September 3, 2011

Some Lesser Known Innovations of Nikola Tesla

Kansas City Journal
Jan 5, 1898
Here are some descriptions of lesser known innovations, or claims of innovations, of Nikola Tesla's, as reported in newspaper articles during his lifetime.   These are excerpts from multiple articles in multiple newspapers.  To read the full articles, you can do so for free on the Library of Congress website.

The photo and caption to the left comes from The Kansas City Journal of Kansas City, Missouri, on January  5, 1898.

From The Princeton Union of Princeton, Minnesota, March 9, 1893:

(Sounds safe to me!)*
from The Princeton Union, Mar 9, 1893
Tesla is as yet only 36, and his great-discovery of a rapid alternating current was made some years ago.  One of the results of it is that an electric glow like daylight may be produced between the opposite walls of a room by simply having metallic wall paper and connecting it with the central generating plant.

Also From The Princeton Union of Princeton, Minnesota, March 9, 1893:

The Princeton Union, Mar 9, 1893
Tesla has perfected apparatus which will produce an alternating current of 1,000,000 alternations per second, such rapid waves, in fact, that they cause no effect on the human body.  He has produced a flame which lights without making heat or combustion, but which can be changed so as to produce both when they are wanted for warming a house or for cooking.  Thus the light will not burn up the oxygen of a room.  His machine will make ozone, and by another invention he has made he declares himself able to electrically disinfect all creation.  If he can give the world ozone in such quantity, then nobody need ever die of consumption or suffer for want of fresh air.  He has made an electrical current flow through vulcanite [rubber], hitherto regarded as the insulator nearest perfect of any known.  He says he has found five different kinds of electrical discharge, from an infinitesimally thin thread to a huge stream of light.  These are some of the claims of electrical wizard No. 2.

From The San Francisco Call, San Francisco, CA, November 13, 1898 (full page article with several wonderful illustrations).  The article goes on to describe this as "Tesla's system of electrical power transmission through natural media."

The San Francisco Call, Nov 13, 1898
Tesla's latest electrical wonder is out.  It is out because he has just received patents on it in this and other countries.

What Tesla proposes to do now is to transmit almost any amount of power almost any distance without wires, and without loss.  Although moving ships at sea may use the system for propulsion it is mainly intended for use on land.

To illustrate the anticipated results in the most concrete form it is proposed, for instance, that water power shall generate a great quantity of electricity on the lower courses of streams coming from the Sierras; that this electricity shall be conducted to a balloon arrangement floating a mile or two above the earth; that there shall be in San Francisco a similar balloon high above the city and that all the electrical energy conducted to the first balloon shall pass without loss and without wires to the balloon over the city, from which it shall descend to turn wheels and light lamps, etc.

A secondary result would seem to be that ships minus boilers and minus coal shall plow their way from the Golden Gate to Puget Sound, their churning propellers being driven by motors which draw their energy through the air from stations arranged every hundred miles or so along the shore.

The Same Force Made to Run Factories, Street Cars
and Electric Lights in a City Miles Away
The San Francisco Call, Nov 13, 1898

From The Washington Herald, Washington, D.C., December 5, 1915:

The Washington Herald, Dec 5, 1915
Mr. Tesla says his discovery has a direct and vital bearing on the problems now foremost in the public mind.  Wireless telephony will be brought to a perfection hitherto undreamed of through the application of this discovery, Tesla claims.  The inventor says that through his discovery electrical effects of unlimited intensity and power can be produced, so that not only energy can be transmitted for all practical purposes to any terrestrial distance, but even effects of cosmic magnitude may be created.

"We will deprive the ocean of its terrors by illuminating the sky, thus avoiding collision at sea and other disasters caused by darkness," Tesla claims.  "We will draw unlimited quantities of water from the ocean and irrigate the deserts and other arid regions. In this way we will fertilize the soil and derive any amount of power from the sun.  I also believe that ultimately all battles, if they should come, will be waged by electrical waves instead of explosives.

From The Evening Bulletin of Maysville, Kentucky, in 1898:

The Evening Bulletin, 1898
He has now discovered that it is just as easy to blow up an enemy's vessel by means of the ocsillator as it is to send a message by telephone from one end of the city to the other.  The question of distance between the enemy's ship and the oscillator does not enter into consideration at all.  The same force that can convey a message that distance will be able, Mr. Tesla thinks, to blow up the biggest battleship that has ever been afloat at an equal distance.

*I'm just kidding. Please don't try this. Obviously.

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