For those of you who don’t know (and those that need to be reminded), Tesla was an OB – Original Badass.*
I typed this on my computer. You are reading this on your computer via the internet. Both things run on electricity. And we have Tesla to thank for its beginning. The modern world would not exists in the form we now know if not for his many accomplishments.
My adoration of Tesla is not to completely dismiss Edison’s contributions to the dawning of the electric age. He is cited as an inventor (phonograph, incandescent light bulb, etc), a shrewd businessman (over 2000 patents) and a salesman. These attributes afforded Edison the opportunity to be front and center in our history books…and for Tesla’s importance to be diminished from these same books and discussions. To be fair, both men’s skillsets – Tesla as tinkerer/genius, Edison as business strategist – were necessary to bring the idea of current into being. But if you don’t feel like being fair on Tesla’s birthday, The Oatmeal has a no punches pulled, breakdown of Edison’s beatdown on Tesla “Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived“. For a comprehensive and moving biography, read Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney. The War of Currents was a dynamic, bitter feud with every player involved. Pick your side or just be happy that there is electricity coursing through your home.
During Tesla’s lifetime, the world did not comprehend his legacy. Here’s to hoping that future generations will remedy that.
Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla.
In 2009 Google.com created a beautiful logo with the Tesla coil.
*Checkout Badass of the Week, “your one-stop shop for all things badassery-related”.