No. 382,279 ELECTRO MAGNETIC MOTOR
No. 382,280 ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION OF POWER
No. 382,281 ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION OF POWER
No. 382,282 METHOD OF CONVERTING AND DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC CURRENTS
In the SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 382,280, dated May 1, 1888, on the file of the United States Patent Office, Nikola Tesla claimed as follows:
“What I claim is- The method herein described of electrically transmitting power, which consists in producing a continuously progressive shifting of the polarities of either or both elements (the armature or field magnet or magnets) of a motor by developing alternating currents in independent circuits, including magnetizing coils of either or both elements, as herein set forth.”The birth of the commutator free electromagnetic induction motor and the alternating current system born conjoint with it, from the fertile mind of Tesla, 124 years ago, deserves grand commemoration on its Quasquicentennial falling on May 1, 2013. Though Tesla's inventions have enriched human life on a grand scale, we have not given him the honour and remembrance he deserves. This should be amended for the sake of Nikola Tesla who spent every hour of his magnificent life improving living conditions of mankind by his new and improved inventions shaped by sharp observation and deep analysis honed by his desire to offer only clean solutions all the time.
Through his patents, Tesla talks to us directly even today. The specifications for his inventions make delightful reading and the figures that accompany are works of art. We can easily imagine what he envisioned and the collection of Tesla patents on the file of the United States Patent Office is probably the most outstanding gift to mankind from a single individual in history. The inventions highlight the importance of making practical use of knowledge gained and the flow of the patents stress the need to refine and improve to the point of elegance beyond which no man can improve.
The innovations sparked by Tesla are numerous and the general direction went thus:
No. 390,413 SYSTEM OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION Patented Oct. 2, 1888
No. 390,820 REGULATOR FOR ALTERNATE CURRENT MOTORS Patented Oct. 9, 1888
No. 396,121 THERMO MAGNETIC MOTOR Patented Jan. 15, 1889
No. 401,420 METHOD OF OPERATING ELECTRO MAGNETIC MOTORS Patented Apr. 16, 1889
No. 405,858 ELECTRO MAGNETIC MOTOR Patented June 25, 1889
No. 405,859 METHOD OF ELECTRICAL POWER TRANSMISSION Patented June 25, 1889
No. 413,353 METHOD OF OBTAINING DIRECT FROM ALTERNATING CURRENTS Patented Oct. 22, 1889
No. 416,191 ELECTRO MAGNETIC MOTOR Patented Dec. 3, 1889
No. 416,194 ELECTRIC MOTOR Patented Dec. 3, 1889
No. 416,195 ELECTRO MAGNETIC MOTOR Patented Dec. 3, 1889
In Patent No. 416,195, Tesla introduced poly phase current system thus:
“What I claim is - 1. In an alternating-current motor, the combination, with an armature wound with closed coils, of main and supplemental field magnets or poles, one set of which is adapted to exhibit their maximum magnetic effect simultaneously with that set up in the armature by the action of the other, as set forth. 2. In an electro-magnetic motor, the combination, with an armature, of a plurality of field or energizing coils included, respectively, in main circuits adapted to produce a given difference of phase and supplemental or secondary circuits adapted to produce an intermediate difference of phase, as set forth.”More refinements, measuring tools and gadgets followed:
No. 447,921 ALTERNATING ELECTRIC CURRENT GENERATOR Patented Mar. 10, 1891
No. 455,068 ELECTRICAL METER Patented June 30, 1891
No. 462,418 METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTRICAL CONVERSION AND DISTRIBUTION Patented Nov. 3, 1891
No. 511,559 ELECTRICAL TRANSMISSION OF POWER Patented Dec. 26, 1893
No. 512,340 COIL FOR ELECTRO MAGNETS Patented Jan. 9, 1894
No. 514,167 ELECTRICAL CONDUCTOR Patented Feb 6, 1894
No. 1,119,732 APPARATUS FOR TRANSMITTING ELECTRICAL ENERGY Patented Dec 1, 1914
The last one, wireless transmission of energy, is yet to be realized on a grand scale, but would be the ultimate goal for mankind.
