TESLA: MASTER OF LIGHTNING
Directed by Robert Uth
Written by Robert Uth, Phylis Geller
Runtime 87 minutes
He was the greatest genius who ever lived, and most people know little or nothing about him. Nikola Tesla owned approximately 300 patents. Among his inventions: Alternating current, x-rays, radio, neon and fluorescent lights, speedometers, remote control, the electric motor, and wireless communication, which is also linked with limitless free energy. “Everywhere there is energy,” Tesla said. “We must find a way to avail ourselves of this energy.”
Born July 10, 1856 in what is now Croatia, Tesla immigrated to the US in 1884 with only four cents in his pocket. His inventions made crooks of industry billions of dollars. He gave the world light, yet died penniless and alone. “Money does not mean to me what it does to others,” he said. “All my money has been invested in inventions.”
This fascinating PBS documentary (with Tesla excellently voiced by Stacy Keach) details the inventor’s relationship with investors, would-be rivals, and a public stunned by a real-life wizard no one ever really knew or understood.
Upon arriving in the US, he started working for Thomas Edison. Edison’s method of direct electrical current seemed great until Tesla came along with an idea that would actually work. DC voltage can’t be regulated, and would have required a power station every half mile. Tesla’s alternating current, however, was a jet plane compared to Edison’s horse and buggy. In response, Edison reneged on his promise to pay Tesla $50,000 if he could improve his DC model, and then began an attack campaign against him.
While others were stealing Tesla’s work and finding ways to achieve personal financial advancement with it, he was working 18-hour days for the benefit of humanity. Literally. Marconi, for example, used seventeen of Tesla’s patents when he falsely claimed to have invented radio. Fifty years later, this wrong was officially overturned shortly before Tesla’s death, yet the public educational system does not reflect this fact.
Albert Einstein credited Nikola Tesla with being the smartest man in the world. As Tesla prophetically observed, “If we were to split the atom, instead of a blessing, it might be a disaster to mankind.”
He once attached an oscillating machine to a girder in his apartment building. As a result, other buildings nearby began to shake with what amounted to an artificially-induced earthquake which Tesla himself could not feel because he was at the epicenter. When police burst into his apartment, he smashed the device with a sledgehammer and said it was too bad that they had just missed an interesting experiment.
Furthermore, Tesla said that by finding the right frequency, he could literally split the planet in half. And that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. However, he also said, “I prefer to be remembered as the inventor who abolished war.”
He was nearly the inventor who gave us free, unlimited energy. And if J.P. Morgan hadn’t hidden Tesla’s research, we would probably have it by now. No wonder he’s not taught in schools.
Freely available on YouTube.
Stewart Kirby writes for