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1.23.2012

Tesla Power Tower

Between 1901 to 1971 there was the Wardenclyffe Tower. This tower was also called the Tesla Tower too. The tower was a wireless telecommunications tower that was in the early stages. It was designed and created by Nikola Telsa. It was originally intended to be used for commercial use, specifically the trans-Atlantic wireless need. It would be used for telephony, broadcasting and to show how no wires were needed for transmission of power. The original facility was never completed due to financial problems and it never became completely operational either. James S. Warden had the tower named after him. He was a banker and lawyer that has originally purchased the land. He was in Shoreham, Long Island when the purchase was originally made and it was around 60 miles from Manhattan at the time. At that time her built the Wardenclyffe On Sound resort community and he thought that if he used Tesla's invention of a world system, that the area would become a Radio City. To make this happen he offered tesla 200 acres land to use that was close to the railway line at the time. Tesla than would be able to build the telecommunications tower and the laboratory facility that would be needed to. By 1905, there were construction workers that came from the village of Shoreham in New York state. They worked to create the structure that would be the tower. It took years to assemble the framework and wiring alone for the tower. The Wardenclyffe Tower was 187 feet tall and there were many budget problems at the time. There were also problems with the engineering too. During this construction, it was Nikola Tesla, the designer and engineer that created the tower that over saw the project. The top of the tower had a fifty five ton dome that was made of conductive metals and underneath this there was an iron root system that was dug 300 feet into the ground. He felt that it needed to be dug so far down so that his tower would be fully gripped to the Earth. Even though it still had not been completed, it was said to have been tested multiple time and that the results were pleasing. Initially it was thought this structure would change the world as we knew it at that time. Tesla's other inventions had already made an impact on the world a few different times. Specifically when he created the alternating current technology. He had also become famous when he was able to prove that his alternating current was better, more practical and safer than Edison's original direct current that was used. The inventions and technology that he came up with was beginning to develop the world's electrical infrastructure. In the 1900's he was considered one of America's greatest electrical engineers ever. His reputation for innovation continued with such inventions as the Tesla coil, the radio transmitter and the fluorescent lamps too. Prior to this, Tesla had given a lecture to the American Institute of Electrical Engineers in New York City in 1891. He was able to give a demonstration of his early version of the fluorescent bulb. He held a gas discharge tube in each hand and they were not connected by any wires. however he was able to show how they glowed during this demonstration. He was able to show how the electricity was being transmitted through the air by metal sheets that were on either side of the stage. He felt that this power could be increased by increasing the scale of the size. So that wireless power could be transmitted over a large area, even the entire Earth. Though the audience was interested, they were confused too. He continued to figure out electromagnetism at his laboratory in Pike's Peak Colorado Springs. He was making equipment so that he could produce lightening scale electrical discharges that would help him to prove his theories on using conductivity of the Earth and sky to produce energy. There was a 142 foot mast that was attached to his laboratory that had a copper sphere on the tip. This tower had a great amount of wiring that was routed through the large and high voltage Tesla coil that was placed in the laboratory below it. The first night that he tried his invention there was a test charge that created a bright blue light and hum from the area. At this point Tesla had told his assistant to go ahead and fully electrify the tower. It is said that over Colorado in the night sky there was lightening that was man made. That there were electrical bolts that covered hundreds of feet above the tower and arched over head. There was a blue color that covered the equipment being used. In a short amount of time, there were millions of blue volts in the air and than it added as quickly as it started as the power failed. Every home in the area lost power as the generators from the power company collapsed due to the amount of strain that had been put on them. However, what Tesla realized was that the Earth could be used as an electrical conductor itself and that the ionosphere could be used for conductivity as well. He did further tests that lite up light bulbs from far away and these experiments confirmed that his belief in wireless power and electricity was possible. By 1900 J.P. Morgan had read about Tesla's inventions and convictions in an article by Century Magazine. He had read how Tesla believed in a global network of high voltage towers that would be able to control the weather, relay text messages and images too and all through wireless technology. J.P. Morgan was hoping to capitalize on this wireless technology and immediately invested $150,000 to help move Tesla's