The patents have a straightforward pattern: a problem is stated and the solution found is described including scientific explanations of why and how the invention works. Tesla had clean habits and this cleanliness pervaded his work. Clean engineering is the hallmark of Tesla evident from his electro-magnetic motor designs and the alternating current systems. Every little defect is attempted to be corrected in subsequent inventions to bring about perfection. His daring spirit to build the hydroelectric power generator across the Niagara when the whole world doubted its feasibility is an example of the kind of attitude required to achieve arduous goals. The world truly misses this great scientist and engineer whose love for humanity and progress knew no bounds.
Every school and institution should make an effort to teach the life and work of Tesla to inspire and create the progressive, prosperous and peaceful world he envisioned. In India, Tesla is not taught the way it ought to be done. When I was at school, we had SUPW (short for Socially Useful Productive Work) class from 5th to 10th standard. For boys, it was Electrical Gadgets [EG], and for girls - it was Tailoring. Of course, either could opt for the other class. Mr. Subramani, who ran an electrical gadgets store, was the part time teacher for EG. Many parents were agitated about EG and the teacher used to be extra cautious in explaining the dangers of electricity while teaching its properties and uses. The notes of every class would fit exactly one page, with just five or six points which could be remembered for life. He started the first class with the lesson on bar magnets - the points went: magnets have two poles, north and south; like poles attract, unlike poles repel, they have imaginary lines of force, and the next lesson would elaborate on the lines of force, and after a few classes there would be a project. He taught EG with so much enthusiasm and passion, making sure he did justice to his job. I would rank him one of the best teachers at school. He introduced magnets, batteries, DC, AC, copper coils, 28G wire, batteries, transformers, and a host of other electrical concepts without which I would hardly be able to appreciate Tesla. I do not remember my teacher having elaborated on 3-phase/poly-phase AC or the induction motor design which could have been easily assimilated into the EG classes. For all I know, SUPW no longer seems to be part of the CBSE curriculum and with it EG has gone too. SUPW classes should be brought back to schools. Working models of the Tesla patents should be demonstrated to students at the appropriate levels. Every school leaving child should have a working knowledge of electricity.
High level research is possible into every statement Tesla made. For example, he saw connections between earthquakes and charges passing through the earth. Every little observation is magnified and attempted to be converted into a force that could be controlled purposefully. Resonance with nature carried Tesla far into the future. Tesla patented his gainful research in his youth but as he aged, he appears to have lost faith in the system, and many findings might have died with him without disclosure. Compulsory minimum guaranteed royalties for the life time of the patent, say fixed at minimum 1.5% of the product cost, should promote the cause of inventions.
India also has special reasons to celebrate the works of Tesla, who was deeply inspired by Swami Vivekananda and Jagadis Chandra Bose. Tesla used “Akash” and other vedic sanskrit words to explain his visions. Tesla was a bridge between the earth, working with his hands and feet firmly grounded to building practical tools that worked well, and the cosmos, envisioning grand goals with his mind piercing through its every kosha - layers. The present day world needs to pay an appropriate tribute to this genius and the best that can be bestowed is by working just as hard and wise as Tesla.
One of Tesla's unpublished addresses which he himself quoted in a letter to the editor of New York Times, April 19, 1908, was as follows:
According to an adopted theory, every ponderable atom is differentiated from a tenuous fluid, filling all space merely by spinning motion, as a whirl of water in a calm lake. By being set in movement this fluid, the ether, becomes gross matter. Its movement arrested, the primary substance reverts to its normal state. It appears, then, possible for man through harnessed energy of the medium and suitable agencies for starting and stopping ether whirls to cause matter to form and disappear. At his command, almost without effort on his part, old worlds would vanish and new ones would spring into being. He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, adjust its distance from the sun, guide it on its eternal journey along any path he might choose, through the depths of the universe. He could make planets collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light; he could originate life in all its infinite forms. To cause at will the birth and death of matter would be man's grandest deed, which would give him the mastery of physical creation, make him fulfill his ultimate destiny.To ignore Tesla is to invite peril. Due appreciation will help mankind flourish.