Tesla, electrical genius

One of our sweet readers, Therese, requested that we write more about steampunk DIY and science. So I thought, why not start off with someone that in my mind is one of the most influential people when it comes to the science part of steampunk? Who I am thinking of? Nikola Tesla, of course. I may be still quite new to the scene, but it seems to me this electric genius has had a pretty big impact on the subculture.

To start of with a little history, Nikola Tesla was born 10 July, 1856, in the village of Smiljan, in the Austrian Empire. His father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church, his mother the daughter of a priest in said church and he had one older brother (who later died in a riding accident) and three sisters. After graduating from the Higher Real Gymnasium in Karlovac, he went to study electrical engineering at the Austrian Pylotechnic in Graz in 1875. He never finished his studies though, but dropped out during his third year. After that he broke all relations with his family and went to Margur where he worked as an assistant engineer. After one year his father tracked him down and persuaded him to go to Prague and the Charles-Ferdinand University. Tesla, however, only attended one term and left school after his father had died.

During his lifetime Tesla lived in Budapest, Paris and New York, where he worked alongside Thomas Edison – who later on became his adversary in the electric field. He filed several patents and came quite close to recieving the Nobel Prize in Physics. Mostly Tesla is renowned for his work on electric currents, most specifically he formed the basis of alternating current (AC) which was one of the things that helped usher the second industrial revolution. He also did immense work on magnetic fields and created the Tesla Coil, a resonant transformer circuit capable of producing high voltage, low current and high frequency alternating current electricity. While Tesla used it to conduct several electrical experiments (a list and more information can be found HERE), it is today mostly used for educational displays, entertainment and in some cases also in fetish performances.

In 1943, on January 7th, Nikola Tesla died of the complications after a heart thrombus in a hotel room in New York, 86 years old.
But Tesla lives on in the steampunk subculture, where several of his inventions has come to find their places. He also frequents other parts of popular culture, such as literature, comics and movies. For a full list, go HERE! Without Tesla, I don’t think steampunk would look the way it does today or be as science-oriented as it is. So, thank you, Nikola Tesla 🙂

Source: Wikipedia

Xx, Arathin


Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 10:04  Comments (1)  
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