Ungrateful humanity has forgotten many names of glorious inventors, although they actively use the works of their work. Fortunately, the name of Nikola Tesla is heard even long after his death, although what exactly he came up with, few can answer. Today the word “Tesla” is increasingly associated not with a Serbian inventor, but with an innovative car, the brainchild of the American company of the same name, Elon Musk. They say that the scientist with his activity changed the world. Looks like Elon Musk is going to do the same.
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When the Serbian priest Milutin Tesla had a fourth child on July 10, 1856, no one could predict a great future for him. The family lived in the village of Smilyan, bordering the Austrian Empire. There, Nikola began his studies, but continued it already in the city of Karlovac, where he received a certificate of spectacle.
Monument to Tesla in the village of Smilyan
Tesla recalled that from childhood he was agitated by the mysteries of electricity, even if in the form of sparks from a cat’s fur. And during his studies, he showed extraordinary ingenuity, solving the most difficult problems in his mind. The young man returned home, where a career as a priest awaited him. He himself gazed at these prospects with fear. But, having recovered from cholera, Nikola persuaded his father to give him a chance in worldly life. In 1875, the young Serb entered the Graz Higher Technical School, where he began to study electrical engineering.
Tesla never finished his studies – after the death of his father, he had to think about self-sufficiency. Then there was a job as an electrical engineer in the telegraph company of Budapest. There, a young scientist figured out how to use a rotating magnetic field in an electric motor. But at a time when the possibilities of electricity excited the minds of enlightened people, Tesla felt the need to further his realization. He had thoughts of creating an AC electric motor, and in 1882, Nicola began working for Edison’s Continental Company in Paris. Tesla attracted attention with his work and was sent to America with recommendations.
But cooperation with Edison himself did not work out – Tesla tried to convey to him the advantages of alternating current, while the famous inventor saw the future exclusively for direct current.
The management did not like the personal research of the young European, and Tesla was fired. But his projects interested other electrical engineers, which led to the creation of the Tesla Electric Company in 1887. Tesla found like-minded people and industrialists who bought his patents. And there were a lot of them!
Nikola Tesla eventually became world famous, but his life was not cloudless. In pursuit of new knowledge, he took risks, rejected compromises and cooperation, survived the laboratory fire. The experiments concerned not only electricity, but also sound, X-rays, radio. The scientist received about 300 patents.
But in the last years of his life, Tesla more and more surprised the public not with scientific discoveries, but with mystical revelations.
The great scientist died alone in a New York hotel in 1943. Tesla left behind neither children nor grandchildren, having lived all his life alone. But the name was not forgotten.
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Nikola and Tesla
In 2014, Nikola appeared in the United States, named after the great engineer. The company’s goal was to create trucks that would run on environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel.
It was planned to start production of advanced cars already in 2020, and in 2023 to increase production to 35-50 thousand copies per year. So far, the company has only been noted for concepts and prototypes, but its value has already exceeded $ 13 billion.
A large stake in Nikola was acquired by the giant General Motors.
But another company became much more famous, whose name is even more closely associated with Tesla. Actually, it is called Tesla Motors.
It was founded in 2003 by American businessmen, trying to radically revise the concept of a modern car.
The key change was to use electricity as fuel instead of traditional petroleum products. The company also has another important area of activity – solutions for the storage of electrical energy. Today the company is headed by Elon Musk, who, interestingly, resembles Edison’s activities more than Tesla himself.
The auto giant’s capitalization exceeded $ 293 billion. Musk actively speaks to the public, skillfully influencing the company’s stock price with his bright statements.
Tesla’s logo resembles a fancy letter “T”. Obviously, it refers to the name of the inventor, after whom the firm was named. In fact, there was another theory for a long time. As a result, Elon Musk himself confirmed it. The graphic element represents part of the cross-section of the electric motor, which was first developed by Nikola Tesla himself.
The company’s cars use just AC asynchronous motors, whose great-grandfather, of a different design, was patented back in 1888 by a Serbian inventor. Therefore, a new company was named in his honor.
Is Nikola Tesla an idol for Elon Musk himself? At first glance, the answer is obvious. But Musk did not stand at the origins of the company in 2003, but began to lead only in 2008. And in his interviews, the American directly states that he likes the approach of his compatriot, Thomas Edison.
After all, he did not so much invent himself as he brought new technologies to the market and made them available to the whole world. Elon Musk also considers himself not an inventor, but a businessman. But there are also many similarities with Nikola Tesla. For example, a Serb believed in alien life and tried to receive cosmic signals. For Musk himself, the theme of space is almost a fetish, and his company Space X has already become the market leader.
Both engineers dreamed of benefiting humanity with free solutions: Tesla with wireless electricity, and Musk with satellite Internet. Both of them loved to flirt with the audience, shocking at presentations who were at risk and who were scale.
It is no secret that both Tesla and Musk have big egos, not hesitating to challenge the foundations. But the attitude towards investors is not the best for both. Tesla believed that it was not worth demanding results from him and a report on the money spent, since he was creating the future of humanity. And Musk, despite all the showiness, did not make Tesla Motors effective – the company generates only losses, and its head himself is content with beautiful promises and suggests waiting.
Electricity is a technology that defines the modern way of humanity. And next to the name of Thomas Edison there will always be the name of Nikola Tesla. Moreover, today electricity is beginning to be perceived as an alternative to traditional fuels. And new companies promoting these ideas are not without success using the image of the great Serbian inventor and engineer.