Tesla believed that gasses in earth’s upper atmosphere could carry high frequency electrical current. Successfully transmitting the currents could create something like a “terrestrial night light” which could illuminate the entire earth and make airport runways and shipping lanes much safer for night time operations. But the theory was far-fetched and the possibility still remains unproven.
Tesla and Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi were locked in a battle of firsts to transmit cross-Atlantic messages. Tesla built a 186 foot tower at Long Island, called Wardenclyffe, funded by American banker JP Morgan. But the scientist decided to pursue his own agenda of transmitting wireless electricity. Marconi beat Tesla when he transmitted the letter “s” across the Atlantic with far modest equipment. Tesla spilled the beans to Morgan. The disinterested banker withdrew from the wireless electricity project.
Plans are now afoot to convert Wardenclyffe to a museum. After Tesla’s ambitions fell, the original building was abandoned. The Tesla Science Center, Wardenclyffe, began crowdfunding to buy the property. The deal was inked in 2013. The site is likely to be converted into a Tesla Museum and a science education center. Tesla’s birthday is observed at Wardenclyffe every year.
Tesla never seemed interested about monetary gains. His experiments were all for the sake of mankind. Edison and American engineer George Westinghouse were far more successful entrepreneurs than Tesla. He was an accomplished pool player. While dining at Delmonico, he would regularly dupe a few quarters each from the players, equivalent to $15 today. Facts about Nikola Tesla reveal that he didn’t have much money when he died. Much of whatever he earned was spent to maintain his lifestyle.
After Tesla’s death in 1943, the Office of Alien Property Custodian took control of his belongings. Majority of the stuff were handed over to his next of kin. Some were taken to Tesla Museum, Belgrade. Some facts about Nikola Tesla and a bunch of the scientist’s papers, however, are still held classified by the US government.
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