I understand electricity enough to be amazed by it but not enough to comprehend it. The study of electromagnetism includes beautiful names: Ampere, Ohm, Tesla. They sound like Gods, don’t they?
Last Saturday, July 10, was the 154th anniversary of Nikola Tesla’s birth. Though he did not bequeath his name to a famous company like his arch rival (Edison), Tesla was the father of modern electricity. Tesla’s alternating current (AC) flows through our electric lines into our homes and business. Because the current “alternates” it flows quicker and easier than direct current (DC), which had been the dominant form of power before Tesla. DC cannot travel the far distances from power plants to ours homes, and so it was Tesla – and his alternating current – that made the 20th century. That’s a bold claim. But I’m willing to stand by it.
Here are a few ways you could honor Tesla’s birthday: A visit to the Hotel New Yorker, where he spent the last ten years of his life in Room 3327. Pay homage to his ashes at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. Read Samantha Hunt’s The Invention of Everything Else, a fictional account of Tesla’s last years in New York, with his pigeons. Spend a day without electricity.
Make sure to check out the Team Tesla page on Facebook too!