My Inventions Part Three - My Later Endeavors

Tuesday, April 1, 1919
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853 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER Ap,-i[_ 1919 Hari iii# ur L ‘1»1 of Ui‘@@l‘5 in ruv ui Lei in @i'&@;\i wr @§eTm @[email protected]~'[email protected]@ t __ t My Inventions Y By Nikola Tesla i ~ III. MY iLA'll`lE}R ENDEAVORS f s The Discovery of the Rotating Magnetic Field § T the age of ten I entered the Real tiymnasium which was a new and fairly well eqttipt institution. ln the depart- ment of physics uere various nttulcls nf classical scien- tihc apparatus. electrical and mecl\at\ical_ The rlv:'nou- strations and experiments performed from time to time by the instructors fasci- the trmxglt is closed by a partition so that the cylindrical segment within the enclosure divides tlte latter into two compartments en- tircly separated from each other by air-tight sliding joints. One of these compartments being sealed and once for all exhausted, the other remaining open, a perpetual rotation of the cylinder would result, at least, I natt~d me and were t\|\- Mifynw, y-<;;,5;,,..Z.,¢:,< _:,,Z, thought so. A wooden doubtedlv a powerful in~ `t;(""f;2Z r f.§zf;T;Q< a 'rf f'f,»3j7,}>_;i“ model was constructed and ' _ ,\ .L_ 5/ 'Jr . ;‘ _; ' " I ' -- ""T _ _ - . . centive to invention. I ,.;:\:-lf? ;%§_g;? / _ ’ '_ 155% f é fitted w\tl\ inFm\te care and was also p:tssi<>nal<~ly l'ond “Es ;'/=; / \~_,_ //;/ § when I applied the pump of mathematical studies \»" \ gf" ' V'//' , S; on one side and actually and often won the profess» 3 " 3 observed that there \vas a or`s praise for rapid cal~ ,.7;%¥ V ' v w V tendency to turning, I was culation, This was dtte to /<7 -' f , \ n delirious witlt joy. Me- my acqtnred facility of %/vi; V/ _nz ' _ J ’ ky chamcal flight was tie one visualizing the figures and Vg . 1 Qi, ' thing I \\’H"\€

April, l 9 | 9 MY INVENTIONS. (Coutivmcd /rom page 907) was won, Back in the deep recesses of the brain was the solution, but I could not yet give it untwurtl expression. One afternoon. which is ever present in my recollection, 1 was enjoying a walk with my friend in the City Park and reciting poetry. At that age l knew entire books b heart, word for word. One of these was Gy5ethe's “Faust/' AThe sun was just setting and reminded me of the glorious passage: "Si: rirlzt und weirht, der Tag ist iiberlebl, Dart sill rie hin und féfdert neue: Lebcu. Oh, dass kein Fliigel mich 1/nm Baden heb! Ilir nach und iumwr noch zu strebenl* x ni 4: x 1 1 x Ein .rchdner Truum indesxen :ie enlweicht, Ach, zu de: Geisler Fliigeln wird .vo Ieirht Kein lciir/rerlic/in Fliigel .rich gz.r¢llen!”T As I uttered these inspiring words the idea came like a flash of lightning and in an in- stant the truth was revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand tl\e diagrams shown six years later in my address beiore the Amer- ican Institute of Electrical Engineers, and m companion understood them perfectly. The images I saw were wonderfully sharp and clear and had the solidity of metal and stone, so much so that I told him: “See my motor here; watch me reverse it." I cannot begin to describe my emotions. Pyg- malion seeing his statue come to life could not have been more deepl moved. A thou- sand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidentally I .would have given for that one which I had wrestecl from her against all odds and at the peril of my existence. " "The glow retreats, done is the day of toil; It yonder hastes, new fields of life ex Iorin ; Ah, that no wing can lift me from tge mil, Upon its track to follow, follow soaring!" 1 A lorious dream! though now the glories fade. Alas! Hu: wings lliut lift the mintl nn uid Ll( wings to llfl the body can bequeath me." ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER

