Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nikola Tesla, An Electrical Wizard - A Newspaper Article from 1893

This Newark Daily Advocate article is one of the earliest reports of Nikola Tesla's electrical genius. As early as 1893, Tesla claimed to be able to send messages to ships at sea and transmit electricity through the earth.

Nikola Tesla's contributions to modern technologies are both undeniable and numerous. Remarkably, many of Tesla's innovative ideas were conceived by him during the late 1800s.

The Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, New Jersey, USA, Monday, March 20, 1893, Page 7.

AN ELECTRICAL WIZARD.
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Nikola Tesla Allows a Charge of 200,000
Volts to Pass Through His Body.

"I am convinced that I can today send a message to a ship at sea, and that those on board can understand it. If I cannot, I am willing to lay my head on the guillotine."

It was Nikola Tesla who made the above strange remark, and his wonderful achievements in the development of electrical science make his words worthy of respectful consideration. He has already established the fact that but one wire is necessary to create an electrical current and is now engaged on the problem of transmitting a current without the use of a wire at all. That he has grasped the secret of how this may ultimately be accomplished some of the experiments exhibited at his public lectures would seem to demonstrate.

Tesla produces a distinct and powerful glow without the aid of wires or globes and with apparatus remarkable chiefly for its simplicity. This consists of two highly charged disks, between which the light appears without a connecting filament of any kind. In an incandescent lamp hung on a single wire, but not connected with it, he produces a red light almost blinding in its brilliancy, which becomes a powerful white on increasing the frequency of alternations in the current. Concerning his theory of the possibility of transmission without wires Mr. Tesla says: "I have already proved the contrary of what everybody believed. I have proved that it is not necessary to have two wires to establish an electrical current. In my machine I have but one wire. I utilize the air as the other. But as I now get a return through the air I believe that I can also transmit through the earth, thus doing away with even the one wire. The earth is a great insulated globe filled with electricity, or the capability of electrical vibration. The only problem is to awaken this electricity, to shake this immense earth so as to set this mighty world force swinging or wagging. Of course it will take a great force to start this motion, but there is no doubt we can get it. Electricians thought 10,000 volts was a wonderful pressure. I have already stirred up hundreds of thousands, and the limit is far off. Instead of 300 vibrations I have already secured 3,000,000 a second. Give
me the machine, and I will make a spark half a mile long. Now, at Niagara, for instance, which is destined to be a marvelous center of electrical force for America, enough force can be secured to supply all the needs of the human race twice over. By shaking the entire earth with the mighty power to be obtained there this earth electricity could be started. With this earth force in vibration the next problem would be to build machines able to catch and respond to the earth motion. There would have to be a synchronism between the electrical swinging of the earth and the machine. For example, I hold a glass to my mouth and speak. The glass is shattered. My voice to do this must have the same resonance as the glass. Such I conceive to be the secret of all nature--resonance. Then, setting this machine at any point in the world, the message transmitted through the earth can be received and read at Paris, at Hong-Kong--anywhere. Distance no longer exists. I am convinced that I today can send a message to a ship at sea, and that those on board can understand it. If I cannot, I am willing to lay my head on the guillotine."

Mr. Tesla has also discovered a means of harnessing electricity so that it shall serve mankind without injuring him. To demonstrate this he allows a current of 200,000 volts to pass through his body and illuminate a bulb containing sulphate of calcium which he holds in his hand. The bulb glows with a light so intense as to fill the room with brightness and to disclose the great electrician holding it aloft, unharmed and smiling.
Then he assures the spectators that "this is nothing."

Nikola Tesla is only about 35 years old. He is Montenegrin by birth, but was educated in Hungary and now resides in New York. Inheriting an eager inventive genius from his mother and a fortune from his father, he has given his whole energy to the science of electricity as a labor of love. He has no commercial connections whatsoever, and his lectures are given purely to stir up interest in his loved study. When only about 21 years old, he came to America and worked under Edison at Menlo Park. In the discovery of the harmlessness and free transmission of electricity he has eclipsed every thinker in the world.
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