My Inventions Part One - My Early Life

Date: 
Saturday, February 1, 1919
Volume: 
22
Pages: 
696-747
Archived Page: 
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696 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER February, l 9 19 ;lW1|»!41l§4JL5AJL$41 l»\4JL\1~1lM Ala/4 A lL\l| II§_ _ a41__Jt;4:_ J 1_4JL; u/zu/:L\/:uw A /Jima/inan41nwuvgius/iw:txftiufgiuatmil§'1:i§41u'4:Lx'4:Lx'44tswvg 21 ‘ 31 Q lg 4 -E a ___ lr §1 “ B N 'iz I T I _. y 1 o a es a ga ,__ is -_ 'E 5 'g 1 MY EARLY LIFE lé 3 ' I* ,G 51r?§1Ph‘?1r7§1I7§1r?§1€‘7§1r7ir1r?i1r?§1t7§1tK?1P?§‘lr?§1r?i'\1r%i1r7§1V'Fn¥%irK?1rWrE`nW§1t%imHr'€nW§1W§1YRTKWrE`hr%Y1riHh3W§1H§1WRHrhi1r7i<1ri’m‘1th?tri§i1riii1r?|i1rh€1€ii1t%?1r?§1r?ei1r7»i1t761?hi1i?= HE progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mas- tery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to h\\man needs. This is the diflicnlt the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded_ finds ample compensation in the pleasing exercises of his powers and in _ the knowledge of being one of that ex- task of But he dwell, however reluctantly, on the impressions of my youth and the circumstances and events which have been instrumental in determining my career. Our first endeavors are purely instinctive, promptings of an imagination vivid and undisciplined. As we grow older reason asserts itself and we become more and more systematic and designing. But those early impulses, tho _. _ not immediately productive, are of the ceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished in the bitter struggle against pililess elc- ments. Speaking for myself, I have already - had more than my full measure of this exquisite enjoyment, so much that for many years my life was little short of - continuous rapture. I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent _ of labor, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is ‘ interpreted to be a rlehnite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be tl\e worst of idlers_ Every effort nnder compulsion demands a sacri- Gee of life-energy. I never paid such a 1' price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts. - In attempting to give a connected and ` faithful account of my activities in this series of articles which will be presented of the with the assistance of the Editors 1, UU ' _, , _ » l 3 Q ‘f lmi iiiu '- .` g ;-Qgl _ », -n o . /, g\ , _ l. ~ .F V ' V _ _ ...V f@: ' ¢» _ I _ _ » ~ - _ -11 fi, " _ » _ 74 _ _, ._ /7 I _;_1, _ `~:§";é;é'~ _ _\ _ t / ` ~ ‘» I Qty 1»;' it 5 \\,§,,.¢= ,o ,_ _ 'we ~ ~w chielly I must Enncrmcu, Exrsinmenren and are addrest to our young men readers, 3 .i - "- -V-_-Sr Nlkola Teila if the Ate nf 23. From An Unpublished P otograph. greatest moment and may shape our very dcstinies. Indeed, I feel now that had l understood and cultivated instead of sup- pressing them, I would have added sul:- stantial value to my bequest to the world. But not until I had attained manhood did I realize that I was an inventor. This was due to a number of causes. In the first place I' had a brother who was gifted to an extraordinary degree- one of those rare phenomena of men- tality which biological investigation has failed to explain. His premature death left my parents disconsolate. We owned a horse which had been presented to us by a dear friend. It was a magnilicent animal of Arabian breed, possest of al- most human intclligence, and was cared for and petted by the whole family, hav- ing on one occasion saved my father's life under remarkable circumstances. My father had been called one winter night to perform an urgent duty and while crossing the mountains, infested by wolves, the horse became frightened and ran away, throwing him violently to the ground. It arrived home bleeding and _ - 1. ‘iff >"" _, ,' '_ r * vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv F” ` _,_-.»` _ - _ _ ` ij _, " rg (buh ~r,~"i 1 - ‘_-` _ :J - - _ ~ _ ‘__ _ g 'J _ _.tt i » ~ _ _ §_f~ _ < f__. ~ Mfg; f , - =' Q-3, OW does the worlds greatest rn- , K _ _ el 3%-jf, /"T '_* ventor invent? How does he li If?--;;f_T__ * l / ‘”` "\ ' 1 Y/ ' ~_ W- 'l hi »\~ fl '__f_-"~/Wi carry out tm invention? What , *ref " i ix "_ *_ g `,& §l ; _ 3 _ ,`\i'if§}§%l'fl sort of mentality has Nikola Tesla? l .;g/,’/ ,_L '*~*k% \\ I _Q ,» ` ,\ Was his early?li[iV|;s commotrzalace Tx ii § §.