Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the World

Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the World

1994, Biography  -   55 Comments
Ratings: 8.14/10 from 174 users.

Nikola Tesla: The Genius Who Lit the WorldThis is the documentary film about Nikola Tesla, the scientist and inventor, one of the greatest men in history. Nikola Tesla was born on July 10,1856 in Smiljan, Lika in what later became Yugoslavia. His father, Milutin Tesla was a Serbian orthodox priest and his mother Djuka Mandic was an inventor in her own right of household appliances. Tesla studied at the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria and the University of Prague. He began his career as an electrical engineer with a telephone company in Budapest in 1881.

Before going to America, Tesla joined Continental Edison Company in Paris where he designed dynamos. While in Strassbourg in 1883, he privately built a prototype of the induction motor and ran it successfully. Unable to interest anyone in Europe in promoting this radical device Tesla accepted an offer to work for Thomas Edison in New York.

Young Nikola Tesla came to the United States in 1884. Tesla will spend the next 59 years of his productive life living in New York. Tesla set about improving line of dynamos while working in Edison's lab in New Jersey. It was here that his divergence of opinion with Edison over direct current versus alternating current began. This disagreement climaxed in the Battle of Currents as Edison fought a losing battle to protect his investment in direct current equipment and facilities.

Direct current flows continuously in one direction; alternating current changes direction 50 or 60 times per second, and can be stepped up to very high voltage levels, minimizing power loss across great distances. The future belongs to the alternating current. Nikola Tesla developed polyphase alternating current system of generators, motors and transformers and held 40 basic U.S. patents on the system, which George Westinghouse bought, determined to supply America with Tesla system. In February 1882, Tesla discovered rotating magnetic field, a fundamental principle in physics and the basis of nearly all devices that use alternating current.

Tesla's A-C induction motor is widely used throughout the world in industry and household appliances. This motor started the industrial revolution at he turn of the century. Electricity today is generated, transmitted and converted to mechanical power by means of his inventions. Tesla's greatest achievement is his polyphase alternating current system, which is today lighting the entire globe.

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55 Comments / User Reviews

  1. R A Espiritu


  2. Bucur Felicia

    As I was growing in a professional meaning, I was fascinating about Tesla`s discoveries and misteries of his life! I hope to have the opportunity to visit Tesla`s Museum!

  3. mike

    I've been dreaming to have a baby boy and name him before Nikola, a little tribute to this genius man. the world owe him so much... I am a Filipino but I admired him so much for his great inventions and contributions to science-

  4. Random Bob

    It annoys me so much how little credit Tesla gets. He is not even taught about in school. Its criminal! Nearly all our modern technology is thanks to this man and yet where is the acknowledgement? He knew things more advanced than we have even today.. His work has been hidden away since he died too but the funny thing is I doubt whoever has access to them has a clue what they are looking at and I hope it stays that way.. I mean look what they did to his dream of free electricity.

  5. Ed Torres

    J.P. Morgan Chase huh? Where are we going to put the meters huh? Now there's a person that could not see past the dollar signs. Rather than open his eyes and see the endless possibilities which were within reach, he, instead; only saw money and shut Tesla down. We could have been so much more than we are today.... Damn you JP!! DAMN YOU FOR ETERNITY!!!

  6. yolo mcswaggins

    is there any information about who made this?

  7. nnn

    actually Tesla also had romanian roots :)

    1. Șerban Păun

      Actually, no. Document yourself!

  8. Sampan Chakraborty

    Tesla-the greatest mad genius of all time,but after reading his entire life I must say Tesla was not any ordinary human being where his ideas were even more far reaching those of Newton,Einstein or Pasteur.He was probably the god's own favorite son who was born to electrify the world and he just did it fighting against all sorts of discrimination and cruel fate.Since 19 year age he did not sleep more than two hours in a day.Tesla was highly influenced by a Bengali Hindu monk and one the greatest thinker of all time named Swami Vivekananda who said about Tesla"I know a man in America who hardly gets any time to come out of his lab but he hears my speech hour after hour".

    A life long bachelor,these man throughout his life tried to uplift the mankind and humanity and tried to surprised the world through one after one inventions...In my opinion we should worship Tesla instead of reading documentary on him.

    1. Nikola Tesla

      Do not worship Tesla; that is not what he sought. Instead, we should honor him by bringing his dreams to fruition.

