7 Tesla Inventions That Others Took Credit for

7 Tesla Inventions That Others Took Credit for

Here are seven revolutionary inventions for which Tesla was not given due credit.

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These articles are kind of out of hand.

Talking about something isn't inventing it, the computers we are doing this all on use DC (those big power bricks are to turn in to DC among other things)

Tesla was an interesting guy but he was not some sort of tech messiah.

I strongly suggest that you look at Michael Faraday before going on about Tesla. Both Edison and Tesla both based there work on his experiments and theories. Faraday demonstrated the principle of an electric motor 30 years before Tesla was born. Tesla did not invent the transistor because the transistor needs semiconducting material to work. Its like saying drawing a flying saucer means you have invented FTL travel. The concept of radar had been around for a long time but it took Watson-Watt's team to actually build it, again concept does not mean a working model. Tesla did create the first X-ray image but that was by accident and he did not know what it was until after Roentgen did his proper experimental work that did identify X-rays. Only then did Tesla begin work on X-rays.

Tesla, like Leonardo, is massively overrated. In both cases most of the legend is based on what they said not what they did. All these concepts they kept coming up with but with no idea about how to actually make them into real world machines.

Hoplon:
These articles are kind of out of hand.

Talking about something isn't inventing it, the computers we are doing this all on use DC (those big power bricks are to turn in to DC among other things)

Tesla was an interesting guy but he was not some sort of tech messiah.

Tesla has practically been deified in some internet circles. I mean for god sake, some people actually believe he created free, unlimited energy despite the fact that it's physically impossible, and that the only reason we don't know about it is some big energy company conspiracy.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if Tesla even existed at all with all the things people have claimed he did or invented that we know is not the case.

Zontar:

Hoplon:
These articles are kind of out of hand.

Talking about something isn't inventing it, the computers we are doing this all on use DC (those big power bricks are to turn in to DC among other things)

Tesla was an interesting guy but he was not some sort of tech messiah.

Tesla has practically been deified in some internet circles. I mean for god sake, some people actually believe he created free, unlimited energy despite the fact that it's physically impossible, and that the only reason we don't know about it is some big energy company conspiracy.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if Tesla even existed at all with all the things people have claimed he did or invented that we know is not the case.

As much as I love Tesla, really his most significant contribution to society was his implementation of AC, which revolutionized how energy was produced and moved from place to place. Sure, many technologies we have now - that is, anything that requires a giant power brick when you plug it in, or anything running on battery power - uses DC power. However, DC requires much larger wires to transmit high voltages over long distances, making it impractical for generation in power plants due to more expensive power lines and a general need for more power stations. AC, meanwhile, can be transmitted through much smaller wires at a greater power, meaning that not only are power lines less expensive, but this leads to a larger effective range for a single power plant, and thus a need for fewer smaller, more scattered stations.

As for the free energy, his idea was to use massive coils - now called "Tesla coils", he called them "magnifying transmitters" - to send huge amounts of energy through either the air or the earth, wirelessly, that potential customers could use their own coils to tap into and receive free access to electricity. Naturally, this was not accepted by investors, for a couple reasons. First of all, it would require massive power input, especially for larger distances, and secondly, there was no guarantee that there would be a return on any investment, since customers could access it unlimitedly for free.

If Tesla had the funding, you bet all these would have been built by him first. But patent trolls like Edison worked hard to keep innovation down.

Solbasa:
As for the free energy, his idea was to use massive coils - now called "Tesla coils", he called them "magnifying transmitters" - to send huge amounts of energy through either the air or the earth, wirelessly, that potential customers could use their own coils to tap into and receive free access to electricity. Naturally, this was not accepted by investors, for a couple reasons. First of all, it would require massive power input, especially for larger distances, and secondly, there was no guarantee that there would be a return on any investment, since customers could access it unlimitedly for free.

Not to mention Westinghouse had personally invested a lot in timber and copper to make money on building the infrastructure.

AC was a gift, and massively important to electrical infrastructure existing at all, but his wireless system would have certainly ran in to attenuation problems that you always get with microwave transmissions.

Solbasa:
As much as I love Tesla, really his most significant contribution to society was his implementation of AC, which revolutionized how energy was produced and moved from place to place. Sure, many technologies we have now - that is, anything that requires a giant power brick when you plug it in, or anything running on battery power - uses DC power. However, DC requires much larger wires to transmit high voltages over long distances, making it impractical for generation in power plants due to more expensive power lines and a general need for more power stations. AC, meanwhile, can be transmitted through much smaller wires at a greater power, meaning that not only are power lines less expensive, but this leads to a larger effective range for a single power plant, and thus a need for fewer smaller, more scattered stations.

The funny thing now is that we are coming full circle as DC is making a comeback, to transmit electricity over really long distances that even AC power cannot manage we will be seeing High Voltage Direct Current lines. With trends towards renewable sources of energy that are a long way from population centers and power grids there need to be ways of transmitting power further than ever before and only HVDC technology can do that, the idea is that AC power is converted to HVDC then back to AC closer to its distribution point.

Hoplon:
These articles are kind of out of hand.

Talking about something isn't inventing it, the computers we are doing this all on use DC (those big power bricks are to turn in to DC among other things)

Tesla was an interesting guy but he was not some sort of tech messiah.

True. I find this another unfortunate misfire in the science and tech category here at the Escapist, after the top 5 debacle that spawned this Tesla centric article.