__ ,/ _ \\ ' -:ff `i - _,J ` `_ most of ours tat was e eary " \ _` ‘ ' , , training nl one ol the World`s _ = _ , _¢,§‘.i»'2 ` i Q `* ` "` €l_2' Chosen? These, and many other very ` ,‘?W“ \ ‘W g il ' -~’ tqi i 'fi interesting questions are answered in l xiii ;f»°l~ ` .4,,i,, ig, Q9 A Q an incomparable manner by Nikola l ‘ | `., JE, 27 > `i§f;:Q‘_"f_“*` ‘if "f Tesla himself in this, his frst artkle. i 2 iiigmggi i E if _"V if A ` _ ‘~_’ I his autabio ra th treatin main- ‘ " i fi “\ "-Wfiliiit" 1' _5, _,gk _ | 'l 5 I Y. K _ 1 1' W, ___¢._,tt , _. !q'_§'j`L" , _ll ly on his early youth, we obtain ll vp ip' " ‘j4;»;, V _ -»;§_;;§>,,J2,,_;, gt; good insight into me wonder/at me _-Q -,v , t 35 Q'-,gg-¢_ ` this man has led. It reads like a *_ ii, 4 .A iftwizi ff!! / af; fairy tale, which has the advantage al < ~' V Y, l' , ‘fi ,QA ,kb , `I2’f' being true. For Tesla ix no common l l , "-: L`_}";-,' -"'§.3,< /A mortal. Ile has ltwl ll charmed life- *§,l{,“ _ "l,/‘ 1 , Ytgry ' X l; _; / 3 ` ‘, struck :lawn by the pest, the cholera // ~j _v /~ iq;?§ _ " r ` we _ and what not-given up by doctors at ` `-"1 /’ ,` _";_` ” / '/ least three times as dead-we #nd him / -"" j¥'§‘v;_;_".`Z~~2 ‘R r at sixty, younger than ever. But- \ A, ‘ read his own words. You have never \\ E -., read the like be/ore. l ,_j3.R;3:`§~\\ _ _ aw, #1h.a__%_ ;s -E=1f===f- A' ~<-e_i@=_<;;§e ff<-_ __ i -~~i\~` t .' -="`=‘.2_-Gr>__"` ;,_ , _ ‘ ‘E __-\,~.~_ --"2_,,; /I ' =‘_ i'9¢~3®L' ?“*i»lfi‘ff5"(i-'__c~ _ fe-`= -' " ll'i\\Ka ` 'Ki ._ _ !4'f¢%J `\ i Mr. 'rem nt the Age of 29. cmwtp ¢, 1. io, y _ .= ny if ~_»mauf'“ i Y Mr. Teil! at chains of inf; Y 'YY

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February. 1919 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER 097 exhausted, but after tlte alarm was sounded immediately dashed off again, returning to the spot, and before the searching party were far on the way they were met by my father, who had recovered consciousness and remounted, not realizing that he had been lying in the snow for several hours. This horse was respon- sible ior my brother's injuries from which he died. I witnest the tragic scene and altho fifty-six years have elapsed since, my visual impression of it has lost none of its force. The recollection of his attainments made every effort of mine seem dull in comparison. Anything I did that was creditable merely caused my parents to feel their loss more keenly. So I grew up with little confidence in myself. But I was far from being con- sidered a stupid boy, if I am to judge from an incident of which I have still a strong remembrance. One day the Aldermen were passing thru a street where I was at play with other boys. 'The oldest of these ven- THE MAN y H Gzrnséacl HE door open. and out step: 1 ull sg ureover mx feet hugh gaunt but erect It approaches slowly nately You be mated conversation and indulge in licalcd argument, changing the tone of his voice. A casual listener might have sworn that several people were in the room. Altho I must trace to my mother's influence whatever in- ventiveness I possess, the training he gave me must have been helpful. It comprised all sorts of exercises-as, guessing one another's thoughts, discovering the defects of some form or ex~ pression, repeating long sentences or performing mental calcula< tions. These daily lessons were intended to strengthen memory and reason and especially to develop the critical sense, and were undoubtedly very beneficial. My mother descended from one of the oldest families in the country and a line of inventors. Both her father and grandfather originated numerous implements for houses hold, agricultural and other uses. She was erable gentlemen-a wealthy citizen-paused to give a silver piece to each of us. Com- ing to me he suddenly stopt and com- manded, "Look in my eyes." I met his gaze, my hand outstretched to receive the much valued coin, when, to my dismay, he said, "No, not much, you can get nothing from me, you are too lmart.” They used to tell a funny story about me. I had two old aunts with wrinkled faces, one of them having two teeth protruding like the tusks of an elephant which she buried in my cheek every time she kist me. Nothing would scare me more than the prospect of being hugged by these as