Nikola Tesla Timeline
Timeline Description: Nikola Tesla (born July 10, 1856) was an inventor and a skilled electrical engineer, mechanical engineer and physicist. During the early days of electricity, Tesla worked specifically on alternating current, or AC power. While he did not win the electrical race, he was a highly influential voice in the search for electricity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Date Event
July 10, 1856 Nikola Tesla Was Born

Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His parents were ethnic Serbians. His father was an Orthodox Priest, and he credited his mother for his inventiveness.
1875 Tesla Enrolled at Austrian Polytechnic

In 1875, Tesla began to study engineering at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz, Austria. He claimed to have graduated, but the institution disagrees.
1882 Worked for Continental Edison

In 1882, he went to work for Continental Edison in Paris. He was attempting to improve on electrical equipment sent from the United States.
1882 Identified Magnetic Induction Field Principle

Working independently, Tesla identified the rotating magnetic induction field principle. This is used today in alternators.
1884 Moved to United States

Tesla moved to the United States in 1884, immediately approaching Thomas Edison with a letter of introduction. According to Tesla, he was offered 50,000 dollars to solve a problem, but Edison never paid.
1885 Nikola Tesla Quit Working for Edison

After Edison refused to pay, Tesla quit working for Edison, with the plan and intention of starting his own electrical company.
1886 Began Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing

Tesla founded the Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company in Rahway, New Jersey. He invented and marketed an arc lamp; however, he earned relatively little off of his investment.
1887 War of Currents

The War of Currents began in 1887. Direct current, invented and supported by Edison, was in direct competition with Tesla's alternating current.
1891 Patented Tesla Coil

In 1891, Tesla patented the Tesla Coil. The Tesla Coil is a resonant transformer circuit that produced a high voltage, low current and high frequency alternating current electricity.
1891 Columbian Exhibition

With the support of the Westinghouse Company, Tesla's alternating current powered the World's Columbian Exhibition. Tesla had offered a lower cost electrical solution.
1901 Construction on Wardenclyffe Tower Began

In 1901, construction began on the Wardenclyffe Tower. Tesla believed that he could transmit electrical energy over long distances wirelessly, and the tower would illustrate that. The project was never fully completed.
August 4, 1915 Files Suit Against Guglielmo Marconi

On August 4, 1915, Tesla filed suit against Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi is typically credited with radio transmission; however, Tesla accomplished this before Marconi.
1934 Particle Beam Research

In 1934, the New York Times published Tesla's particle beam research. While he was not financially successful, he continued to be a relatively prominent voice in the scientific community.
January 7, 1943 Tesla Died

On January 7, 1943, as World War II raged, Nikola Tesla died in the hotel he made his home. Upon his death, the U.S. government immediately seized his papers and research.
1960 A Tesla Was Defined as a Unit of Measurement

In 1960, the scientific community recognized Tesla's achievements by defining a Tesla as a unit of measurement. A Tesla is a unit of magnetic field B.