Tag Archives: Biography

Agni Pratistha Arkadewi

Agni Pratistha Arkadewi adalah penyandang gelar Puteri Indonesia 2006. Berikut, biodata lengkap dan perjalanan karirnya.

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi

Biodata Agni Pratistha Arkadewi

  • Nama Lengkap: Agni Pratistha Arkadewi Kuswardono
  • Tanggal Lahir: 08 Desember 1988
  • Tempat Lahir: Canberra, Australia
  • Tinggi Badan: 178 cm
  • Berat Badan: 59
  • Zodiak: Sagitarius
  • Hobby: Menggambar
  • Orangtua, Pasangan : Anon Kuswardono dan Threes Tarunawati Kusumawardani
  • Pendidikan Terakhir : SMU Notre Dame, Jurusan Desain Grafis Universitas Bina Nusantara

Perjalanan Karir Agni Pratistha, Puteri Indonesia 2006

Sebelum menyandang gelar Puteri Indonesia 2006, Agni pernah mengikuti Cosmogirl of the Year tahun 2003 dan menjadi juara II. Agni juga pernah turut membintangi film Mengejar Matahari. Wanita asal Jawa Tengah ini kemudian terpilih menjadi Puteri Indonesia 2006 di Teater Tanah Airku (TMII), Jakarta. Dan pada akhir April 2007, ia berangkat ke ajang pemilihan Miss Universe 2007. Puncak acara ini dilaksanakan di Auditorium National, Mexico City pada 28 Mei 2007.

Filmografi

  • Mengejar Matahari
  • Dua Cinta Satu Hati (2010)

Bintang Iklan

  • Axe Effect
  • GIV Silky Skin

Video Klip

  • D’Bagindas – Ay

Galeri foto Agni Pratistha Arkadewi

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (3)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (4)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (10)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (17)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (19)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (22)

Biodata dan Profil Agni Pratistha Arkadewi (16)

Natt Chanapa – Most Beautiful Thailand Model

Natt ChanapaApril 08, 2017 / Admin Saktipedia

Biodata dan Profil Natt Chanapa – Kesarin Chaichalermpol atau yang lebih terkenal dengan sebutan Natt Chanapa dan memiliki nama samaran lainnya seperti Nong Natt, Natalia, dan juga Nat adalah seorang aktris dan juga model Thailand yang kemudian dikenal sebagai bintang film porno negara tersebut, ketika mengeluarkan film seksnya bersama pria Jepang disebuah tempat prostitusi di negara Thailand.

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Biodata Natt Chanapa

  • Tanggal lahir : 5 Desember 1985
  • Nama panggilan : Natt
  • Nama Lengkap : Kesarin Chaichalermpol
  • Tempat Lahir : Thailand
  • Bintang : Taurus
  • Pekerjaan : Model
  • Ras : Asian

Lahir di Thailand, 12 Mei 1979 Natt Chanapa pada era beredarnya beberapa film panasnya di Thailand dan kemudian menyebar di internet, dan sempat juga beredar di Indonesia, membuat popularitasnya saat itu pernah menanjak dalam hal dunia film porno, bahkan sempat menyamai popularitas Maria Ozawa di Indonesia sendiri.

Akibat ulahnya yang dianggap pemerintah Thailand telah menyebarkan pornografi, akhirnya Natt Chanapa dituntut dengan tuduhan memuat berita media yang jorok, dan akhirnya harus membayar denda, dan menerima hukuman kurungan penjara

Berikut adalah foto-foto Natt Chanapa ketika masih aktif menjadi Bintang model sekaligus Bintang dewasa yang saya ambil dari berbagai sumber di internet, Silakan anda simak baik-baik foto berikut :

Galeri Foto Natt Chanapa

 

 

Nikita Willy

October 12, 2017 / Admin Saktipedia

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy – Nikita Purnama Willy aktris muda Indonesia kelahiran Jakarta, 29 Juni 1994. Ia yaitu anak pertama dari 2 bersaudara. Nikita Willy memulai karier di Global hiburan Indonesia sejak usia 6 tahun, melalui sinetron Bulan Bintang. Nikita mempunyai darah Minang. Ia mulai dikenal publik, saat berperan pada sinetron Roman Picisan bersama dengan Evan Sanders.

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy

Hingga kini tercatat sudah banyak tema sinetron ataupun FTV yg telah dibintangi oleh gadis berzodiak Cancer ini. sejumlah tema sinetron yg telah ia bintangi antara lain Doa Membawa Berkah, Safa dan Marwah Yusra dan Yumna, Putri yg Ditukar, dan sinetron Kau Seputih Melati bersama dengan Rifky Balweel, Ammar Zoni, Merriam Bellina dan lainnya. Nikita Willy pula merambah Global film layar lebar dengan membintangi sejumlah judl film seperti Bestfriend? (2008), MBA Married By Accident (2008) dan Tertipu Laris Manis (2010).

Tak hanya piawai berakting, Nikita Willy pula merambah ke Global tarik suara dengan launcing single religi bertajuk Keyakinan Hati tahun 2010. Di tahun yg sama, anak pertama dari 2 bersaudara ini kembali coba peruntungannya dengan launcing single Kutetap Menanti. Di tahun 2011, Nikita Willy launcing single ketiganya yg berjudul makin Dari Indah . Dua single ini digunakan pada sinetron yg dibintangi Nikita, Putri yg Ditukar. Nikita Willy pula tergabung pada grup vokal The Freaks yg diproduseri oleh Agnez Mo bersama dengan selebriti muda kondang lainnya seperti Teuku Rassya, Aliando Syarief, dan Calvin Jeremy.

Membahas mengenai kehidupan asmaranya, Setidaknya ada sejumlah cowok yg mewarnai perjalanan Nikita Willy. Mereka yaitu Bara Tampubolon, Diego Michiels, Sofyan Setiadi, Duran Valentino, dan sekarang ia berpacaran dengan pria bali bernama Tutde Sumerta. Nikita kerap menunggah foto kemesraanya dengan sang kekasih di jejaring sosial Instagram.

Biodata Artis Nikita Willy

  • Nama Lengkap : Nikita Purnama Willy
  • Tanggal Lahir : 29 Juni 1994
  • Tempat Lahir : Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Pekerjaan : Aktris, design, Penyanyi
  • Orang Tua : Henry Willy (Ayah), Yora Febrine (Ibu)
  • Saudara : Winona Willy
  • Kekasih : Tutde Sumerta
  • Pendidikan : SMA 3 Jakarta, Institute Business Law Management
  • Agama : Islam
  • Zodiak : Cancer
  • Nama Fans : Niki Loverz
  • Akun Twitter : nikitawilly_24
  • Akun Instagram : nikitawillyofficial94

Film yg dibintangi Nikita Willy

  • Bestfriend?
  • MBA (Married By Accident)
  • Tertipu Laris Manis

Sinetron yg dibintangi Nikita Willy

  • Heri Potret (2002 – TV 7)
  • Doa Membawa Berkah
  • Titip Rindu Buat Ayah
  • Tiga Orang wanita
  • Doa Membawa Berkah
  • Wah Cantiknya!
  • Bidadari
  • Bulan dan Bintang
  • Ratu Malu dan Jenderal Kecil
  • Si Cecep
  • Senyuman Amanda
  • Habibi dan Habibah
  • Pengantin Kecil
  • Setinggi Bintang
  • Indahnya Karunia-Mu
  • Pacar Pilihan
  • Roman Picisan
  • Cookies
  • Safa dan Marwah
  • Cinta dan Anugerah
  • Nikita
  • Mister Olga
  • Putri yg Ditukar
  • Yusra dan Yumna
  • Kutunggu Kau di Pasar Minggu
  • Surat Kecil Untuk Tuhan The Series
  • Kau yg Berasal Dari Bintang
  • Wanita Di Pinggir Jalan The Series

Diskografi

  • Makin Dari Indah (2012)
  • Surat Kecil Untuk Tuhan (2013)
  • The FREAKS (2015)

Galeri Foto Nikita Willy

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy
Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy

Biodata dan Profil Artis Nikita Willy

 

Artis Thailand Paling Cantik

Artis Thailand Paling Cantik-2Malakul Lane

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sara-malakul-lane-mix-hotness-2079196883Punya darah keturunan Inggris-Thailand menjadi berkah tersendiri bagi artis cantik ini. Berkat keturunan Bule yang ia punya karirnya sangat mentereng di dunia artis. Dari model sampai aktris film namanya begitu bersinar.

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Tidak hanya berkat aktingnya tapi yang paling menonjol adalah bentuk tubuhnya yang seksi, dan ternyata di salah satu film yang ia bintangi Sara mulai berani untuk tampil buka-bukaan. Tidak heran sih sebagai model Sara Malakul Lane juga sering berpose menantang.

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Aom Sushar Manaying

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Sekarang sih usia emang boleh senior tapi kalau soal paras cantik maka artis yang satu ini juga wajib masuk.

Sushar Manaying 11

Aom Sushar merupakan salah satu artis senior Thailand yang nampaknya melawan waktu. Pasalnya meski usianya sudah hampir menginjak usia 30 tahun, tapi penampilannya masih sangat belia. Lihat saja fotonya di atas, cantik dan muda kan? Anak tetangga sebelah mah kalah. Apalagi nih, artis yang melejit lewat film drama Full House ini ternyata juga jago dalam dunia tarik suara. Jadi wajar kan kalau nama Aom Sushar manaying masuk sebagai salah satu artis Thailand paling cantik?

Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha

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Lahir di Bangkok, artis yang juga akrab disapa Pattie ini juga tak kalah cantik dan beningnya dari Aom. Meski masih muda tapi kalau berbicara mengenai karir artis cantik ini juga sudah tergolong senior. Sejak pertama kali terjun ke dunia film di tahun 2008, Pattie yang pertama kali tampil sebagai Nana dalam film Hermones terus melejit sampai sekarang ini.

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Apalagi paras cantik dan tubuh seksinya pun semakin terbentuk, membuatnya tak hanya berkiprah di film tapi juga di dunia modeling. Awas lho yang lagi puasa, matanya di jaga ya.

Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul

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Nama Baifern Pimchanok sebenarnya sudah tidak asing lagi di tanah air. Pasalnya film First Love yang dibintanginya sempat menuai sukses yang luar biasa di dunia perfilman tanah air. Tapi bedanyanya dil film tersebut Baifern masih nampak remaja, kira-kira bagaimana penampilannya sekarang?

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Well seperti foto di atas Baifern tidak hanya makin cantik, tapi ia juga mulai berani untuk menonjolkan keseksian tubuhnya. Wajar kan dia makin tenar, tapi tentu saja modal seksi tanpa bakat mumpuni itu juga percuma. Seperti beberapa artis lain yang Cuma dibayar buat pamer body aja, ehh ups.

Aum Patchrapa Chaichua

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Aum Patchrapa Chaichua

Usia boleh saja sudah hampir menginjak 40 tahun, tapi kalau soal kecantikan artis bernama Aum Patchrapa Chaichua ini tetap pantas untuk dipertimbangkan. Artis yang memulai karir setelah menyabet juara di kontes kecantikan HACK ini memang punya pesona yang tidak pernah luntur.

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Bahkan seperti yang terlihat pada fotonya di atas Aum masih memiliki pesona kecantikan yang luar biasa. Kalah sama emak-emak komplek yang ngegosip di tukang sayur. Gak salah dia emang pernah berada di posisi paling atas dari deretan artis Thailand paling cantik.

Punpun Sutatta Udomsilp

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Punpun Sutatta Udomsilp

Putih, cantik dan imut. Tiga hal tersebut sangat melekat bagi artis bernama Punpun Sutatta Udomsilp. Ia menjadi salah satu artis muda Thailand yang sukses melejit diantara para seniornya. Secantik apa dia?

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Sudah lihat sendiri kan? Karirnya mulai melejit setelah ia membintangi Ladda Land, Seven Something dan Last Summer yang sempat membuatnya menyabet beberapa penghargaan termasuk artis tercantik Thailand.

PunPun Sutatta Udomsilp 2

Kao Supassara Thanachart

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Kao Supassara Thanachart

Artis yang satu ini sudah beberapa tahun terakhir dikenal sebagai artis seksinya Thailand. Hal tersebut ia peroleh lewat beberapa serial film yang ia bintangi dimana Kao Supassara Thanachart sempat tampil cukup berani.

Supassara Tganachart (Gao)

Tapi ternyata hal tersebut tidak hanya terjadi di dalam film, keseharian artis yang tenar lewat serial film Masterkey ini juga cukup “buka-bukaan”.

Ice Preechaya Pongthananikorn

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Ice Preechaya Pongthananikorn

Usianya masih 27 tahun, tapi karirnya di dunia artis mulai dari film, modeling sampai bintang iklan sudah sangat banyak. Ice Preechaya Pongthananikorn memang dikenal sebagai salah satu artis cantik yang populer. Ia sudah banyak tampil di iklan televisi sampai film-film layar lebar.

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Namun yang paling melekat pada artis ini ternyata adalah senyumannya. Ice Preechaya dikenal punya senyuman maut yang bikin siapa saja terpesona. Kamu sendiri terpesona gak dengan senyumannya?

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Nattasha Nauljam

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Nattasha Nauljam 1

Artis thailand tercantik  imut dan menggemaskan Nattasha Nauljam. Artis yang biasa di panggil dengan nama Nat ini merupakan salah satu artis thailand tercantik dan terseksi yang di lahirkan pada tanggal 16 September 1992 yang lalu. 

Nattasha Nauljam 5

Kemampuan yang multi talenta di miliki oleh Nattasha Nauljam, selain pandai berakting Nattasha Nauljam juga pandai bernyanyi, bermain gitar dan bahkan Nattasha Nauljam pandai menari lho. Film SuckSeed merupakan salah satu film yang mendongkrak popularitas seorang Nattasha Nauljam yang merupakan artis thailand tercantik dan artis thailand terseksi ini.

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Sananthachat Thanapatpisal

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Artis tercantik di thailand yang berikutnya adalah sosok Sananthachat Thanapatpisal. Artis thailand seksi yang satu ini pernah membintangi salah satu film thailand populer yang berjudul Errak Error ATM. Dalam film Errak Error ATM ini Sananthachat Thanapatpisal berperan sebagai GOB. 

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Sananthachat Thanapatpisal ini telah di lahirkan di Thailand pada tanggal 20 Juni 1994 yang lalu. Dan biasanya Sananthachat Thanapatpisal di panggil dengan nama Fon. Beberapa film yang menjadi karya dari Sananthachat Thanapatpisal ini adalah Film Hormones The Series Season 1 dan Hormones The Series Season 2.

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Araya Hargate

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Araya Hargate 4

Kesan pertama yang terpancar dari artis muda asal Thailand kelahiran 28 Juli 1991 ini yaitu cantik, muda, dan berbakat, sebab dia memiliki segudang prestasi di dunia akting. Selain itu, dia juga seorang model. 

Araya Hargate 3

Artis yang biasa disapa ” Chompoo “ ini merupakan artis berdarah campuran antara Inggris dan Laos, tapi dia tumbuh besar di Bangkok. Film pertama yang dibintanginya yaitu ” Siblor Saranee “, dimana dalam film tersebut dia berperan sebagai seorang PSK.

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Apinya Sakuljaroensuk

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Apinya Sakuljaroensuk 2

Kalau artis Thailand tercantik yang satu ini bisa dibilang sebagai salah satu artis remaja papan atas yang sangat populer di Thailand, sebab selain membintangi sejumlah film, dia juga dikenal sebagai pembawa acara dan bintang iklan. 

Apinya Sakuljaroensuk 5

Artis kelahiran tanggal 27 Mei 1990 ini pertama kali muncul di TV dalam sebuah iklan handphone. Kini, sudah banyak iklan yang yang dibintanginya, kalau di total ada lebih 20-an iklan yang sudah dibintanginya. 

Apinya Sakuljaroensuk 1

Selain itu, dia juga dianggap sebagai salah satu artis Thailand yang memiliki karakter yang kuat. Artis yang biasa disapa dengan nama ” Saiparn “ ini, mulai terjun ke dunia film lewat film berjudul ” Ploy “.

Apinya Sakuljaroensuk 3

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Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul

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Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul 6

Kalau kamu pernah nonton film Thailand romantis yang rilis pada tahun 2010 dengan berjudul ” A Crazy Thing Little Called Love “ berarti kamu tahu bagaimana hebatnya akting artis Thailand yang satu ini. 

Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul 5

Sebab, dalam film tersebut, dia berperan sebagai ” Nam “ yaitu seorang gadis jelek yang sangat menyukai kakak kelasnya yang ganteng yaitu ” Shone “ yang diperankan dengan baik oleh salah satu aktor ganteng Thailand yaitu Maurer Mario. 

Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul 4

Selain itu, dari segi prestasi, dia juga sudah pernah beberapa kali mendapatkan penghargaan di berbagai festival film di Thailand. 

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Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul 1

Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen

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Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen 4

Buat kamu yang suka dengan film Thailand dan pernah nonton film Thailand yang berjudul ” Love At 4 Size/ Love Julinsee “ atau ” My Trus Friend “ yang rilis pada tahun 2011 silam, pasti tahu dengan artis kelahiran 30 Desember 1991 ini.

Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen 1

Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen 2

Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen 3

Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen 5

Pattarasaya Kreursuwansiri

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Pattarasaya Kreursuwansiri 1

Kalau artis Thailand yang satu ini lebih akrab disapa dengan sebutan ” Peak “, dia merupakan salah satu artis berbakat yang dimiliki Thailand, dimana artis kelahiran pada tanggal 18 Oktober 1988 ini mulai mengibarkan namanya lewat film ” Cool Gel Attact “ yang rilis pada tahun 2011.

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Paula Taylor

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Paula Taylor adalah artis Thailand cantik yang dilahirkan pada 20 Januari 1983 di bangkok, thailand. Nama lengkapnya adalah Punlapa Margaret Taylor. Paula Taylor adalah seorang aktris, model dan presenter keturunan Thailand dan Australia. Ia memulai karir keartisannya sebagai VJ untuk Channel V Thailand. Ia juga membintangi film berjudul Memory dan menjadi populer di level Asia setelah berpartisipasi dalam acara The Amazing Race Asia 2. 

Tak hanya di Thailand, Paula Taylor juga sangat populer di Filipina. Ia kerap diminta tampil sebagai MC dalam berbagai acara kedua negara tersebut. Melihat kecantikannya yang luar biasa, nampaknya tidak salah apabila Paula Taylor dinobatkan sebagai wanita paling cantik di Thailand.

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Davika Hoorne

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Davika Hoorne juga termasuk dalam daftar nama artis Thailand tercantik kali ini. Artis Thailand tercantik ini memiliki nama asli Mai Davika Hoorne. Sama seperti Chompoo Araya, artis Thailand tercantik kelahiran 16 Mei 1992 ini memiliki wajah cantik Thailand dan berdarah Belgia yang membuat Davika sangat eksotis. 

Mungkin dunia akting masih menjadi hal baru bagi Davika. Salah satunya tampilannya dalam berkating bisa kamu lihat di film berjudul PEE MAK PRAKHANONG pada tahun 2013, di mana artis Thailand tercantik ini bermain dengan Mario Maurer.

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Chermarn Boonyasak

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Chermarn Boonyasak juga merupakan salah satu nama artis Thailand tercantik yang sangat terkenal. Artis Thailand tercantik ini lahir di Bangkok pada tanggal 15 September 1982, meskipun dia bukan Artis yang muda lagi tapi dia masih terlihat cantik alami, dan dia adalah aktris TV dan film sekaligus bekerja sebagai model Top di Thailand. 

Artis Thailand tercantik ini telah membintangi beberapa judul Film ternama seperti “Buppah Rahtree” dan “Buppah Rahtree Phase 2″: Rahtree Returns” yakni merupakan film horor komedi arahan sutradara Yuthlert Sippapak yang sangat ternama. Info Judi

Selain itu artis Thailand tercantik ini juga bermain di film “Last Life In THE Universe” arahan sutradara “Pen-Ek Ratanaruang” dia berperan sebagai adik perempuan dari karakter yang dimainkan oleh kakak kandungnya sendiri, yang bernama Sinitta Boonyasak. Artis Thailand tercantik ini juga dikenal dengan nama “Laila Boonyasak” serta mendapat julukan sebagai “Ploy”. 

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Aum Patcharapa

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Perempuan cantik bernama asli Patchrapa Chaichua ini terlahir pada 5 Desember 1978. Patchrapa Chaichua adalah seorang aktris dari Bangkok yang lebih familiar dipanggil dengan sebutan Aum. Di tahun 1997, dia memenangkan acara HACKS, sebuah kontes dan bakat kecantikan terbesar di Thailand pada tahun tersebut. Debut aktingnya di acara televisi dimulai pada tahun yang sama, dalam sebuah program yang bernama Manee Neua Thailand. Nama Chaichua makin dikenal pada tahun 2003 ketika dia memenangkan TOP Award untuk Best Leading Actress untuk penampilannya di So Sanae Ha. 

Pada tahun 2005, namanya makin berkibar ketika memenangkan penghargaan lain untuk kategori peran utama film Pleung Payu. dan berhasil masuk nominasi pada kategori yang sama pada tahun selanjutnya. Semua ini menyebabkan Chaichua sempat menjadi aktris dengan bayaran tertinggi di Thailand. Ia pun dinobatkan sebagai wanita terseksi FHM Thailand tahun 2004 hingga 2006. 

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Pitchanart Sakakorn

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Pitchanart Sakakorn adalah seorang aktris film. Ia pertama kali muncul di tahun 2002 dalam film berjudul Butterfly in Grey, dan sejak itu ia hampir selalu tampil dalam judul-judul besar seperti seperti Pattaya Maniac, Buppah Rahtree Part 2: Rahtree Returns, Ghost Variety, Black Night dan Victim. 

Sakakorn memegang gelar sarjana dari Assumption University Thailand. Ia juga merupakan langganan dalam daftar 100 wanita Thailand paling seksi versi majalah FHM. Jika melihat kecantikan dan keindahan tubuhnya, wajar jika gelar ini kemudian disematkan pada Pitchanart. 

 

Pitchanart Sakakorn 5

Pitchanart Sakakorn 6

Woonsen Virithipa

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Woonsen Virithipa memiliki kecantikan khas negeri gajah tersebut. Di antara semua karirnya di industri hiburan, Woosen lebih dikenal sebagai presenter TV. Jika berbicara tentang kecantikan, dia sangat luar biasa dan menarik, penampilannya yang hot dan menawan. Jika anda seorang pria, anda pasti tertarik dan jatuh cinta dengan Artis Wanita Thailand Tercantik 2015 yang satu ini. Memang, kecantikannya telah diakui tidak hanya dinegaranya, tetapi juga di luar negeri. Selain itu, Woonsen Virithipa, yang telah menikah dengan Krit, adalah salah satu Artis Terpanas dan Terseksi Thailand yang telah sangat sukses sejauh ini. 