This COULD have been filled with amazing stuff that Tesla actually *made*, but instead we get a ton of "he had the idea/insight" things instead... which was not what I was expecting from the title.

Next time something about pioneering biotechnology or uncredited scientific women pioneers instead, please?

Title should have been: "7 Tesla ideas that other people developed into actual working inventions". Not that I'm doubting that Tesla was a brilliant guy, but theory will only take you so far.

Rhykker:
In fact, Edison's direct current (DC) electric power distribution system is not what's powering your home right now, but rather the much cheaper, more efficient, and more effective alternating current (AC) system - developed by Tesla.

At the time that was true, but new high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology makes DC transmission more efficient than AC transmission. As for AC being cheaper, HVDC transmission is more economical, but in order for HVDC to actually be implemented, the infrastructure needs to be built, which requires a massive monetary investment.

"Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine." ~ Nikola Tesla

These were his IDEAS, but he probably had no time or other resources to work on all of them. Recognizing that the ideas were his and that others have used them without giving him credit is what's important here. Not actual physical inventions.

Hoplon:
These articles are kind of out of hand.

Talking about something isn't inventing it, the computers we are doing this all on use DC (those big power bricks are to turn in to DC among other things)

Tesla was an interesting guy but he was not some sort of tech messiah.

Yeah people have a hard time seeing people as people. They get labeled into idealized or demonized forms, instead of a person with strengths and flaws. Idea Channel did a video talking about this phenomenon with Tesla, the way that people like to talk about him as a saint to science. Mainly because this makes a better story to cast Tesla as the Great Man of Science who came from poverty with only his skills to bring him up VS the evil villain Edison who used his power and money to steal from others.

here's the video if you want to see,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUUysWuPdAM

Joining the "this is getting out of hand" crew... number 2 especially, you write in the piece that Tesla didn't invent it. He didn't invent number 7 either, that's a guess.

He was influential, but let's not sully his actual legacy with lists of things that he almost, could have, or might have thought about.

Adam Jensen:
"Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine." ~ Nikola Tesla

These were his IDEAS, but he probably had no time or other resources to work on all of them. Recognizing that the ideas were his and that others have used them without giving him credit is what's important here. Not actual physical inventions.

They where his ideas that he then never published about (and then a lot of stuff got destroyed in a fire at a lab) to the point where people are having to reinvent from first principles.

Can we please stop the Tesla worship? There is so much that is incorrect in this article.

1.) Tesla did not invent alternating current. That honor belongs to one Hippolyte Pixii.

2.) There exists quite a bit of evidence that Tesla' polyphase motor design was plagiarized

3.) Where to begin with this one? Okay: a logical gate is not by definition a kind of transistor. A logical gate is anything that turns a signal on or off in response to the state of its inputs. This can of course be a solid-state digital element like a transistor. It could also use electromechanical components like relays (invented in 1835) or non solid-state elements like vacuum tubes. A logical device can also be analog, such as an operational amplifier comparator circuit (which can be configured to output an analog signal based on the comparison of its input voltages) or a resistance comparator. It can also be purely mechanical. An AND gate is any device that takes an "on" state (or 1, "true", etc) when all of its inputs are "on". Tesla did not invent this, and electronic logical devices would have been well known to anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of electrical engineering by his time since logical gates were used, and in very complicated arrangements, in the telegraph networks.

4.) If we're talking about the idea of bending the neon lights into letters to make signs, then that could very well be Tesla's invention, but you admit yourself here that gas discharge tubes were invented decades prior.

5.) First, Maxwell anyone? People seem to think that Tesla was the first person to understand that energy from electricity can be carried without wires because of his obsession with wireless energy. In fact, it was understood well before his time that electricity behaves a field. This was first identified by Faraday and formalized by Maxwell. There is some nuance here in whether Tesla invented the "radio". Certainly he invented the first practical device capable of sending a useful signal without a wire, but he was interested in transmitting power (this was where the Tesla coil came from) and he didn't invent anything that could be used to communicate at long distance.

6.) Mostly correct, but ignoring the contributions of others in the developments of the computing systems needed to make radar useful.

7.) Correct. Roentgen discovered X-rays. However, the X-ray tubes used for producing the radiation were invented by Crookes and X-ray photography was invented also by Roentgen, not Tesla or Edison. "Early pioneer" =/= inventor.

We should have a list of Tesla "inventions" that turned out to be completely unworkable. Like that one about wireless electricity. If it had worked, even if power companies were unwilling to invest in it for long-range purposes because, yannow, giving away your product for free to whoever wants it isn't a great business model, there would have been potential for short-range applications like, say, having a transmitter in your house that can reach just as far as the outer walls and can be used in lieu of installing a zillion outlets in the walls. Over a hundred years later, some nerds at MIT finally figured out a way to do that, but it works on a completely different principle and, if I recall correctly, requires equipment that would not have been available in Tesla's day. Even now, it's still being tested and experimented with to ensure that it's actually safe to use.

I think the creator of this list needs to look up the definition of 'Invention'. If theorizing about, or trying to investigate something counts as inventing then Jules Verne is also an engineering genius for all his 'inventions'.

I could have sworn I've read this exact article on Cracked a billion times. Because that's pretty much all the write about at Cracked: Tesla, Roosevelt and Batman.

The moral of the story is to never invent anything or even try to be smart because everyone will just steal all the ideas you have. The good ideas, at least.

 

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