Tapping into the ether

It appears that industry thinks wireless power transmission is finally feasible and more importantly profitable; and they even remembered to give Nikola Tesla a little credit. Still, having studied the man’s life work I cannot get over the way that he is portrayed. The following is a quote from the article found here:

“More than a century ago, physicist Nikola Tesla envisioned a future in which power stations would beam electricity directly into homes and businesses. He built a 20-story transmission tower on Long Island with the goal of demonstrating such a feat, but it never became operational. The Serbian immigrant died a pauper.”

None of this is untrue, but why would they portray such an incredible man in this manner? If not for Tesla we would not have AC power, more importantly without Tesla we would not be able to enjoy the countless benefits of radio transmission.  Our world today is heavily reliant on technologies he pioneered, yet he strangely receives little to no mention anywhere.  The author claims Tesla never demonstrated wireless power, yet the internet is full of claims to the contrary. The following example may yield a few clues as to why so many people are so eager to downplay the importance of Nikola Tesla:

“…But, back to our electric automobiles – in 1931, under the financing of Pierce-Arrow and George Westinghouse, a 1931 Pierce-Arrow was selected to be tested at the factory grounds in Buffalo, N.Y. The standard internal combustion engine was removed and an 80-H.P. 1800 r.p.m electric motor installed to the clutch and transmission. The A.C. motor measured 40 inches long and 30 inches in diameter and the power leads were left standing in the air – no external power source!

At the appointed time, Nikola Tesla arrived from New York City and inspected the Pierce-Arrow automobile. He then went to a local radio store and purchased a handful of tubes (12), wires and assorted resistors. A box measuring 24 inches long, 12 inches wide and 6 inches high was assembled housing the circuit. The box was placed on the front seat and had its wires connected to the air-cooled, brushless motor. Two rods 1/4″ in diameter stuck out of the box about 3” in length. Mr. Tesla got into the driver’s seat, pushed the two rods in and stated, “We now have power”. He put the car into gear and it moved forward!

This vehicle, powered by an A.C. motor, was driven to speeds of 90 m.p.h. and performed better than any internal combustion engine of its day! One week was spent testing the vehicle. Several newspapers in Buffalo reported this test. When asked where the power came from, Tesla replied, “From the ethers all around us”. Several people suggested that Tesla was mad and somehow in league with sinister forces of the universe. He became incensed, removed his mysterious box from the vehicle and returned to his laboratory in New York City. His secret died with him! It is speculated that Nikola Tesla was able to somehow harness the earth’s magnetic field that encompasses our planet. And, he somehow was able to draw tremendous amounts of power by cutting these lines of force or causing them to be multiplied together. The exact nature of his device remains a mystery but it did actually function by powering the 80 h.p. A.C. motor in the Pierce-Arrow at speeds up to 90 m.p.h. and no recharging was ever necessary!”

full article


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