Google.com today put up a special logo depicting the Tesla coil created by Nikola Tesla. Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 and he passed away on January 7, 1943. Without going into the whole Tesla is greater than Edison debate, most people think we would not have had electricity as early as we did but for Tesla.
Without doubt, Tesla was a genius beyond compare. Serbian-American engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission and application of electric power. He invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology. Though he was famous and respected, he was never able to translate his copious inventions into long-term financial success like Edison.
Tesla held around 700 patents in 26 countries including the tesla coil, alternating currents, robots, spark plugs, electric arc lamp, devices for X-ray and the bladeless turbine. In 1943, the Supreme Court invalided Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi’s patents for the radio and radio equipment and giving credit to Tesla based on his patents that predated Marconi’s.
For more on the Tesla as overlooked genius (and Edison as douchebag), you can see the great graphic “Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived.”
But, see the rebuttal at: “Nikola Tesla Wasn’t God And Thomas Edison Wasn’t The Devil.”
If you want to learn more about Tesla, see: Tesla: Man Out of Time