APn , l 9 l 9 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER MY INVENTIONS (Continued from page 865) travel at a rate of about one thousand miles an hour, impracticable by rail. The reader will smile. The plan was didicult of exe~ cution, I will admit, but not nearly so had as that of a well-known New York pro- fessor, who wanted to pump the air from the torrid to the temperate zones, entirely forgetful of the fact that the Lord had pro- vided a gigantic machine for this very purpose. Still another scheme, far more important and attractive, was to derive power from the rotational energy of terrestrial bodies. I had discovered that objects on the earth's surface, owing to the diurnal rotation of the globe, are carried by the same alternately in and against the direction of translatory movement. From this results a great change in momentum which could be utilized in the simplest imaginable manner to furnish motive effort in any habitable region of the world. I cannot find words to describe my disappointment when later I realized that I was in tl\e predicament of Archimedes, who vainly sought for a fixt~ point in the universe. At the termination of my vacation I was sent to the Polytechnic School in Gralz, Styria, which my l':\thcr had chosen as one of the oldest and lmcst reputed institutions. That \vas the moment I had eagerly await- ed and I began my studies under good auspices and hrmly resolved to succeed. My previous training was above the aver- age, due to my father's teaching and oppor- tunities afforded. I had acquired the knowl- edge of a number of languages and waded thru the books of several libraries, picking up information more or less useful. Then again, for the first time, I could choose my subjects as I liked, and free-hand drawing was to bother me no more. I had made up my mind to give my parents a sur- prise, and during the w ole first year I regularly started my work at three o'clock in the morning and continued untileleven at night, no Sunda s or holidays excepted. As most of m feliiaw-students took things easily, naturally enough I eclipsed all rec- ords. In the course of that year I past thru nine exams and the professors thought I deserved more than the h-ighest qualitications. Armed with their flattering certificates, I went home for a short rest, expecting a triumph, and was mortifted when my father made light of these hard~ won honors. That almost killed my ambi- tion-; but later, after he had died, I was pained to find a package of letters which (Czmliuncd on page 907)

April, I 9 I 9 ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER 865 him of the expcrl\'|\\‘c :uul w:|~ zunuzuml lo sec llml grn':\l :nun of laughter burst into tears. My studies were continued at the higher Real Gyn1na§ium in Carlstadl, Croatia, where one of my aunts resided. She was a dis- linguislxed lady, the wife of a Colonel who was an old war»l\orsc: having participated in many hallles. I never can forget the three years I past at their home. No fortress in time of war was under a more rigid discipline. I was fed like a canary bird. All the meals were of the highest quality and deliciously prepared hut short in quantity by a thousand percent. The slices of ham cut by my aunt were like lissuc papcr. When the Colonel would put something substantial on my plate she would snatch it away and say excitedly to him: "Be careful, Niko is very delicate." I had z\ vo- racious appetite and suffered like Tz\ntal\xs_ But I lived in an at- mosphere of refine- , ment and artistic taste quite unusual for those times and condilions, The lzuul was low mul marshy and nmlaria fever never left me while there despite of the enormous amounts of qninin I consumed. Occasionally the river would rise and drive an army of rats into llle buildings, devouring everything even to the bundles of the Hcrce |>a|1rik:1. These pcsts were to mc a welcome diversion. I thinned their ranks by all sorts uf means, which won me the unenviable distinction of rat-catcher in the community. Al last, however, my course was completed, the misery ended, and I obtained the certificate of maturity which brought me to the crossroads. During all lhosc years my parents never waverqd in their re- solve to make me embrace the clergy, the mere thought of which frllecl me with dread, I had become intensely interested in