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Nikola Tesla and the War of Currents Revisited: Part 1

2013-02-04 | 🔗

In 1857 Nikola Tesla began work on direct current motor issues. In 1884, he approached Thomas Edison with ideas about alternating current, but Edison championed direct current. Their disagreement led to one of history's most famous scientific rivalries.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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He didn't episode on Nineteenth century dentist. Forests wells in his battle to receive credit for discovering installation, anesthesia and out of the sword, was really fascinating to research, just to find out about the rivalries that were created because of this discovery and the links that they would go to to get credit or discuss. one another and all this for a discovery that was supposed to be for the benefit of everyone has something that maybe people should have fought over quite ass. Much ass. They did so it definitely goddess interested in exploring some more of those science related for a year and of course, one of the most famous also involves one of our most requested historical figures. I feel like we always say that with this, really is really. I requested. A lot is the big time and Nikola Tesla taskforce I will be most famous for inventing a safe and effective motor that can be used to deliver electricity using alternating current and that alternating current method still used today
He also invented the test, the coil and index. oil used in radio technology and many other things which we will mention of that. But it was that first invention and simply teslas devotion to the idea that alternating current was superior to direct current as a means of delivering electricity that sparked a bitter rivalry with a very well known, very accomplished american inventor Thomas Edison. Of course, though, we're gonna be exploring tussles life, his contributions, his eccentricities, but we're off the gonna take a closer look at the contentious relationship that he had with ETA thin and the bad but they fought in the late nineteenth century to electrify the world. There is a lot at stake, so by the time you get to the end of tat story. I really want to know how minds like has got it start. So that's where we're gonna began. Tussle was born, on July. Ninth or ten sources tend to differ on that eighteen, fifty six into affair.
Of serbian origin in a village in a part of Austria, Hungary, that's now Croatia has done. The orthodox priest and his mom was a homemaker who had had much if any school but she was said to be very smart and really inventive. Two according to PBS Dot, Org Teslas mom, would invent all sorts of gadgets to just help around the house, including a mechanical egg, beer and apparently Tesla later credited her for his own inventive tendencies. His parents, though kind of expected there's fund to follow in his father's footsteps that he really excel in math and science from an early age, and it soon became pretty apparent that further academic achievement along those lines was what he was gonna try to pursue, and he wasn't just plain old book. Smart too. We should get into that before. We start talking about his his genius, even when he was very young. He was really invented
an imaginative and even had a bit of a literary side to him. He, according to mental floss Tesla, had both conceived of an idea for a water wheel, a machine for converting wire to electricity and read the one hundred volumes set of the complete Voltaire by age. Five, so pretty impasse pretty impressive, not everybody can even radiated five, though their eager. That's true. He was a little ahead of the curve there but an eighteen. Seventy five tussle move to graphs Austria to attend the technical University there and train to become an engineer according to an artist,
about Tesla, a notable scientists from nineteen hundred to the present its while he was there that he first saw a demonstration of the grand dynamo and direct current induction motor, and while he thought that demonstration, he noticed something he thought that sparked flew while it operated and that's when he got this idea of coming up with a method that would overcome issues with direct current motor. So after got, there is a bit of lost time in tough rules, biography during which he was ill and patiently. He would just study and study and work on his ideas so hard, sometimes that he would make himself physically thick, or at least that's how his his father's thought anyway.
Really alarmed his parents enough that they tried to get him to switch career path of things tat, this was not going to be healthy for their fine. Eventually, though Tesla said to have moved on to continuous education at the University of Prague, although, according to Biographer Margaret Cheney and Tesla man out of time, there is no record that he actually went there. He may have just audited classes and org, is the libraries their regardless by January, eighteen, eighty one he'd move to Budapest where he took a job in the hungarian government's Central Telegraph office in eating Two. He moved to Paris to take a position with the Continental Edison company, where his job was to address technical problems and Edison plants in both France and Germany, and according to Encyclopaedia Britannica its while he was on asylum in Strasbourg in eighteen. Eighty three, the tattler really
ganz serious work on his first induction loader and came up with a design for that, but he couldn't get a lot of support for or interest in it felt it was time for a big move. At that point he decided that he would head to America and see if he could garner shake up some interest over there, though he sat fail in eighteen. Eighty four, he was in his late twenties by this point and he showed that summer with only four cents in his pocket, as well as a few poems he written in some calculations for flying machine that he wanted to create that really paints a good picture of em, I think, and according to an article in american history, Thy Ronald each Bailey Tesla also only had one alpha left by the time he got to the United States. It consisted of a bowler had striped trousers and a cut away coat and all the rest of his clothing and his stuff he abroad.
