I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success....Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
Nikola Tesla Quotes - Page 2
If I were ever assailed by doubt of ultimate success I would dismiss it by remembering the words of that great philosopher, Lord Kelvin, who after witnessing some of my experiments said to me with tears in his eyes: 'I am sure you will do it.'
I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers. Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts.
Now, I must tell you of a strange experience which bore fruit in my later life. We had a cold [snap] drier than even observed before. People walking in the snow left a luminous trail. [As I stroked] Mačak's back, [it became] a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks. My father remarked, this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see on the trees in a storm. My mother seemed alarmed. Stop playing with the cat, she said, he might start a fire. I was thinking abstractly. Is nature a cat? If so, who strokes its back? It can only be God, I concluded.
I cannot exaggerate the effect of this marvelous sight on my childish imagination. Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it.
No desire for material advantages has animated me in all this work, though I hope, for the sake of the continuance of my labors, that these will soon follow, naturally, as a compensation for valuable services rendered to science and industry.
One cannot help looking at that little bulb of Crookes with a feeling akin to awe, when he considers all that it has done for scientific progress - first, the magnificent wonderful achievements of Roentgen. Possibly, it may still contain a grateful Asmodeus, who will be let out of his narrow prison cell by a lucky student. At times it has seemed to me as though I myself heard a whispering voice, and I have searched eagerly among my dusty bulbs and bottles. I fear my imagination has deceived me, but there they are still, my dusty bulbs, and I am still listening hopefully.
It was the artist, too, who awakened that broad philanthropic spirit which, even in old ages, shone in the teachings of noble reformers and philosophers, that spirit which makes men in all departments and positions work not as much for any material benefit or compensation -- though reason may command this also -- but chiefly for the sake of success, for the pleasure there is in achieving it and for the good they might be able to do thereby to their fellow-men. Through his influence types of men are now pressing forward, impelled by a deep love for their study, men who are doing wonders in their respective branches, whose chief aim and enjoyment is the acquisition and spread of knowledge, men who look far above earthly things, whose banner is Excelsior! Gentlemen, let us honor the artist; let us thank him, let us drink his health!
We are whirling through endless space, with and inconceivable speed, all around everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere there is energy. There must be some way of availing ourselves of this energy more directly. Then, with the light obtained from the medium, with the power derived from it, with every form of energy obtained without effort, from the store forever inexhaustible, humanity will advance with giant strides. The mere contemplation of these magnificent possibilities expand our minds, strengthens our hopes and and fills our hearts with supreme delight.
More than 35 years ago, I undertook the production of these phenomena (of lightning) and, in 1899 I actually succeeded, using a generator of 2,000 horsepower, in obtaining discharges of 18,000,000 volts carrying currents of 1,200 amperes, which were of such power as to be audible at a distance of 13 miles. I also learned how to produce such lightnings as occur in Nature, and mastered all the technical difficulties in this connection. But I found that even in the small and comparatively negligible trigger work called for the employment of thousands of horsepower; and this is the great obstacle now in the way of this supreme accomplishment.
Suffice it to say that, were we to seize and to eliminate from our industrial world the results of Mr. Tesla's work, the wheels of industry would cease to turn, our electric cars and trains would stop, our towns would be dark, our mills would be dead and idle. Yea, so far reaching is this work, that it has become the warp and woof of industry... His name marks an epoch in the advance of electrical science. From that work has sprung a revolution in the electrical art.