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Chalida Vijitvongthong

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Chalida Vijitvongthong adalah seorang aktris dan model yang juga dikenal dengan nama kecil “Mint”. Ia adalah artis Thailand yang memiliki keturunan Cina dan India dari kedua orang tuanya. Debutnya di dunia televisi dimulai pada tahun 2006 ketika ia muncul sebagai peran pendukung dalam serial yang berjudul Naruk. 

Mint mendapat kesempatan tampil sebagai peran utama pertama kali pada tahun 2010 dalam acara berjudul Pathapee Leh Ruk. Tak lama kemudian, ia kembali mendapat peran penting dalam Nuer Mek 2. Selain menerima penghargaan di dunia perfilman, artis yang satu ini juga pernah muncul sebagai sampul FHM dan MARS. 

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Kanya Rattanapetch

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Kanya Rattanapetch adalah model dan aktris. Ia juga dikenal dengan nama kecil Tarn atau Loogtarn. Artis yang satu ini memulai karirnya saat berusia 13 tahun ketika ia muncul dalam film berjudul Scared. Ia juga salah satu aktris dalam film Mor. 8 dan Sick Nurses dua film yang sangat terkenal di Thailand. Perannya yang paling menonjol adalah saat ia membintangi sebuah film layar lebar berjudul Love of Siam.

Setelah berhasil memenangkan nominasi penghargaan sebagai Pemeran Pendukung Terbaik pada tahun 2008, karirnya sebagai seorang selebritis terus menanjak. Belakangan ini, Kanya disebut-sebut sebagai salah satu moviestar terbesar Thailand dalam dekade ini.

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Supaksorn Chaimongkol

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Supaksorn Chaimongkol adalah model dan aktris dari Bangkok. Ia biasa dipanggil dengan nama Kratae. Artis cantik Thailand ini pertama kali muncul dalam film The Trek pada tahun 2002. dan pada tahun yang sama ia juga berperan dalam film Kunpan: Legend of Warlord. Thanit Jitnukul, sutradara film itu, sangat menyukai penampilannya sehingga ia pun diminta tampil sebagai peran utama dalam dua film besar, yaitu Art of the Devil dan Andaman Girl. Film lain yang pernah ia bintangi antara lain Dangerous Flowers, Marine Boys, Khon Hew Hua, Brave, Handle Me With Care, Bangkok Knockout dan masih banyak film berkualitas lainnya. 

Farung Yuthithum

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Farung Yuthithum adalah model, mahasiswi dan ratu kecantikan dari Pathum Thani. Ia memenangkan kontes kecantikan pertama di tahun 2006 ketika ia dinobatkan sebagai pemenang kontes Miss U-League. 

Terdaftar sebagai mahasiswa di Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi, Farung kemudian berkompetisi di Miss Thailand tahun 2007 di mana ia berhasil keluar menjadi juara. 

Tak lama kemudian, Farung mewakili negaranya di kontes Miss Universe pada tahun yang sama, di mana ia berhasil menembus peringkat 15 besar. Kini, selain dikenal sebagai model dan peragawati, Farung juga telah beberapa kali membintangi serial televisi.

Nah, itulah beberapa artis Thailand tercantik. Sebenarnya masih banyak artis Thailand lainnya yang cantiknya sangat luar biasa, tapi karena keterbatasan informasi, jadi cukup itu dulu, nanti kalau ada waktu akan saya tambah lagi. 

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Yaya Urassaya

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Artis Thailand terseksi berikutnya ini adalah Yaya Urassaya dan nama aslinya adalah  Urassaya Sperbund. Artis Thailand terseksi ini merupakan seorang model sekaligus aktris Thailand yang berdarah Norwegia. Menjadi salah satu selebritis wanita berdarah campuran, artis Thailand terseksi kelahiran 18 Maret 1993 ini jelas memiliki wajah cantik dan sangat unik.

Artis Thailand terseksi ini awalnya hanya memahami sedikit bahasa Thailand, karena itulah Yaya menempuh pendidikan budaya di Thailand, hal itu dilakukan artis Thailand terseksi ini selain sibuk tampil dalam drama TV.

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Nong Poy

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Masih ada lagi daftar nama artis Thailand tercantik kali ini adalah Nong Poy. Jika kamu memperhatikan wajah cantiknya, kamu akan sangat kaget saat menyadari jika artis Thailand tercantik ini sebenarnya adalah seorang pria. Saking cantik paras wajahnya ini hingga tak bisa kit bedakan secara kasat mata saja.

Nong Poy adalah salah satu transgender yang sukses yang menjadi kebanggaan Thailand dan dianggap salah satu selebritis wanita yang tercantik, dan meskipun artis Thailand tercantik ini seorang transgender. Artis Thailand tercantik ini terlahir pada tanggal 5 Oktober 1986. Meskipun demikian, Artis Thailand tercantik ini mampu bersanding dengan selebritis wanita cantik Thailand lainnya.

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Natt Kesarin Chaichalermpol

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Kesarin Chaichalermpol merupakan Artis Thailand yang memiliki bentuk tubuh terseksi, hal itu bisa kita lihat dari foto-fotonya. Artis Thailand terseksi ini adalah aktris Thailand yang telah malang melintang di dunia perfilman Thailand, dia juga terkenal dengan artis yang memiliki banyak nama panggung, misalnya “Nong Natt” dan “Natt Chanapa”.

Berita Heboh seputar artis Thailand terseksi ini adalah, Kesarin pernah terjerat skandal video porno yang dirilis di luar Thailand namun akhirnya isu tersebut ramai di Bangkok sehingga membuat artis Thailand terseksi ditangkap dan dituntut pemerintah Thailand. Dalam kasus itu, artis Thailand terseksi ini tampil di sebuah film porno hardcore dengan pria Jepang.

Dalam kasus itu, artis Thailand terseksi ini terungkap telah meraih bayaran cukup tinggi dan akibat kasusnya ini semakin membuat namanya langsung melesat ke jajaran selebritis bertubuh seksi di Thailand. Meskipun skandal yang berat, tetapi bisa saja ya melambungkan nama artis Thailand terseksi yang satu ini.

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Herman Hollerith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

416px-Hollerith

Herman Hollerith (February 29, 1860 – November 17, 1929) was an American inventor who developed an electromechanical punched card tabulator to assist in summarizing information and, later, accounting. He was the founder of the Tabulating Machine Company that was amalgamated (via stock acquisition) in 1911 with three other companies to form a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company later renamed IBM. Hollerith is regarded as one of the seminal figures in the development of data processing. His invention of the punched card tabulating machine marks the beginning of the era of semiautomatic data processing systems, and his concept dominated that landscape for nearly a century. 

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Personal life


Herman Hollerith was born the son of German immigrant Prof. Georg Hollerith from Großfischlingen (near Neustadt an der Weinstraße) in Buffalo, New York, where he spent his early childhood. He entered the City College of New York in 1875, graduated from the Columbia University School of Mines with an “Engineer of Mines” degree in 1879 at age 19, and in 1890 asked for (and was awarded) a Ph.D based on his development of the tabulating system. In 1882 Hollerith joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he taught mechanical engineering and conducted his first experiments with punched cards. He eventually moved to Washington, D.C., living in Georgetown, with a home on 29th Street and a business building at 31st Street and the C&O Canal, where today there is a commemorative plaque installed by IBM. He died in Washington D.C. of a heart attack.

Electromechanical Tabulation of Data


At the urging of John Shaw Billings, Hollerith developed a mechanism using electrical connections to increment a counter, recording information. A key idea was that a datum could be recorded by the presence or absence of a hole at a specific location on a card. For example, if a specific hole location indicates marital status, then a hole there can indicate married while not having a hole indicates single. Hollerith determined that data in specified locations on a card, the now-familiar rows and columns, could be counted or sorted electromechanically. A description of this system, An Electric Tabulating System (1889), was submitted by Hollerith to Columbia University as his doctoral thesis, and is reprinted in Randell’s book. On January 8, 1889, Hollerith was issued U.S. Patent 395,782, claim 2 of which reads:

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Photo dated 1919.12.31 of census worker with Hollerith pantograph punch. The keyboard layout is for the US Census 1920 population card.

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Replica of Hollerith tabulating machine with sorting box, circa 1890. The “sorting box” was an adjunct to, and controlled by, the tabulator. The “sorter”, an independent machine, was a later development.

The herein-described method of compiling statistics, which consists in recording separate statistical items pertaining to the individual by holes or combinations of holes punched in sheets of electrically non-conducting material, and bearing a specific relation to each other and to a standard, and then counting or tallying such statistical items separately or in combination by means of mechanical counters operated by electro-magnets the circuits through which are controlled by the perforated sheets, substantially as and for the purpose set forth.

Inventions and Businesses


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Hollerith punched card

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Hollerith’s grave at Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

Hollerith had left teaching and begun working for the United States Census Bureau in the year he filed his first patent application. Titled “Art of Compiling Statistics”, it was filed on September 23, 1884; U.S. Patent 395,782 was granted on January 8, 1889.

Hollerith initially did business under his own name, as The Hollerith Electric Tabulating System, specializing in punched card data processing equipment. He provided tabulators and other machines under contract for the Census Office, which used them for the 1890 census. The net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the scheduled publications, and the use of Hollerith’s electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census.

In 1896 Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company (in 1905 renamed The Tabulating Machine Company). Many major census bureaus around the world leased his equipment and purchased his cards, as did major insurance companies. Hollerith’s machines were used for censuses in England, Italy, Germany, Russia, Austria, Canada, France, Norway, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Philippines, and again in the 1900 census.

He invented the first automatic card-feed mechanism and the first keypunch. The 1890 Tabulator was hardwired to operate on 1890 Census cards. A control panel in his 1906 Type I Tabulator simplified rewiring for different jobs. The 1920s removable control panel supported prewiring and near instant job changing. These inventions were among the foundations of the data processing industry and Hollerith’s punched cards (later used for computer input/output) continued in use for almost a century.

In 1911 four corporations, including Hollerith’s firm, were amalgamated to form a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). Under the presidency of Thomas J. Watson, CTR was renamed International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in 1924. By 1933 The Tabulating Machine Company name had disappeared as subsidiary companies were subsumed by IBM.

Death and Legacy


Hollerith is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

Hollerith cards were named after Herman Hollerith, as were Hollerith constants (a string constant declaration in some computer programming languages, sometimes called a Hollerith string).

His great-grandson, the Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV is the Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Southern Virginia, and another great-grandson, Randolph Marshall Hollerith, is an Episcopal priest and the dean of Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C..

John Logie Baird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John_Logie_Baird_in_1917

John Logie Baird FRSE (/ˈloʊɡi bɛərd/; 13 August 1888 – 14 June 1946) was a Scottish engineer, innovator, one of the inventors of the mechanical television, demonstrating the first working television system on 26 January 1926, and inventor of both the first publicly demonstrated colour television system, and the first purely electronic colour television picture tube.

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In 1928 the Baird Television Development Company achieved the first transatlantic television transmission. Baird’s early technological successes and his role in the practical introduction of broadcast television for home entertainment have earned him a prominent place in television’s history.

Baird was ranked number 44 in the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote in 2002. In 2006, Baird was named as one of the 10 greatest Scottish scientists in history, having been listed in the National Library of Scotland’s ‘Scottish Science Hall of Fame’. In 2015 he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

Early Years


Baird was born on 13 August 1888 in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, and was the youngest of four children of the Reverend John Baird, the Church of Scotland’s minister for the local St Bride’s Church and Jessie Morrison Inglis, the orphaned niece of a wealthy family of shipbuilders from Glasgow.

He was educated at Larchfield Academy (now part of Lomond School) in Helensburgh; the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College; and the University of Glasgow. While at college Baird undertook a series of engineering apprentice jobs as part of his course. The conditions in industrial Glasgow at the time helped form his socialist convictions but also contributed to his ill health. He became an agnostic, though this did not strain his relationship with his father. His degree course was interrupted by the First World War and he never returned to graduate.

At the beginning of 1915 he volunteered for service in the British Army but was classified as unfit for active duty. Unable to go to the Front, he took a job with the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company, which was engaged in munitions work.

Television Experiments


The development of television was the result of work by many inventors. Among them, Baird was a prominent pioneer and made major advances in the field. Many historians credit Baird with being the first to produce a live, moving, greyscale television image from reflected light. Baird achieved this, where other inventors had failed, by obtaining a better photoelectric cell and improving the signal conditioning from the photocell and the video amplifier.

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John Logie Baird with his television apparatus, circa 1925

Between 1902 and 1907, Arthur Korn invented and built the first successful signal-conditioning circuits for image transmission. The circuits overcame the image-destroying lag effect that is part of selenium photocells. Korn’s compensation circuit allowed him to send still fax pictures by telephone or wireless between countries and even over oceans, while his circuit operated without benefit of electronic amplification. Korn’s success at transmitting halftone still images suggested that such compensation circuits might work in television. Baird was the direct beneficiary of Korn’s research and success.

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An early experimental television broadcast

In his first attempts to develop a working television system, Baird experimented with the Nipkow disk. Paul Gottlieb Nipkow had invented this scanning disc system in 1884. Television historian Albert Abramson calls Nipkow’s patent “the master television patent”. Nipkow’s work is important because Baird and many others chose to develop it into a broadcast medium.

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Baird in 1926 with his televisor equipment and dummies “James” and “Stooky Bill”

In early 1923, and in poor health, Baird moved to 21 Linton Crescent, Hastings, on the south coast of England. He later rented a workshop in the Queen’s Arcade in the town. Baird built what was to become the world’s first working television set using items including an old hatbox and a pair of scissors, some darning needles, a few bicycle light lenses, a used tea chest, and sealing wax and glue that he purchased. In February 1924, he demonstrated to the Radio Times that a semi-mechanical analogue television system was possible by transmitting moving silhouette images. In July of the same year, he received a 1000-volt electric shock, but survived with only a burnt hand, and as a result his landlord, Mr Tree, asked him to vacate the premises. Baird gave the first public demonstration of moving silhouette images by television at Selfridges department store in London in a three-week series of demonstrations beginning on 25 March 1925.

In his laboratory on 2 October 1925, Baird successfully transmitted the first television picture with a greyscale image: the head of a ventriloquist’s dummy nicknamed “Stooky Bill” in a 30-line vertically scanned image, at five pictures per second. Baird went downstairs and fetched an office worker, 20-year-old William Edward Taynton, to see what a human face would look like, and Taynton became the first person to be televised in a full tonal range. Looking for publicity, Baird visited the Daily Express newspaper to promote his invention. The news editor was terrified and he was quoted by one of his staff as saying: “For God’s sake, go down to reception and get rid of a lunatic who’s down there. He says he’s got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him — he may have a razor on him.”

First public demonstrations

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The first known photograph of a moving image produced by Baird’s “televisor”, as reported in The Times, 28 January 1926 (The subject is Baird’s business partner Oliver Hutchinson.)

On 26 January 1926, Baird repeated the transmission for members of the Royal Institution and a reporter from The Times in his laboratory at 22 Frith Street in the Soho district of London, where Bar Italia is now located. By this time, he had improved the scan rate to 12.5 pictures per second. It was the first demonstration of a television system that could broadcast live moving images with tone graduation.

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Blue plaque marking Baird’s first demonstration of television at 22 Frith Street, Westminster, W1, London

He demonstrated the world’s first colour transmission on 3 July 1928, using scanning discs at the transmitting and receiving ends with three spirals of apertures, each spiral with a filter of a different primary colour; and three light sources at the receiving end, with a commutator to alternate their illumination. The demonstration was of a young girl wearing different coloured hats. Noele Gordon went on to become a successful TV actress, famous for the soap opera Crossroads. That same year he also demonstrated stereoscopic television.

Broadcasting

In 1927, Baird transmitted a long-distance television signal over 438 miles (705 km) of telephone line between London and Glasgow; Baird transmitted the world’s first long-distance television pictures to the Central Hotel at Glasgow Central Station.This transmission was Baird’s response to a 225-mile, long-distance telecast between stations of AT&T Bell Labs. The Bell stations were in New York and Washington, DC. The earlier telecast took place in April 1927, a month before Baird’s demonstration.

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Baird demonstrating his mechanical television system in New York, 1931

Baird set up the Baird Television Development Company Ltd, which in 1928 made the first transatlantic television transmission, from London to Hartsdale, New York, and the first television programme for the BBC. In November 1929, Baird and Bernard Natan established France’s first television company, Télévision-Baird-Natan. Broadcast on the BBC on 14 July 1930, The Man with the Flower in His Mouth was the first drama shown on UK television. Baird televised the BBC’s first live outside broadcast with transmission of The Derby in 1931. He demonstrated a theatre television system, with a screen two feet by five feet (60 cm by 150 cm), in 1930 at the London Coliseum, Berlin, Paris, and Stockholm. By 1939 he had improved his theatre projection to televise a boxing match on a screen 15 ft (4.6 m) by 12 ft (3.7 m).

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1930s Baird television advertisement

From 1929 to 1932, the BBC transmitters were used to broadcast television programmes using the 30-line Baird system, and from 1932 to 1935, the BBC also produced the programmes in their own studio at 16 Portland Place. On 3 November 1936, from Alexandra Palace located on the high ground of the north London ridge, the BBC began alternating Baird 240-line transmissions with EMI’s electronic scanning system, which had recently been improved to 405 lines after a merger with Marconi. The Baird system at the time involved an intermediate film process, where footage was shot on cinefilm, which was rapidly developed and scanned. The trial was due to last 6 months but the BBC ceased broadcasts with the Baird system in February 1937, due in part to a disastrous fire in the Baird facilities at Crystal Palace. It was becoming apparent to the BBC that the Baird system would ultimately fail due in large part to the lack of mobility of the Baird system’s cameras, with their developer tanks, hoses, and cables.

Baird’s television systems were replaced by the electronic television system developed by the newly formed company EMI-Marconi under Isaac Shoenberg, which had access to patents developed by Vladimir Zworykin and RCA. Similarly, Philo T. Farnsworth’s electronic “Image Dissector” camera was available to Baird’s company via a patent-sharing agreement. However, the Image Dissector camera was found to be lacking in light sensitivity, requiring excessive levels of illumination. Baird used the Farnsworth tubes instead to scan cinefilm, in which capacity they proved serviceable though prone to drop-outs and other problems. Farnsworth himself came to London to Baird’s Crystal Palace laboratories in 1936, but was unable to fully solve the problem; the fire that burned Crystal Palace to the ground later that year further hampered the Baird company’s ability to compete.

Fully Electronic

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This live image of Paddy Naismith was used to demonstrate Baird’s first all-electronic colour television system, which used two projection CRTs. The two-colour image would be similar to the basic telechrome system.

Baird made many contributions to the field of electronic television after mechanical systems had taken a back seat. In 1939, he showed a system known today as hybrid colour using a cathode ray tube in front of which revolved a disc fitted with colour filters, a method taken up by CBS and RCA in the United States.

As early as 1940, Baird had started work on a fully electronic system he called the “Telechrome”. Early Telechrome devices used two electron guns aimed at either side of a phosphor plate. The phosphor was patterned so the electrons from the guns only fell on one side of the patterning or the other. Using cyan and magenta phosphors, a reasonable limited-colour image could be obtained. He also demonstrated the same system using monochrome signals to produce a 3D image (called “stereoscopic” at the time). In 1941, he patented and demonstrated this system of three-dimensional television at a definition of 500 lines. On 16 August 1944, he gave the world’s first demonstration of a practical fully electronic colour television display. His 600-line colour system used triple interlacing, using six scans to build each picture. Similar concepts were common through the 1940s and 50s, differing primarily in the way they re-combined the colours generated by the three guns. One of them, the Geer tube, was similar to Baird’s concept, but used small pyramids with the phosphors deposited on their outside faces, instead of Baird’s 3D patterning on a flat surface.

In 1943, the Hankey Committee was appointed to oversee the resumption of television broadcasts after the war. Baird persuaded them to make plans to adopt his proposed 1000-line Telechrome electronic colour system as the new post-war broadcast standard. The picture resolution on this system would have been comparable to today’s HDTV (High Definition Television). The Hankey Committee’s plan lost all momentum partly due to the challenges of postwar reconstruction. The monochrome 405-line standard remained in place until 1985 in some areas, and the 625-line system was introduced in 1964 and (PAL) colour in 1967. A demonstration of large screen three-dimensional television by the BBC was reported in March 2008, over 60 years after Baird’s demonstration.

Other Inventions


Some of Baird’s early inventions were not fully successful. In his twenties he tried to create diamonds by heating graphite and shorted out Glasgow’s electricity supply. Later Baird invented a glass razor, which was rust-resistant, but shattered. Inspired by pneumatic tyres he attempted to make pneumatic shoes, but his prototype contained semi-inflated balloons, which burst. He also invented a thermal undersock (the Baird undersock), which was moderately successful. Baird suffered from cold feet, and after a number of trials, he found that an extra layer of cotton inside the sock provided warmth.

Baird’s numerous other developments demonstrated his particular talent at invention. He was a visionary and began to dabble with electricity. In 1928, he developed an early video recording device, which he dubbed Phonovision. The system consisted of a large Nipkow disk attached by a mechanical linkage to a conventional 78-rpm record-cutting lathe. The result was a disc that could record and play back a 30-line video signal. Technical difficulties with the system prevented its further development, but some of the original phonodiscs have been preserved, and have since been restored by Donald McLean, a Scottish electrical engineer.

Baird’s other developments were in fibre-optics, radio direction finding, infrared night viewing and radar. There is discussion about his exact contribution to the development of radar, for his wartime defence projects have never been officially acknowledged by the UK government. According to Malcolm Baird, his son, what is known is that in 1926 Baird filed a patent for a device that formed images from reflected radio waves, a device remarkably similar to radar, and that he was in correspondence with the British government at the time. The radar contribution is in dispute. According to some experts, Baird’s “noctovision” is not radar. Unlike radar (except Doppler radar), Noctovision is incapable of determining the distance to the scanned subject. Noctovision also cannot determine the coordinates of the subject in three-dimensional space.

Later Years


From December 1944, Logie Baird lived at 1 Station Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, immediately north of the station and subsequently died there on 14 June 1946 after suffering a stroke in February. The house was demolished in 2007 and the site is now apartments named Baird Court. Logie Baird is buried with his mother, father and wife in Helensburgh Cemetery, Argyll, Scotland.

Honours and Portrayals


Blue plaque erected by Greater London Council at 3 Crescent Wood Road, Sydenham, London

Australian television’s Logie Awards were named in honour of John Logie Baird’s contribution to the invention of the television. Baird became the only deceased subject of This Is Your Life when he was honoured by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre in 1957.

He was played by Michael Gwynn (and also by Andrew Irvine, who played him as a boy) in the 1957 TV film A Voice in Vision and by Robert McIntosh in the 1986 TV drama The Fools on the Hill.

