Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Articles

Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Tesla Says

April 30th, 1899

"Wireless telegraphy is a system of flashing signals by means of a light that is invisible, similar to the X-rays. Circles of this unseen, mysterious light may be sped instantly to any distance, even to Mars and Jupiter. If receiving terminals could be erected there the message could be intelligently and faithfully transmitted.

"To flash 2,000 or 3,000 words per minute to any part of the earth by the highly sensitized terminals I have perfected will be a common thing. It is nothing. It is inevitable. Distance no longer intimidates the electrician. I have demonstrated this week that messages may be sent with equal facility through the earth as by induction through the air. Neither distance nor the density of intervening objects will affect the speed or accuracy of the transmission of messages.

---Nikola Tesla, the Distinguished Electrician, to the Journal.

Tesla's Wireless Telegraph Oscillator, Which He Proposes to Install on Balloons at New York and London and Telegraph Across the Ocean Without Cables

There were two great developments in wireless telegraphy last week.

On Tuesday Marconi, the young Italian inventor, whose exploits in telegraphing so successfully between England and France across the English Channel had excited world-wide interest, admitted that the limit of his system had been reached.

Experiments made on the French dispatch boat Ibis that day had shown that the distances that could be covered by his system were limited to the height of poles that could be set up as terminals.

This would seem to show that Marconi's system is available only for short distances in signalling between ships and shore.

Before the cable had brought this discouraging news of an invention that so much has been expected from in the way of talking across oceans and continents without wires, Nikola Tesla perfected a discovery that he claims overcomes all the defects of the Marconi system.

By his new device he says he can start electrical waves that will travel across the ocean and completely around the world and bear messages with the swiftness of light.

To do this he will use instruments so similar to the ordinary telegraphic senders and receivers that the average person could not tell the difference between them.

The way he will make or start the electric waves to do this will be by means of his powerful oscillator, which the Journal has described several times in the past.

This is a great, round Instrument, into which an ordinary current of electricity is turned from any dynamo. The oscillator instantly transforms it by a series of coils into an electro-motive force, vibrating at the rate of two to four million times a second. This starts electric waves through the air and earth, which vibrate almost as fast as the waves that produce light, and travel with the same speed.

But they are more like X rays than ordinary light, for they pass through dense things, like earth, stone and water, as easily as through the air and ether of space.

Mr. Nikola Tesla, who next to Thomas Edison is the foremost electrician in America, made this discovery six years ago. He has been at work perfecting it ever since. To make this of use in wireless telegraphy, one thing was needed. Last Tuesday Mr. Tesla exclaimed triumphantly that he had supplied the last link necessary for this purpose.

Nothing, Mr. Tesla says, can now obstruct or divert messages sent by this marvelous device. Words in incredible rapidity will be flashed across the broadest oceans and the widest continents. In fact, there is, according to the statements of the celebrated electrician, nothing to prevent the transmission of messages directly through the earth.

The construction of the wireless system is so simple and will be so inexpensive, that commercial firms and the great newspapers will have their own exclusive cable service.

"The people of New York," says Mr. Tesla, "can have their private wireless communication with friends and acquaintances in various parts of the globe.

"It will be no greater wonder to have a cable tower on your roof than it is now to have a telephone in your house.

"You will be able to send a 2,000-word dispatch from New. York to London, Paris, Vienna, Constantinople, Bombay, Singapore, Tokyo or Manila in less time than it takes now to ring up 'central.'

From a tower in Manila to a tower in New York City a message by wireless telegraphy could be sent at no expense at all, in comparison with present cable rates, and without the danger of a moment's delay."

At his laboratory in East Houston street, surrounded by wires and motors and generators, Nikola Tesla was found yesterday by a representative of the Sunday Journal. The inventor was deep in the evolution of his great project.

"In 1893," said the inventor,, "I predicted that messages would be sent throughout the world without wires. In an address delivered before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, in February of that year, I said a few words on this subject which even then constantly filled my thoughts. It was not a new idea - this wireless communication by signals. These demonstrations to-day in Europe by Marconi and others, and these triumphs in my laboratory had their crude genesis in the signal systems in vogue as early as the middle ages.

"Wireless telegraphy, to speak in unscientific terms, is a system of flashing signals, but by means of a light that is invisible, similar to the X rays. Circles of this unseen, mysterious light may be sped instantly to any distance - even to Mars and Jupiter, and if receiving terminals could be erected there, the message could be intelligently and faithfully transmitted.

