Hey everyone! Do you enjoy listening to the radio? Do you enjoy having wireless cellphone and internet use? Do you enjoy having power to run all your gizmos, household appliances, etc.? Are you glad you have electric light instead of carrying around torches in the dark like some caveman?
Well if you said yes to any of those questions, then it’s about time you learn about the man who brought all this about. No, not Thomas Edison. No, not Guglielmo Marconi. But the man who rightfully deserves the credit and recognition for bringing about an age of electrical wonder to the World. A man who spent the majority of his life fighting off spiteful rivals, such as Thomas Edison, and greedy corporate whores, such as J. P. Morgan.
The man was Nikola Tesla.
Wait? What? Who’s Nikola Tesla, you ask? Well I’m not surprised if you haven’t heard of him, considering how much he was forced into obscurity by the powers that be. Nikola Tesla was what most of the established scientific community called, “A Mad Scientist.” So, naturally he’s a hero of mine!
With this tribute my Team of Scientists and I will try to tell the story of Nikola Tesla to all my readers. At the same time I’ll also try to exhibit how Thomas Edison is a douchebag of epic proportions.
Nikola Tesla left his home country, that is now known as Croatia, towards the end of the 19th century. He came to America with nothing in his pockets but four cents and a book of poetry. But who are we kidding, four cents back then probably paid for a month’s rent, and reciting poetry could have possibly got him all the groceries he needed. It was a different time back then. What? You think I’m full of shit Scientist #2? Well prove me wrong then. You can’t can you? Well maybe if somebody had fixed the Time Machine, then that somebody could prove me wrong. For now be quiet because I’m narrating here.
Anyway, back to Nikola Tesla. You see Tesla had been working on some minor projects for Thomas Edison in Paris, France. Impressed by his work Edison lured Tesla to America with the promise of work. Edison also told Tesla that if he could improve his own direct current generators, then he would be paid $50,000. Tesla worked night and day and also gave up several new patents in the process to Edison’s company. In the end Tesla managed to greatly improve Edison’s direct current generators. Tesla then inquired about the money Edison promised. Edison’s response:
“Tesla, you don’t seem to understand our American Humor.”
Douchebag move number one by Thomas Edison. And for each douchebag move Edison does in this tribute will be followed by a “Edison Hate Future”, strip done by one of my favorite writers Warren Ellis.
Needless to say Tesla took this news pretty hard. Having not recievedthe money he was promised Tesla left Edison’s company and performed manual labor for a time to raise enough money to finally experiment withhis own theory of Alternating Currents, which ran directly in the face of Edison’s Direct Current technology. Having secured a position with The Westinghouse Company, Tesla began to develop motors that ran on alternating current. Edison, like the villain he was, returned to cause Tesla even more trouble.
Edison tried to convince the Westinghouse company that his motors running on direct current were superiour to Tesla’s alternating current technology. Also he did a bunch of trash talking. He told Westinghouse that Tesla was a crackpot because Tesla’s theories and technology had no scientific merit because Tesla’s theories came to him in visions and hallucinations.
Edison wasn’t lying about this. Tesla claimed his ideas and theories came to him in flashes of light during the many hallucinations Tesla suffered in his life. Tesla did not deny this.
“Like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truthwas revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand the diagrams of my motor. A thousand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidently I would have given for that one which I had wrestled from her against all odds and at the peril of my existance.” – Nikola Tesla
Curious about how Tesla was able to derive scientific knowledge from hallucinations, I decided to try this myself. Scientist #3 procured for me several…um…items to help me have my own hallucination. This was the result.
Edison’s attempts at making Tesla look like a raving psycho were fruitless, as Westinghouse decided to side with Tesla and his more efficient alternating current technology. Oh yeah and I almost forgot. Here’s another “Edison Hate Future” for his feable attempts to discredit Tesla yet again.
Westinghouse then presented a task to Tesla. A task that will be forever remembered as the night Tesla brought light to the world. The Chicago Expo of 1893 was in full swing and Westinghouse wanted to bring something special to the spectators one evening. Using Tesla’s alternating current motors, they were able to bring transferable electricity to the world on a massive scale.
It seemed Tesla was well on his way to becoming a wealthy and successful man. He had proved himself to the world and deserved all the recognition he was recieving. Well that was until, you guessed it, Edison came back on the scene to try and destroy Tesla’s reputation yet again.
And in typical ignorant, and jealous fashion that petty, spiteful men do, Edison decided to try and use fear to destroy Tesla. Edison began performing public spectacles to try and convince the public that alternating current technology was dangerous. Of course running electricity was a new thing back then, and Edison wanted to use the general public’signorance to his advantage. So what exactly did Edison do? Well how about taking animals into the public square and literally electrocuting them to death. He electrocuted horses at first, but then moved on to something more shocking, no pun intended.