and had been stolen on the trip over. He also had a reference from the manager of the Edison company and with him too, he so we had a like a recommendation along with him as well, because he wanted a job with Edison's company in the states, but there was a little more to it than just that. There was a little more of a motive behind him wanting to get work with Edison. And who was thirty. Seven at this time was already considered a celebrated inventor he'd invented the incandescent light bulb and the phonograph, and had recently created a system for providing electricity to homes and businesses that people in the New York City area were already benefiting from Tesla hoped that he could get Edison support for his ideas about alternating current and that's why He wanted to you kind of ring a mob get Addison in his corner, so you want to see Edison almost immediately after arriving in New York and according to Baileys, article later wrote that he was thrilled to the marrow to meet him, but it was clear
You start that these two guys, although they were both great minds, were complete opposite even in the way they looked and acted mean. Edison was short, pudgy, dishevelled and kind of folk see well. Tesla was more than six feet tall and slender neatly dressed and form a very serious looking. But, of course, the biggest difference between these two eyes was not just how they worked it with their beliefs about the way electricity should be distributed. Direct current were alternating current, though, before we go any further, probably help out to give just a little bit about ground on the difference between direct current, an alternating current. Just to give you guys offensive what Edison and Tesla disagreed about, though we're gonna stick to their real bad
one day think here, because this isn't a science by Catherine, not scientists or electrician their engineers, but just to give you something to start. Where are your word out more will? If they are, then I want a sign to resorting there would Michelob Ultra I'm looking for anyone and everyone who makes working out a blast. That's you! It's a team altered outcome for transport, awesome, perks like teenager gear and more that's team alter at that time to enter nobody's nursery openings residents, twenty one plus, if it'll routine, altered icon, listen to deal with unemployment insurance. Mostly eighty people about your like using was Missouri when your car breaks down do take
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which is the matter of how to get it, where it needed to go and Edison believe that direct current was the answer to this in a direct current electrons, which are the particles that conveying electricity just travel in one direction and a lot of edison, Pensions ran off of this type of power, according to an article in american Heritage by Bernard W Karlsson. Edison preferred this method because it was simple and safe. The downside is that it could only move electricity for short distances. His early power stations could only reach customers within about a mile distance, so tat flows preferred method. On the other hand, alternating current involved electrons switching back and forth, so they travel for
in one direction and then in the other direction, and they do this many many times per. Second, though, if you see something, that's labelled, sixty hurts, for instance, that means that the current is changing direction sixty times per. Second, though alternating current is more difficult to set up, but Tesla really believed in it, because it was capable of distributing electricity across greater distances, and it allows you to step up or decrease the voltage when you needed to make something like that happen. He also felt Karlsson writes that Training current would enable people to use electricity from more than just lighting, including running factory, Machine Street cars and elevator. So there was a lot of petroleum air potential, exactly Edison wasn't buying it though he was, buying into this idea? He thought that tackles designs for the new induction motor were both impractical and unsafe.
