If Tesla’s life were a movie, these would be the “montage years”–five years edited down into a few minutes (probably with melancholy music playing underneath) showing us that things didn’t work out for our hero for a long time until his big break came at the end of Act 1.
Tesla goes on the lamb not once but twice, with a bit of schooling and a bit of gambling and at least one brush with death keeping him busy in between.
This week, we’ll cover Tesla’s schooling from the time he first enrolled in primary school, right up until he heads off for engineering school in the late 1870s. It’s a major turning point in Tesla’s life, and it makes sense to break there until next time.
Nikola Tesla was born at the stroke of midnight between July 9 and 10, 1856. In this episode, we’ll learn about Tesla’s childhood years on the rural frontier of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and how early tragedy and a contentious relationship with his father would shape the rest of his life and give him the abilities he needed to make later breakthrough innovations in electricity.
This is a story of America in the late 19th Century—the Gilded Age. It’s a story of New York City before the automobile. It’s a story of robber barons, of industry, and of inventions that would change the world. And it’s the story of one man—one inventor—in particular: Nikola Tesla.
In this 000 episode, I’ll introduce myself, my plans for the podcast, and just what you can expect from this on-going look at the life, inventions, and legacy of Nikola Tesla. And we’ll do our best over the course of this series to separate the man and his incredible real life from the myths that have sprung up about him.