lab to Long Island instead. The lab would be moved to create a pilot plan for the World Wireless System. After this is when the Wardenclyffe Tower began to be built and the facility to house it. In 1901, a few months after the tower was had begun construction, another scientist named Guglielmo Macroni was able to accomplish the first trans-Atlantic wireless telegraph. The investor's of Tesla's were very upset by this, even though the other scientist had to use 17 of Tesla's patents to make this happen. His scale was much smaller than Tesla's, however his cost was lower too. The tower continued to be under construction, but Tesla had already realized that this small accomplishment by another scientist had already diminished his chances of additional investors in his larger scale project. However, Tesla was not derailed from his ambitions and in 1908 described what his ambitions were in an article by the Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony magazine. He felt that once the tower was completed that business man that were in New York would be able to send messages to their offices in London and have them appear instantly. He saw these men being able to make calls from their desk and talk to anyone anywhere in the world without any additional charges needed with the equipment they already had. He went on to explain that a device that is no bigger than a watch will be able to allow the user to hear anything anywhere whether they are at sea or on land and it will be words, music and songs too. Furthermore, he explained that images, pictures, characters, drawings and printed word will also be transmitted too and that millions of these instruments will be able to be used from one single plant of area. There will be power without wires he felt and this was more important than anything else. The Tesla tower was going to be a power grid that would pump the plant full of electricity. This electricity would than mix with the telluric currents that are already moving through the Earth's crust and the oceans too. The towers would than fling raw energy into the sky and into the electrical friendly ionosphere that was fifty miles up. So that people could use this energy, there would be conduit buried in the ground to make the connection and there would be an antenna on the roof to create a low resistant path to create the circuit between the Earth and the ionosphere. Antennas would placed on ships too to draw on this power even when at sea. The currents would be able to carry electricity, as well as information over large distances by adding into the radio frequencies that were already there. Similar to how now there is data sent over high speed internet power lines. Though Tesla had all the supporting data to back up his claims, the building of the power station, the tower and the fifty five ton conductive dome depleted all the investment money very quickly. There was from that point of constant shortages in funding to complete the project. Than to make matters worse, the stock market crash happened in 1901 which than doubled the cost of building materials, as well as investor's working for financial cover from everything that happened and not looking to invest any longer. Although the tower had been tested numerous times during the construction and the results were favorable every time, the project soon had used all funding and went through Tesla's personal savings account too. There were no new investors coming forward and by 1905 all financial options had been used and the project was abandoned. If the tower had been completed than it would have only been the first of many. These towers would have been seen everywhere, in every state and city too, as well as all around the world. There would have been electricity that was free and everywhere on the planet, as well as offering wireless communication too by 1920. However, since it never came about, it sat vacant for a decade and than was demolished in 1917 to be used for salvage. When the tower fell, Tesla became very depressed and went into financial distress too. Over the years colleagues began doubting his mental stability and he became even more eccentric too. He was more exaggerated than before and he began bringing home injured pigeons that he found at the park that he loved visit and frequent. To add to his problems he developed a fear of germs which made him wash his hands compulsively and refuse to eat anything that had not been disinfected by boiling it. However, his mind was still coming up with inventions and innovations and even in 1917 he talked about radar technology too 20 years before it became a reality. In 1928 though he was 72 and he filed his last patent for the light weight flying machine that is actually the predecessor to the tilt rotor Vertical Short Takeoff and Landing plane or VSTOL. These are also known as the V-22 Osprey. He died in 1943 from a heart attack alone in a hotel room. He had kept many diaries and notebooks on his experiments, but these were all very vague and had very few actual technical details added to them. He used his photographic memory instead and so all this knowledge was lost when he passed away. However, through additional investigations and calculations, it has been proven that Tesla's thoughts on wireless electricity is feasible and would actually be a feasible alternative to the extensive and costly grid power lines that are used today. Had the tower been completed it very well could have completely altered the course of technology and electricity as we know it today. ​

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