Name "Nikola Tesla, Dreamer"
Publisher WORLD TODAY
Date
Author
Nikola Tesla, Dreamer_1
Nikola Tesla, Dreamer_2
Nikola Tesla, Dreamer_3
Nikola Tesla, Dreamer_4
Nikola Tesla, Dreamer_5

World Today Febuary 1912 Nikola Tesla, Dreamer His Three-Day Ship to Europe and His Scheme to Split the Earth ' By Allan L. Benson The man who lives ahead ol his age is called a dreamer. Such a man is Tesla. He predicted wireless telegraphy long before it came about, and he gave llie world the alternating currerit without which long-distance transmission of electric power would be impossible. Tesla is a man you will be glad to meet. llis dreams are fascinating even ik* LONE man dines nightly in the Rose Room at the Waldorf. For eighteen years, he has sat at the same table. 'I`he table, _ _which stands near the wall, is just large enough for two; but it is never set for two. It is never set for more than one-and that one is Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla is titty-nine years old. Where he keeps his years, no one knows. They are not in his face, for his face looks like forty. They are not in his hair, for his hair is black. If they are anywhere, they are in his eyes, for his eyes are sad. This lone man, who always dines across from a vacant place, has given to llie world a long series of wonderful inventions. 'l`esla’s system of electric power transmission is used by all the world, and he has a new turbine which, he says, could drive the laisilurzia across the Atlantic at the rate of fifty miles an hour. “That means less than three days to cross the Atlantic,” he continued, “upon the same coal supply that is now used. But I have a ship in mind that my turbine could put across the Atlantic in sixteen hours. “ But the world need not wait for the tifty- miles-an-hour ship. The turbine that can drive it is here. It is a simple matter of mathematics. The best type of reciprocat- ing enginefa (|\.l£\(l[`\l|)lC expansionéyields only SI per cent. of the energy that is con- tained in llie steam. The turbines that drive the Lusilti/ziti and the _llanrclania yield oz per cent, l\ly turbine yields oo per rent. This it is enabled to do because the steam goes around and around the spiral circuits, imparting energy all along its track, while in the old type of turbine, the steam goes around but once and, when it escapes, still contains much energy.” The superior efficiency that Tesla claims for his turbine is not sulhcient, of course, to bring the two»and-a~half day ship. Adding 60 per cent. to power does not add 60 per cent. to speed. The law of diminishing returns prevents that. But Tesla contends that his turbine can as well be driven by steam created by gas explosions, which give enormous pressures. 'l`his suggested internal combustion cn- gines and aeroplanes. “I will guarantee,” said Tesla, “to put my turbine into a Wright biplane aiul drive it zoo miles an hour. 'l`hat is to say; the turbine will furnish sulhcient power. Of course, no one could sit in a Wright hiplane going zoo miles an hour, I expect to de- velop a new type of ilying-machine that my turbine \vill drive at almost the speed of a bullet." The fact that 'l`esladreams of such speed is not, of course, conclusive proof that such speed will soon be attained, But it should be remembered that some of Tesla’s dreams have come true. I myself have seen a clipping from a New York newspaper bear~ ing date of ISQ_§, in wliicli Nikola Tesla said: “lf I cannot send a message to a ship`at sea, send it \Vlll\tt\Il wires, and make llie message understood to thoseaboard the ship, I am willing to lay my head on the block." No, he was not the first to semi such a message. 'l`hat istrue. L/lilI`C(lIli,ll\'C years later, sent the tirst such message. Ilut 'l`esla, years ltr-fore l\lareoni`s acliievenient, obtained ;\nierit'an patents upon a system of wireless telrgrapliy. While on t|n~ sulijt-rt of dreams, here is a 'l`t-sla ilreain that, so lar as l know, has never been etplaled liy'l`rsla,o|'liy any olliri' human being, since the world began. Every one knows thata note upon a violin will sometimes shatter a wineglass in the same room. Every one knows that a note |753

