Nikola Tesla Timeline

Timeline created by 25ChapmLuk
  • Nikola Tesla Is Born

    Nikola Tesla is born at midnight in a thunderstorm. The nurse takes it as a bad omen and says that Nikola will be a child of the darkness, but Nikola Tesla's mother argues otherwise, stating that "He will be a child of the light." Nikola Tesla was born in a small town named Smiljan, Yugoslavia, in the Austrian Empire (present day Croatia). His father's name was Milutin Tesla and his mother's name was Duka Tesla. He was the fourth child in a family of seven. He had three sisters and one brother.
  • The Tesla Family Move To Gospic

    The Tesla family move West to Gospic. They now live on a farm and Milutin Tesla, Nikola's father, is now a serbian orthodox priest and Duka Tesla, Nikola's mother, is a housewife. Tesla was homeschooled until they arrived in Gospic, where Tesla attends primary and secondary school there as well as lower real gymnasium and real gymnasium.
  • Tesla's Brother Dies

    Dane, Tesla's brother and oldest sibling, dies at age twelve in a tragic horse accident. While taking lessons in horse-riding, something or someone spooked the horse and it reared up and Dane tumbled down its back. Nikola was only seven.
  • Tesla Contracts Cholera

    At age seventeen, two weeks after his birthday, Nikola Tesla contracted cholera. His father wanted Tesla to follow priesthood like him, but Tesla wanted to go to college. Bedridden for nine months and very close to death, at a vulnerable moment, Tesla asked his father to promise him to send him to college if he survived. The nine months passed and the doctors said that he would not live much longer, though, he survived, and later, went to college.
  • Tesla Attends College

    In 1875, Nikola Tesla enrolled in the Polytechnic Institute of Graz, off a military scholarship. In the first year, he attends every lecture and receives exemplary marks. Half way through the second year, he gets into an argument with one of his teachers and at the end of that year, loses his scholarship. The year after that, he drops out. In 1879, off funding from his two uncles, he moves to Prague to study philosophy at the University of Prague. At the end of 1880, he graduates.
  • Tesla Starts Work For The Continental Edison Company

    Tesla relocates to Paris to work for the Continental Edison Company with his good friend, Anthony Szigety, in the lighting system division.
  • Tesla Arrives In New York

    In the Spring, Tesla, with funds provided by uncles Petar and Pajo, packed his gear and caught the next boat to America. His trip didn't start too smoothly as his ticket, money and some of his luggage were stolen. To make matters worse, a mutiny broke out on the ship and Tesla was nearly thrown overboard. Though, Tesla was not deterred and arrived in New York City, from Paris with four cents in his pocket. The following day, from a letter of commendation, was employed by Thomas Edison.
  • Tesla Finishes Work With Edison's DC Current

    Tesla submits some of his first patents. Later, Tesla was set to work to redesign elements of Edison's Direct Current Generators to improve their efficiency and durability. He was promised 50,000 U.S. dollars if he finished it. Tesla finished it and impressed Edison greatly, though Edison did not pay up, stating, "When you become a fully-fledged American, that is when you will understand a little american humour." Enraged upon hearing this, Tesla immediately quits working for Edison.
  • The Tesla Electric Light Company

    Investors approached Tesla and asked him to develop and improved arc lighting system. Although this wasn't the opportunity he'd hoped for, they were willing to finance the Tesla Electric Light Company in Rahway, New Jersey. The proud new owner set to work and created his own arc lamp of beautiful design and efficiency. After finishing the work, he was forced out of the company, left with nothing but worthless stock certificates. He later referred to this as the "hardest blow he'd ever received."
  • Tesla Establishes His First Lab On 89 Liberty Street

    With funding from Alfred S. Brown, the director of Western Union and Charles F. Peck, a New York City attorney, Nikola Tesla opens up his first lab on 89 Liberty Street. Sold on his Egg of Columbus demonstration earlier, they made a deal with Tesla to have fifty fifty patent rites in exchange for funding. Tesla moves all his work there and they file for a patent by the end of the month.
  • Sold Alternating Current Patents To George Westinghouse

    After talking at an event in front of the IEEE, George Westinghouse proposed to buy all of Tesla's Alternating Current patents for $25,000 in cash, $50,000 in notes and a royalty of $2.50 per horsepower for each motor (all in USD). George now had the right to use the AC power in his business. His business (Westinghouse Electrics) helped bring AC power around the world, and it became the standard for powering homes and offices. Tesla was given the nickname 'The Man Who Lit Up The World' for that.
  • Tesla Forfeits Westinghouse's AC Royalties