In 2014, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) inducted Logie Baird into The Honor Roll, which “posthumously recognizes individuals who were not awarded Honorary Membership during their lifetimes but whose contributions would have been sufficient to warrant such an honor”.

On 26 January 2016, the search engine Google released a Google Doodle to mark the 90th anniversary of Logie Baird’s first public demonstration of live television.

Nikola Tesla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

N.Tesla

Nikola Tesla (/ˈtɛslə/; Serbian Cyrillic: Никола Тесла Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [nikoːla tesla]; 10 July 1856 – 7 January 1943) was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.

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Born and raised in the Austrian Empire, Tesla received an advanced education in engineering and physics in the 1870s and gained practical experience in the early 1880s working in telephony and at Continental Edison in the new electric power industry. He emigrated to the United States in 1884, where he would become a naturalized citizen. He worked for a short time at the Edison Machine Works in New York City before he struck out on his own. With the help of partners to finance and market his ideas, Tesla set up laboratories and companies in New York to develop a range of electrical and mechanical devices. His alternating current (AC) induction motor and related polyphase AC patents, licensed by Westinghouse Electric in 1888, earned him a considerable amount of money and became the cornerstone of the polyphase system which that company would eventually market.

Attempting to develop inventions he could patent and market, Tesla conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, and early X-ray imaging. He also built a wireless-controlled boat, one of the first ever exhibited. Tesla became well known as an inventor and would demonstrate his achievements to celebrities and wealthy patrons at his lab, and was noted for his showmanship at public lectures.

Throughout the 1890s, Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. In 1893, he made pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. Tesla tried to put these ideas to practical use in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project, an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter, but ran out of funding before he could complete it.

After Wardenclyffe, Tesla went on to try to develop a series of inventions in the 1910s and 1920s with varying degrees of success. Having spent most of his money, he lived in a series of New York hotels, leaving behind unpaid bills. The nature of his earlier work and the pronouncements he made to the press later in life earned him the reputation of an archetypal “mad scientist” in American popular culture. Tesla died in New York City in January 1943. His work fell into relative obscurity following his death, but in 1960, the General Conference on Weights and Measures named the SI unit of magnetic flux density the tesla in his honor. There has been a resurgence in popular interest in Tesla since the 1990s.

Early Years


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Rebuilt, Tesla’s house (parish hall) in Smiljan, now in Croatia, where he was born, and the rebuilt church, where his father served. During the Yugoslav Wars, several of the buildings were severely damaged by fire. They were restored and reopened in 2006.

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Tesla’s baptismal record, 28 June 1856

Nikola Tesla was born an ethnic Serb in the village Smiljan, Lika county, in the Austrian Empire (present day Croatia), on 10 July [O.S. 28 June] 1856. His father, Milutin Tesla (1819–1879), was an Eastern Orthodox priest. Tesla’s mother, Đuka Tesla (née Mandić; 1822–1892), whose father was also an Orthodox priest, had a talent for making home craft tools and mechanical appliances and the ability to memorize Serbian epic poems. Đuka had never received a formal education. Tesla credited his eidetic memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence. Tesla’s progenitors were from western Serbia, near Montenegro.

Tesla was the fourth of five children. He had three sisters, Milka, Angelina and Marica, and an older brother named Dane, who was killed in a horse riding accident when Tesla was aged five. In 1861, Tesla attended primary school in Smiljan where he studied German, arithmetic, and religion. In 1862, the Tesla family moved to the nearby Gospić, Lika where Tesla’s father worked as parish priest. Nikola completed primary school, followed by middle school.

In 1870, Tesla moved far north to Karlovac  to attend high school at the Higher Real Gymnasium. The classes were held in German, as it was a school within the Austro-Hungarian Military Frontier.

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Tesla’s father, Milutin, was Orthodox priest in the village of Smiljan

Tesla would later write that he became interested in demonstrations of electricity by his physics professor. Tesla noted that these demonstrations of this “mysterious phenomena” made him want “to know more of this wonderful force”. Tesla was able to perform integral calculus in his head, which prompted his teachers to believe that he was cheating. He finished a four-year term in three years, graduating in 1873.

In 1873, Tesla returned to Smiljan. Shortly after he arrived, he contracted cholera, was bedridden for nine months and was near death multiple times. Tesla’s father, in a moment of despair, (who had originally wanted him to enter the priesthood)  promised to send him to the best engineering school if he recovered from the illness.

In 1874, Tesla evaded conscription into the Austro-Hungarian Army in Smiljan by running away southeast of Lika to Tomingaj, near Gračac. There he explored the mountains wearing hunter’s garb. Tesla said that this contact with nature made him stronger, both physically and mentally. He read many books while in Tomingaj and later said that Mark Twain’s works had helped him to miraculously recover from his earlier illness.

In 1875, Tesla enrolled at Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria, on a Military Frontier scholarship. During his first year, Tesla never missed a lecture, earned the highest grades possible, passed nine exams (nearly twice as many as required), started a Serb cultural club, and even received a letter of commendation from the dean of the technical faculty to his father, which stated, “Your son is a star of first rank.” During his second year, Tesla came into conflict with Professor Poeschl over the Gramme dynamo, when Tesla suggested that commutators were not necessary.

Tesla claimed that he worked from 3 a.m. to 11 p.m., no Sundays or holidays excepted. He was “mortified when [his] father made light of [those] hard won honors.” After his father’s death in 1879, Tesla found a package of letters from his professors to his father, warning that unless he were removed from the school, Tesla would die through overwork. At the end of his second year, Tesla lost his scholarship and became addicted to gambling. During his third year, Tesla gambled away his allowance and his tuition money, later gambling back his initial losses and returning the balance to his family. Tesla said that he “conquered [his] passion then and there,” but later in the U.S. he was again known to play billiards. When examination time came, Tesla was unprepared and asked for an extension to study, but was denied. He did not receive grades for the last semester of the third year and he never graduated from the university.

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Tesla aged 23, c. 1879

In December 1878, Tesla left Graz and severed all relations with his family to hide the fact that he dropped out of school. His friends thought that he had drowned in the nearby Mur River. Tesla moved to Maribor, where he worked as a draftsman for 60 florins per month. He spent his spare time playing cards with local men on the streets.

In March 1879, Tesla’s father went to Maribor to beg his son to return home, but he refused. Nikola suffered a nervous breakdown around the same time. On 24 March 1879, Tesla was returned to Gospić under police guard for not having a residence permit.

On 17 April 1879, Milutin Tesla died at the age of 60 after contracting an unspecified illness. Some sources say that he died of a stroke. During that year, Tesla taught a large class of students in his old school in Gospić.

In January 1880, two of Tesla’s uncles put together enough money to help him leave Gospić for Prague, where he was to study. He arrived too late to enroll at Charles-Ferdinand University; he had never studied Greek, a required subject; and he was illiterate in Czech, another required subject. Tesla did, however, attend lectures in philosophy at the university as an auditor and he did not receive grades for the courses.

Working at Budapest Telephone Exchange

In 1881, Tesla moved to Budapest, Hungary, to work under Tivadar Puskás at a telegraph company, the Budapest Telephone Exchange. Upon arrival, Tesla realized that the company, then under construction, was not functional, so he worked as a draftsman in the Central Telegraph Office instead. Within a few months, the Budapest Telephone Exchange became functional, and Tesla was allocated the chief electrician position. During his employment, Tesla made many improvements to the Central Station equipment and claimed to have perfected a telephone repeater or amplifier, which was never patented nor publicly described.

Working at Edison


In 1882, Tivadar Puskás got Tesla another job in Paris with the Continental Edison Company. Tesla began working in what was then a brand new industry, installing indoor incandescent lighting citywide in the form of an electric power utility. The company had several subdivisions and Tesla worked at the Société Electrique Edison, the division in the Ivry-sur-Seine suburb of Paris in charge of installing the lighting system. There he gained a great deal of practical experience in electrical engineering. Management took notice of his advanced knowledge in engineering and physics and soon had him designing and building improved versions of generating dynamos and motors. They also sent him on to troubleshoot engineering problems at other Edison utilities being built around France and in Germany.

A move to the US

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Edison Machine Works on Goerck Street, New York. Tesla found the change from cosmopolitan Europe to working at this shop, located amongst the tenements on Manhattan’s lower east side, a “painful surprise”.

In 1884, Edison manager Charles Batchelor, who had been overseeing the Paris installation, was brought back to the US to manage the Edison Machine Works, a manufacturing division situated in New York City, and asked that Tesla be brought to the US as well. In June 1884, Tesla emigrated to the United States. He began working almost immediately at the Machine Works on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, an overcrowded shop with a workforce of several hundred machinists, laborers, managing staff, and 20 “field engineers” struggling with the task of building the large electric utility in that city. As in Paris, Tesla was working on troubleshooting installations and improving generators. Historian W. Bernard Carlson notes Tesla may have met company founder Thomas Alva Edison only a couple of times. One of those times was noted in Tesla’s autobiography where, after staying up all night repairing the damaged dynamos on the ocean liner SS Oregon, he ran into Batchelor and Edison, who made a quip about their “Parisian” being out all night. After Tesla told them he had been up all night fixing the Oregon Edison commented to Batchelor that “this is a damned good man.” One of the projects given to Tesla was to develop an arc lamp-based street lighting system. Arc lighting was the most popular type of street lighting but it required high voltages and was incompatible with the Edison low-voltage incandescent system, causing the company to lose contracts in cities that wanted street lighting as well. Tesla’s designs were never put into production, possibly because of technical improvements in incandescent street lighting or because of an installation deal that Edison cut with an arc lighting company.

Tesla had been working at the Machine Works for a total of six months when he quit. What event precipitated his leaving is unclear. It may have been over a bonus he did not receive, either for redesigning generators or for the arc lighting system that was shelved. Tesla had previous run-ins with the Edison company over unpaid bonuses he believed he had earned. In his own biography, Tesla stated the manager of the Edison Machine Works offered a $50,000 bonus to design “twenty-four different types of standard machines” “but it turned out to be a practical joke”. Later versions of this story have Thomas Edison himself offering and then reneging on the deal, quipping “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.” The size of the bonus in either story has been noted as odd since Machine Works manager Batchelor was stingy with pay and the company did not have that amount of cash (equivalent to $12 million today) on hand. Tesla’s diary contains just one comment on what happened at the end of his employment, a note he scrawled across the two pages covering December 7, 1884, to January 4, 1885, saying “Good by to the Edison Machine Works”.

Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing


Soon after leaving the Edison company, Tesla was working on patenting an arc lighting system, possibly the same one he had developed at Edison. In March 1885, he met with patent attorney Lemuel W. Serrell, the same attorney used by Edison, to obtain help with submitting the patents. Serrell introduced Tesla to two businessmen, Robert Lane and Benjamin Vail, who agreed to finance an arc lighting manufacturing and utility company in Tesla’s name, the Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing. Tesla worked for the rest of the year obtaining the patents that included an improved DC generator, the first patents issued to Tesla in the US, and building and installing the system in Rahway, New Jersey Tesla’s new system gained notice in the technical press, which commented on its advanced features.

The investors showed little interest in Tesla’s ideas for new types of alternating current motors and electrical transmission equipment. After the utility was up and running in 1886, they decided that the manufacturing side of the business was too competitive and opted to simply run an electric utility. They formed a new utility company, abandoning Tesla’s company and leaving the inventor penniless. Tesla even lost control of the patents he had generated, since he had assigned them to the company in exchange for stock. He had to work at various electrical repair jobs and as a ditch digger for $2 per day. Later in life Tesla would recount that part of 1886 as a time of hardship, writing “My high education in various branches of science, mechanics and literature seemed to me like a mockery”.

AC and the Induction Motor


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Drawing from U.S. Patent 381,968, illustrating principle of Tesla’s alternating current induction motor

In late 1886, Tesla met Alfred S. Brown, a Western Union superintendent, and New York attorney Charles F. Peck. The two men were experienced in setting up companies and promoting inventions and patents for financial gain.3] Based on Tesla’s new ideas for electrical equipment, including a thermo-magnetic motor idea, they agreed to back the inventor financially and handle his patents. Together they formed the Tesla Electric Company in April 1887, with an agreement that profits from generated patents would go 1/3 to Tesla, 1/3 to Peck and Brown, and 1/3 to fund development. They set up a laboratory for Tesla at 89 Liberty Street in Manhattan, where he worked on improving and developing new types of electric motors, generators, and other devices.

In 1887, Tesla developed an induction motor that ran on alternating current (AC), a power system format that was rapidly expanding in Europe and the United States because of its advantages in long-distance, high-voltage transmission. The motor used polyphase current, which generated a rotating magnetic field to turn the motor (a principle that Tesla claimed to have conceived in 1882). This innovative electric motor, patented in May 1888, was a simple self-starting design that did not need a commutator, thus avoiding sparking and the high maintenance of constantly servicing and replacing mechanical brushes.

Along with getting the motor patented, Peck and Brown arranged to get the motor publicized, starting with independent testing to verify it was a functional improvement, followed by press releases sent to technical publications for articles to run concurrent with the issue of the patent. Physicist William Arnold Anthony (who tested the motor) and Electrical World magazine editor Thomas Commerford Martin arranged for Tesla to demonstrate his AC motor on 16 May 1888 at the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Engineers working for the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company reported to George Westinghouse that Tesla had a viable AC motor and related power system – something Westinghouse needed for the alternating current system he was already marketing. Westinghouse looked into getting a patent on a similar commutator-less, rotating magnetic field-based induction motor developed in 1885 and presented in a paper in March 1888 by Italian physicist Galileo Ferraris, but decided that Tesla’s patent would probably control the market.

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Nikola Tesla’s AC dynamo-electric machine (AC Electric generator) in an 1888 U.S. Patent 390,721

In July 1888, Brown and Peck negotiated a licensing deal with George Westinghouse for Tesla’s polyphase induction motor and transformer designs for $60,000 in cash and stock and a royalty of $2.50 per AC horsepower produced by each motor. Westinghouse also hired Tesla for one year for the large fee of $2,000 ($54,500 in today’s dollars) per month to be a consultant at the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company’s Pittsburgh labs.

During that year, Tesla worked in Pittsburgh, helping to create an alternating current system to power the city’s streetcars. He found it a frustrating period because of conflicts with the other Westinghouse engineers over how best to implement AC power. Between them, they settled on a 60-cycle AC system that Tesla proposed (to match the working frequency of Tesla’s motor), but they soon found that it would not work for streetcars, since Tesla’s induction motor could run only at a constant speed. They ended up using a DC traction motor instead.

Market Turmoil

Tesla’s demonstration of his induction motor and Westinghouse’s subsequent licensing of the patent, both in 1888, came at the time of extreme competition between electric companies. The three big firms, Westinghouse, Edison, and Thompson-Houston, were trying to grow in a capital-intensive business while financially undercutting each other. There was even a “War of Currents” propaganda campaign going on with Edison Electric trying to claim their direct current system was better and safer than the Westinghouse alternating current system. Competing in this market meant Westinghouse would not have the cash or engineering resources to develop Tesla’s motor and the related polyphase system right away.

Two years after signing the Tesla contract, Westinghouse Electric was in trouble. The near collapse of Barings Bank in London triggered the financial panic of 1890, causing investors to call in their loans to W.E. The sudden cash shortage forced the company to refinance its debts. The new lenders demanded that Westinghouse cut back on what looked like excessive spending on acquisition of other companies, research, and patents, including the per motor royalty in the Tesla contract. At that point, the Tesla induction motor had been unsuccessful and was stuck in development. Westinghouse was paying a $15,000-a-year guaranteed royalty even though operating examples of the motor were rare and polyphase power systems needed to run it were even rarer. In early 1891, George Westinghouse explained his financial difficulties to Tesla in stark terms, saying that, if he did not meet the demands of his lenders, he would no longer be in control of Westinghouse Electric and Tesla would have to “deal with the bankers” to try to collect future royalties. The advantages of having Westinghouse continue to champion the motor probably seemed obvious to Tesla and he agreed to release the company from the royalty payment clause in the contract. Six years later Westinghouse would purchase Tesla’s patent for a lump sum payment of $216,000 as part of a patent-sharing agreement signed with General Electric (a company created from the 1892 merger of Edison and Thompson-Houston).

New York Laboratories


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Mark Twain in Tesla’s South Fifth Avenue laboratory, 1894

The money Tesla made from licensing his AC patents made him independently wealthy and gave him the time and funds to pursue his own interests. In 1889, Tesla moved out of the Liberty Street shop Peck and Brown had rented and for the next dozen years would work out of a series of workshop/laboratory spaces in Manhattan. These included a lab at 175 Grand Street (1889–1892), the fourth floor of 33–35 South Fifth Avenue (1892–1895), and sixth and seventh floors of 46 & 48 East Houston Street (1895–1902). Tesla and his hired staff would conduct some of his most significant work in these workshops.

Tesla Coil

In the summer of 1889, Tesla traveled to the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris and learned of Heinrich Hertz’ 1886–88 experiments that proved the existence of electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves. Tesla found this new discovery “refreshing” and decided to explore it more fully. In repeating, and then expanding on, these experiments, Tesla tried powering a Ruhmkorff coil with a high speed alternator he had been developing as part of an improved arc lighting system but found that the high frequency current overheated the iron core and melted the insulation between the primary and secondary windings in the coil. To fix this problem Tesla came up with his Tesla coil with an air gap instead of insulating material between the primary and secondary windings and an iron core that could be moved to different positions in or out of the coil.

Citizenship

On 30 July 1891, aged 35, Tesla became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In the same year, he patented his Tesla coil.

Wireless Lighting

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Tesla demonstrating wireless lighting by “electrostatic induction” during an 1891 lecture at Columbia College via two long Geissler tubes (similar to neon tubes) in his hands.

After 1890, Tesla experimented with transmitting power by inductive and capacitive coupling using high AC voltages generated with his Tesla coil. He attempted to develop a wireless lighting system based on near-field inductive and capacitive coupling and conducted a series of public demonstrations where he lit Geissler tubes and even incandescent light bulbs from across a stage. He would spend most of the decade working on variations of this new form of lighting with the help of various investors but none of the ventures succeeded in making a commercial product out of his findings.

In 1893 at St. Louis, Missouri, the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the National Electric Light Association, Tesla told onlookers that he was sure a system like his could eventually conduct “intelligible signals or perhaps even power to any distance without the use of wires” by conducting it through the Earth.

Tesla served as a vice-president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers from 1892 to 1894, the forerunner of the modern-day IEEE (along with the Institute of Radio Engineers).

Steam-powered oscillating generator

Trying to come up with a better way to generate alternating current, Tesla developed a steam powered reciprocating electricity generator. He patented it in 1893 and introduced it at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition that year. Steam would be forced into the oscillator and rush out through a series of ports, pushing a piston up and down that was attached to an armature. The magnetic armature vibrated up and down at high speed, producing an alternating magnetic field. This induced alternating electric current in the wire coils located adjacent. It did away with the complicated parts of a steam engine/generator, but never caught on as a feasible engineering solution to generate electricity.

Polyphase System and the Columbian Exposition

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A Westinghouse display of the “Tesla Polyphase System” at Chicago’s 1893 Columbian Exposition

At the beginning of 1893, Westinghouse engineer Benjamin Lamme had made great progress developing an efficient version of Tesla’s induction motor, and Westinghouse Electric started branding their complete polyphase AC system as the “Tesla Polyphase System”. They believed that Tesla’s patents gave them patent priority over other AC systems.

Westinghouse Electric asked Tesla to participate in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago where the company had a large space in a building devoted to electrical exhibits. Westinghouse Electric won the bid to light the Exposition with alternating current and it was a key event in the history of AC power, as the company demonstrated to the American public the safety, reliability, and efficiency of a fully integrated alternating current system. Tesla showed a series of electrical effects related to alternating current as well as his wireless lighting system, using a demonstration he had previously performed throughout America and Europe; these included using high-voltage, high-frequency alternating current to light a wireless gas-discharge lamp.

An observer noted:

Within the room were suspended two hard-rubber plates covered with tin foil. These were about fifteen feet apart, and served as terminals of the wires leading from the transformers. When the current was turned on, the lamps or tubes, which had no wires connected to them, but lay on a table between the suspended plates, or which might be held in the hand in almost any part of the room, were made luminous. These were the same experiments and the same apparatus shown by Tesla in London about two years previous, “where they produced so much wonder and astonishment”.

Tesla also explained the principles of the rotating magnetic field in an induction motor by demonstrating how to make a copper egg stand on end, using a device that he constructed known as the Egg of Columbus and introduced his new steam powered oscillator AC generator.

Consulting on Niagara

In 1893, Edward Dean Adams, who headed up the Niagara Falls Cataract Construction Company, sought Tesla’s opinion on what system would be best to transmit power generated at the falls. Over several years, there had been a series of proposals and open competitions on how best to use power generated by the falls. Among the systems proposed by several US and European companies were two-phase and three-phase AC, high-voltage DC, and compressed air. Adams pumped Tesla for information about the current state of all the competing systems. Tesla advised Adams that a two-phased system would be the most reliable, and that there was a Westinghouse system to light incandescent bulbs using two-phase alternating current. The company awarded a contract to Westinghouse Electric for building a two-phase AC generating system at the Niagara Falls, based on Tesla’s advice and Westinghouse’s demonstration at the Columbian Exposition that they could build a complete AC system. At the same time, a further contract was awarded to General Electric to build the AC distribution system.

The Nikola Tesla Company

In 1895, Edward Dean Adams, impressed with what he saw when he toured Tesla’s lab, agreed to help found the Nikola Tesla Company, set up to fund, develop, and market a variety of previous Tesla patents and inventions as well as new ones. Alfred Brown signed on, bringing along patents developed under Peck and Brown. The board was filled out with William Birch Rankine and Charles F. Coaney. It found few investors; the mid-1890s was a tough time financially, and the wireless lighting and oscillators patents it was set up to market never panned out. The company would handle Tesla’s patents for decades to come.

Lab Fire

In the early morning hours of March 13, 1895, the South Fifth Avenue building that housed Tesla’s lab caught fire. It started in the basement of the building and was so intense Tesla’s 4th floor lab burned and collapsed into the second floor. The fire not only set back Tesla’s ongoing projects, it destroyed a collection of early notes and research material, models, and demonstration pieces, including many that had been exhibited at the 1893 Worlds Colombian Exposition. Tesla told The New York Times “I am in too much grief to talk. What can I say?” After the fire Tesla moved to 46 & 48 East Houston Street and rebuilt his lab on the 6th and 7th floors.

