Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla (tĕs´lə), 1856–1943, American electrician and inventor, b. Croatia (then an Austrian province). He immigrated to the United States in 1884, worked for a short period for Edison, and became a naturalized American citizen (1891). A pioneer in the field of high-voltage electricity, he made many discoveries and inventions of great value to the development of radio transmission and to the field of electricity. These include a system of arc lighting, the Tesla induction motor and system of alternating-current transmission, the Tesla coil, generators of high-frequency currents, a transformer to increase oscillating currents to high potentials, a system of wireless communication, and a system of transmitting electric power without wires. He produced the first power system at Niagara Falls, N.Y. There is a museum dedicated to his work in Belgrade, Serbia.

See biographies by H. B. Walters (1961), J. J. O'Neill (1968, repr. 1986), I. Hunt and W. W. Draper (1986); J. J. O'Neil (1986), and B. H. Johnston (1989).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Nikola Tesla: Selected full-text books and articles

Engines of Democracy: Inventions and Society in Mature America By Roger Burlingame Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 209
In the Mind's Eye: Visual Thinkers, Gifted People with Dyslexia and Other Learning Difficulties, Computer Images, and the Ironies of Creativity By Thomas G. West Prometheus Books, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "Models in the Mind: Nikola Tesla" begins on p. 141
Americans from Yugoslavia By Gerald Gilbert Govorchin University of Florida Press, 1961
Librarian’s tip: "The Prodigal Genius" begins p. 217
Manic Depression and Creativity By D. Jablow Hershman; Julian Lieb Prometheus Books, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 215
Light for the World: Edison and the Power Industry By Robert Silverberg D. Van Nostrand, 1967
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 236
Art after Modernism: Rethinking Representation By Brian Wallis Museum of Contemporary Art, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 283
A Short History of Twentieth-Century Technology c. 1900-c. 1950 By Trevor I. Williams Clarendon Press, 1982
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 75
Remembered Yesterdays By Robert Underwood Johnson Little, Brown, 1923
Librarian’s tip: "Nikola Tesla" begins on p. 399
The Engines of Our Ingenuity: An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture By John H. Lienhard Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Tesla begins on p. 44
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