affectionate as unattractive relatives. It happened that while being carried in my mother’s arms they asked me who was the prettier of the two. After examining their faces intently, I answered thoughtfully, pointing to one of them, “This here is not as ugly as the other.” Then again, I was intended from my very birth for the clerical profession and this thought constantly opprest me. I longed to be an engineer but 'my father was inflex- ible. He was the son of an officer who served in the army of the Great Napoleon and, in common with his brother, professor of mathematics in a prominent institution, had received a military education but, sin- gularly enough, later embraced the clergy in which vocation he achieved eminence. He was a very erudite man, a veritable natural philosopher, poet and writer and his sermons were said to be as eloquent as those of Abraham a Sancta-Clara. He had a prodigious memory and frequently recited at length from works in several languages. He often remarked playfully that if some of the classics were lost he could restore them. His style of writing was much ad- mired. He penned sentences short and terse and was full of wit and satire. The humorous remarks he made were always peculiar and characteristic. Just to illus- come conscious at once that you are face to face with a personality of x ht h order Nikola Tesla advance: and lh el your hand with a powerful grip, lurpnnng tor n man over sixty A winning smile from ptmmg 11 nt um my ms, nt in umm dmanly eep sockets fasctnates you and makes you feel at once at home You are ided into an office immaculate in in ma" mm Nor 1 .peek of dun ts m be seen Nn pa m mm the desk every thing lust ua t reflect: the man hmuclf Immaculate xn .mm orderly and mm m ni- every movement mm in a . an [mek No mg .¢»¢kpm, or even wma chain can be seen 'rem |p¢=k»-1 ver mga mmm imma wee He .peaks qmc ly and very wwmc mga, It it me msn. vom uma, which falexnates you Aa he speaks you find tt difficult to take your eyes off hu own Only when he L ealu to mum do you have s chance to stu y hu head predominant of which is s very high fm ua with a bulge between the eyes- the neverfailmg ngn of an exceptional in tem um Then the lung well shaped “use proc aiming the scientist How dau this man who has accomplished mn | tremendous work keep young and manage to surprise me wand with mm and more new inventions as he grows older? How dm this youth of sixty who is » pro tenor of mathematics a real mechanical and electrical sngmw an me greatest in nmol- of all mm keep ht. physical as wen an remarkable mental freshness? Ta_ begin wilh. Tula. who is by birth a Serbian, mm” from it Iongdived hardy mg. Hin family tree_ hound: with centenmrianl. Aeeurdingly, rru -timing midsnu-fully ex ecti to be still inventing in A. D, l96U. ut _un uns; mm lsr his W mm youth is found in his gastronomicnl rugal- ity. Tell: hal learned the great fundamen- rn mint um mp.; people nm only eat all pf their bodily ills, but actually eat them- lelvcl to death by either eating too much or else by fond that does nut agree with them. When Tesla found out that tobacco and black mice _interfered with his physical well- being, he un both. Thin ii the simple daily menu al t e great inventor: Ilreukfnu: one m tw., pints uf wnrm milk Ind s few ¢ gi, prepared hy hamme- Yel. he is a bache orl Lunch: None wnatmvu, .1 _ mic. Dinner: Celery or the like. mup, a single piece of meat or fowl, otatoen and one other vegetable; a lan o light wine. For deuert, gerhaps a s ice of cheese\ and inva- nahly a ig raw apple. And that | all, Tesla il very fussy and Particular about hll food: he eltl very litt e, but what he am ¢=¢ must tie of urs my best, and he known, for outstde of being a §reat inventnr in science he is an accnmplis ed cook who has invented an sorts of savory dishes. I-Ii: only vice is his generosity. The mm Wim, by the ignorant .mloaker hu often been called an idle dreamer, hal made over a million dollars out of his inventions-and apent them as quickly on new ones, But ella is an idealtlt of the highest order and to such men money itself means but little. a truly great woman, of rare skill, courage and fortitude, who had braved the storms of life and past thru many a trying experi- ence. When she was sixteen a virulent pestilence swept the