X-ray Experimentation

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X-ray of a hand, taken by Tesla

Starting in 1894, Tesla began investigating what he referred to as radiant energy of “invisible” kinds after he had noticed damaged film in his laboratory in previous experiments (later identified as “Roentgen rays” or “X-Rays”). His early experiments were with Crookes tubes, a cold cathode electrical discharge tube. Tesla may have inadvertently captured an X-ray image—predating, by a few weeks, Wilhelm Röntgen’s December 1895 announcement of the discovery of x-rays—when he tried to photograph Mark Twain illuminated by a Geissler tube, an earlier type of gas discharge tube. The only thing captured in the image was the metal locking screw on the camera lens.

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In 1898, Tesla demonstrated a radio-controlled boat which he hoped to sell as a guided torpedo to navies around the world.

In March 1896, after hearing of Wilhelm Röntgen’s discovery of X-ray and X-ray imaging (radiography), Tesla proceeded to do his own experiments in X-ray imaging, developing a high energy single terminal vacuum tube of his own design that had no target electrode and that worked from the output of the Tesla Coil (the modern term for the phenomenon produced by this device is bremsstrahlung or braking radiation). In his research, Tesla devised several experimental setups to produce X-rays. Tesla held that, with his circuits, the “instrument will … enable one to generate Roentgen rays of much greater power than obtainable with ordinary apparatus.”

Tesla noted the hazards of working with his circuit and single-node X-ray-producing devices. In his many notes on the early investigation of this phenomenon, he attributed the skin damage to various causes. He believed early on that damage to the skin was not caused by the Roentgen rays, but by the ozone generated in contact with the skin, and to a lesser extent, by nitrous acid. Tesla incorrectly believed that X-rays were longitudinal waves, such as those produced in waves in plasmas. These plasma waves can occur in force-free magnetic fields.

On 11 July 1934, the New York Herald Tribune published an article on Tesla, in which he recalled an event that would occasionally take place while experimenting with his single-electrode vacuum tubes; a minute particle would break off the cathode, pass out of the tube, and physically strike him:

Tesla said he could feel a sharp stinging pain where it entered his body, and again at the place where it passed out. In comparing these particles with the bits of metal projected by his “electric gun,” Tesla said, “The particles in the beam of force … will travel much faster than such particles … and they will travel in concentrations.”

Radio Remote Control

In 1898, Tesla demonstrated a boat that used a coherer-based radio control—which he dubbed “telautomaton”—to the public during an electrical exhibition at Madison Square Garden. The crowd that witnessed the demonstration made outrageous claims about the workings of the boat, such as magic, telepathy, and being piloted by a trained monkey hidden inside. Tesla tried to sell his idea to the U.S. military as a type of radio-controlled torpedo, but they showed little interest. Remote radio control remained a novelty until World War I and afterward, when a number of countries used it in military programs. Tesla took the opportunity to further demonstrate “Teleautomatics” in an address to a meeting of the Commercial Club in Chicago, while he was travelling to Colorado Springs, on 13 May 1899.

Wireless Power


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Tesla sitting in front of a spiral coil used in his wireless power experiments at his East Houston St. laboratory

From the 1890s through 1906, Tesla spent a great deal of his time and fortune on a series of projects trying to develop the transmission of electrical power without wires. It was an expansion of his idea of using coils to transmit power he had been demonstrating in wireless lighting. He could see this as not only a way to transmit large amounts of power around the world but also, as he had pointed out in his earlier lectures, a way to transmit worldwide communications.

At the time Tesla was formulating his ideas there was no feasible way to wirelessly transmit communication signals over long distances, let alone large amounts of power. Tesla had studied radio waves early on, at the time called “Hertzian waves” after their discovery by Hertz, and come to the conclusion that the theory on them was incorrect. Also, this new form of radiation was widely considered at the time to be a short-distance phenomenon that seemed to die out in less than a mile. Tesla noted that, even if theories on radio waves were true, they were totally worthless for his intended purposes since this form of “invisible light” would diminish over distance just like any other radiation and would travel in straight lines right out into space becoming “hopelessly lost”.

By the mid 1890s, Tesla was working on the idea that he might be able to conduct electricity long distance through the Earth or the atmosphere and began working on experiments to test this idea including setting up a large resonance transformer magnifying transmitter in his East Houston Street lab. Seeming to borrow from a common idea at the time that the Earth’s atmosphere was conductive, he proposed a system composed of balloons suspending, transmitting, and receiving, electrodes in the air above 30,000 feet (9,100 m) in altitude, where he thought the lower pressure would allow him to send high voltages (millions of volts) long distances.

Colorado Springs

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Tesla’s Colorado Springs laboratory

To further study the conductive nature of low pressure air, Tesla set up an experimental station at high altitude in Colorado Springs during 1899. There he could safely operate much larger coils than in the cramped confines of his New York lab and an associate had made an arrangement for the El Paso Power Company to supply alternating current free of charge. To fund his experiments he convinced John Jacob Astor IV to invest $100,000 to become a majority share holder in the Nikola Tesla Company. Astor thought he was primarily investing in the new wireless lighting system. Instead, Tesla used the money to fund his Colorado Springs experiments. Upon his arrival, he told reporters that he planned to conduct wireless telegraphy experiments, transmitting signals from Pikes Peak to Paris.

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A multiple exposure picture of Tesla sitting next to his “magnifying transmitter” generating millions of volts. The 7-metre (23 ft) long arcs were not part of the normal operation, but only produced for effect by rapidly cycling the power switch.

There he conducted experiments with a large coil operating in the megavolts range, producing artificial lightning (and thunder) consisting of millions of volts and up to 135 feet (41 m) long discharges and, at one point, inadvertently burned out the generator in El Paso, causing a power outage. The observations he made of the electronic noise of lightning strikes, led him to (incorrectly) conclude  that he could use the entire globe of the Earth to conduct electrical energy.

During his time at his laboratory Tesla observed unusual signals from his receiver which he speculated to be communications from another planet. He mentioned them in a letter to a reporter in December 1899 and to the Red Cross Society in December 1900 Reporters treated it as a sensational story and jumped to the conclusion Tesla was hearing signals from Mars. He expanded on the signals he heard in a 9 February 1901 Collier’s Weekly article “Talking With Planets” where he said it had not been immediately apparent to him that he was hearing “intelligently controlled signals” and that the signals could come from Mars, Venus, or other planets. It has been hypothesized that he may have intercepted Guglielmo Marconi’s European experiments in July 1899—Marconi may have transmitted the letter S (dot/dot/dot) in a naval demonstration, the same three impulses that Tesla hinted at hearing in Colorado—or signals from another experimenter in wireless transmission.

Tesla had an agreement with the editor of The Century Magazine to produce an article on his findings. The magazine sent a photographer to Colorado to photograph the work being done there. The article, titled “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy”, appeared in the June, 1900 edition of the magazine. He explained the superiority of the wireless system he envisioned but the article was more of a lengthy philosophical treatise than an understandable scientific description of his work illustrated with what were to become iconic images of Tesla and his Colorado Springs experiments.

Wardenclyffe

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Tesla’s Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island in 1904. From this facility, Tesla hoped to demonstrate wireless transmission of electrical energy across the Atlantic.

Tesla made the rounds in New York trying to find investors for what he thought would be a viable system of wireless transmission, wining and dining them at the Waldorf-Astoria’s Palm Garden (the hotel where he was living at the time), The Players Club and Delmonico’s. In March, 1901, he obtained $150,000 ($4,412,400 in today’s dollars) from J. Pierpont Morgan in return for a 51% share of any generated wireless patents and began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower facility to be built in Shoreham, New York, 100 miles (161 km) east of the city on the North Shore of Long Island.

By July 1901, Tesla had expanded his plans to build a more powerful transmitter to leap ahead of Marconi’s radio based system, which Tesla thought was a copy of his own system. He approached Morgan to ask for more money to build the larger system but Morgan refused to supply any further funds. In December 1901, Marconi successfully transmitted the letter S from England to Newfoundland, defeating Tesla in the race to be first to complete such a transmission. A month after Marconi’s success Tesla tried to get Morgan to back an even larger plan to transmit messages and power by controlling “vibrations throughout the globe”. Over the next five years, Tesla wrote more than 50 letters to Morgan, pleading for and demanding additional funding to complete the construction of Wardenclyffe. Tesla continued the project for another nine months into 1902. The tower was erected to its full 187 feet (57 m). In June 1902, Tesla moved his lab operations from Houston Street to Wardenclyffe.

Investors on Wall Street were putting their money into Marconi’s system and some in the press began turning against Tesla’s project, claiming it was a hoax  The project came to a halt in 1905 and in 1906, the financial problems and other events may have led to what Tesla biographer Marc J. Seifer suspects was a nervous breakdown on Tesla’s part. Tesla mortgaged the Wardenclyffe property to cover his debts at the Waldorf-Astoria, which eventually mounted to $20,000 ($488,600 in today’s dollars). He lost the property in foreclosure in 1915 and in 1917 the Tower was demolished by the new owner to make the land a more viable real estate asset.

Later Years


After Wardencyiffe closed, Tesla continued to write to Morgan; after “the great man” died, Tesla wrote to his son Jack Morgan, trying to get further funding for the project. In 1906, he opened offices at 165 Broadway in Manhattan, trying to raise further funds by developing and marketing his patents. He went on to have offices at the Metropolitan Life Tower from 1910 to 1914; rented for a few months at the Woolworth Building, moving out because he could not afford the rent; and then to office space at 8 West 40th Street from 1915 to 1925. After moving to 8 West 40th Street, he was effectively bankrupt. Most of his patents had run out and he was having trouble with the new inventions he was trying to develop.

Bladeless Turbine

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Tesla’s bladeless turbine design

On his 50th birthday, in 1906, Tesla demonstrated a 200 horsepower (150 kilowatts) 16,000 rpm bladeless turbine. During 1910–1911 at the Waterside Power Station in New York, several of his bladeless turbine engines were tested at 100–5,000 hp. Tesla worked with several companies including the period 1919–1922 working in Milwaukee for Allis-Chalmers. He spent most of his time trying to perfect the Tesla turbine with Hans Dahlstrand, the head engineer at the company, but engineering difficulties meant it was never made into a practical device. Tesla did license the idea to a precision instrument company and it found use in the form of luxury car speedometers and other instruments.

Wireless Lawsuits

When World War I broke out, the British cut the transatlantic telegraph cable linking the US to Germany in order to control the flow of information between the two countries. They also tried to shut off German wireless communication to and from the US by having the US Marconi Company sue the German radio company Telefunken for patent infringement. Telefunken brought in the physicist Jonathan Zenneck and Karl Ferdinand Braun for their defense and hired Tesla as a witness for two years for $1,000 a month. The case stalled and then went moot when the US entered the war against Germany in 1917.

In 1915, Tesla attempted to sue the Marconi Company for infringement of his wireless tuning patents. Marconi’s initial radio patent had been awarded in the US in 1897, but his 1900 patent submission covering improvements to radio transmission had been rejected several times, before it was finally approved in 1904, on the grounds that it infringed on other existing patents including two 1897 Tesla wireless power tuning patents. Tesla’s 1915 case went nowhere, but in a related case, where the Marconi Company tried to sue the US government over WWI patent infringements, a Supreme Court of the United States 1943 decision restored the prior patents of Oliver Lodge, John Stone, and Tesla. The court declared that their decision had no bearing on Marconi’s claim as the first to achieve radio transmission, just that since Marconi’s claim to certain patented improvements were questionable, the company could not claim infringement on those same patents.

Nobel Prize Rumors

On 6 November 1915, a Reuters news agency report from London had the 1915 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla; however, on 15 November, a Reuters story from Stockholm stated the prize that year was being awarded to Sir William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg “for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays.” There were unsubstantiated rumors at the time that either Tesla or Edison had refused the prize. The Nobel Foundation said, “Any rumor that a person has not been given a Nobel Prize because he has made known his intention to refuse the reward is ridiculous”; a recipient could decline a Nobel Prize only after he is announced a winner.

There have been subsequent claims by Tesla biographers that Edison and Tesla were the original recipients and that neither was given the award because of their animosity toward each other; that each sought to minimize the other’s achievements and right to win the award; that both refused ever to accept the award if the other received it first; that both rejected any possibility of sharing it; and even that a wealthy Edison refused it to keep Tesla from getting the $20,000 prize money.

In the years after these rumors, neither Tesla nor Edison won the prize (although Edison did receive one of 38 possible bids in 1915 and Tesla did receive one of 38 possible bids in 1937).

Other ideas, awards, and patents

Tesla won numerous medals and awards over this time. They include:

  • Order of St. Sava, II Class, Government of Serbia (1892)
  • Elliott Cresson Medal (1894)
  • Order of Prince Danilo I (1895)
  • AIEE Edison Medal (1917).
  • Order of St. Sava, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1926)
  • Order of the Yugoslav Crown (1931)
  • John Scott Medal (1934)
  • Order of the White Eagle, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1936)
  • Order of the White Lion, I Class, Government of Czechoslovakia (1937)
  • University of Paris Medal (1937)
  • The Medal of the University St. Clement of Ochrida, Sofia, Bulgaria (1939)

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Second banquet meeting of the Institute of Radio Engineers, 23 April 1915. Tesla seen standing in the center.

Tesla attempted to market several devices based on the production of ozone. These included his 1900 Tesla Ozone Company selling an 1896 patented device based on his Tesla Coil, used to bubble ozone through different types of oils to make a therapeutic gel. He also tried to develop a variation of this a few years later as a room sanitizer for hospitals.

Tesla theorized that the application of electricity to the brain enhanced intelligence. In 1912, he crafted “a plan to make dull students bright by saturating them unconsciously with electricity,” wiring the walls of a schoolroom and, “saturating [the schoolroom] with infinitesimal electric waves vibrating at high frequency. The whole room will thus, Mr. Tesla claims, be converted into a health-giving and stimulating electromagnetic field or ‘bath.'” The plan was, at least provisionally, approved by then superintendent of New York City schools, William H. Maxwell.

Before World War I, Tesla sought overseas investors. After the war started, Tesla lost the funding he was receiving from his patents in European countries.

In the August 1917 edition of the magazine Electrical Experimenter, Tesla postulated that electricity could be used to locate submarines via using the reflection of an “electric ray” of “tremendous frequency,” with the signal being viewed on a fluorescent screen (a system that has been noted to have a superficial resemblance to modern radar). Tesla was incorrect in his assumption that high frequency radio waves would penetrate water. Émile Girardeau, who helped develop France’s first radar system in the 1930s, noted in 1953 that Tesla’s general speculation that a very strong high-frequency signal would be needed was correct. Girardeau said, “(Tesla) was prophesying or dreaming, since he had at his disposal no means of carrying them out, but one must add that if he was dreaming, at least he was dreaming correctly.”

In 1928, Tesla received patent, U.S. Patent 1,655,114, for a biplane capable of taking off vertically (VTOL aircraft) and then of being “gradually tilted through manipulation of the elevator devices” in flight until it was flying like a conventional plane. Tesla thought the plane would sell for less than $1,000, although the aircraft has been described as impractical. This would be his last patent and at this time Tesla closed his last office at 350 Madison Ave., which he had moved into two years earlier.

Living Circumstances

Since 1900, Tesla had been living at the Waldorf Astoria in New York running up a large bill. In 1922, he moved to St. Regis Hotel and would follow a pattern from then on of moving to a new hotel every few years leaving behind unpaid bills.

Tesla would walk to the park every day to feed the pigeons. He took to feeding them at the window of his hotel room and bringing the injured ones in to nurse back to health. He said that he had been visited by a specific injured white pigeon daily. Tesla spent over $2,000, including building a device that comfortably supported her so her bones could heal, to fix her broken wing and leg. Tesla stated:

I have been feeding pigeons, thousands of them for years. But there was one, a beautiful bird, pure white with light grey tips on its wings; that one was different. It was a female. I had only to wish and call her and she would come flying to me. I loved that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life.

Tesla’s unpaid bills, and complaints about the mess from his pigeon-feeding, forced him to leave the St. Regis in 1923, the Hotel Pennsylvania in 1930, and the Hotel Governor Clinton in 1934. At one point, he also took rooms at the Hotel Marguery.

In 1934, Tesla moved to the Hotel New Yorker and Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company began paying him $125 per month as well as paying his rent, expenses the Company would pay for the rest of Tesla’s life. Accounts of how this came about vary. Several sources say Westinghouse was worried (or warned) about potential bad publicity surrounding the impoverished conditions under which their former star inventor was living. The payment has been described as being couched as a “consulting fee” to get around Tesla’s aversion to accept charity, or by one biographer (Marc Seifer), as a type of unspecified settlement.

Birthday Press Conferences

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Tesla on Time magazine commemorating his 75th birthday

In 1931, Kenneth Swezey, a young writer who had been associated with Tesla for some time, organized a celebration for the inventor’s 75th birthday. Tesla received congratulatory letters from more than 70 pioneers in science and engineering, including Albert Einstein, and he was also featured on the cover of Time magazine. The cover caption “All the world’s his power house” noted his contribution to electrical power generation. The party went so well Tesla made it an annual event, an occasion where he would put out a large spread of food and drink (featuring dishes of his own creation) and invite the press to see his inventions and hear stories about past exploits, views on current events, or sometimes odd or baffling claims.

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Newspaper representation of the thought camera Tesla described at his 1933 birthday party

At the 1932 occasion, Tesla claimed he had invented a motor that would run on cosmic rays. In 1933, at age 77, Tesla told reporters that, after thirty-five years of work, he was on the verge of producing proof of a new form of energy. He claimed it was a theory of energy that was “violently opposed” to Einsteinian physics, and could be tapped with an apparatus that would be cheap to run and last 500 years. He also told reporters he was working on a way to transmit individualized private radio wavelengths, working on breakthroughs in metallurgy, and developing a way to photograph the retina to record thought.

At the 1934 party, Tesla told reporters he had designed a superweapon he claimed would end all war. He would call it “teleforce”, but was usually referred to as his death ray. Tesla described it as a defensive weapon that would be put up along the border of a country to be used against attacking ground-based infantry or aircraft. Tesla never revealed detailed plans of how the weapon worked during his lifetime but in 1984, they surfaced at the Nikola Tesla Museum archive in Belgrade. The treatise, The New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-dispersive Energy through the Natural Media, described an open-ended vacuum tube with a gas jet seal that allows particles to exit, a method of charging slugs of tungsten or mercury to millions of volts, and directing them in streams (through electrostatic repulsion). Tesla tried to interest the US War Department, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia in the device.

In 1935, at his 79th birthday party, Tesla covered many topics. He claimed to have discovered the cosmic ray in 1896 and invented a way to produce direct current by induction, and made many claims about his mechanical oscillator. Describing the device (which he expected would earn him $100 million within two years) he told reporters that a version of his oscillator had caused an earthquake in his 46 East Houston Street lab and neighboring streets in downtown New York City in 1898. He went on to tell reporters his oscillator could destroy the Empire State Building with 5 lbs of air pressure. He also explained a new technique he developed using his oscillators he called “Telegeodynamics”, using it to transmit vibrations into the ground that he claimed would work over any distance to be used for communication or locating underground mineral deposits.

At his 1937 celebration in the Grand Ballroom of Hotel New Yorker, Tesla received the “Order of the White Lion” from the Czechoslovakia ambassador and a medal from the Yugoslavian ambassador. On questions concerning the death ray, Tesla stated, “But it is not an experiment … I have built, demonstrated and used it. Only a little time will pass before I can give it to the world.”

In the fall of 1937, after midnight one night, Tesla left the Hotel New Yorker to make his regular commute to the cathedral and the library to feed the pigeons. While crossing a street a couple of blocks from the hotel, Tesla was unable to dodge a moving taxicab and was thrown to the ground. His back was severely wrenched and three of his ribs were broken in the accident. The full extent of his injuries were never known; Tesla refused to consult a doctor, an almost lifelong custom, and never fully recovered.

Death


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Gilded urn with Tesla’s ashes, in his favorite geometrical object, a sphere (Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade)

On 7 January 1943, at the age of 86, Tesla died alone in Room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel. His body was later found by maid Alice Monaghan after she had entered Tesla’s room, ignoring the “do not disturb” sign that Tesla had placed on his door two days earlier. Assistant medical examiner H.W. Wembley examined the body and ruled that the cause of death had been coronary thrombosis.

Two days later the Federal Bureau of Investigation ordered the Alien Property Custodian to seize Tesla’s belongings, even though Tesla was an American citizen. John G. Trump, a professor at M.I.T. and a well-known electrical engineer serving as a technical aide to the National Defense Research Committee, was called in to analyze the Tesla items, which were being held in custody. After a three-day investigation, Trump’s report concluded that there was nothing which would constitute a hazard in unfriendly hands, stating:

[Tesla’s] thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character often concerned with the production and wireless transmission of power; but did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.

In a box purported to contain a part of Tesla’s “death ray”, Trump found a 45-year-old multidecade resistance box.

On 10 January 1943 New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia read a eulogy written by Slovene-American author Louis Adamic live over the WNYC radio while violin pieces “Ave Maria” and “Tamo daleko” were played in the background. On 12 January, two thousand people attended a state funeral for Tesla at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. After the funeral, Tesla’s body was taken to the Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, New York, where it was later cremated. The following day, a second service was conducted by prominent priests in the Trinity Chapel (today’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava) in New York City.

Estate

In 1952, following pressure from Tesla’s nephew, Sava Kosanović, Tesla’s entire estate was shipped to Belgrade in 80 trunks marked N.T. In 1957, Kosanović’s secretary Charlotte Muzar transported Tesla’s ashes from the United States to Belgrade. The ashes are displayed in a gold-plated sphere on a marble pedestal in the Nikola Tesla Museum.

Patents


Tesla obtained around 300 patents worldwide for his inventions. Some of Tesla’s patents are not accounted for, and various sources have discovered some that have lain hidden in patent archives. There are a minimum of 278 known patents issued to Tesla in 26 countries. Many of Tesla’s patents were in the United States, Britain, and Canada, but many other patents were approved in countries around the globe. Many inventions developed by Tesla were not put into patent protection.

Personal Life


Tesla worked every day from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. or later, with dinner from exactly 8:10 p.m., at Delmonico’s restaurant and later the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Tesla would telephone his dinner order to the headwaiter, who also could be the only one to serve him. “The meal was required to be ready at eight o’clock … He dined alone, except on the rare occasions when he would give a dinner to a group to meet his social obligations. Tesla would then resume his work, often until 3:00 a.m.”

For exercise, Tesla walked between 8 and 10 miles (13 and 16 km) per day. He curled his toes one hundred times for each foot every night, saying that it stimulated his brain cells.

In an interview with newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane, Tesla said that he did not believe in telepathy, stating, “Suppose I made up my mind to murder you,” he said, “In a second you would know it. Now, isn’t that wonderful? By what process does the mind get at all this?” In the same interview, Tesla said that he believed that all fundamental laws could be reduced to one.

Tesla became a vegetarian in his later years, living on only milk, bread, honey, and vegetable juices.