1766 'l`l1c \\'o1‘l-l):1y `1~ -s» in i \ , i / li ~\\.. vi "W \\ A G F... ,`_\_A i §c\__! l \ ' ';»,¢':$ , V all D ia . \/%)__\ » "L:L_ Vf- i f"'Tl_J i=f""'1" -- ji A - .yn .:- " Q ~ '_ \1\\qg§(\,|_ . ~ SH Ni ll!! P \ I I I || H “ I q v ' _._- . ».|x `; ‘ , , 1/ __ 'ff' fi :: frequency as (lie viliralions ul (lm glass. ln lln: ln';1in- ning, llw ;;l:|='< i»< |~\|»:\|nlin|; :nnl L`Ullll'lll`lllI]_{ only \\'ill\in inlini\cSim:1lly small limits. llul cncli time tlint [lic glass In-gins to fr;1- lion prozluccfl by Llic violin gives it :i lilllc |lll5ll. After tlnv\1,<:1|\ns=l\r'S\, Llic cxpzmsivni and unilrnclimi ol the ;;lnl`lll<`l|>ll' 1-mln>:lic1';|li¢»|1s `g»' _ cnulfl lu' :\ll<~|'<~ml :ll \\'i|l, lla- sul / I _A ~w- rf* "M llw \'iln';|tnr l\vgul|\}1 unfllluvnlu~;;;u\lo { ' _‘; \;\x'y ilu* \ll)|'1lll<¥l]S fin' llic piirpnsu ul gclling; llic W' ` ' \iI>r;\lnr in “tum-" with the link. Puri zi lung '- ; lime, nolliing linppciicil-llic \'|l:rnl1u|\s i :L lly nn-:\n< 1| slcsl ln\il1li|\;: rfxulvl hr shallvrcd M n win:-~ glnss srimclimns is luy the note Dl 3 \'i<.~lin of :\ lilllv 1-lemlric \'ihr.|u»r. of the link :mil of thc mnclnnc (lid not cliuiicc In cnintirlc. llul :xl lust he got tlicm 111511-tl1cr_ llic ;_{rr:1t slccl link began to tremble, iiimwzisvvl ils li'v|nli|in;,; until il l1C it, but zi lusillade of laps, no une of wliicli \\‘Ulll(l have lizlrmerl 21 baby,

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Nikola Tesla, Dreamer 1767 Tesla was pleased. He had learned something. He wanted to learn more. Ile put his little vibrator in his coat pocket and \vcnt out to hunt a half-erected steel build- ing. Down in the \l\/all Street district, he found one-ten stories of steel framework without a brick or a stone laid around it. He clamped his vibrator to one of the beams, and fussed \vith the adjustment until he got it. “In a few minutes," he said, “ I could feel the beam trembling. Gradually, the trem- bling increased in intensity and extended throughout the whole great mass of steel. Finally, the structure began to creak and weave, and the steel-workers came to the ground panic-stricken, believing that there hadbeenanearthquake. Rumorsspreadthat the building wasahout to fall, and the police reserves \vere called out. Before anything serious happened, I took off the vibrator, put it in my pocket and went away. lint if I had kept on ten minutes more, 1 could have laid that building flat in the street. And, with the same vibrator, I could drop Brooklyn Bridge into the East River in less than an hour.” Now comes the “dream”-or whatever it is. Tesla says that he can split the earth in the same way-split it as a boy would split an a,pple~and forever end the career of man. This seems like quite a large order-hut see what he says about it. “The vibrations of the earth,” said he, "have a periodicity of approximately one hour and forty-nine minutes, That is to say, if I strike the earth this instant, a wave of contraction goes through it that will come back in one hour and forty-nine minutes in the form of expansion. As a matter of fact, the earth, like everything else, is in a con- stant state of vibration. It is constantly contracting and expanding. "Now, suppose that at the precise mo- ment when it beginsto contract, I explode a ton of dynamite. That accelerates the contraction and, in one hour and forty-nine minutes, there comes an equally accelerated wave of expansion. When the wave of ex- pansion chhs, suppose I explode another ton of dynamite, thus further increasing the wave of contraction. And, suppose this performance he repeated, time after time. Is there any doubt as to what would happen? There is no doubt in my mind. 'l`he earth would be split in two, For the first time in mun’s history, he has the knowledge \vith which he may interfere with cosmic proc- esscs." I asked Tesla how long he thought it would take him to split the earth in t\vo. Ile said he diiln’t kno\v. Monllis might be required; perhaps at year or two. “But in a few weeks,” he said, “I eould set the e:trth’s crust into such a state of vi- bration that it would rise and fallhundreds of feet, throwing rivers out of their beds, wrecking buildings, and practically destroy- ing civilization. "'l`he principle cannot fail. It is as pow- erful \Vll{‘l\1t|)|)llCtl tntllc earth as it is when applied to a wineglass, a swing, or at steel link. Any one who doubts should only bear in mind the illustration of the swing, A small boy, by each time adding at pound to the force with which a zoo-pound man swings, can soon set the man swinging with thc force of goo pounds. lt is necessary only to keep adding a little force nt tl\e right time.” There may be flaws in this theory. Others may see them. I don’t. I know that some steamship companies proceed upon this theory-reversing its application, by the way~to keep their steamships in a relative state of equilibrium. Steamships sometimes roll more violently than the ocean rolls, merely because their move- ments become attuned to the movements of the waves. This is otlset by a system of interior water-tanks, back and forth through which water is forced out of tune \vith the waves, thus neutralizing them. The theory works aboard :\ ship. And the possibility that it might work if applied to the earth is sullicient. to stimulate the imagination,_even if the improbnbility of its application be sulhcientto allay one's fears.