"To flash 2,000 or 3,000 words per minute to any part of the earth by the highly sensitized terminals I have perfected will be a common thing. It is nothing. It is inevitable. Distance no longer intimidates the electrician. I have demonstrated, this week, that messages may be sent with equal facility through the earth as by induction through the air. The delicate and sensitive receiving device registers accurately every vibration of the transmitter. Neither distance or the density of intervening objects will affect the speed or accuracy of the transmission of messages. "Accuracy and the avoidance of delay is secured by adjusting the receiving and transmitting contrivance to a common electric multiple. Then only the receiver pre-arranged and pre-adjusted, will record the message intended for it.

"By an understanding between operators in distant parts of the planet, code cipher messages will be sent with accuracy and with far greater speed than at present.

"Understand that I am not using scientific language. People generally misunderstand the system of wireless telegraphy, and I use ordinary expressions to make my meaning clear."

In more technical terms Mr. Tesla explained his rapid transmission of words by wireless telegraphy, and told how it could be put in operation between New York and London.

Two terminal stations should be established - one at New York and one at London. These may be captive balloons held by cables sent up to a height of 5,000 feet. This is necessary to reach the upper strata of rarified air through which electric waves travel most easily. These balloon cables may be anchored to steel towers. Just below each balloon should hang a disk of large surface. The oscillators should be placed at the top of the towers.

When the electrical movement is set up in the oscillator on the towers, the current will rush upward to the terminal disk under the balloons, where it will flash out starting vibrations that travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Currents will also flow downward from the towers into the earth by ground wires to start similar vibrators to those in the upper air.

These electrical disturbances or vibrators, according to the systems being perfected by European electricians, diminish with distance, and the distance at which the effect will be perceptible will depend on the quantity of electricity set in motion.

"Not so with my system," says Mr. Tesla. "At least, not appreciably so. One horse-power will operate a current between New York and London. In 1890 a French scientist combined metallic dust that would register electric waves. This is  by all the other experimenters In wireless telegraphy. My discovery is infinitely more sensitive and receptive. That is the secret I am not quite ready to exploit, as I shall first patent it.

"In 1893, as I have already said, I declared it was certainly practicable to impress an electric vibration, at least of a certain low period, upon the earth, by means of proper machinery. At which distance such a vibration might be made perceptible I then could only conjecture, but I said then that I believed it could not require a great amount of energy to produce a disturbance perceptible at a great distance, or even all over the surface of the globe.

"We have progressed much since then, and these prophecies considered six years ago to be vain dreams are now becoming realities.

Mr. Tesla then said that the basic principle of wireless telegraphy given out by himself six years ago without being patented now makes it a free field for inventors and capitalists to enter.

"What effect will the general establishing of wireless telegraph stations throughout the world have?" Mr. Tesla was asked:

"The effect will be as pronounced, if not more so, than that produced by the introduction of ordinary telegraphy. We see now that time and space have been annihilated on this globe but they have not been. They have been somewhat overcome. The complexity of transmission, the scarcity of wires in times of great happenings, congests the system. The tolls are excessive, absolutely prohibitive to millions of people. Under the system I have perfected companies will be able to send a message from New York to San Francisco, or London, or even to far points like Zanzibar and Cape Town, for little more than we now pay for letter postage."

The introduction of wireless telegraphy on the scale contemplated by Mr. Tesla will be a great boon to the struggling country paper, but it will rob the big metropolitan papers of the glory of their fabulous cable bills. When it requires only the salary of two telegraph operators to secure news from central Siberia or northern China or from the remotest frontiers of all the earth, and when these far-sent messages flash into the office at the rate of 2,000 or 3,000 words per minute, the day of displaying achievements by cable shall have passed.

One operator in a tower above the Journal office could, in a few minutes, call up the principal cities of the world and learn of the day's doings of the race. To get news from Europe would be less of an undertaking than it is now to get a story by telephone from Bensonhurst.

Mr. Tesla thinks that many newspapers will enlarge their business under this system by furnishing news tickers to be placed in the towers of private houses. A family could thus read the Journal's telegraphic news and cables in brief as fast as them ticked into the telegraph editor's room. What a convenience in elections and times of wars in different parts of the world!

Already the common telegraph has done much to avert war making it possible for men to live in London, Paris, Berlin New York and operate in every commercial capital. It has made many kinds of business international that were former confined to a single nation or city.

"Every city, every empire, will be nothing more than suburb of the city in which you live;" said Its Inventor.

Mr. Tesla says he is now ready to put his wireless telegraphy system into operation between New York and London as soon as the practical details of the undertaking can be arranged.


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