Appearance

head-and-shoulder shot of slender man with dark hair and moustache, dark suit and white-collar shirt

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Tesla, aged 34, circa 1890. Photo by Napoleon Sarony

Tesla was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and weighed 142 pounds (64 kg), with almost no weight variance from 1888 to about 1926. His appearance was described by newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane as “almost the tallest, almost the thinnest and certainly the most serious man who goes to Delmonico’s regularly”. He was an elegant, stylish figure in New York City, meticulous in his grooming, clothing, and regimented in his daily activities, an appearance he maintained as to further his business relationships. He was also described as having light eyes, “very big hands”, and “remarkably big” thumbs.

Eidetic Memory

Tesla read many works, memorizing complete books, and supposedly possessed a photographic memory. He was a polyglot, speaking eight languages: Serbo-Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, and Latin. Tesla related in his autobiography that he experienced detailed moments of inspiration. During his early life, Tesla was repeatedly stricken with illness. He suffered a peculiar affliction in which blinding flashes of light would appear before his eyes, often accompanied by visions. Often, the visions were linked to a word or idea he might have come across; at other times they would provide the solution to a particular problem he had encountered. Just by hearing the name of an item, he would be able to envision it in realistic detail. Tesla would visualize an invention in his mind with extreme precision, including all dimensions, before moving to the construction stage, a technique sometimes known as picture thinking. He typically did not make drawings by hand but worked from memory. Beginning in his childhood, Tesla had frequent flashbacks to events that had happened previously in his life.

Sleep Habits

Tesla claimed never to sleep more than two hours per night. However, he did admit to “dozing” from time to time “to recharge his batteries.” During his second year of study at Graz, Tesla developed a passionate proficiency for billiards, chess, and card-playing, sometimes spending more than 48 hours in a stretch at a gaming table. On one occasion at his laboratory, Tesla worked for a period of 84 hours without rest. Kenneth Swezey, a journalist whom Tesla had befriended, confirmed that Tesla rarely slept. Swezey recalled one morning when Tesla called him at 3 a.m.: “I was sleeping in my room like one dead … Suddenly, the telephone ring awakened me … [Tesla] spoke animatedly, with pauses, [as he] … work[ed] out a problem, comparing one theory to another, commenting; and when he felt he had arrived at the solution, he suddenly closed the telephone.”

Relationships

Tesla never married, explaining that his chastity was very helpful to his scientific abilities. He once said in earlier years that he felt he could never be worthy enough for a woman, considering women superior in every way. His opinion had started to sway in later years when he felt that women were trying to outdo men and make themselves more dominant. This “new woman” was met with much indignation from Tesla, who felt that women were losing their femininity by trying to be in power. In an interview with the Galveston Daily News on 10 August 1924 he stated, “In place of the soft voiced, gentle woman of my reverent worship, has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies in making herself as much as possible like man—in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind … The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me”.

 Although he told a reporter in later years that he sometimes felt that by not marrying, he had made too great a sacrifice to his work, Tesla chose to never pursue or engage in any known relationships, instead finding all the stimulation he needed in his work.

Tesla was asocial and prone to seclude himself with his work. However, when he did engage in a social life, many people spoke very positively and admiringly of Tesla. Robert Underwood Johnson described him as attaining a “distinguished sweetness, sincerity, modesty, refinement, generosity, and force.” His secretary, Dorothy Skerrit, wrote: “his genial smile and nobility of bearing always denoted the gentlemanly characteristics that were so ingrained in his soul.” Tesla’s friend, Julian Hawthorne, wrote, “seldom did one meet a scientist or engineer who was also a poet, a philosopher, an appreciator of fine music, a linguist, and a connoisseur of food and drink.”

Tesla was a good friend of Francis Marion Crawford, Robert Underwood Johnson, Stanford White, Fritz Lowenstein, George Scherff, and Kenneth Swezey. In middle age, Tesla became a close friend of Mark Twain; they spent a lot of time together in his lab and elsewhere. Twain notably described Tesla’s induction motor invention as “the most valuable patent since the telephone.” In the late 1920s, Tesla befriended George Sylvester Viereck, a poet, writer, mystic, and later, a Nazi propagandist. Tesla occasionally attended dinner parties held by Viereck and his wife.

Tesla could be harsh at times and openly expressed disgust for overweight people, such as when he fired a secretary because of her weight. He was quick to criticize clothing; on several occasions, Tesla directed a subordinate to go home and change her dress. When Thomas Edison died, in 1931, Tesla contributed the only negative opinion to The New York Times, buried in an extensive coverage of Edison’s life:

He had no hobby, cared for no sort of amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene … His method was inefficient in the extreme, for an immense ground had to be covered to get anything at all unless blind chance intervened and, at first, I was almost a sorry witness of his doings, knowing that just a little theory and calculation would have saved him 90 percent of the labor. But he had a veritable contempt for book learning and mathematical knowledge, trusting himself entirely to his inventor’s instinct and practical American sense.

Beliefs

On experimental and theoretical physics

Tesla exhibited a pre-atomic understanding of physics in his writings; he disagreed with the theory of atoms being composed of smaller subatomic particles, stating there was no such thing as an electron creating an electric charge. He believed that if electrons existed at all, they were some fourth state of matter or “sub-atom” that could exist only in an experimental vacuum and that they had nothing to do with electricity. Tesla believed that atoms are immutable—they could not change state or be split in any way. He was a believer in the 19th century concept of an all-pervasive “ether” that transmitted electrical energy.

Tesla was generally antagonistic towards theories about the conversion of matter into energy. He was also critical of Einstein’s theory of relativity, saying:

I hold that space cannot be curved, for the simple reason that it can have no properties. It might as well be said that God has properties. He has not, but only attributes and these are of our own making. Of properties we can only speak when dealing with matter filling the space. To say that in the presence of large bodies space becomes curved is equivalent to stating that something can act upon nothing. I, for one, refuse to subscribe to such a view.

Tesla claimed to have developed his own physical principle regarding matter and energy that he started working on in 1892, and in 1937, at age 81, claimed in a letter to have completed a “dynamic theory of gravity” that “[would] put an end to idle speculations and false conceptions, as that of curved space.” He stated that the theory was “worked out in all details” and that he hoped to soon give it to the world. Further elucidation of his theory was never found in his writings.

On Society

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Tesla circa 1885

Tesla is widely considered by his biographers to have been a humanist in philosophical outlook on top of his gifts as a technological scientist. This did not preclude Tesla, like many of his era, becoming a proponent of an imposed selective breeding version of eugenics.

Tesla expressed the belief that human “pity” had come to interfere with the natural “ruthless workings of nature.” Though his argumentation did not depend on a concept of a “master race” or the inherent superiority of one person over another, his advocacy of eugenics led him to adopt more extreme views. In a 1937 interview he stated:

… man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. The only method compatible with our notions of civilization and the race is to prevent the breeding of the unfit by sterilization and the deliberate guidance of the mating instinct … The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny. A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.

In 1926, Tesla commented on the ills of the social subservience of women and the struggle of women toward gender equality, and indicated that humanity’s future would be run by “Queen Bees.” He believed that women would become the dominant sex in the future.

Tesla made predictions about the relevant issues of a post-World War I environment in a printed article, “Science and Discovery are the great Forces which will lead to the Consummation of the War” (20 December 1914). Tesla believed that the League of Nations was not a remedy for the times and issues.

On Religion

Tesla was raised an Orthodox Christian. Later in life he did not consider himself to be a “believer in the orthodox sense,” said he opposed religious fanaticism, and said “Buddhism and Christianity are the greatest religions both in number of disciples and in importance”. He also said “To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end” and “what we call ‘soul’ or ‘spirit,’ is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the ‘soul’ or the ‘spirit’ ceases likewise”.

Literary Works


Tesla wrote a number of books and articles for magazines and journals. Among his books are My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla, compiled and edited by Ben Johnston; The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla, compiled and edited by David Hatcher Childress; and The Tesla Papers.

Many of Tesla’s writings are freely available online, including the article “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy,” published in The Century Magazine in 1900, and the article “Experiments With Alternate Currents Of High Potential And High Frequency,” published in his book Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla.

Legacy and honors


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Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia

Tesla’s legacy has endured in books, films, radio, TV, music, live theater, comics, and video games. The impact of the technologies invented or envisioned by Tesla is a recurring theme in several types of science fiction.

Things named after Tesla

Awards

  • The Nikola Tesla Award

Enterprises and organizations

  • Tesla, an American rock band formed in Sacramento, California, in late 1982
  • Tesla, an electrotechnical conglomerate in the former Czechoslovakia
  • Tesla, Inc, an American electric car manufacturer
  • Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Croatian affiliate of the Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer Ericsson
  • The Tesla Society, founded in 1956
  • Udruženje za razvoj nauke Nikola Tesla, Novi Sad, Serbia
  • Zavičajno udruženje Krajišnika Nikola Tesla, Plandište, Serbia
  • Holidays and events

Day of Science, Serbia, 10 July

  • Day of Nikola Tesla, Association of Teachers in Vojvodina, 4–10 July
  • Day of Nikola Tesla, Niagara Falls, 10 July
  • Nikola Tesla Day in Croatia, 10 July
  • Nikola Tesla annual electric vehicle rally in Croatia

Measures

  • Tesla, an SI-derived unit of magnetic flux density (or magnetic inductivity)

Places

  • Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport
  • Nikola Tesla Museum Archive in Belgrade
  • TPP Nikola Tesla, the largest power plant in Serbia
  • 128 streets in Croatia had been named after Nikola Tesla as of November 2008, making him the eighth most common street name origin in the country.
  • Tesla, a 26 kilometer-wide crater on the far side of the moon

2244 Tesla, a minor planet

Schools

  • Tesla STEM High School created in 2012 in Redmond, Washington as a choice school with a focus on STEM subjects. The name was chosen by a student vote.

Songs

  • “Tesla Girls”, a song by British pop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, released in 1984

Ships

  • SS Nikola Tesla, a Liberty Ship laid down 31 August 1943, launched 25 September 1943, sold from government service in 1947, and scrapped 1970

Plaques and Memorials

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Nikola Tesla Corner in New York City

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Nikola Tesla statue in Niagara Falls, Ontario

The Nikola Tesla Memorial Centre in Smiljan, Croatia, opened in 2006. It features a statue of Tesla designed by sculptor Mile Blažević.

  • A plaque depicting a relief of Nikola Tesla is present on the Old City Hall (Zagreb) in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, commemorating his proposal to build an alternating current power station, which he made to the city council. The plaque quotes Tesla’s statement, given in the building on 24 May 1892, which reads: “As a son of this country, I consider it my duty to help the City of Zagreb in every way, either through counsel or through action” (Croatian: “Smatram svojom dužnošću da kao rođeni sin svoje zemlje pomognem gradu Zagrebu u svakom pogledu savjetom i činom”).
  • On 7 July 2006, on the corner of Masarykova and Preradovićeva streets in the Lower Town area in Zagreb, a monument of Tesla was unveiled. This monument was designed by Ivan Meštrović in 1952 and was transferred from the Zagreb-based Ruđer Bošković Institute where it had spent previous decades.
  • A monument to Tesla was established at Niagara Falls, New York. This monument portraying Tesla reading a set of notes was sculpted by Frano Kršinić. It was presented to the United States by Yugoslavia in 1976 and is an identical copy of the monument standing in front of the University of Belgrade Faculty of Electrical Engineering.
  • A monument of Tesla standing on a portion of an alternator was established at Queen Victoria Park in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. The monument was officially unveiled on 9 July 2006 on the 150th anniversary of Tesla’s birth. The monument was sponsored by St. George Serbian Church, Niagara Falls, and designed by Les Drysdale of Hamilton, Ontario. Drysdale’s design was the winning design from an international competition.
  • A monument of Tesla was unveiled in Baku in 2013. Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Tomislav Nikolić attended a ceremony of unveiling.
  • In 2012 Jane Alcorn, president of the nonprofit group Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, and Matthew Inman, creator of web cartoon The Oatmeal, raised a total of $2,220,511 – $1,370,511 from a campaign and $850,000 from a New York State grant—to buy the property where Wardenclyffe Tower once stood and eventually turn it into a museum. The group began negotiations to purchase the Long Island property from Agfa Corporation in October 2012. The purchase was completed in May 2013. The preservation effort and history of Wardenclyffe is the subject of a documentary by Tesla activist/filmmaker Joseph Sikorski called “Tower to the People-Tesla’s Dream at Wardenclyffe Continues.”
  • A commemorative plaque honoring Nikola Tesla was installed on the façade of the New Yorker Hotel by the IEEE.
  • An intersection named after Tesla, Nikola Tesla Corner, is at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and 40th Street in Manhattan, New York City. The placement of the sign was due to the efforts of the Croatian Club of New York in cooperation with New York City officials, and Dr. Ljubo Vujovic of the Tesla Memorial Society of New York.
  • A bust and plaque honoring Tesla is outside the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava (formerly known as Trinity Chapel) at 20 West 26th Street in New York City.
  • A full-size, crowdfunded statue honoring Tesla with free Wi-Fi and a time capsule (to be opened on the 100th anniversary of Tesla’s death, 7 January 2043) was unveiled on 7 December 2013 in Palo Alto, California (260 Sheridan Avenue).
  • Nikola Tesla Boulevard, Hamilton, Ontario.

Thomas Edison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed “The Wizard of Menlo Park”, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

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Edison was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. More significant than the number of Edison’s patents was the widespread impact of his inventions: electric light and power utilities, sound recording, and motion pictures all established major new industries worldwide. Edison’s inventions contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures. His advanced work in these fields was an outgrowth of his early career as a telegraph operator. Edison developed a system of electric-power generation and distribution to homes, businesses, and factories – a crucial development in the modern industrialized world. His first power station was on Pearl Street in Manhattan, New York.

Early Life


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Edison as a boy

Thomas Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, and grew up in Port Huron, Michigan. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison Jr. (1804–1896, born in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia) and Nancy Matthews Elliott (1810–1871, born in Chenango County, New York). His father, the son of a Loyalist refugee, had moved as a boy with the family from Nova Scotia, settling in southwestern Ontario (then called Upper Canada), in a village known as Shewsbury, later Vienna, by 1811. Samuel Jr. eventually fled Ontario, because he took part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. His father, Samuel Sr., had earlier fought in the War of 1812 as captain of the First Middlesex Regiment. By contrast, Samuel Jr.’s struggle found him on the losing side, and he crossed into the United States at Sarnia-Port Huron. Once across the border, he found his way to Milan, Ohio. His patrilineal family line was Dutch by way of New Jersey; the surname had originally been “Edeson.”

Edison only attended school for a few months and was instead taught by his mother. Much of his education came from reading R.G. Parker’s School of Natural Philosophy and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

Edison developed hearing problems at an early age. The cause of his deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle-ear infections. Around the middle of his career, Edison attributed the hearing impairment to being struck on the ears by a train conductor when his chemical laboratory in a boxcar caught fire and he was thrown off the train in Smiths Creek, Michigan, along with his apparatus and chemicals. In his later years, he modified the story to say the injury occurred when the conductor, in helping him onto a moving train, lifted him by the ears.

Edison’s family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, after the railroad bypassed Milan in 1854 and business declined. Edison sold candy and newspapers on trains running from Port Huron to Detroit, and sold vegetables. He briefly worked as a telegraph operator in 1863 for the Grand Trunk Railway at the railway station in Stratford, Ontario, at age 16. He was held responsible for a near collision. He also studied qualitative analysis and conducted chemical experiments on the train until he left the job.

Edison obtained the exclusive right to sell newspapers on the road, and, with the aid of four assistants, he set in type and printed the Grand Trunk Herald, which he sold with his other papers. This began Edison’s long streak of entrepreneurial ventures, as he discovered his talents as a businessman. These talents eventually led him to found 14 companies, including General Electric, still one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.

Telegrapher


Edison became a telegraph operator after he saved three-year-old Jimmie MacKenzie from being struck by a runaway train. Jimmie’s father, station agent J. U. MacKenzie of Mount Clemens, Michigan, was so grateful that he trained Edison as a telegraph operator. Edison’s first telegraphy job away from Port Huron was at Stratford Junction, Ontario, on the Grand Trunk Railway.

In 1866, at the age of 19, Edison moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where, as an employee of Western Union, he worked the Associated Press bureau news wire. Edison requested the night shift, which allowed him plenty of time to spend at his two favorite pastimes—reading and experimenting. Eventually, the latter pre-occupation cost him his job. One night in 1867, he was working with a lead–acid battery when he spilled sulfuric acid onto the floor. It ran between the floorboards and onto his boss’s desk below. The next morning Edison was fired.

One of his mentors during those early years was a fellow telegrapher and inventor named Franklin Leonard Pope, who allowed the impoverished youth to live and work in the basement of his Elizabeth, New Jersey, home. Some of Edison’s earliest inventions were related to telegraphy, including a

 

stock ticker. His first patent was for the electric vote recorder, U.S. Patent 90,646, which was granted on June 1, 1869.

Marriages and Children


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Mina Miller Edison in 1906

On December 25, 1871, at the age of twenty-four, Edison married 16-year-old Mary Stilwell (1855–1884), whom he had met two months earlier; she was an employee at one of his shops. They had three children:

  • Marion Estelle Edison (1873–1965), nicknamed “Dot”
  • Thomas Alva Edison Jr. (1876–1935), nicknamed “Dash”
  • William Leslie Edison (1878–1937) Inventor, graduate of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, 1900.

Mary Edison died at age 29 on August 9, 1884, of unknown causes: possibly from a brain tumor or a morphine overdose. Doctors frequently prescribed morphine to women in those years to treat a variety of causes, and researchers believe that her symptoms could have been from morphine poisoning.

Edison generally preferred spending time in the laboratory to being with his family.

Mina Miller Edison in 1906

On February 24, 1886, at the age of thirty-nine, Edison married the 20-year-old Mina Miller (1865–1947) in Akron, Ohio. She was the daughter of the inventor Lewis Miller, co-founder of the Chautauqua Institution, and a benefactor of Methodist charities. They also had three children together:

  • Madeleine Edison (1888–1979), who married John Eyre Sloane.
  • Charles Edison (1890–1969), Governor of New Jersey (1941–1944), who took over his father’s company and experimental laboratories upon his father’s death.
  • Theodore Miller Edison (1898–1992), (MIT Physics 1923), credited with more than 80 patents.

Mina outlived Thomas Edison, dying on August 24, 1947.

Beginning his career


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Photograph of Edison with his phonograph (2nd model), taken in Mathew Brady’s Washington, DC studio in April 1878.

Edison began his career as an inventor in Newark, New Jersey, with the automatic repeater and his other improved telegraphic devices, but the invention that first gained him wider notice was the phonograph in 1877. This accomplishment was so unexpected by the public at large as to appear almost magical. Edison became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” New Jersey.

His first phonograph recorded on tinfoil around a grooved cylinder. Despite its limited sound quality and that the recordings could be played only a few times, the phonograph made Edison a celebrity. Joseph Henry, president of the National Academy of Sciences and one of the most renowned electrical scientists in the US, described Edison as “the most ingenious inventor in this country… or in any other”. In April 1878, Edison traveled to Washington to demonstrate the phonograph before the National Academy of Sciences, Congressmen, Senators and US President Hayes. The Washington Post described Edison as a “genius” and his presentation as “a scene… that will live in history”. Although Edison obtained a patent for the phonograph in 1878, he did little to develop it until Alexander Graham Bell, Chichester Bell, and Charles Tainter produced a phonograph-like device in the 1880s that used wax-coated cardboard cylinders.

Menlo Park


Research and development facility

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Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory, reconstructed at Greenfield Village at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Edison’s major innovation was the establishment of an industrial research lab in 1876. It was built in Menlo Park, a part of Raritan Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey (today named Edison in his honor), with the funds from the sale of Edison’s quadruplex telegraph. After his demonstration of the telegraph, Edison was not sure that his original plan to sell it for $4,000 to $5,000 was right, so he asked Western Union to make a bid. He was surprised to hear them offer $10,000 ($216,300 in today’s dollars.), which he gratefully accepted.The quadruplex telegraph was Edison’s first big financial success, and Menlo Park became the first institution set up with the specific purpose of producing constant technological innovation and improvement. Edison was legally attributed with most of the inventions produced there, though many employees carried out research and development under his direction. His staff was generally told to carry out his directions in conducting research, and he drove them hard to produce results.

William Joseph Hammer, a consulting electrical engineer, started working for Edison and began his duties as a laboratory assistant in December 1879. He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, iron ore separator, electric lighting, and other developing inventions. However, Hammer worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device (see Hammer Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps). In 1880, he was appointed chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In his first year, the plant under General Manager Francis Robbins Upton turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was “a pioneer of incandescent electric lighting”. Frank J. Sprague, a competent mathematician and former naval officer, was recruited by Edward H. Johnson and joined the Edison organization in 1883. One of Sprague’s contributions to the Edison Laboratory at Menlo Park was to expand Edison’s mathematical methods. Despite the common belief that Edison did not use mathematics, analysis of his notebooks reveal that he was an astute user of mathematical analysis conducted by his assistants such as Francis Robbins Upton, for example, determining the critical parameters of his electric lighting system including lamp resistance by an analysis of Ohm’s Law, Joule’s Law and economics.

Nearly all of Edison’s patents were utility patents, which were protected for a 17-year period and included inventions or processes that are electrical, mechanical, or chemical in nature. About a dozen were design patents, which protect an ornamental design for up to a 14-year period. As in most patents, the inventions he described were improvements over prior art. The phonograph patent, in contrast, was unprecedented as describing the first device to record and reproduce sounds.

In just over a decade, Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory had expanded to occupy two city blocks. Edison said he wanted the lab to have “a stock of almost every conceivable material”. A newspaper article printed in 1887 reveals the seriousness of his claim, stating the lab contained “eight thousand kinds of chemicals, every kind of screw made, every size of needle, every kind of cord or wire, hair of humans, horses, hogs, cows, rabbits, goats, minx, camels … silk in every texture, cocoons, various kinds of hoofs, shark’s teeth, deer horns, tortoise shell … cork, resin, varnish and oil, ostrich feathers, a peacock’s tail, jet, amber, rubber, all ores …” and the list goes on.

Over his desk, Edison displayed a placard with Sir Joshua Reynolds’ famous quotation: “There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” This slogan was reputedly posted at several other locations throughout the facility.

With Menlo Park, Edison had created the first industrial laboratory concerned with creating knowledge and then controlling its application. Edison’s name is registered on 1,093 patents.

Carbon telephone transmitter

In 1876, Edison began work to improve the microphone for telephones (at that time called a “transmitter”) by developing a carbon microphone that used a button of carbon that would change resistance with the pressure of sound waves. Up to that point, microphones, such as the ones developed by Johann Philipp Reis and Alexander Graham Bell, worked by generating a weak current. Edison was one of many inventors working on the problem of creating a usable microphone for telephony by having it modulate an electrical current passed through it. His work was concurrent with Emile Berliner’s loose-contact carbon transmitter (who lost a later patent case against Edison over the carbon transmitters invention) and David Edward Hughes study and published paper on the physics of loose-contact carbon transmitters (work that Hughes did not bother to patent).

