Patent Number 381,968 (.PDF)
Nikola Tesla invented the induction motor with rotating magnetic field that made unit drives for machines feasible and made AC power transmission an economic necessity.
In 1887 and 1888 Tesla had an experimental shop at 89 Liberty Street, New York, and there he invented the induction motor. He sold the invention to Westinghouse in July 1888 and spent a year in Pittsburgh instructing Westinghouse engineers.
Alternating current (AC) became the premier form of electrical energy after it overcame objections by Thomas Edison who designed direct current (DC). Tesla also showcased his invention at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair where he and Westinghouse won the bid to illuminate the International Exhibition. Alternating current captivated the public with its efficient lighting and lessened heat.
Nikola Tesla developed polyphase alternating current system of generators, motors and transformers and held 40 basic U.S. patents on the system, which George Westinghouse bought, determined to supply America with the Tesla system.
AC has an electric current whose direction reverses cyclically rather than staying in a constant direction like DC. The waveform of AC is also more efficient than the DC. AC is the form in which electricity is carried to homes and businesses.
Radiant Energy Patent
When thinking about the 1900 turn-of-the-century you don’t think of high-tech but Nikola Tesla certainly was one of the geniuses of the century. One of the most interesting patents I found was US patent number 685,958 (.PDF) for a Method of Using Radiant Energy.
If you look closely at the original patent drawing below you can see someone hand wrote: “electric stepping motor energized by corpuscular energy from the sun.” Was this the precursor of the Solar Panel?
Born in Smiljan Lika, Croatia, the son of a Serbian Orthodox clergyman, Tesla attended Joanneum, a polytechnic school in Graz and the University of Prague for two years. He started work in the engineering department of the Austrian telegraph system then became an electrical engineer at an electric power company in Budapest and later at another in Strasbourg.
While in technical school, Tesla became convinced that commutators were unnecessary on motors; and while with the power company he built a crude motor which demonstrated the truth of his theory. In 1884, Tesla came to the United States and joined the Edison Machine Works as a dynamo designer.
Telsa obtained more than 100 patents in his lifetime. Despite his 700 inventions Tesla was not wealthy. For many years he worked in his room at the Hotel New Yorker, where he died.
Posted with the permission of the National Inventors Hall of Fame™