You really have to wonder how much hate one person has to have in their heart to be able to do this to an innocent animal. Edison apparently had loads of hate to spare. So, once again Edison, you deserve this.
This battle between Edison and Tesla became known as The War of the Currents. It was around this time that Tesla became more vocal and critical of Edison. He claimed while working with Edison he saw him struggle with very simple problems and obstacles.
“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of a bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.” – Nikola Tesla
And it seems Edison himself didn’t deny this.
Undeterred by Edison’s antics. Tesla moved on to even greater things. He discovered a way to transmit free electrical energy through the air itself! He achieved this with his Tesla Coil. In fact, hey team of scientists! Get to work on creating our own Tesla coil! I don’t care how you do it, just do it!
Like a Mad Scientist’s dream come true, the Tesla Coil is a device that uses the air itself to transfer electricity. You’ve probably seen them before.
With these Tesla Coils, Tesla discovered that electrical energy could be transferred to many devices without the use of wires. Some of his most well known photographs are of Tesla holding a light bulb and powering it through the air itself.
Withthis discovery Tesla realized that free energy to the world was a possibility. You see Tesla wanted nothing more than to have his discoveries and inventions be a benefit to mankind. This attitude attracted other like-minded individuals to his side. One was the legendary Mark Twain who spent many hours with Tesla learning and witnessing his amazing discoveries.
Twain had developed a bond with Tesla in the goal of helping humanity with whatever skills they had to offer. Twain backed up and supported Tesla’s revolutionary ideas, and felt those holding him back had no interest in the future possibilities Tesla could offer.
These new discoveries raised the interest in J. P. Morgan, the legendary financier and banker. Morgan offered Tesla $150,000 to build a tower that could transmit the first wireless transatlantic message. Morgan believed that wireless communication was the way of the future. Tesla agreed and began work on his Wardenclyffe tower. But Tesla was also keeping a secret from Morgan on exactly what this tower could do.
You see Wardenclyffe Tower was also one giant Tesla Coil. In theory a structure that could provide free electrical power to quite possibly the entire world. When Tesla’s funding ran short he was forced to return to Morgan to ask for more money to finish the tower. Morgan was curious about why this tower, which was only to transfer wireless messages, was costing so much money. Tesla was forced to admit that the tower was also a device to transfer free energy.
Morgan didn’t take this well at all. Morgan told Tesla that this tower can’t be finished because, “You can’t put a meter on the air.” Morgan immediately ordered Wardenclyffe Tower destroyed and pulled any and all funding Tesla had remaining. Apparently in Morgan’s eyes, free energy was a threat to his profit margin.
Guglielmo Marconi eventually performed the first successful wireless transmission. And although for decades Marconi recieved credit for inventing the radio, he was actually using Tesla’s patents to achieve this goal. Tesla said of Marconi, “Let him continue his work. After all he is using seven of my patents.”
After Tesla’s funding was pulled by Morgan, he was ruined. No one would fund his experiments for fear he would actually create free energy for the benefit of the world. This once great man was forced into obscurity, and left penniless. Although he had no funding he continued to develop his theories and ideas, even if they wouldn’t ever be actualized. Tesla became known as a recluse mad scientist.
As time went by, Telsa become completely destitute. He spent his final years living in a hotel room in New York City. His name was only given mention by way of ridiculing him even more. He was asked to share the Nobel Peace Prize with Thomas Edison. Way to twist the knife, huh? This fell through and he didn’t receivethe prize. He was also later “honored” with the now annual Edison Award. He never showed up to receive the award. Instead they found him sitting on a bench across the street of the banquet hall, feeding pigeons.
Nikola Tesla never compromised in his belief that science and technology could be used to benefit mankind, and that should be the sole purpose of technological advancement. And one final insult came from our Government’s own J. Edgar Hoover. The day Nikola Tesla died, Hoover ransacked his hotel room and confiscated all of Tesla’s work.
So Johnny Red is raising a glass to Nikola Tesla and all the other brilliant men and women throughout history that were persecuted, overlooked, rejected, and pushed into the shadows. History has done it’s best to keep Nikola Tesla out of the light, but history cannot, because Tesla was the one who brought light itself to the world.
What’s that? You’ve completed my Tesla Coil!! Alright Team of Scientists, let’s see it!
It turns out I’m not the only one who believes Nikola Tesla deserves more recognition. I present to you the graphic novel, “The Five Fists of Science!”
John Michael Gagnon…aka…Johnny Red