A genius and a legendary inventor, Nikola Tesla changed the world through his design of the modern alternating current alternating current electricity system.
Although he died poor, Tesla’s reputation has seen a recent surge in pop culture for his major contributions to science.
Here are 15 interesting facts about Nikola Tesla you probably didn’t know
1. Nikola Tesla was born during a violent lightning storm. Reading a bad omen into this, the midwife asserted that he would be a “child of darkness.” Apparently the mother wasn’t having it and replied: “No. He will be a child of light.” Tesla would later go on to conduct experiments with light later on in his career. His mother was right after all!
2. As far back as 1901, Tesla imagined a world with mobile technology and wireless internet. It turns out his thoughts were not so far-fetched as the world now abounds with wireless technology a century later.
3. Tesla had an photographic memory.This means that he could memorise entire books and images and amass this information for his inventions. He also had a powerful imagination which allowed him to control the vivid nightmares he had as a child.
4. He was described as a “mad scientist” for his eccentric attitude and intellect.
5. Many have described Tesla and inventor Thomas Edison as “sworn-enemies” who constantly tried to outperform each other with their latest inventions. However, they once worked hand-in-hand in designing direct current generators before Tesla quit to push for alternating current. Perhaps, they can be best described as “business rivals.”
6. Tesla remained unmarried throughout his life. In fact, he claimed celibacy played a major role in his creativity. He also spent a lot of time in solitude working on his projects.
7. Nikola Tesla first met Thomas Edison when he moved to America. At the time, he had no cash in hand but was determined to work with the famed inventor. The duo ended up working together but would later become rivals due to business disputes and different scientific views.
8. For some reason, Tesla had an uncanny hate for pearls so bad that he once sent his secretary home for the day when she wore pearl jewelry. Quite eccentric, wasn’t he!
9. He also had a peculiar hate for germs. He allegedly used 18 napkins to clean his dining room anytime he had dinner.
10. He designed the first hydro electric power plant in the US, located at Niagara Falls. This invention was so impressive that it powered the city of Buffalo, New York. As a result of this achievement, he earned fame around the world and popularized the use of alternating current. This is considered his ultimate victory over Edison who was pushing for direct current at the time.
11. Tesla’s birthday, July 10, is celebrated in many states in the US and dubbed Nikola Tesla’s Day.
12. After his death in 1943, The Office of Alien Property seized all of his belongings. While some of these items were delivered back to his family, some others were sent to the Tesla museum in Belgrade. Till this day, some of his inventions are classified.
13. Tesla was a humanist. His main concern was making the world a better place through his inventions and not necessarily money, hence he died poor.
14. To boost his brain power, Tesla used to squish his toe 100 times every night.
15. On 7 January,1943, Nikola Tesla died in a hotel room: Room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel.
What fact did you find most intriguing about the legendary inventor?