When we talk about scientists, names like Newton, Einstein, Galileo are mentioned pretty quickly. These scientists are after all, some of the most famous names in the scientific world due to their irreplaceable contribution to science. But do you know that there was a scientist who was called ‘smartest man alive’ by Albert Einstein himself? Such was the genius of Nikola Tesla that it impressed even the uncrowned king of science himself.
Here are some interesting facts about Nikola Tesla, the creator of Tesla coil and inventor of technology that runs modern smartphones
1. Nikola Tesla was born during a lightning storm
It’s quite fitting that Tesla, the man whose research revolved around electricity was born during a lightning storm. Tesla was born around midnight between July 9 and July 10, 1856 in the Austrian empire. Legend has it that the midwife who was assisting Tesla’s mother openly declared that the lightning was a bad omen and that Tesla would be child of darkness. On this, his mother said, “No, he will be child of the light”
2. Tesla worked for Thomas Edison, and later became his competitor
Thomas Edison was a prolific American inventor. After Nikola Tesla arrived in the US, he worked as an assistant to Edison. However, he quit later to pursue his own project. Edison worked on direct current while Tesla worked on alternating current. This pitted both of them on either sides of ‘current war’.
Though they were competitors, they were not enemies. There was mutual respect. Once when Edison attended a speech given by Tesla, the latter led the audience in giving a standing ovation to Edison.
When there were fires at Tesla’s lab. Edison arranged for a lab for Tesla to continue his work.
3. Tesla developed the idea for smartphone technology
Tesla was ahead of his time. Once, he pitched an idea to his funder JP Morgan that involved encoding messages and broadcasting each of them on a specific frequency which then be received in a handheld device. The idea was instrumental in later research to develop smartphones.
4. Tesla scared Mark Twain
Residents living near Tesla’s laboratory often said that he had an ‘earthquake machine’ that could shake the entire block. The machine was actually a high-frequency oscillator. Tesla once invited Mark Twain, the famous writer, to his lab and made him stand on a platform that was connected with the oscillator.
Mark Twain had digestive problems. The platform shook so violently that it scared Twain into jumping off it and running for toilet facilities.
5. Tesla hated pearls. Like Really!
Tesla was known to be an eccentric genius. He hated pearls for some reason. His hate was so strong that he refused to talk with women who wore pearls. His secretary came to the lab wearing pearls one day. Tesla sent her home.