elec- reurling. HIS installment, no doubt l/le most interesting of the Lllree pulllisllell so /nr, reveals many extraordinary occurrences and experiences in :Ire worlzfs greatest il|v¢'ntor’s li/c-experiences such as :ln not /all to the lat of ordinary mortals. Anal Tesla, the many sided, axidc u/ inventing, knows llxe rare nrt 0/ painling ward-pictures. Ile rlucs so here in a nmsterly fashion. He tells us /low he finally conceived the induction nmlor-perlmps his greatest discovery-the invention which changed llle /ace of the globe, the invention which made passible the street car, the subway, :Ire electric train, power transmission, the harnessing of water /alls umL countless ut/zers. Bu: let Tesla tell yuu himself lww it all came about. Il is a classin worth ;\ fvw |>iu in disregard of my parents' wishes. It is incredilrle how absu- lutely ignorant [maple were as to lhe causes of this scourge which visited the country in intervals of fron] fifteen to twenty years. They thought tlml ll\c deadly agents were tr;\u>n1illcrl thru (hc air and filled it with pungent odors and smoke. lu the meantime they clrzmk the iufeclul water anrl died in heaps. I contracted the awful disease on the very (lay uf my arrival and altho surviving the crisis, I was u<»\|Hx\cruugl\t xxlnrnn thru u hitter mlccucliuxn uf a peculiar beam. I came to life likn- unnlluur l.:\zur\|s in (lm utter mnuzcmcnl uf evurylnurly. l\Iy father insisted that I spend a year in healthful physical onl- door exercises to which I reluctantly consented. For most of this term l roamed in the nml\n\ai\\s, lontlcd with ax l\\\m<:r's outfit and a bundle of books, und this contact with llalurc mzxdc me stronger in body as well as in mind. I thought and planned, and conceived many ideas almost as n rule delusive. The vision was clear enough but the knowledge of principles was very limimrl. ln one of my tricily under the stimu- lating influence of my Prolesaor of Physics. who was an ingenious man and often demonstrated the principles by aDD2fHY“5 Of his own invention. Among these l recall :\ device in the shape of a freely ru- tatable lxulb, wilh tinfoil coatings, which was xrmde lu spin rapidly when cun- nected to a static maclzims. It is impossible for me to convey an adequate idea of the intensity of feeling l experienced in witnessing his exhibitions of these mysterious pl1en\\ln\mri|\c lulmu, in sphe- rical containers of sum- cient strength tn resist the hydraulic pressure. The , , pumping plant, intended to __ f _ V, '>~~g~gr~~- _4 _ ~ »1f\k“;f ‘:¢ --¢‘e=.~»-_W M ` ‘ " rem z.-mx , ‘ , ‘ ~ ';~ ' , ,"° ~ ~; , I tsssl \ , __ ‘~~>=llf:_ _ furvu (llc wnlcr thru \l\c (nbc. was :\ucu\':\luly fly.;- ured :uul llcsignunl and all .A ,,~»~-A € \_, _ " ' 3? Mlllllll 11 ¢‘ I fu j- _ ,_- _ \‘ _ o xer pnr lcu ars care u y __'~ ' ‘..j` _ -f-*._'__~ ;\\ V -* ~__f' _ \\url¢czl om. Only one .1 _ » ‘ A lrilliug ¢1¢|=\il_ of nn cou- W. _ sequence, was lightly dis- "` _ _ '* ___" _ »!~e__€> V_ mist. I nssnmcd an arbi- X _ = Q., , el _J \ra\ry velucity nf the wzxtur __ _ __ and, what is more, took _ _,L '-Lf __ plcnsnre in making il high, .~, ;?;`_ ' ' thus z|rr\vn\g nl ;\ =l\\pc|\~ mluus pcrfnrmxulce sup- E l ' ll -I " . ll - h;\1l>;::|ll;l& :;l;l;- ‘sn--~$,>m;~ ~' _ , tions, however, on the re- sistance of pipes to fluid llow determined me to make this invention public Xl ‘ ‘ \` \ \ \ N ‘ \ lf % 1 } ( %N\_\Q l\ , ' rs ~< 2 »\ \ \\ _- W ‘ »\Q\T Ml `_ ` * 1 , 3 ` 1 ‘ \ §’ " f ‘és ` ' ' _ sm ` x it r _ /‘ F) K .»»\ \ _ _ ll” ‘QV " ll . ‘<“;# , l " ff T J0\‘T"4`}/ like a direct current motor, nor slip rings like nn nllernuling current motor. 1ffC\5 Wah 10 C0HSl\'\\Ci I1 home I received word lhac Contrary ln :he xwo types just eileal lhe “field” enr[en1_is nm §le=nly:lml \l\e rmg 3,-,mud me equator f 11 d current itself rolules constantly pulling nruuml wxxln xl-by nnlucuon»ll\e which Wmnd of murse my atlxcr wx: \e mc to _ I V V _ H _, _ _ V . » . _ only movmg par! of the |nu\or--I nu mlurf for urm.xlur<,, n\|n|,, no .num n_____ _mul ______ _____m he W0 °" 3 sllommg =>=<‘1> turf nor slip rings, the induction mmur ncvcr sparks. ll consequently knows _ _‘ _ _ _ _ tion: It was a S\[email protected] rv- no "brush" myuhle. In neenla no »nw|nifp Slillllllllll quest as he had been al- the bearings wear nut. hs cfliriency mo is higher. Ou lavuonnl of ull llns mu lion by \'uact\n\|ary “,_“,§ qrmmmlsly Ulllmged the induction motor is usenl in n_|1re||umle|:ix\g |»ro||nr\\nn m slree\ mrs, fm.Cc§V (hug cnahl ing _ elm-lriv lrznns, |'m~u»r|¢s. ew. W _ _ lu ll\|~; knul uf >|u»rl. lim t( un/|y||/ml /11| /:nyc 903)