Edison used the carbon microphone concept in 1877 to create an improved telephone for Western Union. In 1886, Edison found a way to improve a Bell Telephone microphone, one that used loose-contact ground carbon, with his discovery that it worked far better if the carbon was roasted. This type was put in use in 1890 and was used in all telephones along with the Bell receiver until the 1980s.

Electric light

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Thomas Edison’s first successful light bulb model, used in public demonstration at Menlo Park, December 1879

In 1878, Edison began working on a system of electrical illumination, something he hoped could compete with gas and oil based lighting. He began by tackling the problem of creating a long-lasting incandescent lamp, something that would be needed for indoor use. Many earlier inventors had previously devised incandescent lamps, including Alessandro Volta’s demonstration of a glowing wire in 1800 and inventions by Henry Woodward and Mathew Evans. Others who developed early and commercially impractical incandescent electric lamps included Humphry Davy, James Bowman Lindsay, Moses G. Farmer, William E. Sawyer, Joseph Swan, and Heinrich Göbel. Some of these early bulbs had such flaws as an extremely short life, high expense to produce, and high electric current drawn, making them difficult to apply on a large scale commercially. Edison realized that to connect a series of electric lights to an economically manageable size and using the necessary thickness of copper wire, he would have to develop a lamp that used a low amount of current. This lamp must have high resistance and use relatively low voltage (around 110 volts).

After many experiments, first with carbon filaments and then with platinum and other metals, Edison returned to a carbon filament. The first successful test was on October 22, 1879; it lasted 13.5 hours. Edison continued to improve this design and on November 4, 1879, filed for U.S. patent 223,898 (granted on January 27, 1880) for an electric lamp using “a carbon filament or strip coiled and connected to platina contact wires”. This was the first commercially practical incandescent light.

Although the patent described several ways of creating the carbon filament including “cotton and linen thread, wood splints, papers coiled in various ways”, it was not until several months after the patent was granted that Edison and his team discovered a carbonized bamboo filament that could last over 1,200 hours. The idea of using this particular raw material originated from Edison’s recalling his examination of a few threads from a bamboo fishing pole while relaxing on the shore of Battle Lake in the present-day state of Wyoming, where he and other members of a scientific team had traveled so that they could clearly observe a total eclipse of the sun on July 29, 1878, from the Continental Divide.

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U.S. Patent#223898: Electric-Lamp. Issued January 27, 1880.

In 1878, Edison formed the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City with several financiers, including J. P. Morgan, Spencer Trask, and the members of the Vanderbilt family. Edison made the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb on December 31, 1879, in Menlo Park. It was during this time that he said: “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

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The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company’s new steamship, the Columbia, was the first commercial application for Edison’s incandescent light bulb in 1880.

Henry Villard, president of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company, attended Edison’s 1879 demonstration. Villard was impressed and requested Edison install his electric lighting system aboard Villard’s company’s new steamer, the Columbia. Although hesitant at first, Edison agreed to Villard’s request. Most of the work was completed in May 1880, and the Columbia went to New York City, where Edison and his personnel installed Columbia’s new lighting system. The Columbia was Edison’s first commercial application for his incandescent light bulb. The Edison equipment was removed from Columbia in 1895.

Lewis Latimer joined the Edison Electric Light Company in 1884. Latimer had received a patent in January 1881 for the “Process of Manufacturing Carbons”, an improved method for the production of carbon filaments for light bulbs. Latimer worked as an engineer, a draftsman and an expert witness in patent litigation on electric lights.

George Westinghouse’s company bought Philip Diehl’s competing induction lamp patent rights (1882) for $25,000, forcing the holders of the Edison patent to charge a more reasonable rate for the use of the Edison patent rights and lowering the price of the electric lamp.

On October 8, 1883, the US patent office ruled that Edison’s patent was based on the work of William E. Sawyer and was, therefore, invalid. Litigation continued for nearly six years, until October 6, 1889, when a judge ruled that Edison’s electric light improvement claim for “a filament of carbon of high resistance” was valid. To avoid a possible court battle with Joseph Swan, whose British patent had been awarded a year before Edison’s, he and Swan formed a joint company called Ediswan to manufacture and market the invention in Britain.

Mahen Theatre in Brno (in what is now the Czech Republic), opened in 1882, and was the first public building in the world to use Edison’s electric lamps. Francis Jehl, Edison’s assistant in the invention of the lamp, supervised the installation. In September 2010, a sculpture of three giant light bulbs was erected in Brno, in front of the theatre.

Electric Power Distribution


After devising a commercially viable electric light bulb on October 21, 1879, Edison developed an electric “utility” to compete with the existing gas light utilities. On December 17, 1880, he founded the Edison Illuminating Company, and during the 1880s, he patented a system for electricity distribution. The company established the first investor-owned electric utility in 1882 on Pearl Street Station, New York City. On September 4, 1882, Edison switched on his Pearl Street generating station’s electrical power distribution system, which provided 110 volts direct current (DC) to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.

In January 1882, Edison switched on the first steam-generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London. The DC supply system provided electricity supplies to street lamps and several private dwellings within a short distance of the station. On January 19, 1883, the first standardized incandescent electric lighting system employing overhead wires began service in Roselle, New Jersey.

War of currents

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Extravagant displays of electric lights quickly became a feature of public events, as in this picture from the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

As Edison expanded his direct current (DC) power delivery system, he received stiff competition from companies installing alternating current (AC) systems. From the early 1880s AC arc lighting systems for streets and large spaces had been an expanding business in the US. With the development of transformers in Europe and by Westinghouse Electric in the US in 1885–1886, it became possible to transmit AC long distances over thinner and cheaper wires, and “step down” the voltage at the destination for distribution to users. This allowed AC to be used in street lighting and in lighting for small business and domestic customers, the market Edison’s patented low voltage DC incandescent lamp system was designed to supply. Edison’s DC empire suffered from one of its chief drawbacks: it was suitable only for the high density of customers found in large cities. Edison’s DC plants could not deliver electricity to customers more than one mile from the plant, and left a patchwork of unsupplied customers between plants. Small cities and rural areas could not afford an Edison style system at all, leaving a large part of the market without electrical service. AC companies expanded into this gap.

Edison expressed views that AC was unworkable and the high voltages used were dangerous. As George Westinghouse installed his first AC systems in 1886, Thomas Edison struck out personally against his chief rival stating, “Just as certain as death, Westinghouse will kill a customer within six months after he puts in a system of any size. He has got a new thing and it will require a great deal of experimenting to get it working practically.” Many reasons have been suggested for Edison’s anti-AC stance. One notion is that the inventor could not grasp the more abstract theories behind AC and was trying to avoid developing a system he did not understand. Edison also appeared to have been worried about the high voltage from misinstalled AC systems killing customers and hurting the sales of electric power systems in general. Primary was the fact that Edison Electric based their design on low voltage DC and switching a standard after they had installed over 100 systems was, in Edison’s mind, out of the question. By the end of 1887, Edison Electric was losing market share to Westinghouse, who had built 68 AC-based power stations to Edison’s 121 DC-based stations. To make matters worse for Edison, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, Massachusetts (another AC-based competitor) built 22 power stations.

Parallel to expanding competition between Edison and the AC companies was rising public furor over a series of deaths in the spring of 1888 caused by pole mounted high voltage alternating current lines. This turned into a media frenzy against high voltage alternating current and the seemingly greedy and callous lighting companies that used it. Edison took advantage of the public perception of AC as dangerous, and joined with self-styled New York anti-AC crusader Harold P. Brown in a propaganda campaign, aiding Brown in the public electrocution of animals with AC, and supported legislation to control and severely limit AC installations and voltages (to the point of making it an ineffective power delivery system) in what was now being referred to as a “battle of currents”. The development of the electric chair was used in an attempt to portray AC as having a greater lethal potential than DC and smear Westinghouse at the same time via Edison colluding with Brown and Westinghouse’s chief AC rival, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, to make sure the first electric chair was powered by a Westinghouse AC generator.

Thomas Edison’s staunch anti-AC tactics were not sitting well with his own stockholders. By the early 1890s, Edison’s company was generating much smaller profits than its AC rivals, and the War of Currents would come to an end in 1892 with Edison forced out of controlling his own company. That year, the financier J.P. Morgan engineered a merger of Edison General Electric with Thomson-Houston that put the board of Thomson-Houston in charge of the new company called General Electric. General Electric now controlled three-quarters of the US electrical business and would compete with Westinghouse for the AC market.

Other inventions and projects


Fluoroscopy

Edison is credited with designing and producing the first commercially available fluoroscope, a machine that uses X-rays to take radiographs. Until Edison discovered that calcium tungstate fluoroscopy screens produced brighter images than the barium platinocyanide screens originally used by Wilhelm Röntgen, the technology was capable of producing only very faint images.

The fundamental design of Edison’s fluoroscope is still in use today, although Edison abandoned the project after nearly losing his own eyesight and seriously injuring his assistant, Clarence Dally. Dally made himself an enthusiastic human guinea pig for the fluoroscopy project and was exposed to a poisonous dose of radiation. He later died of injuries related to the exposure. In 1903, a shaken Edison said: “Don’t talk to me about X-rays, I am afraid of them.”

Telegraph improvements

The key to Edison’s fortunes was telegraphy. With knowledge gained from years of working as a telegraph operator, he learned the basics of electricity. This allowed him to make his early fortune with the stock ticker, the first electricity-based broadcast system. On August 9, 1892, Edison received a patent for a two-way telegraph.

Motion pictures

The June 1894 Leonard–Cushing bout. Each of the six one-minute rounds recorded by the Kinetoscope was made available to exhibitors for $22.50. Customers who watched the final round saw Leonard score a knockdown.

Edison was also granted a patent for the motion picture camera or “Kinetograph”. He did the electromechanical design while his employee W. K. L. Dickson, a photographer, worked on the photographic and optical development. Much of the credit for the invention belongs to Dickson. In 1891, Thomas Edison built a Kinetoscope or peep-hole viewer. This device was installed in penny arcades, where people could watch short, simple films. The kinetograph and kinetoscope were both first publicly exhibited May 20, 1891.

In April 1896, Thomas Armat’s Vitascope, manufactured by the Edison factory and marketed in Edison’s name, was used to project motion pictures in public screenings in New York City. Later, he exhibited motion pictures with voice soundtrack on cylinder recordings, mechanically synchronized with the film.

Officially the kinetoscope entered Europe when the rich American Businessman Irving T. Bush (1869–1948) bought from the Continental Commerce Company of Frank Z. Maguire and Joseph D. Baucus a dozen machines. Bush placed from October 17, 1894, the first kinetoscopes in London. At the same time, the French company Kinétoscope Edison Michel et Alexis Werner bought these machines for the market in France. In the last three months of 1894, the Continental Commerce Company sold hundreds of kinetoscopes in Europe (i.e. the Netherlands and Italy). In Germany and in Austria-Hungary, the kinetoscope was introduced by the Deutsche-österreichische-Edison-Kinetoscop Gesellschaft, founded by the Ludwig Stollwerck of the Schokoladen-Süsswarenfabrik Stollwerck & Co of Cologne.

The first kinetoscopes arrived in Belgium at the Fairs in early 1895. The Edison’s Kinétoscope Français, a Belgian company, was founded in Brussels on January 15, 1895, with the rights to sell the kinetoscopes in Monaco, France and the French colonies. The main investors in this company were Belgian industrialists.

On May 14, 1895, the Edison’s Kinétoscope Belge was founded in Brussels. The businessman Ladislas-Victor Lewitzki, living in London but active in Belgium and France, took the initiative in starting this business. He had contacts with Leon Gaumont and the American Mutoscope and Biograph Co. In 1898, he also became a shareholder of the Biograph and Mutoscope Company for France.

Edison’s film studio made close to 1,200 films. The majority of the productions were short films showing everything from acrobats to parades to fire calls including titles such as Fred Ott’s Sneeze (1894), The Kiss (1896), The Great Train Robbery (1903), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1910), and the first Frankenstein film in 1910. In 1903, when the owners of Luna Park, Coney Island announced they would execute Topsy the elephant by strangulation, poisoning, and electrocution (with the electrocution part ultimately killing the elephant), Edison Manufacturing sent a crew to film it, releasing it that same year with the title Electrocuting an Elephant.

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A Day with Thomas Edison (1922)

As the film business expanded, competing exhibitors routinely copied and exhibited each other’s films. To better protect the copyrights on his films, Edison deposited prints of them on long strips of photographic paper with the U.S. copyright office. Many of these paper prints survived longer and in better condition than the actual films of that era.

In 1908, Edison started the Motion Picture Patents Company, which was a conglomerate of nine major film studios (commonly known as the Edison Trust). Thomas Edison was the first honorary fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, which was founded in 1929.

Edison said his favorite movie was The Birth of a Nation. He thought that talkies had “spoiled everything” for him. “There isn’t any good acting on the screen. They concentrate on the voice now and have forgotten how to act. I can sense it more than you because I am deaf.” His favorite stars were Mary Pickford and Clara Bow.

Mining

Starting in the late 1870s, Thomas Edison became interested and involved with mining. High-grade iron ore was scarce on the east coast of the United States and Edison tried to mine low-grade ore. Edison developed a process using rollers and crushers that could pulverize rocks up to 10 tons. The dust was then sent between three giant magnets that would pull the iron ore from the dust. Despite the failure of his mining company, the Edison Ore Milling Company, Edison used some of the materials and equipment to produce cement.

In 1901, Edison visited an industrial exhibition in the Sudbury area in Ontario, Canada and thought nickel and cobalt deposits there could be used in his production of electrical equipment. He returned as a mining prospector and is credited with the original discovery of the Falconbridge ore body. His attempts to mine the ore body were not successful, and he abandoned his mining claim in 1903. A street in Falconbridge, as well as the Edison Building, which served as the head office of Falconbridge Mines, are named for him.

Battery

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Share of the Edison Storage Battery Company, issued 19. October 1903

The Edison Storage Battery Company was founded in 1901. With this company Edison exploited his invention of the accumulator. In 1904 already 450 people worked at the company. The first accumulators were produced for electric cars. But there were several defects. Several Customers were complaining about the products. When the capital of the company was spent Edison paid for the company with his private money. Not until 1910 Edison showed a mature product: A Nickel-Iron-Battery with Lye as liquid.

Rubber

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From left to right: Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, the three partners of the Edison Botanic Research Corporation.

Edison became concerned with America’s reliance on foreign supply of rubber and was determined to find a native supply of rubber. He joined Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford (each contributing $25,000) to create the Edison Botanic Research Corp. in 1927 and constructed a laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida the following year. Edison did the majority of the research and planting, sending results and sample rubber residues to his West Orange Lab. Edison employed a two-part Acid-base extraction, to derive latex from the plant material after it was dried and crushed to a powder. After testing 17,000 plant samples, he eventually found an adequate source in the Goldenrod plant.

West Orange and Fort Myers (1886–1931)

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Thomas A. Edison Industries Exhibit, Primary Battery section, 1915

Edison moved from Menlo Park after the death of his first wife, Mary, in 1884, and purchased a home known as “Glenmont” in 1886 as a wedding gift for his second wife, Mina, in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1885, Thomas Edison bought property in Fort Myers, Florida, and built what was later called Seminole Lodge as a winter retreat. Edison and Mina spent many winters at their home in Fort Myers, and Edison tried to find a domestic source of natural rubber.

Due to the security concerns around World War I, Edison suggested forming a science and industry committee to provide advice and research to the US military, and he headed the Naval Consulting Board in 1915.

Edison’s work on rubber took place largely at his botanic research laboratory in Fort Myers, which has been designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The laboratory was built after Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone pulled together $75,000 to form the Edison Botanical Research Corporation. Initially, only Ford and Firestone were to contribute funds to the project while Edison did all the research. Edison, however, wished to contribute $25,000 as well. After testing over 17,000 plant species, Edison decided on Solidago leavenworthii, also known as Leavenworth’s Goldenrod. The plant, which normally grows roughly 3–4 feet tall with a 5% latex yield, was adapted by Edison through cross-breeding to produce plants twice the size and with a latex yield of 12%.

Thomas Edison Jr.’s activities

Wanting to be an inventor, but not having much of an aptitude for it, Thomas Edison’s son, Thomas Alva Edison Jr.. became a problem for his father and his father’s business. Starting in the 1890s, Thomas Jr. became involved in snake oil products and shady and fraudulent enterprises producing products being sold to the public as “The Latest Edison Discovery”. The situation became so bad that Thomas Sr. had to take his son to court to stop the practices, finally agreeing to pay Thomas Jr. an allowance of $35.00 (equivalent to $953 in 2017) per week, in exchange for not using the Edison name; the son began using aliases, such as Burton Willard. Thomas Jr., suffering from alcoholism, depression and ill health, worked at several menial jobs, but by 1931 (towards the end of his life) he would obtain a role in the Edison company, thanks to the intervention of his brother.

Final Years


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Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, respectively. Ft. Myers, Florida, February 11, 1929

Henry Ford, the automobile magnate, later lived a few hundred feet away from Edison at his winter retreat in Fort Myers. Ford once worked as an engineer for the Edison Illuminating Company of Detroit and met Edison at a convention of affiliated Edison illuminating companies in Brooklyn, NY in 1896. Edison was impressed with Ford’s internal combustion engine automobile and encouraged its developments. They were friends until Edison’s death. Edison and Ford undertook annual motor camping trips from 1914 to 1924. Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs also participated.

In 1928, Edison joined the Fort Myers Civitan Club. He believed strongly in the organization, writing that “The Civitan Club is doing things—big things—for the community, state, and nation, and I certainly consider it an honor to be numbered in its ranks.” He was an active member in the club until his death, sometimes bringing Henry Ford to the club’s meetings.

Edison was active in business right up to the end. Just months before his death, the Lackawanna Railroad inaugurated suburban electric train service from Hoboken to Montclair, Dover, and Gladstone, New Jersey. Electrical transmission for this service was by means of an overhead catenary system using direct current, which Edison had championed. Despite his frail condition, Edison was at the throttle of the first electric MU (Multiple-Unit) train to depart Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken in September 1930, driving the train the first mile through Hoboken yard on its way to South Orange.

This fleet of cars would serve commuters in northern New Jersey for the next 54 years until their retirement in 1984. A plaque commemorating Edison’s inaugural ride can be seen today in the waiting room of Lackawanna Terminal in Hoboken, which is presently operated by New Jersey Transit.

Edison was said to have been influenced by a popular fad diet in his last few years; “the only liquid he consumed was a pint of milk every three hours”. He is reported to have believed this diet would restore his health. However, this tale is doubtful. In 1930, the year before Edison died, Mina said in an interview about him, “correct eating is one of his greatest hobbies.” She also said that during one of his periodic “great scientific adventures”, Edison would be up at 7:00, have breakfast at 8:00, and be rarely home for lunch or dinner, implying that he continued to have all three.

Edison became the owner of his Milan, Ohio, birthplace in 1906. On his last visit, in 1923, he was reportedly shocked to find his old home still lit by lamps and candles.

Death


Edison died of complications of diabetes on October 18, 1931, in his home, “Glenmont” in Llewellyn Park in West Orange, New Jersey, which he had purchased in 1886 as a wedding gift for Mina. He is buried behind the home.

Edison’s last breath is reportedly contained in a test tube at The Henry Ford museum near Detroit. Ford reportedly convinced Charles Edison to seal a test tube of air in the inventor’s room shortly after his death, as a memento. A plaster death mask and casts of Edison’s hands were also made. Mina died in 1947.

Views on politics, religion, and metaphysics


Historian Paul Israel has characterized Edison as a “freethinker”. Edison was heavily influenced by Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason. Edison defended Paine’s “scientific deism”, saying, “He has been called an atheist, but atheist he was not. Paine believed in a supreme intelligence, as representing the idea which other men often express by the name of deity.” In an October 2, 1910, interview in the New York Times Magazine, Edison stated:

Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions.

Edison was accused of being an atheist for those remarks, and although he did not allow himself to be drawn into the controversy publicly, he clarified himself in a private letter:

You have misunderstood the whole article, because you jumped to the conclusion that it denies the existence of God. There is no such denial, what you call God I call Nature, the Supreme intelligence that rules matter. All the article states is that it is doubtful in my opinion if our intelligence or soul or whatever one may call it lives hereafter as an entity or disperses back again from whence it came, scattered amongst the cells of which we are made.

He also stated, “I do not believe in the God of the theologians; but that there is a Supreme Intelligence I do not doubt.”

Nonviolence was key to Edison’s moral views, and when asked to serve as a naval consultant for World War I, he specified he would work only on defensive weapons and later noted, “I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.” Edison’s philosophy of nonviolence extended to animals as well, about which he stated: “Nonviolence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” He was a vegetarian but not a vegan in actual practice, at least near the end of his life.

In 1920, Edison set off a media sensation when he told B. C. Forbes of American Magazine that he was working on a “spirit phone” to allow communication with the dead, a story which other newspapers and magazines repeated. Edison later disclaimed the idea, telling the New York Times in 1926 that “I really had nothing to tell him, but I hated to disappoint him so I thought up this story about communicating with spirits, but it was all a joke.”

Views on money


Thomas Edison was an advocate for monetary reform in the United States. He was ardently opposed to the gold standard and debt-based money. Famously, he was quoted in the New York Times stating “Gold is a relic of Julius Caesar, and interest is an invention of Satan.”

In the same article, he expounded upon the absurdity of a monetary system in which the taxpayer of the United States, in need of a loan, can be compelled to pay in return perhaps double the principal, or even greater sums, due to interest. His basic point was that, if the Government can produce debt-based money, it could equally as well produce money that was a credit to the taxpayer.

He thought at length about the subject of money in 1921 and 1922. In May 1922, he published a proposal, entitled “A Proposed Amendment to the Federal Reserve Banking System”. In it, he detailed an explanation of a commodity-backed currency, in which the Federal Reserve would issue interest-free currency to farmers, based on the value of commodities they produced. During a publicity tour that he took with friend and fellow inventor, Henry Ford, he spoke publicly about his desire for monetary reform. For insight, he corresponded with prominent academic and banking professionals. In the end, however, Edison’s proposals failed to find support and were eventually abandoned.

Awards


Portrait of Edison by Abraham Archibald Anderson (1890), National Portrait Gallery

The President of the Third French Republic, Jules Grévy, on the recommendation of his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire, and with the presentations of the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, Louis Cochery, designated Edison with the distinction of an Officer of the Legion of Honour (Légion d’honneur) by decree on November 10, 1881; Edison was also named a Chevalier in the Legion in 1879, and a Commander in 1889.

