Nikola Tesla is one of those rare people who have marked their age and caused great changes in it, not only in the domain of the immediately applicable inventions, but also in the domain of new ideas and technology of the future. He is one of those people who have inspired many followers and fellow scientists. Nikola Tesla has left to us, for further study and research, not only the published materials, but also a large number of personal notes which are kept at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade. Even today, some of Tesla's ideas appear fresh and challenging. They are the secrets which, it appears to us, he has discovered but not completely explained, nor confirmed in practice.


1856-1880. Early life
1881-1885.College education and employment
1884-1886. America
1887. Induction motors
1888. Alternating currents patents
1888-1889. Cooperation with Westinghouse
1889-1891. High frequency currents
1892. Journey to Europe
1893-1894. Early experiments in radio technology
1895-1897. Fire and continuation of experiments in radio technology
1898-1901. Radio station
1908-1920. Machine engineering
1921-1943. ...

List of patents by grant date from Jim Biebrich's site

List of patents by alphabetical title order from Jim Biebrich's site


1856. On July 10, 1856, in the village of Smiljan in Lika, Yugoslavia, a son, Nikola Tesla, was born to Milutin Tesla, a priest of the Orthodox Church, and his wife Djuka.
1862-1866. Attends elementary school in Smiljan and Gospic.
1866-1870. Attends junior high school in Gospic.
1871-1874. Attends high school in Karlovac.
1875-1878. Attends Polytechnic School at Graz.
1877. In his second year at the Polytechnic School at Graz, at a lecture on electrical engineering given by professor Poeschl, Tesla witnessed a demonstration of a dynamo operating as a motor. It was then that Tesla, for the first time, had an idea of an alternating current motor, without commutators and brushes.
1879. Tesla's first job, as an assistant engineer in a technical firm in Maribor.1880. Tesla completes his education at the University of Prague.


1881-1882. Tesla, working as an engineer with the Central Telegraph Office in Budapest, invents a device for telephone sound amplification.
1882. In February, in Budapest, Tesla discovers a rotating magnetic field and the multiphase currents producing it.
1882. In the autumn of 1882, Tesla arrives in Paris and takes up a job with Continental Edison Company. He attracts attention with his improvements of Edison's dynamo-electric machines and his making of a voltage regulator.
1883-1884. On an assignment by Continental Edison Company, Tesla goes to Strassburg to help with the running-in of a new electric power plant, damaged in a trial run.
1883. In the summer of 1883, in Strassburg, Tesla constructs his first model of the induction motor.


1884-1885. Upon his arrival in the United States, Tesla becomes Edison's associate, offering him his diligence and abilities. However, he fails to get Edison interested in his induction motor and other inventions in the field of polyphase alternating currents so that, after a year, these two great men part company.
1885. In 1885, Tesla establishes his Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company in New York. He invents a system of direct current electric-arc lamps and generators with the third brush. He applies for and is issued the first seven patents for his inventions.
1886. Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company applies his electric-arc lamp patents for lighting the streets of NewYork and other cities.


1887. In April 1887, backed by a number of financiers and technicians, Tesla establishes Tesla Electric Company with an aim of implementing his inventions in the field of polyphase alternating currents. In the newly erected laboratory Tesla constructs his first polyphase induction motors and generators.

1887. In 1887, Tesla applies to the U. S. Patents Office for seven basic patents, as follows:
On October 12, for two patents covering his non synchronizing motor and electric transmission of power.
On November 30, for three patents covering the first polyphase non synchronizing motors with a short-circuited rotor and the rotor with windings, rings and brushes, as well as for electric energy transmission by means of this type of motors.
On December 23, for two patents, the last from this series, covering multiphase current transformers and their application in electric energy distribution.


1888. On April 10 and 23, 1888, Tesla applies for two important patents: electric transmission of power by means of three conductors, star and polygon windings, as well as the principle of the commutator by means of which a direct current generator, with slight changes in the windings, could be used for the production of multiphase currents.

1888-1891. Tesla applies for additional 26 patents for multiphase and single-phase currents, especially for single-phase induction motors.

1888. On May 16, 1888, Tesla delivers an invited lecture, "A new system of alternate current motors and transformers", before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in New York.


1888. In June 1888, George Westinghouse, the famous inventor and manufacturer, buys Tesla's patents for polyphase systems.

1888-1889. Tesla is in Pittsburgh, in Westinghouse's company as a consultant for the production of electrical machines made according to his patents.

1889. In the beginning of 1889, the first three-phase electric power plant erected in Westinghouse's company started operation supplying power for induction motors in some of the company shops.