April. l9l9 MY INVENTIONS. (Continued from page 905) the professors had written him to the effect that unless he took me away from the ln- stitution I would be killed thru overwork. Thereafter I devoted myself chiefly to phys- ics, mechanics and mathematica studies, spending] the hours of leisure in the _libra- ries. I ad a veritable mama for finishing whatever I began, which often got me into difficulties. On one occasion I started to read the works of Voltaire when I learned, to my dismay, that there were close on one hundred large volumes in smal1‘print_which that monster had written while drinking seventy-two cups of black coffee per diem. It had to be done, but when I laid aside the last book I was very glad, and said, “Never more l" My first year's showing had won me the appreciation and friendship of several pro- fessors. Among these were Prof. Rogner. who was teaching arithmetical subjects and geometry; Prof. Poeschl, who held the chair of theoretical and experimental phys- ics, and Dr. Allé, who taught integra cal- culus and specialized in differential _equa- tions. This scientist was the most brilliant lecturer to whom I ever listened, He took a special interest in my progress and would frequently remain for an hour or two m the lecture room, giving me problems to _solve, in which I delighted. To him I explained a flying machine I had conceived, not an illu- sionary invention, but one based on sound, scientific principles, which has become real- izable thru my turbine and will soon he given to the world. Both Professors Rogner and Poeschl were curious men. The former had peculiar ways ot expressing himself and whenever he did so there was a riot, followed by a long and embarrassing pause. Prof. Poeschl was a methodical and thoroly grounded German. Hc had enormous feet and hands like the paws of 8 bear, but all of his experiments were skillfully per- formed with clock-like precision and with- out a miss. _ It was in the second year of my studies that we received a Gramme dynamo from Paris, having the horseshoe form of a lami- nated held magnet, and a wire-wound arma- ture with a commutator. It was connected up and various edects of the currents were shown. While Prof._ Poeschl was_ making demonstrations, running the machine as a motor, the brushes gave trouble, sparking badly, and I observed that it might be pos- sible to operate a motor without these appli- ances. But he declared that it could not be done and did me the honor of delivering a lecture on the subject, at the conclusion of which he remarked: "Mr. Tesla_ may ac- complish real things, but he certainly never will do dns. It would be equivalent to converting a steadily pulling force, like that of gravity, into a rotary el`fort._ It is a perpetual motion scheme, an _impossible idea.” But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubt- edly, certain finer bers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile. For a time I wavered, imprest by the professor's authority, but soon became convinced I was right and undertook the task with all the fire and boundless confi- dence of youth. I started by first picturing in my mind a direct-current machine, running it and fol- lowing tlte changing [low of the currents in the armature. Then I would imagine an alternator and investigate the processes tak- ing place in a similar manner. Next I would visualize systems comprising motors and generators and operate them in various ways. The images I saw were to me per- fectly real and tangible. All my remaining term in Gratz was past in intense but fruit- less