This is a tribute today on his Birthday. This article was originally written by Aniket Majumdar on our May 2017 issue.
Today is the 10th of July, and this post is a small tribute to the God of Electrical Engineering. The man himself, Nikola Tesla. Let’s remember him by knowing some inspirational and strange incidents of his life.
In the year 1856, midnight, between July 9 and July 10, during a fierce lightning storm, a baby was born into a Serb family in the village of Smiljan, Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia). According to family legend, midway through the birth, the midwife wrung her hands and declared the lightning a bad omen. This child will be a child of darkness, she said, to which his mother replied, “No. He will be a child of light.”.
Ladies and gentlemen that baby was the electrifying man Mr. Nikola Tesla in next. Tesla’s parents are Milutin Tesla (1819–1879) and Đuka Tesla (née Mandić; 1822–1892). Milutin Tesla who was an orthodox priest of the Austrian Empire. Basically, Nikola Tesla was inspired by his mom Mrs. Duka Tesla 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.
Later Tesla credited his eidetic memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence. He was fourth of five children of his parents. In the year 1862, the Tesla family moved to Gospić, Austrian Empire before that in 1861 Tesla started his primary school education.
Tesla moved to Karlovac in 1870 to attend school at the Higher Real Gymnasium. The classes were held in German because it was a school within the Austro-Hungarian Military Frontier. There he finished a four-year term in three years, graduating in 1873. In that period we can able to figure out his extraordinary brain power because Tesla was able to perform integral calculus in his head, which prompted his teachers to believe that he was cheating. Later he introduced us to his outstanding talent and thinking ability as he can able to sketch out a blueprint of a motor without any paper pen work.
Tesla returned to his birth town, Smiljan in 1873. After he arrived Tesla contracted cholera, he was bedridden for nine months and was near death multiple times. Tesla’s father 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 1875, Tesla enrolled at Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria, on a Military Frontier scholarship.
During his first year, there Tesla never missed a lecture, earned the highest grades possible, passed nine exams. Nearly twice as many as one’s required. He also started a Serb culture 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 the first rank.”. During his second year, Tesla came into conflict with Professor Poeschl over the Gramme dynamo, as Tesla suggested that commutators were not necessary.
He was a person full of confidence, determination, and royal attitude. 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. But later in the US, he was again known to play billiards. When the examination time came, Tesla was unprepared and asked for an extension to study, but was denied.
The peculiar part is, this outstanding talent never graduated from the university and did not receive grades for the last semester.
There are so many more incidents that happened to his life, but nothing couldn’t distract him to be the god of Electrical Engineering.