    2. Sampan Chakraborty

      There are some other people who are equally admirable such as Newton or Leonardo who had similar isolated life style...remained life long bachelor but they did not make such big impact(in field of inventions) in our daily life.

      Talking about dreams it was indeed not possible to send power across the globe because when space gets large magnitude of power diminish.Don't know whether death ray beam particle is possible or not but it's true that it was Tesla who even tried to capture power from space at Colorado springs even before anybody could imagine it.

    3. Sampan Chakraborty

      one correction: Tesla said he has receive signal from Mars for which he was ridiculed but he may be the first person to detect radio waves from space.

      But now IEEE has given credit to Bengali polymath from Kolkata SIR J.C Bose for invention of wireless and first ever person to demonstrate experimental radio in 1894 and 95 respectively.

    4. tesla fan

      A lot of people told Tesla that the things he wanted to achieve and create were "not possible" and look at how far he got.

  9. Sydkidkid!!!

    well, he was a great inventer

  10. 56745324

    "During WW2, 40 of his relatives in Smiljan are killed by Croatian Nazi government with cold weapons. Survived relatives lives in Serbia.
    1991 Croatians destroyed and burn his house in Smiljan."

    1. Tesla couldn't have 40 relatives in Smiljan because his family originated from another village 30km south of it. What do those nazis have to do with "Croats in general" anyway? That was a quisling fascist state and a lot of Croats died fighting against it.

    2. Tesla's house was neither destroyed nor burned in the recent war. It stayed abandoned untill it was later renovated.

    These obvious attempts at stirring ethnic intolerance are ridiculous. Yes, Tesla was a Serb. Yes, he was born in Croatia. Yes, he supported the idea of "southslavism". His greatness owes nothing to any of these facts.

    1. silverpropeller

      There was only symbolical number of Croats fighting against Nazi 95 % fighters was Serbs from Croatia ,that was only way for survival for them,after ww2 was one million Serbs missing and almost no missing Croats,just watch documentaries how Croatian people throwing flowers on German solders and compare that with Serbian carpet bombed Belgrade. Talking about Teslas's 40 slotered relatives what is difference are they from Smiljan directly or 30 km away.Yes Tesla's house was burned by neonazi oficcial Croatian forces during 90-s

  11. Benny2001

    It is so sad,that a man of such vast importance to this world we live in,is overlooked by modern history and Edisson is heralded as the great hero of electical engineering!
    Edisson didnt invent the lightbulb either,a british scientist by the name of Swan did.

    1. Jellal

      Yes, it is a story as old as history itself. The greatest minds, the nicest people....are always screwed by the greedy and evil ones who get all the credit, glory and success.

  12. Gary Nelson

    The man that gave us knowledge beyond many of his time could not even comprehend.

  13. babablacksheep

    Tesla queried the validity of Einsteins theory of relativity... thus he is labeled as being anti-Semitic! The same m****s who throw around the anti-semitic noose are the ones who denied him the funding for the natural implementation of energy as a power source for all! Thus reducing dependence on crude oil and oil companies and thus eliminating the role the big banks play as financiers of new technology! Hence JP Morgan and his crowd must not be trusted to malign a legend!

  14. Oldrok

    There will be another! Man advances through adversity. One day, we will put greed aside and start to live as Tesla would have forseen. We are not all motivated by greed, although our governments seem to be at this time. Greed envoked slavery and now that is dissapearing ( It is not gone yet). We, who live as as a cohesive state, that is to say, people who wish to advance while not at the expense of others will prevail as will genius!

  15. Annie Kovaleva

    i don't think this is a worthy documentary about tesla. it's a rather dull account of a remarkable genius.

  16. jellybean8309

    Great tribute!...because of J P Morgan and others greed we have been denied many things!

  17. Northansence

    The Man Who Invented The 20th Century

  18. Clancy Bill

    "If anyone can draw on the power, where do we put the meter?" -JP Morgan.... Its such an outrage that people like that run our world and hold back free,clean, limitless energy for all because of greed....

  19. mikey

    intresting man, i thought he also invented cars that run on water among other inventions.

  20. Perry

    I didn't think it was possible, but somehow this documentary manages to suck all the awesome out of Tesla's life story. So completely dry and without even a hint of how amazing this man was.