    Fearing ruin, Westinghouse begs Tesla to reconsider their AC contract. Tesla talks with Westinghouse and, pitying the man that never tried to swindle him, forfeited all of his AC royalties. Westinghouse was very grateful, though, Tesla received no more money from his AC for the rest of his life. This was a decision that haunted Tesla for the rest of his life. Tesla, in need of a cheaper lab, moves to 33-35 fifth Avenue laboratory. He moves all of his work there, abandoning his previous lab.
  • Tesla Discovers Wireless Power

    While experimenting with high frequencies, Tesla discovered neon and fluorescent illumination, telegraphy, radio technology and took the first X-ray pictures which he called 'shadowgraphs', but these inventions pale in comparison to his illuminating a vacuum tube wirelessly; having transmitted energy through the air. This was the beginning of Tesla's life long obsession: wirelessly transmitting energy. He also discovers electrons, creates the tesla coil and received his American citizenship.
  • Tesla's Lab Burns Down

    A fire broke out in the basement of the fifth avenue building and swept through the entire structure, including Tesla's lab, which occupied the entirety of the fourth floor of the six storey building. All of his hundreds of invention models, notes, plans, laboratory data, tools, photographs, all his projects that could have been completed and everything else, valued at more than 50,000 USD, were destroyed. This was his entire life's work, burnt to ashes and unrecoverable, destroyed in a fire.
  • Wardenclyffe Tower Construction Begins

    With his last great invention, the Niagara Falls generator and power plant, five years prior, Tesla starts work on his Wardenclyffe Tower. The purpose of this massive tower was to provide wireless power to the entire world based on his Tesla Coil patents and principles. Basically, wireless internet in 1901. Almost finished five years later, he runs out of funds from his investor, J.P. Morgan. Now just a load of scrap metal, Wardenclyffe tower was deconstructed. After, he makes the Tesla Turbine.
  • Marconi Wins Nobel Prize For Radio

    Marconi receives a Nobel Prize for his 'invention' of the radio. Years before, Tesla had filed a patent for his telegraphy/radio system of wireless message transmission. Marconi submitted one days after. Both were granted and Tesla and Marconi continued their work. Using Tesla patents, Marconi copies his work, and, years later, sends the morse code symbol for 's' over the Atlantic ocean and receives the Nobel Prize. Furious, Tesla sues Marconi, but doesn't win the case as he is short on funds.
  • Office at 8W 40th Street

    After leaving the Woolworth building (the office he rented after the South Street laboratory fire), Tesla relocates to an office at 8W 40th Street, which was directly across the street from Bryant park and his beloved pigeons. The year prior, his partner, George Westinghouse, passed away, along with his wife. He died at 67 in New York City and, since he was a Civil War veteran, was buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery. Later, Tesla and George were called "The Perfect Partnership".
  • Tesla declares bankruptcy

    Even though Tesla had some minor successes, he continued to fall deeper and deeper into debt, mainly because of his high overhead. At the state supreme court, under oath by Justice Finch, Tesla revealed that he was essentially penniless and owned no real assets. "New York World" run an embarrassing article exposing Tesla's financial crisis.
  • Tesla's Favourite Pigeon Dies

    Tesla had many pigeons he fed and cared for, but one he was particularly fond of. He described it as being a beautiful female bird, pure white with light grey tips on its wings. One night, the bird flew into his hotel room, and he perceived that she was attempting to tell him she was dying. Tesla said that a light came from her eyes more intense than any he had ever seen. The bird then died and Tesla said at the same moment, something left his life and he knew his life's work was finished.
  • Tesla meets Mestrovic

    Ivan Mestrovic, internationally renowned croatian sculptor, visits New York City where he meets Tesla. They become good friends and admirers of each other and later exchanged numerous letters. After Tesla passed away, Ivan sculpted three sculptors of Tesla, in his honour.
  • Tesla Turns 75

    Tesla, on his 75th birthday, received letters from many prominent scientists, including Albert Einstein. Later that year, Tesla's most prominent adversary, Thomas Edison, passed away in his home.
  • Tesla Is Hit By A Taxicab

    One night around midnight, Tesla left the hotel New Yorker to feed his pigeons in the park. While crossing the street he was struck by a taxicab and, by some reports, was thrown 35 to 40 feet. Tesla returned to his hotel and later stated, "It merely caused customary bruises and upset my digestion a bit." Other accounts indicate that three ribs were broken. Tesla refused treatment and stayed in his room many months.
  • Nikola Tesla dies at age 86

    Tesla died quietly and alone in room #3327 on the 33rd floor of the hotel New Yorker in New York. The coroner would later estimate the time of death to be 22:30 EST. Tesla was 86 years old. Although he did not get much recognition for most of his inventions, it is no doubt that Tesla made a huge impact to the future. Three months after his death, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses itself and rules in favour of Nikola Tesla being the 'Father of Radio'.