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Topics in Chronicling America - Nikola Tesla

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Picture of Nikola Tesla

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Important Dates:

  • 1883: Tesla came to the United States and began working at Edison’s lab.
  • 1886: He formed Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing.
  • 1888: Tesla invented the first usable Alternating Current motor.
  • 1893: Demonstration of alternating current generators at the Chicago World’s Fair, lighting thousands of incandescent light bulbs.
  • 1896: The first Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant opened, which Tesla designed to harness the energy of the Falls and convert it to electricity.
  • 1898: Demonstration of Tesla’s remote controlled boat in New York, the first remote control device.
  • 1902: Construction on Wardenclyffe, Tesla’s laboratory facility is completed.
  • 1915: Tesla’s financial problems caused him to lose the lease on Wardenclyffe. It is eventually used for scraps during World War I.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Tesla, Niagara, coil, ray, electricity, lamp, invention, Edison.
  • Using the full name Nikola Tesla is not as effective, as many contemporaries referred to him as “Dr. Tesla” or simply “Tesla.”
  • Since Tesla had a long and varied career, it is helpful to use inventions as search terms, or restrict the search dates to the desired time.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  April 27, 2013
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