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Nikola Tesla Predicted Cell Phones, 1901

Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) spoke to a pigeon and he said she replied. Who are we to argue? He also predicted cell phones in 1901.

The man spoke eight languages, had an eidetic (photographic) memory, an ability to visualize in 3D (if not 4D!), invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology as we know it today, created the Tesla Coil and paved the way to fluorescent light, neon, radio signals and X-rays — just to name a few of his accomplishments.

Yes, he was germ phobic, but that seems rational given that he had a near-fatal brush with cholera in his teens. He was said to hate  human hair, anything that was not divisible by three.

He also hated pearls and would send his secretary home for the day if she wore them. No one is certain where that phobia came from, but he loved dressing for success and frequently wore white gloves to dinner.

Nikola Tesla: A Child of The Light, Not Darkness

Tesla was born during a savage electrical storm around midnight, between July 9 and July 10, 1856. According to the Tesla family, their midwife was so terrified of the lightning, she predicted the baby would be a child of darkness. His mother disagreed, choosing instead to believe he would be a child of the light.

Fortunately, his mother was right. At the age of three, he became fascinated with electricity when it sparked light from the back of his pet cat during a storm.

Death Ray Guns and Mark Twain

Yes, he went on to innovate many ideas and machines including a few that might have verged on the dark side at times. Case in point: the “death ray” (a theoretical particle beam or electromagnetic weapon) and his “earthquake machine” (a high frequency oscillator) that once “scared the poop” out of Mark Twain.

Nikola Tesla: Sounds Crazy, Doesn’t It?

In 1901, Tesla described to J.P. Morgan, his then business partner, his vision for a new form of electronic communication in which bits of information, such as stock quotes and telegram messages, would be funneled to a central station where the bits would be encoded and assigned a frequency that would be broadcast to a “device.”   That device would fit in the palm of your hand.

The New York Times On Nikola Tesla

In an interview with the New York Times in 1909 Tesla said:

“The practical applications of the revolutionary principles of the wireless art have only begun. What will be accomplished in the future baffles one’s comprehension.”
“It will soon be possible, for instance, for a business man in New York to dictate instructions and have them appear in type in London or elsewhere. He will be able to call from his desk and talk with any telephone subscriber in the world. It will only be necessary to carry an inexpensive instrument no bigger than a watch, which will enable its bearer to hear anywhere on sea or land for distances of thousands of miles.”

Poetry: Collier’s Magazine Interview With Nikola Tesla 1926

In this article, Tesla made many more predictions including flying machines, wireless power and female superiority. His explanation of the wireless world was pure poetry.
“ When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony, we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles…”

Doesn’t this inspire you to have a nice chat with a flock of pigeons?  Maybe they know something we don’t. Tesla certainly did.
Racing Nellie Bly
Victorian Secrets From Footnotes In History

4 Responses

    1. Nikola Tesla is one of my favorite figures in history. If I could go back in time, he’d be one person I would want to meet. We have posted a few other articles under WEIRD SCIENCE. One on the Columbian Exposition Electricity, Nikola Tesla Papers Envisioned Renewable Energy and Astonishing Victorian Selfies.
      Thanks for visiting Racing Nellie Bly. Let us know if you have any stories you’d like us to explore.

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