  • In 1887, Edison won the Matteucci Medal. In 1890, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
  • The Philadelphia City Council named Edison the recipient of the John Scott Medal in 1889.
  • In 1899, Edison was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal of The Franklin Institute.
  • He was named an Honorable Consulting Engineer at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s fair in 1904.
  • In 1908, Edison received the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal.
  • In 1915, Edison was awarded Franklin Medal of The Franklin Institute for discoveries contributing to the foundation of industries and the well-being of the human race.
  • In 1920, the United States Navy department awarded him the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.
  • In 1923, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers created the Edison Medal and he was its first recipient.
  • In 1927, he was granted membership in the National Academy of Sciences.
  • On May 29, 1928, Edison received the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • In 1983, the United States Congress, pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 140 (Public Law 97—198), designated February 11, Edison’s birthday, as National Inventor’s Day.
  • Life magazine (USA), in a special double issue in 1997, placed Edison first in the list of the “100 Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years”, noting that the light bulb he promoted “lit up the world”. In the 2005 television series The Greatest American, he was voted by viewers as the fifteenth greatest.
  • In 2008, Edison was inducted in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
  • In 2010, Edison was honored with a Technical Grammy Award.
  • In 2011, Edison was inducted into the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame and named a Great Floridian by the Florida Governor and Cabinet.

Tributes


Places and people named for Edison

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Thomas Edison commemorative stamp, issued on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1947

Several places have been named after Edison, most notably the town of Edison, New Jersey. Thomas Edison State University, nationally known for adult learners, is in Trenton, New Jersey. Two community colleges are named for him: Edison State College (now Florida SouthWestern State College) in Fort Myers, Florida, and Edison Community College in Piqua, Ohio. There are numerous high schools named after Edison (see Edison High School) and other schools including Thomas A. Edison Middle School. Footballer Pelé’s father originally named him Edson, as a tribute to the inventor of the light bulb, but the name was incorrectly listed on his birth certificate as “Edison”.

The small town of Alva just east of Fort Myers took Edison’s middle name.

In 1883, the City Hotel in Sunbury, Pennsylvania was the first building to be lit with Edison’s three-wire system. The hotel was renamed The Hotel Edison upon Edison’s return to the city on 1922.

Lake Thomas A Edison in California was named after Edison to mark the 75th anniversary of the incandescent light bulb.

Edison was on hand to turn on the lights at the Hotel Edison in New York City when it opened in 1931.

Three bridges around the United States have been named in Edison’s honor: the Edison Bridge in New Jersey, the Edison Bridge in Florida, and the Edison Bridge in Ohio.

In space, his name is commemorated in asteroid 742 Edisona.

Museums and memorials

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Statue of young Thomas Edison by the railroad tracks in Port Huron, Michigan.

In West Orange, New Jersey, the 13.5 acres (5.5 hectares) Glenmont estate is maintained and operated by the National Park Service as the Edison National Historic Site, as is his nearby laboratory and workshops including the reconstructed “Black Maria”—the world’s first movie studio. The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum is in the town of Edison, New Jersey. In Beaumont, Texas, there is an Edison Museum, though Edison never visited there. The Port Huron Museum, in Port Huron, Michigan, restored the original depot that Thomas Edison worked out of as a young news butcher. The depot has been named the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. The town has many Edison historical landmarks, including the graves of Edison’s parents, and a monument along the St. Clair River. Edison’s influence can be seen throughout this city of 32,000.

In Detroit, the Edison Memorial Fountain in Grand Circus Park was created to honor his achievements. The limestone fountain was dedicated October 21, 1929, the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the lightbulb. On the same night, The Edison Institute was dedicated in nearby Dearborn.

He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1969.

A bronze statue of Edison was placed in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol in 2016, with the formal dedication ceremony held on September 20 of that year. The Edison statue replaced one of 19th-century state governor William Allen that had been one of Ohio’s two allowed contributions to the collection.

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Edison in 1915

Companies bearing Edison’s name

  • Edison General Electric, merged with Thomson-Houston Electric Company to form General Electric
  • Commonwealth Edison, now part of Exelon
  • Consolidated Edison
  • Edison International
  • Detroit Edison, a unit of DTE Energy
  • Edison S.p.A., a unit of Italenergia
  • Trade association the Edison Electric Institute, a lobbying and research group for investor-owned utilities in the United States
  • Edison Ore-Milling Company
  • Edison Portland Cement Company
  • Ohio Edison (merged with Centerior in 1997 to form First Energy)
  • Southern California Edison
  • Awards named in honor of Edison

The Edison Medal was created on February 11, 1904, by a group of Edison’s friends and associates. Four years later the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), later IEEE, entered into an agreement with the group to present the medal as its highest award. The first medal was presented in 1909 to Elihu Thomson. It is the oldest award in the area of electrical and electronics engineering, and is presented annually “for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering or the electrical arts.”

In the Netherlands, the major music awards are named the Edison Award after him. The award is an annual Dutch music prize, awarded for outstanding achievements in the music industry, and is one of the oldest music awards in the world, having been presented since 1960.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers concedes the Thomas A. Edison Patent Award to individual patents since 2000.

Other items named after Edison

The United States Navy named the USS Edison (DD-439), a Gleaves class destroyer, in his honor in 1940. The ship was decommissioned a few months after the end of World War II. In 1962, the Navy commissioned USS Thomas A. Edison (SSBN-610), a fleet ballistic missile nuclear-powered submarine.

In popular culture

Thomas Edison has appeared in popular culture as a character in novels, films, comics and video games. His prolific inventing helped make him an icon and he has made appearances in popular culture during his lifetime down to the present day. Edison is also portrayed in popular culture as an adversary of Nikola Tesla.

“Camping with Henry and Tom”, a fictional play based on Edison’s camping trips with Henry Ford, written by Mark St.Gemain. First presented at Lucille Lortel Theatre, New York, February 20, 1995.  

On February 11, 2011, on what would have been Thomas Edison’s 164th birthday, Google’s homepage featured an animated Google Doodle commemorating his many inventions. When the cursor was hovered over the doodle, a series of mechanisms seemed to move, causing a lightbulb to glow.

List of people who worked for Edison


The following is a list of people who worked for Thomas Edison in his laboratories at Menlo Park or West Orange or at the subsidiary electrical businesses that he supervised.

  • Edward Goodrich Acheson – chemist, worked at Menlo Park 1880–1884
  • William Symes Andrews – started at the Menlo Park machine shop 1879
  • Charles Batchelor – “chief experimental assistant”
  • John I. Beggs – manager of Edison Illuminating Company in New York, 1886
  • William Kennedy Dickson – joined Menlo Park in 1823, worked on the motion picture camera
  • Justus B. Entz – joined Edison Machine Works in 1887
  • Reginald Fessenden – worked at the Edison Machine Works in 1886
  • Henry Ford – engineer Edison Illuminating Company Detroit, Michigan, 1891–1899
  • William Joseph Hammer – started as laboratory assistant Menlo Park in 1879
  • Miller Reese Hutchison – inventor of hearing aid
  • Edward Hibberd Johnson – started in 1909, chief engineer at West Orange laboratory 1912–1918
  • Samuel Insull – started in 1881, rose to become VP of General Electric (1892) then President of Chicago Edison
  • Kunihiko Iwadare – joined Edison Machine Works in 1887
  • Francis Jehl – laboratory assistant Menlo Park 1879–1882
  • Arthur E. Kennelly – engineer, experimentalist at West Orange laboratory 1887–1894
  • John Kruesi – started 1872, was head machinist, at Newark, Menlo Park, Edison Machine Works
  • Lewis Howard Latimer – hired 1884 as a draftsman, continued working for General Electric
  • John W. Lieb – worked at the Edison Machine Works in 1881
  • Thomas Commerford Martin – electrical engineer, worked at Menlo Park 1877–1879
  • George F. Morrison – started at Edison Lamp Works 1882
  • Edwin Stanton Porter – joined the Edison Manufacturing Company 1899
  • Frank J. Sprague – Joined Menlo Park 1883, became known as the “Father of Electric Traction”.
  • Nikola Tesla – electrical engineer and inventor, worked at the Edison Machine Works in 1884
  • Francis Robbins Upton – mathematician/physicist, joined Menlo Park 1878

Michael Faraday

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Michael Faraday FRS (/ˈfæ.rəˌdeɪ/; 22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.

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Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most influential scientists in history. It was by his research on the magnetic field around a conductor carrying a direct current that Faraday established the basis for the concept of the electromagnetic field in physics. Faraday also established that magnetism could affect rays of light and that there was an underlying relationship between the two phenomena. He similarly discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction and diamagnetism, and the laws of electrolysis. His inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices formed the foundation of electric motor technology, and it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became practical for use in technology.

As a chemist, Faraday discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented an early form of the Bunsen burner and the system of oxidation numbers, and popularised terminology such as “anode”, “cathode”, “electrode” and “ion”. Faraday ultimately became the first and foremost Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, a lifetime position.

Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in clear and simple language; his mathematical abilities, however, did not extend as far as trigonometry and were limited to the simplest algebra. James Clerk Maxwell took the work of Faraday and others and summarized it in a set of equations which is accepted as the basis of all modern theories of electromagnetic phenomena. On Faraday’s uses of lines of force, Maxwell wrote that they show Faraday “to have been in reality a mathematician of a very high order – one from whom the mathematicians of the future may derive valuable and fertile methods.” The SI unit of capacitance is named in his honour: the farad.

Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on his study wall, alongside pictures of Isaac Newton and James Clerk Maxwell. Physicist Ernest Rutherford stated, “When we consider the magnitude and extent of his discoveries and their influence on the progress of science and of industry, there is no honour too great to pay to the memory of Faraday, one of the greatest scientific discoverers of all time.”

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Faraday’s Laboratory at the Royal Institution (1870 engraving)

Personal Life


Early Life

“How fortunate for civilization, that Beethoven, Michelangelo, Galileo and Faraday were not required by law to attend schools where their total personalities would have been operated upon to make them learn acceptable ways of participating as members of “the group.”

—Joel H. Hildebrand’s Education for Creativity in the Sciences speech at New York University, 1963.

Michael Faraday was born on 22 September 1791 in Newington Butts, which is now part of the London Borough of Southwark but was then a suburban part of Surrey. His family was not well off. His father, James, was a member of the Glassite sect of Christianity. James Faraday moved his wife and two children to London during the winter of 1790 from Outhgill in Westmorland, where he had been an apprentice to the village blacksmith. Michael was born in the autumn of that year. The young Michael Faraday, who was the third of four children, having only the most basic school education, had to educate himself.

At the age of 14 he became an apprentice to George Riebau, a local bookbinder and bookseller in Blandford Street. During his seven-year apprenticeship Faraday read many books, including Isaac Watts’s The Improvement of the Mind, and he enthusiastically implemented the principles and suggestions contained therein. He also developed an interest in science, especially in electricity. Faraday was particularly inspired by the book Conversations on Chemistry by Jane Marcet.

Adult Life

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Portrait of Faraday in his late thirties, ca. 1826

In 1812, at the age of 20 and at the end of his apprenticeship, Faraday attended lectures by the eminent English chemist Humphry Davy of the Royal Institution and the Royal Society, and John Tatum, founder of the City Philosophical Society. Many of the tickets for these lectures were given to Faraday by William Dance, who was one of the founders of the Royal Philharmonic Society. Faraday subsequently sent Davy a 300-page book based on notes that he had taken during these lectures. Davy’s reply was immediate, kind, and favourable. In 1813, when Davy damaged his eyesight in an accident with nitrogen trichloride, he decided to employ Faraday as an assistant. Coincidentally one of the Royal Institution’s assistants, John Payne, was sacked and Sir Humphry Davy had been asked to find a replacement; thus he appointed Faraday as Chemical Assistant at the Royal Institution on 1 March 1813. Very soon Davy entrusted Faraday with the preparation of nitrogen trichloride samples, and they both were injured in an explosion of this very sensitive substance.

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Michael Faraday, ca. 1861, aged about 70.

In the class-based English society of the time, Faraday was not considered a gentleman. When Davy set out on a long tour of the continent in 1813–15, his valet did not wish to go, so instead, Faraday went as Davy’s scientific assistant and was asked to act as Davy’s valet until a replacement could be found in Paris. Faraday was forced to fill the role of valet as well as assistant throughout the trip. Davy’s wife, Jane Apreece, refused to treat Faraday as an equal (making him travel outside the coach, eat with the servants, etc.), and made Faraday so miserable that he contemplated returning to England alone and giving up science altogether. The trip did, however, give him access to the scientific elite of Europe and exposed him to a host of stimulating ideas.

Faraday married Sarah Barnard (1800–1879) on 12 June 1821. They met through their families at the Sandemanian church, and he confessed his faith to the Sandemanian congregation the month after they were married. They had no children.

Faraday was a devout Christian; his Sandemanian denomination was an offshoot of the Church of Scotland. Well after his marriage, he served as deacon and for two terms as an elder in the meeting house of his youth. His church was located at Paul’s Alley in the Barbican. This meeting house relocated in 1862 to Barnsbury Grove, Islington; this North London location was where Faraday served the final two years of his second term as elder prior to his resignation from that post. Biographers have noted that “a strong sense of the unity of God and nature pervaded Faraday’s life and work.”

Later Life

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Three Fellows of the Royal Society offering the presidency to Faraday, 1857

In June 1832, the University of Oxford granted Faraday a Doctor of Civil Law degree (honorary). During his lifetime, he was offered a knighthood in recognition for his services to science, which he turned down on religious grounds, believing that it was against the word of the Bible to accumulate riches and pursue worldly reward, and stating that he preferred to remain “plain Mr Faraday to the end”. Elected a member of the Royal Society in 1824, he twice refused to become President. He became the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution in 1833.

In 1832, Faraday was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1838, and was one of eight foreign members elected to the French Academy of Sciences in 1844. In 1849 he was elected as associated member to the Royal Institute of the Netherlands, which two years later became the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and he was subsequently made foreign member.

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Michael Faraday’s grave at Highgate Cemetery, London

Faraday suffered a nervous breakdown in 1839 but eventually returned to his investigations into electromagnetism. In 1848, as a result of representations by the Prince Consort, Faraday was awarded a grace and favour house in Hampton Court in Middlesex, free of all expenses and upkeep. This was the Master Mason’s House, later called Faraday House, and now No. 37 Hampton Court Road. In 1858 Faraday retired to live there.

Having provided a number of various service projects for the British government, when asked by the government to advise on the production of chemical weapons for use in the Crimean War (1853–1856), Faraday refused to participate citing ethical reasons.

Faraday died at his house at Hampton Court on 25 August 1867, aged 75. He had some years before turned down an offer of burial in Westminster Abbey upon his death, but he has a memorial plaque there, near Isaac Newton’s tomb. Faraday was interred in the dissenters’ (non-Anglican) section of Highgate Cemetery.

Scientific Achievements


Chemistry

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Equipment used by Faraday to make glass on display at the Royal Institution in London

Faraday’s earliest chemical work was as an assistant to Humphry Davy. Faraday was specifically involved in the study of chlorine; he discovered two new compounds of chlorine and carbon. He also conducted the first rough experiments on the diffusion of gases, a phenomenon that was first pointed out by John Dalton. The physical importance of this phenomenon was more fully revealed by Thomas Graham and Joseph Loschmidt. Faraday succeeded in liquefying several gases, investigated the alloys of steel, and produced several new kinds of glass intended for optical purposes. A specimen of one of these heavy glasses subsequently became historically important; when the glass was placed in a magnetic field Faraday determined the rotation of the plane of polarisation of light. This specimen was also the first substance found to be repelled by the poles of a magnet.

Faraday invented an early form of what was to become the Bunsen burner, which is in practical use in science laboratories around the world as a convenient source of heat. Faraday worked extensively in the field of chemistry, discovering chemical substances such as benzene (which he called bicarburet of hydrogen) and liquefying gases such as chlorine. The liquefying of gases helped to establish that gases are the vapours of liquids possessing a very low boiling point and gave a more solid basis to the concept of molecular aggregation. In 1820 Faraday reported the first synthesis of compounds made from carbon and chlorine, C2Cl6 and C2Cl4, and published his results the following year. Faraday also determined the composition of the chlorine clathrate hydrate, which had been discovered by Humphry Davy in 1810. Faraday is also responsible for discovering the laws of electrolysis, and for popularizing terminology such as anode, cathode, electrode, and ion, terms proposed in large part by William Whewell.

Faraday was the first to report what later came to be called metallic nanoparticles. In 1847 he discovered that the optical properties of gold colloids differed from those of the corresponding bulk metal. This was probably the first reported observation of the effects of quantum size, and might be considered to be the birth of nanoscience.

Electricity and Magnetism

Faraday is best known for his work regarding electricity and magnetism. His first recorded experiment was the construction of a voltaic pile with seven ha’penny coins, stacked together with seven disks of sheet zinc, and six pieces of paper moistened with salt water. With this pile he decomposed sulfate of magnesia (first letter to Abbott, 12 July 1812).

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Electromagnetic rotation experiment of Faraday, ca. 1821

In 1821, soon after the Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian Ørsted discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetism, Davy and British scientist William Hyde Wollaston tried, but failed, to design an electric motor. Faraday, having discussed the problem with the two men, went on to build two devices to produce what he called “electromagnetic rotation”. One of these, now known as the homopolar motor, caused a continuous circular motion that was engendered by the circular magnetic force around a wire that extended into a pool of mercury wherein was placed a magnet; the wire would then rotate around the magnet if supplied with current from a chemical battery. These experiments and inventions formed the foundation of modern electromagnetic technology. In his excitement, Faraday published results without acknowledging his work with either Wollaston or Davy. The resulting controversy within the Royal Society strained his mentor relationship with Davy and may well have contributed to Faraday’s assignment to other activities, which consequently prevented his involvement in electromagnetic research for several years.

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One of Faraday’s 1831 experiments demonstrating induction. The liquid battery (right) sends an electric current through the small coil (A). When it is moved in or out of the large coil (B), its magnetic field induces a momentary voltage in the coil, which is detected by the galvanometer (G).

From his initial discovery in 1821, Faraday continued his laboratory work, exploring electromagnetic properties of materials and developing requisite experience. In 1824, Faraday briefly set up a circuit to study whether a magnetic field could regulate the flow of a current in an adjacent wire, but he found no such relationship. This experiment followed similar work conducted with light and magnets three years earlier that yielded identical results. During the next seven years, Faraday spent much of his time perfecting his recipe for optical quality (heavy) glass, borosilicate of lead, which he used in his future studies connecting light with magnetism. In his spare time, Faraday continued publishing his experimental work on optics and electromagnetism; he conducted correspondence with scientists whom he had met on his journeys across Europe with Davy, and who were also working on electromagnetism. Two years after the death of Davy, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction, recording in his laboratory diary on 28 October 1831 he was; “making many experiments with the great magnet of the Royal Society”.

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A diagram of Faraday’s iron ring-coil apparatus

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Built in 1831, the Faraday disk was the first electric generator. The horseshoe-shaped magnet (A) created a magnetic field through the disk (D). When the disk was turned, this induced an electric current radially outward from the center toward the rim. The current flowed out through the sliding spring contact m, through the external circuit, and back into the center of the disk through the axle.

Faraday’s breakthrough came when he wrapped two insulated coils of wire around an iron ring, and found that upon passing a current through one coil a momentary current was induced in the other coil. This phenomenon is now known as mutual induction. The iron ring-coil apparatus is still on display at the Royal Institution. In subsequent experiments, he found that if he moved a magnet through a loop of wire an electric current flowed in that wire. The current also flowed if the loop was moved over a stationary magnet. His demonstrations established that a changing magnetic field produces an electric field; this relation was modelled mathematically by James Clerk Maxwell as Faraday’s law, which subsequently became one of the four Maxwell equations, and which have in turn evolved into the generalization known today as field theory. Faraday would later use the principles he had discovered to construct the electric dynamo, the ancestor of modern power generators and the electric motor.

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Faraday (right) and John Daniell (left), founders of electrochemistry.

In 1832, he completed a series of experiments aimed at investigating the fundamental nature of electricity; Faraday used “static”, batteries, and “animal electricity” to produce the phenomena of electrostatic attraction, electrolysis, magnetism, etc. He concluded that, contrary to the scientific opinion of the time, the divisions between the various “kinds” of electricity were illusory. Faraday instead proposed that only a single “electricity” exists, and the changing values of quantity and intensity (current and voltage) would produce different groups of phenomena.

Near the end of his career, Faraday proposed that electromagnetic forces extended into the empty space around the conductor. This idea was rejected by his fellow scientists, and Faraday did not live to see the eventual acceptance of his proposition by the scientific community. Faraday’s concept of lines of flux emanating from charged bodies and magnets provided a way to visualize electric and magnetic fields; that conceptual model was crucial for the successful development of the electromechanical devices that dominated engineering and industry for the remainder of the 19th century.

Diamagnetism

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Faraday holding a type of glass bar he used in 1845 to show magnetism affects light in dielectric material.

In 1845, Faraday discovered that many materials exhibit a weak repulsion from a magnetic field: a phenomenon he termed diamagnetism.

Faraday also discovered that the plane of polarization of linearly polarized light can be rotated by the application of an external magnetic field aligned with the direction in which the light is moving. This is now termed the Faraday effect. In Sept 1845 he wrote in his notebook, “I have at last succeeded in illuminating a magnetic curve or line of force and in magnetising a ray of light”.

Later on in his life, in 1862, Faraday used a spectroscope to search for a different alteration of light, the change of spectral lines by an applied magnetic field. The equipment available to him was, however, insufficient for a definite determination of spectral change. Pieter Zeeman later used an improved apparatus to study the same phenomenon, publishing his results in 1897 and receiving the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics for his success. In both his 1897 paper and his Nobel acceptance speech, Zeeman made reference to Faraday’s work.

Faraday Cage

In his work on static electricity, Faraday’s ice pail experiment demonstrated that the charge resided only on the exterior of a charged conductor, and exterior charge had no influence on anything enclosed within a conductor. This is because the exterior charges redistribute such that the interior fields emanating from them cancel one another. This shielding effect is used in what is now known as a Faraday cage.

Royal Institution and Public Service


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Michael Faraday meets Father Thames, from Punch (21 July 1855)

Faraday had a long association with the Royal Institution of Great Britain. He was appointed Assistant Superintendent of the House of the Royal Institution in 1821. He was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1824. In 1825, he became Director of the Laboratory of the Royal Institution. Six years later, in 1833, Faraday became the first Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a position to which he was appointed for life without the obligation to deliver lectures. His sponsor and mentor was John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller, who created the position at the Royal Institution for Faraday.

