Nikola Tesla’s plan to give free electricity to everyone (1896)

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Tesla holding a phosphor-coated wireless light bulb

Tesla's World-Wide Wireless Transmission of Electrical Signals 1919

Tesla’s worldwide wireless transmission of electrical signals, as well as light and power, is here illustrated in theory, analogy and realization. Tesla’s experiments with 100-foot discharges at potentials of millions of volts have demonstrated that the hertz warn are infinitesimal in effect and unrecoverable: the recoverable ground waves of tesla fly “Thru the earth.” Radio engineers are gradually beginning to see the light and that the laws of propagation laid down by Tesla over a quarter of a century ago form the real and true basis of all wireless transmission today. (1919)

Earth’s electric force

Nikola Tesla’s amazing plan to harness free currents

The world is on the eve of an astounding revelation. The conditions under which we exist will be changed. The end has come to telegraph and telephone monopolies with a crash. Incidentally, all the other monopolies that depend on power of any kind will come to a sudden stop. The earth’s currents of electricity are to be harnessed. Nature supplies them free of charge. The cost of power, of light and heat will be practically nothing.

The scientific electricians who have for years been trying to master the mystery of electrical earth currents with which the ground beneath your feet is filled, are on the threshold of success. The success of the experiments they have underway means much to them but vastly more to the people.

It means that if Nikola Tesla succeeds in harnessing the electrical earth currents and putting them to work for man there will be an end to oppressive extortionate monopolies in steam, telephones, telegraphs and the other commercial uses of electricity, and that the grasping millionaires who have for two decades milked the people’s purse with electrical fingers will have to relinquish their monopoly.

Nikola Tesla has discovered the secret of the electric earth currents of nature, and they will be adapted to the uses of man. He has succeeded in transmitting sound by the currents that make an electric net of the earth. The transmission of power will follow.

His experiments reduced to commercially practicable uses will mean that men will be able to tap the electric currents of the earth and make them serve the purpose of industry and of trade just as a well-digger taps water or a miner opens a vein of coal. The mighty electrical energy that has been stored up in the earth for ages will be harnessed and made to move the machinery of man.

Nikola Tesla quote: “The spread of civilization may be likened…”

Electricity will be as free as the air. For the privileges of its use legislatures will not have to be bribed or men corrupted at the polls, and public boards will not have to be “seen” to bestow exclusive franchises upon corporations organized to use public property for private gain, and make the people pay the original cost of their investment and excessive charges for service in order to squeeze dividends out of copiously watered shares.

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Monopolies for purveying steam power too will be forced to capitulate to free electricity, for with the latter, manufacturers will only have to connect their dynamos with the earth current to set their machinery in motion. The successful adaptation of Tesla’s discovery will administer a death-blow to the most galling slavery that has ever yoked the activities of men to the treadmill of monopoly. Tesla is the wizard who is going to emancipate modern industries from the shackles of corrupting, dividend-grabbing, monopolistic corporations.

Nikola Tesla with a lightbulb in his hand - Nikola Tesla's plan to give free electricity to everyone (1896)

Nikola Tesla’s plan to harness free electrical current

Sound travels with amazing speed, but electrical vibrations travel so swiftly that it is difficult to conjure up a figure which will graphically illustrate their speed. Here is one that will, perhaps, convey a vivid and lucid impression. In fancy place yourself at a table with a revolver in one hand and a finger of the other hand on the key of a telegraph instrument connected with a wire that girdles the globe seven times and laps over on the eighth turn a distance equal to 11,000 miles. Pull the trigger of the pistol and simultaneously press the telegraph key. While the sound of the report of the revolver is traveling 1,250 feet the electrical impulse imparted by the pressure on the key will pass seven and a half times around the world through the wire with which the key is connected.

Sound travels 1,250 feet a second, an electrical impulse 186,000 miles a second. If the electrical currents with which the earth is filled can be harnessed and put to work, a new era in electricity will have dawned. It is to the mastering of the mystery of these earth currents and their adaptation that scientists like Tesla have been striving.

In the course of Tesla’s experiments it is reported that he found in the vicinity of large cities there were so many conflicting earth currents that satisfactory results could not be obtained. So he went out to Denver, and near there found a better field for experimenting. There he met a friend interested in electrical research. They went to Pike’s Peak. Conspicuous among their baggage were two autoharps.

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Tesla and his friend scaled the rugged side of the peak. At an elevation agreed on they separated. Tesla skirted the peak, and on reaching a point precisely opposite the place at which he left his friend he stopped. The two experimenters, on a line drawn straight through the peak, were thus separated by four miles of stratified rock. The two autoharps had been delicately attuned before the scientists parted, and a time fixed for Mr. Tesla’s comrade to play an air (also agreed upon) on the autoharp.

Tesla waited patiently the arrival of the appointed time. Then he connected his harp with the ground in such a way as to secure harmonic resonance with the earth current. The manner and medium of this connection are secrets. The receiving autoharp was equipped with a microphone. As the time approached for his friend on the other side of the peak to strum the appointed tune Tesla listened with rapt attention.

At last, as the tuning fork responds to its harmonic note sounded on the strings of a piano, the autoharp in Mr Tesla’s hands gave out the harmonic tones of “Ben Bolt,” which his companion at the station four miles away straight through the peak was plucking from the tense wires of his instrument. The experiment was a success. After many tunes had been played, Tesla and his companion descended the peak. A statement of the facts and results of the experiments was written and attested before a notary public as a matter of scientific record.

The electrical currents are in the earth. Their strength is great enough to furnish all the power and light man needs. Mr Tesla has overcome the initial difficulty and has located and tapped the earth currents. The rest will follow, as followed the telephone Prof. Bell’s discovery of how to transmit speech over a wire.

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