    1. Don Metcalf

      It was done by aliens from a UFO.

  21. Cabdiqadar

    True genius and the Greatest Inventor of all time. He lit our world and enlightened all of us. Without his electrafication of our world by Telsa, science and industries would have never taken off, and little would have changed in our world.

  22. Cabdiqadar

    True genius and the Greatest Inventor of all time. He lit our world and enlightened all of us. Without his electrication of our world by Telsa, science and industries would have never taken off, and little would have changed in our world.

  23. mikbe

    Finding out someone as brilliant as Tesla is anti-Semitic is really disappointing. It's like discovering a person you admire punches kittens or drives a BMW.

    1. Lucas E. Scott

      antisemitic?? wtf

    2. sono6ovich

      The Palestinians are Semites, and so are most of the people in the middle east. I guess, therefore that the Jews must be antisemitic.

  24. Miguel N. Cabrera

    I read that Tesla never actually graduated from a university. If this fact is true then he learned enough mathematics and physics to burn new roads in the world of Electrical Engineering. Passion combined with Fundamental Knowledge can change this world and it's inhabitants. Nikola Tesla, this world needs you so badly, now !! If only you could return to help this world solve it's energy dependence on oil!!!!

  25. toddy

    Any one interested in Tesla this is a must see documentary for it shows some of his work in action

  26. Igor

    Serbs and Croats will forever dispute about which nation he belongs to but the truth is, Tesla was a citizen of the world, a supreme human and unlike any other person. He might as well been born in the Amazon jungle but it is of no relevance. Croats and Serbs who want to claim him as a thing to boost the national ego are fools, Tesla did not belong to anyone but everyone and all he ever did was in the name of discovery, progress and helping mankind.

    1. Davor Daga Dev?i?

      Tesla once said that he's proud of his serbian origin and croatian country. But, as You said, for such a planetar genius, that's irrelevant....

    2. silverpropeller

      Marco Polo was born in Korcula, today's Croatia,according to that stupid logic he is Croatian not Italian

    3. sono6ovich

      Italy did not exist as a country in Marco Polo's time and I rather doubt that Croatia did either. Modern historians have mislabelled this Korculan as Italian because both his names end in O, or because he was employed by Venetians. His original pre-yugoslavian was probably Mrc Pl.

  27. Jake

    Can only imagine if his wireless electric transmission system took off, how it might have induced all kinds of cancers and health problems as a result!

    1. sono6ovich

      Choose one: "had taken off," or "might induce"

  28. Malcom

    @Jokoono02/22/2010 at 17:11

    "He was born in Smiljan, Croatia, what was Croatia and is Croatia today and will always be Croatia. Republic of Croatia was a part of Yugoslavian federation."

    True. But, Tesla was a Serb.

  29. Simon

    Good doc, I think that Tesla advanced technology tenfold.

  30. Milan Golob

    Tesla evokes the vitality

  31. makisig

    A genius is a genius, no matter where he came from!

  32. Victor

    I visited Tesla`s museum during my last stay in Belgrade and saw the urn with his ash.It was strange feeling to be so close to such a great inventor.All those inventions,scripts,photos are amazing.Serbs are very proud of him,they consider him the greatest of all Serbs along with their saint Sava.He has relatives living in Belgrade today.

  33. Ivan

    Nikola Tesla is Serb who was born in Smiljan,today that is Croatia and then that was be Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

  34. Yavanna

    Umm yes that's what the doc said...

  35. Tesla

    He was genius but persecuted by Edison for his revolutionary ideas!

  36. Jokoono

    He was born in Smiljan, Croatia, what was Croatia and is Croatia today and will always be Croatia. Republic of Croatia was a part of Yugoslavian federation.

    1. silverpropeller

      During WW2, 40 of his relatives in Smiljan are killed by Croatian Nazi government with cold weapons. Survived relatives lives in Serbia.
      1991 Croatians destroyed and burn his house in Smiljan.

  37. Yavanna

    Nice doc.

  38. Charles B.

    Very good. The museum curator was a bit boring, bless his proud Yugoslovian heart!

  39. Ra


    1. Rocky Racoon

      Living a few miles from Niagara Falls, I have benefited greatly from this man's genius as have my country men in Canada who need a real wakeup call letting this 19th century tar sands project dictate our national policy on global warming.