Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tesla in Who's Who, Part Two

In my previous post, I followed the length of the entries of Nikola Tesla, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison in Marquis Who's Who, Editions I (1899) to XI (1920).

I have long been aware that Tesla was a prominent figure of the time, but was surprised to find that his entries were often nearly the length of Edison's and Bell's combined, and in the Seventh Edition, 1912, his was the second longest I could find for any American, just shorter than that of Theodore Roosevelt's.

This dominance did not last, and, as a foreshadow of his movement toward obscurity, in the 1920 edition his entry was shorter than that of Bell and Edison.

Here is a graph showing the changes over 21 years.
Word Count in Marquis Who's Who entry, 1899 to 1920
His lengthy entry in the Seventh Edition is copied below. Interestingly, it names his mother but not his father, includes information on Tesla's elementary education, continues through practical inventions then on to concepts such as "the art of Individualization," and includes a promo for a new mechanical principle (probably Tesla's bladeless turbine, a remarkable invention, although rather limited in its uses).

(Seventh Edition, page 2074)
TESLA, Nikola, electrician; b. Smiljan, Lika (border country of Austria-Hungary), 1857; s. of Greek clergyman and orator, and of Georgina Mandic, who was an inventor, as was her father; ed. 1 yr. at elementary sch., 4 yrs. at Lower Realschule, Gospic, Lika, and 3 yrs. at Higher Realschule, Carlstadt, Croatia, graduating 1873; student 4 yrs. at Polytechnic Sch., Gratz, in mathematics, physics and mechanics; afterward 2 yrs. in philos. studies at U. of Prague, Bohemia; (hon. M.A., Yale, 1894; LL.D., Columbia, 1894). Began practical career at Budapest, Hungary, 1881, where made his first elec. invention — a telephone repeater — and conceived idea of his rotating magnetic field; later engaged in various branches of engring, and manufacture. Since 1884 resident of U.S., becoming naturalized citizen. Author of numerous scientific papers and addresses. Inventor and discoverer: System of arc lighting, 1886; Tesla motor and system of alternating current power transmission (popularly known as 2-phase, 3-phase, multi-phase, poly-phase), 1888; system of elec. conversion and distribution by oscillatory discharges, 1889; generators of high frequency currents, and effects of these, 1890; transmission of energy through a single wire without return, 1891; Tesla coil, or transformer, 1891; investigations of high-frequency effects and phenomena, 1891-3; system of wireless transmission of intelligence, 1893; mech. oscillators and generators of elec. oscillations, 1894-5; researches and discoveries in radiations, material streams and emanations, 1896-8; high-potential magnifying transmitter, 1897; system of transmission of power without wires, 1897-1905; economic transmission of energy by refrigeration, 1898; art of "Telautomatics," 1898-9; burning of atmospheric nitrogen and production of other elec. effects of transcending intensities, 1899-1900; method and apparatus for magnifying feeble effects, 1901-2; art of Individualization, 1902-3; since 1903, chiefly engaged in development of his system of World Telegraphy and Telephony, and designing large plant for transmission of power without wires, to be erected at Niagara. His most important recent work is discovery of a new mech. principle, which he has embodied In a variety of machines, as reversible gas and team [sic] turbines, pumps, blowers, air compressors, water turbines, mech. transformers aud transmitters of power, hot-air engines, etc. This principle enables the production of prime movers capable of developing ten horsepower, or even more, for each pound of weight. By their application to aerial navigation, and the propulsion of vessels, high speeds are practicable. Home: Waldorf-Astoria. New York. Office: 202 Metropolitan Tower, New York. Laboratory: Shoreham, Long Island. (394 words)

A Predator's Game is available for pre-order through Amazon.

A Predator's Game, available March 30, 2016, Rook's Page Publishing.

Nikola Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my forthcoming thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016.

Back page blurb of A Predator's Game (advance copy, subject to change).

Manhattan, 1896.

When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.

Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, will be available from Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016. It features Nikola Tesla as detective.

His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at mdhillortiz@gmail.com.


Post a Comment