country. Her father was called away to administer the last sacra- ments to the dying and during his absence she went alone to the assistance of a neigh- boring family who were stricken by the dread disease. All of the members, five in number, succumbed in rapid succession. She bathed, clothed and laid out the bodies, decorating them with flowers according to the custom of the country and when her father returned he found everything ready for a Christian burial, My mother was an inventor of the Erst order and would, I believe, have achieved great things had she not been so remote from modern life and its multifold opportunities. She in-' vented and constructed all kinds of tools and devices and wove the finest designs from thread which was spun by her. She even planted the seeds, raised the plants and separated the fibers herself. She worked indefatigably, from break of day till late at night, and most of the wearing apparel and furnishings of the home was the product of her hands. When she was past sixty, her fingers were still nimble enough lo lie three knot: in an eyelush. There was another and still more im- portant reason for my late awakening. In my boyltoml I suffered from x peculiar alllictiou due to the appearance of images, often accompanied by strong flashes of light, which marred the sight of real ob- jects and interfered with my thought and action. They were pictures of things and scenes which I had really seen, never of those I imagined. Wherf a word was spoken to me the image of the object it designated would present itself vividly to my vision and sometimes I was quite un- able to distinguish whether what I saw was tangible or not. This caused me great discomfort and anxiety. None of the stu- trate, I may-mention one or two instances. NIKOLA TIESLA SB . T p -_- _ -Q ~ Q ` , Li_ I 31 A, 2 1 - _ y _ F, _,y t A - _ : ,a P' . =a.¢,_h¢ uenqfexy devoid ur an yewnfy. A § ,P E T , r Among the help there was a cross-eyed man called Mane, employed to do work around the farm. Ile was chopping wood one day. As he swung the axe my father, who stood nearby and felt very uncomfortable, cautioned him, “For God’s sake, Mane, do not strike at what you are looking but at what you intend to hit.” On another occasion he was taking out for a drive a friend who carelessly permitted his costly fur coat to rub on the carriage wheel. My father reminded him of it saying, “Pull in your coat, you are ruining my tire.” He had the odd habit of talking to himself and would often carry n|\ an :mi- dents of psychology or physiology whom I have consulted could ever explain satis- factorily these phenumena. They seem to have been unique altho l was probably predisposed as I know that my brother experienced a similar trouble. The theory I have formulated is that the images were the result of a reflex action from the brain on the retina under great excitation. 'They certainly were not hallucina- tions such as are produced in diseased and anguished minds, for in other respects I was normal and composed. To give antidea of my distress, suppose that I had witnest a funeral or some such (Continued on /mg: 743)

February, l 9 l 9 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER NIKOLA TESLA AND HIS INVENTIONS. (Continued from page 697) nerve~racking spectacle, Then, inevitably, in the stillness of night, a vivid picture of the scene would thrust itself before my eyes and persist despite all my eB'orts to banish it. Sometimes it would even remain Ext in space tho I pushed my hand thru it. If my explanation is correct, it should be possible to project on a screen the image of any ob- )ect one conceives and make it visible. Such an advance would revolutionize all human relations. I am convinced that this wonder can and will be accomplished in time to come; I may add that I have de- voted much thought to the solution of the problem. To free myself of these turmenting ap- pearances, I tried to concentrate my mind on something else I had seen, and in this way I would often obtain temporary relief; but in order to get it I had to conjure con- tinuously new images. It was not lo l>e~ fore I found that I had exhausted raql of those at my command; my "reel" had run out, as it were, because I had seen little of the world-only objects in my home and the immediate surroundings. As I per- formed these mental opcratious for the l¢¢~ ond or lhiril time, in order to chase the

ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER February, I9 I 9 appearances from my vision, the remedy gradually lost all its (orce. `l`hen I in- stinctivey connneuced to make excursions beyond the litnits of the small world of which I had knowledge, and I saw ne\v scenes. 'lhese were at First very blurred and indistinct, and would flit away when I tried to concentrate my attention upon them, but by and by I succeeded in fixing them; they gained in strength and distinctness and finally assumed the concreteness of real things. I soon discovered that my best com- fort was attained if I simply went on in my vision farther and farther, getting new impressions all the time, and so I began to travel-of course, in my mind. Every night (and sometimes during the day), when alone, I would start on my journeys-see new places, cities and countries-live there, meet people and make friendships and ac- quaintances and, however unbelievable, it is a fact that they were just as dear to me as those in actual life and not a bit less intense in their manifestations. This I did constantly until I was about seventeen when my thou hts turned seri- ously to invention. Then? observed to my delight that I could visualize with the great~ est facility. I needed no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind. Thus I have been led un- consciousl to evolve what I consider a new inetliod ofyinalerializing inventive concepts and ideas, which is radically opposite to the purely experimental and is in my o inion ever so much more expeditious and etiicient. The moment one constructs a device to carry into practise a crude idea he finds himself unavoidabl engrost with the de- tails and defects of' the apparatus. As he goes on improving and reconstructing, his orce of concentration diminishes and he loses sight of the reat underlying prin- ciple. Results may be obtained but always at t.he sacrifice of quality. My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea 1 start at once building it up in my imagi- nation. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. I er/en note if it is out of balance. There is no diiierence whatever, the results are the same. In this way I am able to rapidly develop and per- fect a conception without touching any- thing. When I have gone so far as to em- body in the invention every possible im~ provement I can think of and see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form this final product of my brain. lnvariahly may device works nn I conceived that it shoul and the experiment comes out exactly as I planned it. In twenty years there has not been a single exception. Why should it be otherwise? Engineering, electrical and mechanical, is positive in results. There is scarcel a subject that cannot be mathe- matically treated and the effects calculated or the results determined beforehand from the available theoretical and practical data. The carrying out into practise of a crude idea as is being generally done is, I‘ hold, nothing but a waste of energy, money and time. My early affliction had, however, another compensation. The incessant mental exer- tion developed my powers of observation and enabled me to discover a truth of great importance. I had noted that the appear- ance of images was always preceded by actual vision of scenes under peculiar and generally very exceptional conditions and I was im elled on each occasion to locate the original>impulse, After a while this effort grew to be almost automatic and I gained great facility in connecting cause and effect. Soon I became aware, to my sur- prise, that every thought I conceived was suggested by an external impression. Not only this but all my actions were prompted in a similar way. In the course of time it became perfectly evident tn me that I

