Today Tesla is synonymous with the electric car. But why did the famous American brand choose to display that name on its cars?
The last name of a prodigious inventor who made transcendental advances in the study and use of electromagnetism. However, his life was not easy and it was not without secrets.
Born in 1857 in present-day Croatia, then belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Nikola Tesla already stood out from a very young age for his memory and intelligence. He studied first in Graz (Austria) and then in Prague (Czech Republic) before starting work as chief engineer for the Budapest (Hungary) telephone company that established the country’s first communications network.
Later, he traveled to Paris (France), hired by the Edison Continental Company, already owned by the famous American inventor. Soon after, Thomas Edison himself urged him to work with him in the United States, whereupon the young Tesla moved to settle in New York City.
However, the planned collaboration turned into a war between the two engineering geniuses. While Tesla, fascinated by rotating magnetic fields, opted for alternating current as a source of energy, Edison staunchly defended direct current, which was less efficient when transported over longer distances.
And the reason is that Edison held the patent for this latest technology, so he had a lot to lose if Tesla’s innovative idea prevailed. For this reason they tried to discredit him and finally after many disagreements Tesla left the company to establish himself.
The then-formed Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing didn’t have much of a run for it as new disagreements arose with new investors who wanted to exploit the direct current network. Losing all his savings, Tesla found himself broke and unemployed as he watched his partners profit from his already numerous inventions.
Transformer and bulb
But in 1888, the great businessman George Westinghouse bought all of the inventor’s patents for a million dollars and hired him to finally develop his alternating current generation system and directly compete with the direct current that Edison had championed.
Tesla won the game, and in 1893 the Westinghouse company was required by the United States government to set up an electrical network that would cover the vast territory with the technology he so vehemently defended.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s mind could not rest, and in 1890 he invented the coil that bears his name, which serves to increase the voltage of the current when needed. This is the so-called transformer, which is equipped with many household appliances and computers today. Furthermore, Tesla would develop the modern light bulb and that too dominated in its day over the one manufactured by Edison, which was inferior in its performance.
700 world patents
Tesla’s genius was not limited to those great achievements. In 1896 he developed an electricity generation system that took advantage of the hydraulic power of Niagara Falls and a year later he registered a patent for the first radio system, narrowly apprehension Marconi and sparking a controversy that lasted decades.
Other wonderful contributions of this indefatigable genius were a remote-controlled ship using radio waves or the great discovery of standing waves, which he took the opportunity to demonstrate how electrical energy was carried through the Earth’s crust or the upper layers of the atmosphere May go.
In total, Nikola Tesla would register 40 patents in the United States and another 700 worldwide throughout his life. A world that would have been very different now without the advances made by this great scientist in the fields of electricity and magnetism.
FBI classified documents
Always concerned about making electricity accessible to the populations most in need, Tesla fell into oblivion despite his incredible achievements. No one was interested in continuing his research and in spite of this, he persevered in his endeavors till the end of his days. In 1928 he registered his latest invention: a patent perfecting a vertical takeoff flying vehicle.
Tesla died in 1948, forgotten by almost everyone except the FBI, who followed him closely and mysteriously confiscated all documentation of his inventions. And although the extensive material will gradually be declassified, the true scope of its contents remains a mystery.
Tesla’s work on harnessing free energy or wireless transport of electrical energy has given rise to many unknowns and much speculation, which continues decades after his disappearance.
Now, electric car brand Tesla has revived his memory with its success and keeps its name to pay tribute to the man who created the technology that made electrification transportation possible.