according to Baileys. Article Tesla later recalled that Edison said quote very bluntly that he was not interested in alternating current. Anyone who dabbled in that field was wasting his time. Still, though, at least at First Edison was impressed by tough by himself, even if he didn't like his electricity philosophy, he was impressed enough, in fact, that he gave Tesla job and so tough luck with its forest thence in his pocket enough. While it is pride, took the job and got to work at Edison Prostrate Power Station and his job there was to improve the performance of the dynamos or the generators than interestingly. The direct current generators actually worked by
eating, alternating current, at least initially that made converted to the direct current right before it was transmitted by using something called a commentator. This gig only lasted a few months for test for, though, and that was for a couple of reasons. First off the fundamental differences between him and Edison were just two great. He just really felt limited by the position and unsatisfied with what he was doing, because he didn't really believe in it, but there was also the situation regarding. Payment that cost hustler call it quits tackle, said Edison promised to pay him fifty thousand dollars if he was successful in enhancing the power stations dynamos back after tests were actually delivered on. This Edison said that it was all a Jew according to PBS Dot. Org. The older inventor said something to be effective quote when you're full fledged American. You can get an american joke, maybe yeah,
not very nice, but according to Baileys, article Edison, wouldn't even raise test, was salary from eighteen dollars to twenty five dollars a week. So you didn't even get some compensation for not getting the Jew right Tesla laughed and struck out on his own, and this time he was determined you do things his own way, but things still didn't go so well at first, he started his own electric company and Rollin need Jersey in eighteen, eighty five, but the first real project he worked on after breaking ties with Edison didn't have that much to do with furthering his ideas about alternating current he kind of got out of the business. Almost there were some New Jersey businessman who hired him to improve the lighting system in the city of railway, but they wanted him to improve upon an early system known as are acquiring so test. What took the job of his? You know. It was at least some kind of business and he did create a better type of arc lighting for the city or a better system of our claiming, but
the investors ended up, taking all the money that was earned from the project for themselves, leaving testily with nothing and according to barely again, they even cheated the inventor of the patents that he'd gotten for that new improved arc light he created after that awful experience, tussle was broke again and he had to resort to working the common labour and to add insult to injury, one of his jobs was digging ditches that would hold the electrical lines of none other than Edison's direct current bread so we're gonna leave. You therefore now with Tesla at a serious low, in the ditch that, if you're a huge task, Don't worry because in part to his luck does change and will see,
happens when Tesla get some work done on that induction motor of his that he designed so long ago, and the current war really starts to heat up will also take a look at Teslas Post current war life, including how he earned the nickname master of lightning, and why some remember this one's studious student mad scientist, still plenty in store for our part two of Tesla. when you have a passion for sports. You cried out a precision game. I was just about to say, and the love of your life does too oh boy, a passion is now turning on me when you haven't insanity for sports and your husband as to you find yourselves constantly debating the goats. So we decided to start of podcast all about this topic. The greatest greatest combat greatest man. Even greatest tailgate food hello wing, Nachos, Buffalo, kicking nachos,
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they're on display was the first either inhaler from eighteen, forty, six with credit given to William Morton as the inventor of the device, because my husband isn't enough. The test I took an interest in the display and snapped a picture, no mention of horror, swells now further gasoline the ten year brass lorries go on and on? We after got another email from Frank, and I know we ve gotten dental stories from you guys in the past, but this one really applied after that Horace love at the third sense. He was, in fact a dentist. The Frank wrote us to say that by Pat started, seeing doktor silver when my older sister was born, had a brand new office and the latest equipment when he was still in practice, the local paper. When a story about his fifty years as the dentist he had served in world war. Two after hearing the dental draw for as long as I can remember, but having good check out, I had ten cavities and feelings from the time I was about. Fourteen until I was in college several.
midnight teen eighties until the early nineteen nineties. He never asked me if I want to know the cane I didn't know I could ask. I thought it was for a quote real pain. My parents never asked me if I had taken any painkillers and never offered any after the fact I clicked got through by imagining really cold ice cream. This is kind of a very fat email that funny to you, I'm sorry. You had to go through all that frank, but I guess you could really identify to some of the people we were discussing about podcast. On the bright side. You never had to go through the whole numbing sensation. I think that's probably think you're right you're right. It's not a bright side, but thanks for writing in sharing your story, if anyone has any related store, that they would like to share a maybe just to some other recommendations for future part. Cast please write to us where history pie cast a discovery, dot com. You can also wickets upon Facebook, Enron, Twitter
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