Before there was Tesla, the bright spark of an electric car company, there was Nikola Tesla, the brilliant Victorian inventor born 157 years ago on this date, who saw his contributions copied and name eclipsed (shown, aged 37, 1893, photo by Napoleon Sarony; source: wikipedia). But posthumously his fame has grown.
When Elon Musk founded his electric car company (shown right, the Tesla Model S) he named it after the Serbian-American man credited with inventing the remote control, neon lighting, electric lighting, even the radio, according to the Huffington Post’s story here; see their list below.
Inventions Credited to Nikola Tesla
1. The Remote Control
Tesla first demonstrated the remote control in 1898, when he showed off a radio-controlled boat in Madison Square Garden. Tesla reportedly hoped that remote-controlled weapons would someday be used by the government.
Tesla’s remote-controlled boat is considered to be one of the first robots. Tesla has been called “the father of robotics,” so you can thank and/or blame him for pretty much everything from R2D2 to Google’s self-driving cars.
3. Electric Motors
Ever wonder where the electric car company Tesla got it’s name? Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor in 1888. The Tesla Roadster’s motor is a direct descendant of Nikola Tesla’s original invention. Tesla was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for that invention in 1975.
4. The Radio
Tesla’s invention of the radio was hotly debated in in early 20th century. Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have invented the radio, but he actually used technology that Tesla patented to make his first radio transmission in 1901. After much debate, the U.S. Supreme court eventually ruled in Tesla’s favor, recognizing him as the radio’s inventor in 1943. Unfortunately, this occurred months after Tesla’s death.
5. Neon Lighting