Updated: Dec 31, 2018
Nikola Tesla is best known for inventing Alternating Current. However he worked on many inventions including a tower that wirelessly transmitted low voltage power and illuminated unplugged light bulbs within its radius. Many inventions were never successful, but contributed, often on a large scale, to other inventions.
He invented or contributed to:
Wireless transmissions and control
Radar, from air traffic control to the cavity-locating pen dentists have
X-Ray and MRI
Niagara Falls and hydroelectric power
Alternating Current which sends electricity further than DC and on less wire, saving us from power stations every few miles.
Hertzian wave-controlled logic gates which directly led to the transistor
Wireless power and wireless charging technology through induction
Induction motors like what power the Tesla Model S, trains, industrial machines, pumps, compressors, fans, dishwashers, and more
As a kid in Detroit I visited a mockup of Edison's famous Menlo Park lab, and inspired is an understatement. Later I'd visit the Wright Brothers garage at Kitty Hawk, where the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft flew.
Solving problems quickly became my passion. Anything I could take apart and repurpose, or combine with something, was in danger of my inexperience, screwdriver, and hammer.
How did I progress from basically destroying things to building and repairing intricate electronic devices? Reading. And google.
Books like Michael Jay Geier's How To Diagnose And Fix Everything Electronic.
Of course it helped that I started early, I wasn't even 10 when I got this from a Scholastic book fair at school.
Quite often I think of how heavily Tesla has influenced me. When I was 11 years old they put me in the newspaper for inventing a security device for the hearing impaired. It started as an electronics experiment, and turned into an invention. I wouldn't have been tinkering like that had it not been for him.
Many folks these days like Tesla and believe he's underrated, if not simply because school focuses on Edison and forgets Tesla. This is great because he's positively influenced all of our lives on a grand scale and deserves to be remembered for it.
Thank you Tesla, for devoting your life to the betterment of humankind.