efforts of this kind, and I almost came to the conclusion that the problem was in- solvahle. I|\ 1880 I went to Prague, Bo- hemia, carrying out my fntl\er'a wish to ELECTRICAL EXPERIMENTER complete my education at the University there. It was in that city that I made a decided advance, which consisted in detach- ing the con-tmutator from the machine and studying the phenomena in this new aspect, but still without result. In the year follow- ing there was a sudden change in my views of life. I realized that mg' parents had been making too great sacri ces on m ac- count and resolved to relieve them of' the burden. The wave of the American tele- phone had just reached the European con- tinent and the system was to be installed in Budapest, Hungary. It appeared an ideal opportunity, all the more as a friend of our family was at the head of the enterprise. It was here that I suffered the complete breakdown of the nerves to which I have referred. What I experienced during thc eriod of that illness surpasses all belief. g/Iy sight and hearing were always extraord- inary. I could clearly discern objects in the distance when others saw no trace of them. Several times in my boyhood I saved the houses of our neighbors from fire by hearing the faint crackling sounds which did not disturb their sleep, and calling for he p. In 1899, when I was past forty and carry- ing on my expcriments in Colorado, I could hear ver distinctly thunderclnps at a dis- tance of Iso miles. 'I`he limit nl nudilinu for my young assistants was scarcely more than 150 miles. My ear was thus over thirteen times more sensitive. Yet at that time I was, so to speak, stone deaf in comparison with the acuteness of my hearing while under the nervous strain. In Budapest I could hear the ticking of a watch with three rooms between me and the time-piece. A fly alighting on a table in the room would cause a dull thud in my ear. A carriage passing at a distance of a few miles fairly shook my whole body. The whistle of a locomotive twenty or thirty miles away made the bench or chair on which I sat vi- brate so strongly that the pain was unbear- able. The ground under my fect trembled continuously. I had to support my bed on rubber cushions to get any rest at all. The roaring noises from near and far often produced the effect of spoken words which would have frightened me had I not been able to resolve them into their accidental components. The sun’s rays, when periodi- cally intercepted, would cause blows of such force on my brain that they would stun me. I had to summon all my will power to pass under a bridge or other structure as I ox- perienced a crushing pressure on the skull. In the dark I had the sense of a hat and could detect the presence of an ohjcct at a distance nf twelve fcct li a peculiar creepy sensation on the furchcadii My pulse varied from a few to two hundred and sixty heats and all the tissues of the body with twitch- ings and tremors which was perhaps the hardest to bear. A renowned physician who gave me daily large doses of llromid of Potassium pronounced my malady uniquc and incurable. It is my eternal regret that I was not under the observation of experts in physiology and psychology at that time. I clung desperately to life, but never ex- pected to recover. Can anyone believe that so hopeless a physical wreck could ever be transformed into a man of astonishing strength and tenacity, able to work thirty- eight years almost without a day’s interrup- tion, and find himself still strong and fresh in body and mind? Such is my case. AJ powerful desire tn live and In cnn- tinuc the work, :ind thc nssistautce nf at devoted friend and athlete ztccomplislied the wonder. My health returned and with it the vigor of mind. In attacking the problem again I almost regretted that the struggle was soon to end. I had so much energy to spare. When I undertook the task it was not with a resolve such as men often make. With me it was a sacred vow, a question of life and death. I knew that I would perish if I failed. Now I felt that thc battle (Cunliriiwtl on /my/r 900)