February. I9 l 9 was merely an automaton endowed \vith power of movement, responding to the 'stimuli of the sense or ans and thinking and acting accordingly. The practical result of this was the art of lelaralomalics which has been so far carried out only in an imper- fect manner. its latent possibilities will, however, be eventually shown. I have been since years planning self-controlled auto- mata and believe that mechanisms can be produced which will act as if possest of reason, to a limited degree, and will create a revolution in many commercial and in- dustrial departments. I was about twelve years old when I first succeeded in banishing an image from my vision by wilful effort, but I never had any control over the flashes of light to which I have referred. They were, per- haps, my strangest experience and inex- plicable. They usually occurred when I found myself in a dangerous or distressing situation or when I was greatly exhila- rated. In some instances I have seen all the air around me hlled with tongues of living Harrie. Their intensity, instead of diminishing, increased with time and seem- ingly attained a maximum when I was about twent -live years old. While in Paris, in ltitli a prominent Frenclt manu- facturer sent me an invitation to B shoot- ing expedition- which I accepted. I had been long confined to the factory and the fresh air had a wonderfully invigorating effect on me. On my return to the city that night l felt a positive sensation that my brain had caught fire. I saw a light as tho a small sun was looted in it and I past the whole night applying cold compressions to my tortured head. Finally the hashes diminished in fregiuency and force but it took more than ree weeks before they wholly subsided. When a second invita- tion was extended to me my answer was an emphatic NOI These luminous phenomena still mani- fest themselves from time to time, as when a new idea opening up possibilities strikes me, but they are no longer exciting, being of relatively small intensity. When I close my eyes I invariably observe first, a back- ground of very dark and uniform blue, not unlike the sky on a clear but starless night. In a few seconds this field becomes ani- mated with innumersble scintillating Hakes of green, arranged in several la ers and advancing towards me. Then there ap- pears, to the right, a beautiful pattern of two systems of parallel and closely spaced lines, at right angles to one another, in all sorts of eo ors with yellow-green and gold predominating. Immediately thereafter the ines grow brighter and the whole is thick- ly sprinkled with dots of twinklin li ht. This picture moves slowly across the #eld of vision and in about ten seconds vanishes to the left, leaving behind a ground of rather unpleasant and inert grey which quickly gives way to a billowy sea of clouds, seemingly trying to mould themselves in living shapes, It is curious that I cannot prplect a form into this grey until the sec- on phase is reached. Every time, before falling asleep, images of persons or objects tlit before my view. When I see them I know that I am about 'to lose conscious- ness. If they are absent and refuse to come it means a~sleepless night. To what an extent imagination played a part in ml early life I may illnstratc by another od experience. Like most chill dren I was fond of jumping and developed an intense desire to support myself in the air. Occasionally a strong wind richly charged with oxygen blew from the moun- tains rendering my body as light as cork and then I would leap and Boat in space for a long time. It was a delightful sensation and my disappointment was keen when later I nndecerved myself. Dnrinq that period I contracted many strange ikes, dislikes and habits, some of which I can trace to external impressions while others are unaccountable. I had a ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER

ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER violent aversion against the earrings of women but other ornaments, as bracelets, pleased me more or less according to de- sign. 