, [nǐkola têsla]; 10 July [O.S. 28 June] 1856 - 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist.He is known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.. Born and raised in the Austrian Empire, Tesla ...

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    An illustration of an open book. Books. An illustration of two cells of a film strip. Video An illustration of an audio speaker. ... the autobiography of Nikola Tesla by Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943 ... 1982 Topics Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943, Electrical engineers -- United States -- Biography, Inventors -- United States -- Biography Publisher ...

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    NIKOLA TESLA - QUOTES COLLECTION BIOGRAPHY, ACHIEVEMENTS AND LIFE LESSONS ABOUT NIKOLA TESLA Nikola Tesla, born on July 10, 1856, in the small village of Smiljan in the Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia), would go on to become one of the most influential and enigmatic figures in the history of science and technology.