Beyond his scientific research into areas such as chemistry, electricity, and magnetism at the Royal Institution, Faraday undertook numerous, and often time-consuming, service projects for private enterprise and the British government. This work included investigations of explosions in coal mines, being an expert witness in court, and along with two engineers from Chance Brothers c.1853, the preparation of high-quality optical glass, which was required by Chance for its lighthouses. In 1846, together with Charles Lyell, he produced a lengthy and detailed report on a serious explosion in the colliery at Haswell County Durham, which killed 95 miners. Their report was a meticulous forensic investigation and indicated that coal dust contributed to the severity of the explosion. The report should have warned coal owners of the hazard of coal dust explosions, but the risk was ignored for over 60 years until the Senghenydd Colliery Disaster of 1913.

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Lighthouse lantern room from mid-1800s

As a respected scientist in a nation with strong maritime interests, Faraday spent extensive amounts of time on projects such as the construction and operation of light houses and protecting the bottoms of ships from corrosion. His workshop still stands at Trinity Buoy Wharf above the Chain and Buoy Store, next to London’s only lighthouse where he carried out the first experiments in electric lighting for lighthouses.

Faraday was also active in what would now be called environmental science, or engineering. He investigated industrial pollution at Swansea and was consulted on air pollution at the Royal Mint. In July 1855, Faraday wrote a letter to The Times on the subject of the foul condition of the River Thames, which resulted in an often-reprinted cartoon in Punch. (See also The Great Stink).

Faraday assisted with the planning and judging of exhibits for the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. He also advised the National Gallery on the cleaning and protection of its art collection, and served on the National Gallery Site Commission in 1857.

Education was another of Faraday’s areas of service; he lectured on the topic in 1854 at the Royal Institution, and in 1862 he appeared before a Public Schools Commission to give his views on education in Great Britain. Faraday also weighed in negatively on the public’s fascination with table-turning, mesmerism, and seances, and in so doing chastised both the public and the nation’s educational system.

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Michael Faraday delivering a Christmas Lecture at the Royal Institution in 1856.

Before his famous Christmas lectures, Faraday delivered chemistry lectures for the City Philosophical Society from 1816 to 1818 in order to refine the quality of his lectures. Between 1827 and 1860 at the Royal Institution in London, Faraday gave a series of nineteen Christmas lectures for young people, a series which continues today. The objective of Faraday’s Christmas lectures was to present science to the general public in the hopes of inspiring them and generating revenue for the Royal Institution. They were notable events on the social calendar among London’s gentry. Over the course of several letters to his close friend Benjamin Abbott, Faraday outlined his recommendations on the art of lecturing: Faraday wrote “a flame should be lighted at the commencement and kept alive with unremitting splendour to the end”.His lectures were joyful and juvenile, he delighted in filling soap bubbles with various gasses (in order to determine whether or not they are magnetic) in front of his audiences and marveled at the rich colors of polarized lights, but the lectures were also deeply philosophical. In his lectures he urged his audiences to consider the mechanics of his experiments: “you know very well that ice floats upon water … Why does the ice float? Think of that, and philosophise”. His subjects consisted of Chemistry and Electricity, and included: 1841 The Rudiments of Chemistry, 1843 First Principles of Electricity, 1848 The Chemical History of a Candle, 1851 Attractive Forces, 1853 Voltaic Electricity, 1854 The Chemistry of Combustion, 1855 The Distinctive Properties of the Common Metals, 1857 Static Electricity, 1858 The Metallic Properties, 1859 The Various Forces of Matter and their Relations to Each Other.

Commemorations


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Michael Faraday statue in Savoy Place, London. Sculptor John Henry Foley RA.

A statue of Faraday stands in Savoy Place, London, outside the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Also in London, the Michael Faraday Memorial, designed by brutalist architect Rodney Gordon and completed in 1961, is at the Elephant & Castle gyratory system, near Faraday’s birthplace at Newington Butts. Faraday School is located on Trinity Buoy Wharf where his workshop still stands above the Chain and Buoy Store, next to London’s only lighthouse.

Faraday Gardens is a small park in Walworth, London, not far from his birthplace at Newington Butts. This park lies within the local council ward of Faraday in the London Borough of Southwark. Michael Faraday Primary school is situated on the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth.

A building at London South Bank University, which houses the institute’s electrical engineering departments is named the Faraday Wing, due to its proximity to Faraday’s birthplace in Newington Butts. A hall at Loughborough University was named after Faraday in 1960. Near the entrance to its dining hall is a bronze casting, which depicts the symbol of an electrical transformer, and inside there hangs a portrait, both in Faraday’s honour. An eight-story building at the University of Edinburgh’s science & engineering campus is named for Faraday, as is a recently built hall of accommodation at Brunel University, the main engineering building at Swansea University, and the instructional and experimental physics building at Northern Illinois University. The former UK Faraday Station in Antarctica was named after him.

“Without such freedom there would have been no Shakespeare, no Goethe, no Newton, no Faraday, no Pasteur and no Lister.”

—Albert Einstein’s speech on intellectual freedom at the Royal Albert Hall, London after having fled Nazi Germany, 3 October 1933.

Streets named for Faraday can be found in many British cities (e.g., London, Fife, Swindon, Basingstoke, Nottingham, Whitby, Kirkby, Crawley, Newbury, Swansea, Aylesbury and Stevenage) as well as in France (Paris), Germany (Berlin-Dahlem, Hermsdorf), Canada (Quebec; Deep River, Ontario; Ottawa, Ontario), and the United States (Reston, Virginia).

A Royal Society of Arts blue plaque, unveiled in 1876, commemorates Faraday at 48 Blandford Street in London’s Marylebone district. From 1991 until 2001, Faraday’s picture featured on the reverse of Series E £20 banknotes issued by the Bank of England. He was portrayed conducting a lecture at the Royal Institution with the magneto-electric spark apparatus. In 2002, Faraday was ranked number 22 in the BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote.

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion derives its name from the scientist, who saw his faith as integral to his scientific research. The logo of the Institute is also based on Faraday’s discoveries. It was created in 2006 by a $2,000,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to carry out academic research, to foster understanding of the interaction between science and religion, and to engage public understanding in both these subject areas.

Faraday’s life and contributions to electromagnetics was the principal topic of the tenth episode, titled “The Electric Boy”, of the 2014 American science documentary series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which was broadcast on Fox and the National Geographic Channel.

Faraday Prizes & Medals


In honor and remembrance of his great scientific contributions, several institutions have created prizes and awards in his name. This include:

  • The IET Faraday Medal
  • The Royal Society of London Michael Faraday Prize
  • The Institute of Physics Faraday Medal and Prize
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry Faraday Lectureship Prize

Gallery


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Michael Faraday in his laboratory, ca. 1850s.

 

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Michael Faraday’s study at the Royal Institution.

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Michael Faraday’s flat at the Royal Institution.

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Artist Harriet Jane Moore who documented Faraday’s life in watercolours.

Bibliography


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Chemische Manipulation, 1828

Faraday’s books, with the exception of Chemical Manipulation, were collections of scientific papers or transcriptions of lectures. Since his death, Faraday’s diary has been published, as have several large volumes of his letters and Faraday’s journal from his travels with Davy in 1813–1815.

  • Faraday, Michael (1827). Chemical Manipulation, Being Instructions to Students in Chemistry. John Murray. 2nd ed. 1830, 3rd ed. 1842
  • Faraday, Michael (1839). Experimental Researches in Electricity, vols. i. and ii. Richard and John Edward Taylor.; vol. iii. Richard Taylor and William Francis, 1855
  • Faraday, Michael (1859). Experimental Researches in Chemistry and Physics. Taylor and Francis. ISBN 0-85066-841-7.
  • Faraday, Michael (1861). W. Crookes, ed. A Course of Six Lectures on the Chemical History of a Candle. Griffin, Bohn & Co. ISBN 1-4255-1974-1.
  • Faraday, Michael (1873). W. Crookes, ed. On the Various Forces in Nature. Chatto and Windus.
  • Faraday, Michael (1932–1936). T. Martin, ed. Diary. ISBN 0-7135-0439-0. – published in eight volumes; see also the 2009 publication of Faraday’s diary
  • Faraday, Michael (1991). B. Bowers and L. Symons, ed. Curiosity Perfectly Satisfyed: Faraday’s Travels in Europe 1813–1815. Institution of Electrical Engineers.
  • Faraday, Michael (1991). F. A. J. L. James, ed. The Correspondence of Michael Faraday. 1. INSPEC, Inc. ISBN 0-86341-248-3. – volume 2, 1993; volume 3, 1996; volume 4, 1999
  • Faraday, Michael (2008). Alice Jenkins, ed. Michael Faraday’s Mental Exercises: An Artisan Essay Circle in Regency London. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press.
  • Course of six lectures on the various forces of matter, and their relations to each other London; Glasgow: R. Griffin, 1860.
  • The Liquefaction of Gases, Edinburgh: W. F. Clay, 1896.
  • The letters of Faraday and Schoenbein 1836–1862. With notes, comments and references to contemporary letters London: Williams & Norgate 1899. (Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf)

Isaac Newton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sir Isaac Newton PRS (/ˈnjuːtən/; 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, astronomer, theologian and physicist (described in his own day as a “natural philosopher”) who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”), first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made pathbreaking contributions to optics, and he shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.

Newton’s Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists’ view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. By deriving Kepler’s laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, and using the same principles to account for the trajectories of comets, the tides, the precession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the Solar System and demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton’s theoretical prediction that the Earth is shaped as an oblate spheroid was later vindicated by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, thus convincing most Continental European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over the earlier system of Descartes.

Newton also built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. Newton’s work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, first published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.

Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian, who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and who, unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and he spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1700) and Master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).

Life


Early life

Isaac Newton was born (according to the Julian calendar, in use in England at the time) on Christmas Day, 25 December 1642 (NS 4 January 1643) “an hour or two after midnight”, at Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, a hamlet in the county of Lincolnshire. His father, also named Isaac Newton, had died three months before. Born prematurely, Newton was a small child; his mother Hannah Ayscough reportedly said that he could have fit inside a quart mug. When Newton was three, his mother remarried and went to live with her new husband, the Reverend Barnabas Smith, leaving her son in the care of his maternal grandmother, Margery Ayscough. The young Isaac disliked his stepfather and maintained some enmity towards his mother for marrying him, as revealed by this entry in a list of sins committed up to the age of 19: “Threatening my father and mother Smith to burn them and the house over them.” Newton’s mother had three children from her second marriage.

From the age of about twelve until he was seventeen, Newton was educated at The King’s School, Grantham, which taught Latin and Greek and probably imparted a significant foundation of mathematics. He was removed from school, and by October 1659, he was to be found at Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, where his mother, widowed for a second time, attempted to make a farmer of him. Newton hated farming. Henry Stokes, master at the King’s School, persuaded his mother to send him back to school so that he might complete his education. Motivated partly by a desire for revenge against a schoolyard bully, he became the top-ranked student, distinguishing himself mainly by building sundials and models of windmills.

In June 1661, he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, on the recommendation of his uncle Rev William Ayscough, who had studied there. He started as a subsizar—paying his way by performing valet’s duties—until he was awarded a scholarship in 1664, guaranteeing him four more years until he could get his MA. At that time, the college’s teachings were based on those of Aristotle, whom Newton supplemented with modern philosophers such as Descartes, and astronomers such as Galileo and Thomas Street, through whom he learned of Kepler’s work. He set down in his notebook a series of “Quaestiones” about mechanical philosophy as he found it. In 1665, he discovered the generalised binomial theorem and began to develop a mathematical theory that later became calculus. Soon after Newton had obtained his BA degree in August 1665, the university temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he had been undistinguished as a Cambridge student, Newton’s private studies at his home in Woolsthorpe over the subsequent two years saw the development of his theories on calculus, optics, and the law of gravitation.

In April 1667, he returned to Cambridge and in October was elected as a fellow of Trinity. Fellows were required to become ordained priests, although this was not enforced in the restoration years and an assertion of conformity to the Church of England was sufficient. However, by 1675 the issue could not be avoided and by then his unconventional views stood in the way. Nevertheless, Newton managed to avoid it by means of a special permission from Charles II (see “Middle years” section below).

His studies had impressed the Lucasian professor Isaac Barrow, who was more anxious to develop his own religious and administrative potential (he became master of Trinity two years later); in 1669 Newton succeeded him, only one year after receiving his MA. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1672.

Middle years

Mathematics

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Isaac Newton (Bolton, Sarah K. Famous Men of Science. NY: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1889)

Newton’s work has been said “to distinctly advance every branch of mathematics then studied”. His work on the subject usually referred to as fluxions or calculus, seen in a manuscript of October 1666, is now published among Newton’s mathematical papers. The author of the manuscript De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas, sent by Isaac Barrow to John Collins in June 1669, was identified by Barrow in a letter sent to Collins in August of that year as:

Mr Newton, a fellow of our College, and very young … but of an extraordinary genius and proficiency in these things.

Newton later became involved in a dispute with Leibniz over priority in the development of calculus (the Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy). Most modern historians believe that Newton and Leibniz developed calculus independently, although with very different notations. Occasionally it has been suggested that Newton published almost nothing about it until 1693, and did not give a full account until 1704, while Leibniz began publishing a full account of his methods in 1684. (Leibniz’s notation and “differential Method”, nowadays recognised as much more convenient notations, were adopted by continental European mathematicians, and after 1820 or so, also by British mathematicians.) But such a suggestion fails to account for the content of calculus in Book 1 of Newton’s Principia itself (published 1687) and in its forerunner manuscripts, such as De motu corporum in gyrum (“On the motion of bodies in orbit”) of 1684; this content has been pointed out by critics of both Newton’s time and modern times. The Principia is not written in the language of calculus either as we know it or as Newton’s (later) ‘dot’ notation would write it. His work extensively uses calculus in geometric form based on limiting values of the ratios of vanishing small quantities: in the Principia itself, Newton gave demonstration of this under the name of ‘the method of first and last ratios’ and explained why he put his expositions in this form, remarking also that ‘hereby the same thing is performed as by the method of indivisibles’.

Because of this, the Principia has been called “a book dense with the theory and application of the infinitesimal calculus” in modern times and “lequel est presque tout de ce calcul” (‘nearly all of it is of this calculus’) in Newton’s time. His use of methods involving “one or more orders of the infinitesimally small” is present in his De motu corporum in gyrum of 1684 and in his papers on motion “during the two decades preceding 1684”.

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Newton in a 1702 portrait by Godfrey Kneller

Newton had been reluctant to publish his calculus because he feared controversy and criticism. He was close to the Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier. In 1691, Duillier started to write a new version of Newton’s Principia, and corresponded with Leibniz. In 1693, the relationship between Duillier and Newton deteriorated and the book was never completed.

Starting in 1699, other members of the Royal Society (of which Newton was a member) accused Leibniz of plagiarism. The dispute then broke out in full force in 1711 when the Royal Society proclaimed in a study that it was Newton who was the true discoverer and labelled Leibniz a fraud. This study was cast into doubt when it was later found that Newton himself wrote the study’s concluding remarks on Leibniz. Thus began the bitter controversy which marred the lives of both Newton and Leibniz until the latter’s death in 1716.

Newton is generally credited with the generalised binomial theorem, valid for any exponent. He discovered Newton’s identities, Newton’s method, classified cubic plane curves (polynomials of degree three in two variables), made substantial contributions to the theory of finite differences, and was the first to use fractional indices and to employ coordinate geometry to derive solutions to Diophantine equations. He approximated partial sums of the harmonic series by logarithms (a precursor to Euler’s summation formula) and was the first to use power series with confidence and to revert power series. Newton’s work on infinite series was inspired by Simon Stevin’s decimals.

When Newton received his MA and became a Fellow of the “College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity” in 1667, he made the commitment that “I will either set Theology as the object of my studies and will take holy orders when the time prescribed by these statutes [7 years] arrives, or I will resign from the college.” Up till this point he had not thought much about religion and had twice signed his agreement to the thirty-nine articles, the basis of Church of England doctrine.

He was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 1669 on Barrow’s recommendation. During that time, any Fellow of a college at Cambridge or Oxford was required to take holy orders and become an ordained Anglican priest. However, the terms of the Lucasian professorship required that the holder not be active in the church (presumably so as to have more time for science). Newton argued that this should exempt him from the ordination requirement, and Charles II, whose permission was needed, accepted this argument. Thus a conflict between Newton’s religious views and Anglican orthodoxy was averted.

Optics

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Replica of Newton’s second Reflecting telescope that he presented to the Royal Society in 1672

In 1666, Newton observed that the spectrum of colours exiting a prism in the position of minimum deviation is oblong, even when the light ray entering the prism is circular, which is to say, the prism refracts different colours by different angles. This led him to conclude that colour is a property intrinsic to light—a point which had been debated in prior years.

From 1670 to 1672, Newton lectured on optics. During this period he investigated the refraction of light, demonstrating that the multicoloured spectrum produced by a prism could be recomposed into white light by a lens and a second prism. Modern scholarship has revealed that Newton’s analysis and resynthesis of white light owes a debt to corpuscular alchemy.

He showed that coloured light does not change its properties by separating out a coloured beam and shining it on various objects, and that regardless of whether reflected, scattered, or transmitted, the light remains the same colour. Thus, he observed that colour is the result of objects interacting with already-coloured light rather than objects generating the colour themselves. This is known as Newton’s theory of colour.

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Illustration of a dispersive prism decomposing white light into the colours of the spectrum, as discovered by Newton

From this work, he concluded that the lens of any refracting telescope would suffer from the dispersion of light into colours (chromatic aberration). As a proof of the concept, he constructed a telescope using reflective mirrors instead of lenses as the objective to bypass that problem. Building the design, the first known functional reflecting telescope, today known as a Newtonian telescope, involved solving the problem of a suitable mirror material and shaping technique. Newton ground his own mirrors out of a custom composition of highly reflective speculum metal, using Newton’s rings to judge the quality of the optics for his telescopes. In late 1668 he was able to produce this first reflecting telescope. It was about eight inches long and it gave a clearer and larger image. In 1671, the Royal Society asked for a demonstration of his reflecting telescope. Their interest encouraged him to publish his notes, Of Colours, which he later expanded into the work Opticks. When Robert Hooke criticised some of Newton’s ideas, Newton was so offended that he withdrew from public debate. Newton and Hooke had brief exchanges in 1679–80, when Hooke, appointed to manage the Royal Society’s correspondence, opened up a correspondence intended to elicit contributions from Newton to Royal Society transactions, which had the effect of stimulating Newton to work out a proof that the elliptical form of planetary orbits would result from a centripetal force inversely proportional to the square of the radius vector (see Newton’s law of universal gravitation – History and De motu corporum in gyrum). But the two men remained generally on poor terms until Hooke’s death.

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Facsimile of a 1682 letter from Isaac Newton to Dr William Briggs, commenting on Briggs’ “A New Theory of Vision”

Newton argued that light is composed of particles or corpuscles, which were refracted by accelerating into a denser medium. He verged on soundlike waves to explain the repeated pattern of reflection and transmission by thin films (Opticks Bk.II, Props. 12), but still retained his theory of ‘fits’ that disposed corpuscles to be reflected or transmitted (Props.13). However, later physicists favoured a purely wavelike explanation of light to account for the interference patterns and the general phenomenon of diffraction. Today’s quantum mechanics, photons, and the idea of wave–particle duality bear only a minor resemblance to Newton’s understanding of light.

In his Hypothesis of Light of 1675, Newton posited the existence of the ether to transmit forces between particles. The contact with the theosophist Henry More, revived his interest in alchemy. He replaced the ether with occult forces based on Hermetic ideas of attraction and repulsion between particles. John Maynard Keynes, who acquired many of Newton’s writings on alchemy, stated that “Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians.” Newton’s interest in alchemy cannot be isolated from his contributions to science. This was at a time when there was no clear distinction between alchemy and science. Had he not relied on the occult idea of action at a distance, across a vacuum, he might not have developed his theory of gravity. (See also Isaac Newton’s occult studies.)

In 1704, Newton published Opticks, in which he expounded his corpuscular theory of light. He considered light to be made up of extremely subtle corpuscles, that ordinary matter was made of grosser corpuscles and speculated that through a kind of alchemical transmutation “Are not gross Bodies and Light convertible into one another, … and may not Bodies receive much of their Activity from the Particles of Light which enter their Composition?” Newton also constructed a primitive form of a frictional electrostatic generator, using a glass globe.

In an article entitled “Newton, prisms, and the ‘opticks’ of tunable lasers” it is indicated that Newton in his book Opticks was the first to show a diagram using a prism as a beam expander. In the same book he describes, via diagrams, the use of multiple-prism arrays. Some 278 years after Newton’s discussion, multiple-prism beam expanders became central to the development of narrow-linewidth tunable lasers. Also, the use of these prismatic beam expanders led to the multiple-prism dispersion theory.

Subsequent to Newton, much has been amended. Young and Fresnel combined Newton’s particle theory with Huygens’ wave theory to show that colour is the visible manifestation of light’s wavelength. Science also slowly came to realise the difference between perception of colour and mathematisable optics. The German poet and scientist, Goethe, could not shake the Newtonian foundation but “one hole Goethe did find in Newton’s armour, … Newton had committed himself to the doctrine that refraction without colour was impossible. He therefore thought that the object-glasses of telescopes must for ever remain imperfect, achromatism and refraction being incompatible. This inference was proved by Dollond to be wrong.”

Mechanics and gravitation

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Newton’s own copy of his Principia, with hand-written corrections for the second edition

In 1679, Newton returned to his work on (celestial) mechanics by considering gravitation and its effect on the orbits of planets with reference to Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. This followed stimulation by a brief exchange of letters in 1679–80 with Hooke, who had been appointed to manage the Royal Society’s correspondence, and who opened a correspondence intended to elicit contributions from Newton to Royal Society transactions. Newton’s reawakening interest in astronomical matters received further stimulus by the appearance of a comet in the winter of 1680–1681, on which he corresponded with John Flamsteed. After the exchanges with Hooke, Newton worked out proof that the elliptical form of planetary orbits would result from a centripetal force inversely proportional to the square of the radius vector (see Newton’s law of universal gravitation – History and De motu corporum in gyrum). Newton communicated his results to Edmond Halley and to the Royal Society in De motu corporum in gyrum, a tract written on about nine sheets which was copied into the Royal Society’s Register Book in December 1684. This tract contained the nucleus that Newton developed and expanded to form the Principia.

The Principia was published on 5 July 1687 with encouragement and financial help from Edmond Halley. In this work, Newton stated the three universal laws of motion. Together, these laws describe the relationship between any object, the forces acting upon it and the resulting motion, laying the foundation for classical mechanics. They contributed to many advances during the Industrial Revolution which soon followed and were not improved upon for more than 200 years. Many of these advancements continue to be the underpinnings of non-relativistic technologies in the modern world. He used the Latin word gravitas (weight) for the effect that would become known as gravity, and defined the law of universal gravitation.

In the same work, Newton presented a calculus-like method of geometrical analysis using ‘first and last ratios’, gave the first analytical determination (based on Boyle’s law) of the speed of sound in air, inferred the oblateness