Described as “a genuine poet of electricity,” Nikola Tesla paves the way for scientific and social breakthroughs with his discovery of an alternating current electrical system, creation of “artificial daylight,” and ambitious theories on interplanetary communication. Read more about it!
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 (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
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- 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.
Demonstration of alternating current generators at the Chicago World’s
Fair, lighting thousands of incandescent light bulbs.
The first Niagara Falls hydroelectric plant opened, which Tesla
designed to harness the energy of the Falls and convert it to
- 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.
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.”
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.
- "A Man of the Future," The Times (Richmond, VA), October 21,1894, Page 2, Image 2, col. 1-4
- "The Electrical Magician," Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, NE), April 14, 1895, Page 10, Image 10, col. 4-5
- "The X-Ray Wonders," St. Paul Daily Globe (Saint Paul, MN), March 11, 1896, Page 3, Image 3, col. 4
- "What are Cathode Rays?," Omaha Daily Bee (Omaha, NE), March 15, 1896, Page 13, Image 13, col. 5-6
- "Strangest Man in New York," The Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), June 27, 1897, Page 17, Image 17, col. 4-6
- "Tesla’s Latest Feat," The Salt Lake Herald (Salt Lake City, UT), November 9, 1898, Page 7, Image 7, col. 1-2
- "Tesla’s Latest Wonder," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), November 13, 1898, Page 25, Image 25, col. 1-6
- "Artificial Daylight at Last Made by Tesla," The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), April 16, 1899, Page 20, Image 20, col. 1-4
- "Nikola Tesla Promises Communication with Mars," The Times (Richmond, VA), January 13, 1901, Page 8, Image 8, col. 1-2
- "Tesla’s New Invention," The Times (Washington, DC), February 15, 1901, Page 1, Image 1, col. 5-6
- "Weird Doings at the Tesla Plant," The Evening World (New York, NY), July 17, 1903, Page 5, Image 5, col. 2
- "Wireless Vision Seen by Tesla," The Leavenworth Echo (Leavenworth, WA), October 22, 1915, Page 3, Image 3, col. 1