Tesla's Childhood

A Wizard is Born

Roughly 4,290 miles from New York City, USA, a boy named Nikola Tesla was born. He entered a small town named Smiljan, in the region that we today call Croatia. It was a region that had seen its share of war and hardship, but the Tesla family loved life and survived with what God gave them. Father Tesla was a minister in the Greek-Orthodox Church; he loved his wife and had five children with her. Their son Nikola was the fourth.

Young Nikola grew close to his older brother, Dane, and together they lived as country children in all times and countries have. Nikola himself recorded many of their adventures in his autobiography, My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla . A favorite anecdote of many who are familiar with Tesla's life involves his "may bug propeller."

Tesla was a self-described inventor, who traced his profession back to an early age. His goal, then as always, was "to harness the energies of nature to the service of man." In this particular inventive instance, Tesla affixed bugs to a propeller and harnessed the "power" of their flight, small though it was. Tesla observed that the bugs were "remarkably efficient" because they never stopped buzzing about and he felt that the invention was a success. One qualification: "All went well until a strange boy came to the place." Any guesses as to what this strange boy did? Well if you guessed that he had an acquired taste for bugs and ate the source of Tesla'

s motive power, then you guessed right! One more observation from Tesla, concerning the intrusive bug eater: "That urchin ate May-bugs alive and enjoyed them as tho they were the finest blue-point oysters." Obviously, Tesla had a penchant for story-telling flare as well as a vivid memory. History is grateful for both of these qualities.

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Tesla vertical take-off plane 1928.

Tesla's electrokinetic and electrogravitic machine Air Ship Designs 1911

Have You Ever Heard of Nikola Tesla ?

Nikola Tesla

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