Every Time You Turn the Lights on in Your House, You Should Think of This Man…

7 Apr

Winston Churchill is credited for saying, “History is written by the victors.” In 1944, George Orwell wrote an essay entitled, “History is Written by the Winners.” As you can imagine, the losers of wars don’t usually get a say or have their side heard. All that is pretty obvious. Well, here is something a little less obvious…

The history we read is also affected by “winners” of less dramatic things than wars. People who are powerful also get to write history and often give themselves and their friends credit they may not deserve. For example, if you were to ask just about anyone who invented the light bulb, the overwhelming majority would say Thomas Edison. Why? Because that’s what everyone learned in school. It’s written in the textbooks, so it must be true.

The fact of the matter is, there were a few other inventors who invented versions of the light bulb before Edison that were not as practical or cost-effective. (In fact, both British and American courts eventually ruled Edison’s patent invalid.)

Here is something even more interesting… Edison fought for many years with another brilliant inventor named Nikola Tesla. One of their biggest disagreements was over direct current (DC) vs. alternating current (AC) as a means of delivering electricity to the masses. Edison was a proponent of DC and said Tesla’s AC was very dangerous, even deadly. Edison spent a lot of time and money trying to discredit Tesla. He would even kill small animals at fairs (and once a full-grown elephant) with AC to show how deadly it was. Tesla responded by demonstrating that AC was perfectly safe by famously shooting current through his own body to power a light bulb in his hand.

Who won the battle? While both AC and DC are utilized in the modern world, the form of electricity that powers the devices in your home is alternating current.

Tesla also had a hand in several other inventions still used in today’s world. For example, he developed and used fluorescent bulbs in his lab some 40 years before they’d become a common sight on city streets. At the 1893 World’s Fair, Tesla took glass tubes and bent them into famous scientists’ names, creating the first neon signs.

In a 2008 article published in the Journal RSNA Radiographics, Dr. Maja Hrabak and her colleagues wrote, “Every radiologist is aware of Nikola Tesla’s research in the field of electromagnetism. The International System (SI) unit of magnetic flux density, the Teslacon magnetic resonance imager, and Teslascan manganese contrast agent were all named after him. Without his other inventions like the alternating current supply, Tesla-Knott generator, and fluorescent lights in view boxes, it is impossible to even imagine a workday in a contemporary radiology department. But if the discovery of x-rays is mentioned, only a few radiologists associate it with Tesla’s name.”

While Guglielmo Marconi was initially credited with the invention of radio, and most believe him to be radio’s inventor to this day, the United States Supreme Court overturned Marconi’s patent in 1943 on the grounds Tesla had invented it years before Marconi.

A few other modern luxuries Tesla helped invent include remote control, electric motor, robotics, laser, and wireless communications. One of Tesla’s biggest goals was to provide unlimited and FREE electrical power for the entire planet. While Tesla’s name has picked up in notoriety in recent years, the reason he isn’t even more popular is that he didn’t do it for the money or the fame. He did it as a gift to the people. He was a true altruist.

In his own words, “Money does not represent such a value as men have placed upon it. All my money has been invested into experiments with which I have made new discoveries enabling mankind to have a little easier life.”

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