NIKOLA TESLA

 

PRESERVING EVIDENCE OF OUR PAST FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

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Nikola Tesla, inventor alternating current electricity transmission system

 

 

The electrical power generation industry began when light bulbs and other devices that needed reliable energy supplies were invented. Direct current (DC) systems were not at that time suitable for transmission of electricity over long distances. Tesla came up with an alternating current (AC) system that he patented.

 

 

 

 

Nikola Tesla (10 July [O.S. 28 June] 1856 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

Born and raised in the Austrian Empire, Tesla studied engineering and physics in the 1870s without receiving a degree, gaining practical experience in the early 1880s working in telephony and at Continental Edison in the new electric power industry. In 1884 he emigrated to the United States, where he became a naturalized citizen. He worked for a short time at the Edison Machine Works in New York City before he struck out on his own. With the help of partners to finance and market his ideas, Tesla set up laboratories and companies in New York to develop a range of electrical and mechanical devices. His alternating current (AC) induction motor and related polyphase AC patents, licensed by Westinghouse Electric in 1888, earned him a considerable amount of money and became the cornerstone of the polyphase system which that company eventually marketed.

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

Attempting to develop inventions he could patent and market, Tesla conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He also built a wireless-controlled boat, one of the first-ever exhibited. Tesla became well known as an inventor and demonstrated his achievements to celebrities and wealthy patrons at his lab, and was noted for his showmanship at public lectures. Throughout the 1890s, Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. In 1893, he made pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. Tesla tried to put these ideas to practical use in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project, an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter, but ran out of funding before he could complete it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Wardenclyffe, Tesla experimented with a series of inventions in the 1910s and 1920s with varying degrees of success. Having spent most of his money, Tesla lived in a series of New York hotels, leaving behind unpaid bills. He died in New York City in January 1943. Tesla's work fell into relative obscurity following his death, until 1960, when the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in his honor. There has been a resurgence in popular interest in Tesla since the 1990s.

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

SWITCHES & BULBS - Where would we be without electric lighting. A battle royal ensued in the law courts and Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan slogged it out in the London High Court, ending with the combatants working together as the Edison & Swan United Electric Light Co. ELECTRIC BAKERY - The earliest surviving generating station, dating from C. 1900, with battery based load levelling as the core technology, coupled to a 48 volt DC generator, is in the little village of Herstmonceux, Sussex.

 

 

 

 

 

England's Joseph W. Swan, was a chemist, who experimented in the 1850s and 60s with carbon filaments. His early efforts failed however, because the vacuum pumps of those years could not remove enough air from the lamps. By the mid-1870s better pumps became available, and Swan returned to his experiments.

By late 1878, Swan reported success to the Newcastle Chemical Society and in February 1879 demonstrated a working lamp in a lecture in Newcastle. His lamps contained the major elements seen in Edison's lamps that October: an enclosed glass bulb from which all air had been removed, platinum lead wires, and a light-emitting element made from carbon. Why then is Edison generally credited (outside Britain) with inventing the light bulb?

Like other early inventors, Swan used a carbon rod with low electrical resistance in his lamp. Due to the relationship between resistance and current, a low resistance element required lots of current in order to become hot and glow. This meant that the conductors bringing electricity to the lamp would have to be relatively short (or impossibly thick), acceptable for an experiment or demonstration, but not for a commercial electrical system.

Made from an arc-lamp element, Swan's carbon rod gave off light but did not last very long. Gasses trapped in the rod were released when the lamp was activated, and a dark deposit of soot quickly built up on the inner surface of the glass. So while Swan's lamp worked well enough for him in a demonstration, it was impractical in actual use.

Edison realized that a very thin "filament" with high electrical resistance would make a lamp practical. High resistance meant only a little current would be required to make the filament glow and allow much longer copper lines of modest size to be used. Edison's Bristol-board lamps of December 1879 lasted about 150 hours, and his bamboo lamps of early 1880 lasted 600 hours.

It is for this realization about high resistance, and for his conception of the lamp as only one part of an integrated system, that Edison is generally credited with inventing the first practical incandescent lamp.

Swan did not lose out entirely however. While it appears that he never sent the letter that he wrote to Edison (cited above), his patents were strong enough to win in British courts. After another lamp maker lost a patent suit to Swan, the Edison interests decided to negotiate rather than risk losing a suit of their own. 

 

 

 

 

Thomas Alva Edison with his light bulb invention

 

 

The electrical power generation industry began when light bulbs and other devices that needed reliable energy supplies were invented. Telephones and televisions all needed electricity.  It is painful to cast aspersions on the reputation of one of America's heroes, but Edison, who patented his bulb in 1879, improved on a design that British inventor Joseph Swan had patented 10 years earlier. Improvement patents, are however, still inventive steps and legitimate development.

 

 

 

Thomas Alva Edison is held to be the inventor of the electric light bulb, though Sir Joseph Wilson Swan's, patent predated Edison's US patent, in England. Eventually, the two men became partners, with the Edison & Swan United Electric Light Co. (Ediswan Lighting Company).

 

Today, light bulbs are considered to be wasteful of energy, creating a lot of heat for the light output. They are being replaced by LEDs, as part of the fight against climate change, and simply to cut the cost of lighting.

 

 

 

 

Electricity grids are key to renewable energy distribution

 

 

The electrical power generation industry began when light bulbs and other devices that needed reliable energy supplies were invented. Telephones and televisions all needed electricity.

 

 

 

 

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