'l`|\e sight of a,pearl would almost give me a ht but 1 was fascinated with the glitter nf crystals or objects with sharp edges and plane surfaces. I would not touch the hair of other people except, per» haps, al the point of a revolver. I would get a fever hy looking at a peach and if a piert' uf \‘:unpl\or was aliywliere il\ tl\c house it caused me the keeuest discomfort. Even now I am not insensible to some of these upsetting impulses. When I drop little squares of paper in a dish filled with liquid, I always sense a peculiar and awful taste in my mouth. I counted the steps in my walks and calculated the cnbical con- tents ot' soup plates, coffee cups and pieces of fond,»t»ther\vise my meal was unenjoy- ahle. All repeated acts or operations I performed had to be divisible by three and if I mist I felt impelled to do it all over again, even if it took hours. Up to the age of eight years, my charac- ter was weak and vacillating. I had neither courage or strength to form a Firm re- solve. My feelings came in waves and surges anal vilirated nnccasiugly between extrulnes. l\ly wishes were of cnnsnnling fin-ce and like the heads of the hydra, they multiplied. I \vas opprest by thoughts of pain in life and death and religious fear. l was swayed hy superstitious belief and lived i|\ constant dread of tl1e spiritof evil, of ghosts and ogres and other unholy mon- sters nf the dark. Then, all at once, there came a tremendous change which altered the course of my whole existence, ()l all things I liked books the best. My fatlu-1' had a large lihrary and whenever I could manage I tried to satisfy my pas~ sinn for reading. He did not permit it and would fly into a rage when he caught inc i|\ tl\e act. He hid the candles when he fuund that l was reading iu secret. He did not want nic to spoil my eyes. llnt I obtained tallow, made the wicking and cast the sticks into tin forms, and every night I would hush the keyhole and the cracks and read, often till dawn, when all others slept and my mother started on her arduous daily task. On one occasion I came across a novel entitled “Ahafi" (the Son of Aba), a Serbian translation of a \vell known Hungarian writer, _]osika. This work some- how awakened my dormant powers of will and I began to practise self-control. At lirst my resolutions faded like snow in April, hut in a little while l t-un<||u~rt-il my wt-akin-ss and It-lt a pleasure l never knew befnreftliat of doing as I willed, In tl\e course of time this vigorous mental exer- cise hecante second nature. At the outset my wishes l\ad to he subdued but gradually desire and will grew to be identical. After years of such discipline I gained so com- plete a mastery over myself that I toyed \vitl\ passions which have meant destruction to some of the strongest men. At a cer- tain age I contracted a mania for gambling which greatly worried my parents. To sit down to a game of cards was for nie the qnintessence of pleasure. My father led an exemplary life and could not excuse the senseless waste of time and money in which I indulged. I had a strong resolve but my philosophy was bad. I would say to him, "l can stop whenever I please but is it worth while to give up that which I would purchase with the joys of Paradise?" On frequent occasions he gave vent to his anger and contempt but my mother was ditlerent. She understood the character of men and knew that nne’s salvation could only he brought about thru his own efforts. ()ne afternoon, I remember, when I had Inst all my money and was craving for a game, she came to me with a roll of bills and said, “fin and enjoy yourself. The stunt:-r you lose all we possess the better it will he. I know that you will get over it.” She was right. I conquered my passion February, I 9 I9

February. l 9 | 9 ihen and there and only regretted that it had not been a hundred times as strong. I not only vanquished but tore it from my heart so as not to leave even a trace of desire. Ever since that time I have been :is indifferent to any form of gambling as to picking teeth. During another period I smoked exces- sively, threatening to ruin m health. Then my will asserted itself and Iynot only stopt but destroyed all inclination. Long ago I suflered from heart trouble until I discov- ered that it was due to the innocent cup of coffee I consumed every morning. I dis- continued at once, tho I confess it was not an easy task. In this_way I checked :ind hridled other habits and passions and have not only preserved n1y life but de- rived an immense amount of satisfaction from what most men would consider priva- tion and sacrifice. After Finishing the studies at the Poly- technic Institute and University I had a eumplete nervous breakdown and while the malady lasted I observed many phenomena sirange and nnbelievalile. (Ta be tonlivtiwd in our .llnrth isme) ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER

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