1889. In 1889, for the first time since his coming to the United States, Tesla travels to Europe and visits the Paris World's Fair and his homeland.


1889-1890. In 1889 and 1890, Tesla constructs the first high voltage generators, with a frequency of up to 20,000 cps, thus discovering high frequency currents and their physiological and other effects.

1891. On February 21, 1891, Tesla publishes his article "Phenomena of alternate currents of very high frequency" in Electrical World, Vol. XVII, No. 8".

1891. On February 4, 1891, Tesla applies for a patent for the production of high frequency currents by means of a condenser discharge. 1891. On April 24, 1891, Tesla applies for a patent for a high frequency transformer.

1891. On May 20, 1891, Tesla gives his famous lecture "Experiments with alternate currents of very high frequency and their application to methods of artificial illumination" before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.


On February 3, 4, and 19, 1892, Tesla delivers a series of lectures in London, before the Association of Electrical Engineers and the Royal Society, and in Paris, before International Association of Electric Engineers and the French Society of Physicists, on the subject of "Experiments with alternate currents of high potential and high frequency". In these lectures, Tesla laid the foundations for his ideas of radio technology.

1892. Receiving the news of his mother's illness, Tesla cancels the lectures planned for March and April in some other large European cities and, for the second time since his coming to the States, visits his homeland. The death of his mother.

1892. May 1892, a visit to Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.


1893. On February 24 and March 1, 1893, Tesla gives lectures in Philadelphia before the Franklin Institute and in St. Louis before the National Electrical Light Association: "On light and other high frequency phenomena". In Philadelphia he presents a more detailed plan of wireless radio telegraphy, including antenna-earth link and resonating electric current circuits.

1893-1898. From 1893 to 1898, Tesla protects by patents his various discoveries in the field of high frequency currents, including a large number of oscillators with an ingenious device for extinguishing the sparks.

1894. In 1894, Tesla erects his first small radio station in his laboratory and begins his experiments in radio technology. At the same time, he builds his first radio-controlled automata.


1895. On March 13, 1895, fire destroys Tesla's laboratory with the radio station, the constructed automata, his first models of induction motors and other polyphase system devices as well as a valuable technical archive.

1896. In his new laboratory, Tesla continues with his experiments in radio technology.

1897. In the spring of 1897, near New York, Tesla erects a new and bigger radio station and sends radio signals over a distance of more than 40 km.

1897. On September 2, 1897, he applies for and is granted patents 654 576 and 649 621 for his basic plans for radio technology with a resonating electric current circuits.


1898. In the beginning of 1898, at a sea-coast near New York, Tesla conducts his famous experiment controlling, by radio, the movements of a boat model out on the sea from the distance of several kilometers.

1898. On July 1, 1898, Tesla is granted patent 613 809 for his discoveries underlying radio communication.

1899. In 1899, in Colorado, Tesla erects a big, 200 kW radio station and establishes wireless telegraphy at a distance of over 1000 km. He conducts successful experiments with wireless transmission of larger amounts of electric power. He achieves frequencies of up to 20 million volts and invents a special apparatus, the "magnifying" transmitter.

1900. In 1900, Tesla undertakes preparations for the construction of the World Telegraphy radio station.

1901-1905. The construction of the World Telegraphy radio-station on Long Island. 1901. Publication of the prospectus "World System".


1908. In February 1908, Tesla signs a contract with American and British Manufacturing Company and begins experiments with a new principle of power transmission from fluids and to fluids.

1908-1910. From 1908 to 1910, Tesla experiments with pumps, compressors, blowers and steam and gas turbines.

1913. In 1913, Tesla is granted two new patents for a turbine and a pump constructed on a new 1914-1918. Following the same principle, Tesla constructs his speed indicators, gets patents for them, sells them to Waltham Watch Company and achieves commercial success with them.

1917. Dismantling of the tower on Long Island.

1918-1920. Works with Allis Chalmers Company, a famous manufacturer of steam turbines, with an aim of making a commercial success of his own steam turbine.

1921-1925. From 1921 to 1925, Tesla works with the Budd Company and develops new types of automobile engines for them.

1928-1932. From 1928 to 1932, Tesla works on material processing technology.

1932-1937. From 1932 to 1937, Tesla works on the projects of telegeodynamics and death rays. 1937. In 1937, Tesla is hit and injured by a car during one of his regular walks along the streets of New York. Soon after that, he is down with pneumonia of which he never completely recovers.

1943. On January 7, 1943, in New York, Tesla dies.