As a futurist, Nikola Tesla once said, "If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration." It is a statement that some people in that age and time could have found unrealistic or have difficulty in understanding considering that science was associated mostly with physical elements. Tesla, however, believed that the universe is comprised of mass-energy that through fluctuations of the charge used, vibrates at different frequencies. Hence, he can be classified as an extraordinary human being, and it would be satisfying rather than superstitious to deduce that the journey of Nikola Tesla's life as an electrical and mechanical engineer began right during his birth (Shaw, 1994). He was born on 10 July 1856 a night with intense lightning and thunderstorm such that according to family legend his mother opposed that he would be a child of light after the midwife had said he would be a child of the storm. In his entire life, he did many things that he believed were his legacy. As was his dream, there are numerous things including equipment such as the Tesla Coil used globally that continuously remind generations and others to come about the significance of the scientist's work, and the need to commemorate him for his contribution in the betterment of humankind's life.
Tesla showed his uniqueness as a person years after when he proved his mother's words right through numerous inventions concerning generation and distribution of light and power. Although his work was not appreciated fully probably because the technology was at its initial stages of development, the implications of his inventions have been felt for the past recent years (Tesla, 1978). In some instances, other people took the credit for his work whereas he was the pioneer. Among some of his greatest inventions, include the Alternating Current (AC) that is used worldwide for power transmission making him one of the most recognized figures in engineering around the globe (Tesla, 2007). In 1901, this recognition was almost stolen by Marconi who had taken advantage of the delay to perfect his project and transmitted the first radio message across the Atlantic of which was Tesla's idea. The US Supreme Court, however, nullified four of Marconi's major patents including the transmission of the radio message. The nullification not only prompted the recognition of Tesla's AC invention but it also made other patents of the scientists be known worldwide.
Although the exact number is unclear, Nikola Tesla was responsible for over 300 inventions with unaccounted for scientific ideas (Cartlidge, 2006). The patents were related to each other and were aimed at revolutionizing the entire world. Unlike his rivals such as Thomas Edison, Tesla's inventions were not intended for personal gain but to lay a platform for future where the life is easier and favorable for everybody. He once said, "Money does not represent such value as man place upon it. All my money has been invested in the experiments that I have made discoveries to a better future for the humankind." Moreover, he further added, "A scientific man does not aim at the immediate result." Such quotes are a reflection of an ambitious, selfless and foreseeing person that he was (Shaw, 1994). He wanted to show the world that some people can have different objectives from others and those are aimed at benefiting everyone regardless of where they come from.
In 1898, Tesla developed the first ever radio boat and it was during this time that countries such as Britain, Spain, USA, France, German and Russia were competing to build battleships to protect themselves from their rivals during the ongoing war. "...I do not desire my fame to be based on an invention of a destructive device but rather I would want to be remembered as an inventor who made an effort in abolishing the war." It is one of his most crucial quotes during this time because the primary aim of the invention according to the scientist was to end the war. Although the boat received many criticisms from his colleagues in engineering such as Cyrus F. Brackett who described its application as absurd, it was an indication that Tesla was ahead of time; today there are war drones controlled using remotes. Although others might oppose, Tesla pioneered some of the technology used in the modern advanced world either knowingly or unknowingly.
In conclusion, it would be unkind to forget or underappreciate the effort of such an individual who sacrificed his time and resources and put his pride aside amidst self-centered rivals such as Edison to ensure that other people will have a different and better experience and others at his age. With his knowledge and influence in engineering, Tesla had the chance to create a fortune for himself and those close to him but the love for the world and those in it many years after him was unrelenting that he died a poor and unmarried man in 1943 (Cheney, 2011). He chose to prioritize the lives of many others coming after him rather than compete greedily with his rivals in the attempt to accomplish short-term personal gains. As a way of commemorating his excellent work Hotel New York, where he spent his last years, erected a celebratory plaque on 10 July 2001. It is an indication that despite dying a broke man, Nikola Tesla remains and will be remembered as an engineering legend for many years. Commemorating the scientist demonstrates that the world recognizes and appreciates the contribution he made in lighting and powering the world although he never had the chance to enjoy the fruits of his work while still alive.
Cartlidge, E. (2006). Scientists hail genius of Nikola Tesla. Physics World,19(7), 10-10. doi:10.1088/2058-7058/19/7/18 https://interestingengineering.com/the-life-and-times-of-nikola-tesla
Cheney, M. (2011). Tesla: man out of time. Simon and Schuster. http://mentalfloss.com/article/78127/10-electrifying-facts-about-nikola-tesla
Shaw, B. M. (1994). Book Review: The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla:The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla: MARTINT. C. (Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1992, 496 pp., PS7.95 hardback). International Journal of Electrical Engineering Education,31(4), 308-308. doi:10.1177/002072099403100403 https://www.learning-mind.com/nikola-tesla-quotes/
Tesla, N., & Marincic, A. (1978). Nikola Tesla: Colorado Springs Notes: 1899-1900. Beograd: Nolit.
Tesla, Nikola, (1857-7 Jan. 1943), electrician and inventor. (2007). Who Was Who. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u232548 https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/nikola-tesla
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