Inventor Nikola Tesla was born on this day in history, July 10, 1856, in what is now Croatia.
Tesla’s father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church, notes Encyclopedia Britannica.
His mother, while uneducated, was “highly intelligent.”
The younger Tesla took a keen interest in science at a young age. Around the age of six, he started to conduct experiments, according to the website for the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in New York.
Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla was born on this day in history, July 10, 1856. (Getty Images)
As a young adult, Tesla worked at the Budapest Telephone Exchange and at a job installing lights in Paris.
At both of these jobs, Tesla was able to invent improvements to existing technology.
In Budapest, Tesla “improved the equipment and developed an amplifier” — while in Paris, “Tesla made improvements to Edison’s dynamos and created an automatic regulator,” said the Tesla Science Center.
That same year, Tesla met Thomas Edison.
Edison “essentially hired Tesla on the spot” and put him to work on the electrical system of the ocean liner “Oregon,” the first ship with electric lighting.
“The set of dynamos that powered the ship were badly damaged and Edison was amazed to learn that Tesla had repaired him,” said Tesla Universe.
Among Tesla’s notable achievements are patents for the alternating-current dynamo, transformer, and motor, said Encyclopedia Britannica.
In 1891 — the same year he became a U.S. citizen — Tesla invented the “Tesla coil,” “an air-core transformer with primary and secondary coils tuned to resonate,” according to California State University, Long Beach.
“Tesla conceived it to be a means to transmit electrical power without wires,” said the same source.
A demonstration of a Tesla coil. Nikola Tesla, born on July 10, 1856, invented the Tesla coil, “an air-core transformer with primary and secondary coils tuned to resonate,” according to Cal State Long Beach. “Tesla conceived it to be a means to transmit electrical power without wires.” (Getty Images)
Eventually, Tesla would acquire nearly 300 patents throughout his life, said the Tesla Science Center.
In the modern era, the name Tesla is most commonly associated with a brand of electric cars.
Tesla, Inc. was founded as Tesla Motors in 2003 by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, notes Encyclopedia Britannica.
In 2010, the company went public.
Production of the Roadster ceased in 2012, said Encyclopedia Britannica, and the company changed its name to Tesla, Inc. in 2017.