This poster was making the rounds of my social media feed today. And like most of them, it’s a little true, a lot wrong and misleading. I wrote about Tesla memes previously: see here.
Tesla did not “invent electricity” – that is similar to saying that someone invented gravity. Nor did he “discover electricity”.
Tesla, in fact, licensed his patents to others, notably Westinghouse.
Tesla made millions (over a hundred years ago) but died poor because he made numerous bad investment decisions.
Tesla did invent something that the media called a “death ray” however it was not actually capable of anything like that. He did not destroy this invention – he actively patented it and promoted it.
Tesla made important and significant contributions to the development of X-ray technology and is credited with having made the first X-ray images in the U.S.
When you see “wireless transmissions” you may be thinking of radio signals but Tesla was thinking of transmitting energy using an electric field. If you do think that referred to “radio”, then it’s important to note that many people were involved in the development of radio communications. Tesla did make many important contributions in the late 19th century, particularly with regards to create oscillators for generation of LF and HF radio signals of the type we think of today. These were important contributions.
These types of social media posters are common – I am uncertain as to why people create them. They typically blend some facts with some fiction in order to build up the profile of an historical character. The posters regarding Tesla play off a portrayal of Tesla as a victim, and a genius who never made any money because he supposedly gave everything away (he didn’t give it away).
Text for Search Engines
Invents Electricity, tries to give it to the world for free.
Finds out someone is using one of his patents, “Let him use them. He is doing great work.”
Invents a Death Ray that could have handed world domination to whoever held it, destroys it
Invents everything from X-rays to Radar, to wireless transmission and electricity. Doesn’t care that he has got no credit for it.
Dies poor and alone except for the pigeons who he truly loved, forgives everyones ignorance.
This guy literally invented the Modern World way before and still we are not able to figure out how he invented. All he wanted was to make the world better., Salute to this man!