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Courtesy of Tesla Collection. - http://teslacollection.com/



Principles and concepts of Telautomtics


Nikola Tesla:


"Long ago I conceived the idea of constructing an automaton which would mechanically represent me, and which would respond, as I do myself, but of course, in a much more primitive manner to external influences. Such an automaton evidently had to have motive power, organs for locomotion, directive organs and one or more sensitive organs so adapted as to be excited by external stimuli.... Whether the automaton be of flesh and bone, or of wood and steel, it mattered little, provided it could provide all the duties required of it like an intelligent being."


My telautomaton, for instance, opens up a new art which will sooner or later render large guns entirely useless, and will make impossible the building of large battleships, and will... compel the nations to come to an understanding for the maintenance of peace."




Tesla patent US613,809 - Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles -  Filed 1 July 1898, granted 8 Nov. 1898, describes the first device anywhere for wireless remote control. In September, 1898 he operated a three-foot model boat demonstrating both radio control and robotry in one incredible presentation before the public at Madison Square Garden in Ney York City, as part of the first annual Electrical Exhibition.


His working model or "telautomaton" responded to signals only of one frequency. This scaled down ship used a device called "coherer" as a sensitive device to recieve radio signals.



Incoming radio signals were just strong enough to rely the metal oxided granules (d) because of the presence of a magnetic field and they would draw together into a configuration where they could conduct electricity and trigger the motor or rudder. To reset the detector, a motor would flip the detector end-over-end like an hourglass. With a signal applied from a reception antenna, the powder grains suddenly "cohere" and the circuit is completed.


Many of his coherers utilized a small hammer-like device to tap the tube after each signal, breaking up the filings and increasing the resistance in preparation for the next signal. A number of ingenious mechanisms such as shakers were developed for decoherence.


The boat was powered by large batteries inside its hull. Only the instructions came by radio.


Near the bow and stern were two small metal tubes about a foot high surmounted by small electric lamps. The interior of the hull was packed with a radio receiving set and a variety of motor-driven mechanisms which put into effect the operating orders sent to the boat by wireless waves. There was a motor for propelling the boat and another motor for operating the servo-mechanism, or mechanical brain, that interpreted the orders coming from the wireless receiving set and translated them into mechanical motions, which included steering the boat in any direction, making it stop, start, go forward or backward, or light either lamp. The boat could thus be put through the most complicated maneuvers.


Gear-disk of electrical contacts
Gear-disk of electrical contacts


To preform numerous functions, Tesla had geared mechanism shift a disk with many sets of electrical contacts laid out on it. Each advance of the slit into place a different combination of connections for the operating state of rudder, motor and lighting. The operator had to be versed in the switching sequence, advancing the contact disk by the right number of transmission to control the craft's steering, propulsion and lighting.


Tesla did not limit his method to boats, but generalized the invention's potential to include vehicles of any sort and mechanisms acruated for any prupose. He envisioned one operator or several simultanously directing fifty or hundred vessels or machines through different tunned radio transmitters and recievers.


Illustration from patent US613,809 - Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles - November 8, 1898. Fig.9
Illustration from patent US613,809 - Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanism of Moving Vessels or Vehicles - November 8, 1898. Fig.9


Patent diagram showing Tesla’s radio-controlled boat and transmitter. S is a generator producing electromagnetic waves and is connected to an antenna. To its left is the control box.


Fig. 27. Large mechanical and electrical oscilator with four vibrating parts installed in the laboratory at 46 E. Houston Street, for furnishing isochronous currents of desired wave frequencies, phases and beats.
Fig. 27. Large mechanical and electrical oscilator with four vibrating parts installed in the laboratory at 46 E. Houston Street, for furnishing isochronous currents of desired wave frequencies, phases and beats.

Nikola Tesla on his work with alternating currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power: An Extended Interview - Leland I. Anderson, Editor

Immediately after the destruction of my laboratory by fire, the first thing I did was to design this oscilator (shown in fig. 27). I was still recognizing  the absolute necessity of producing isochronous oscilations, and I could not get it with the alternator, so I constructed this machine. That was all a very expensive piece of work. It comprised four engines. Those four engines were put in pairs and there was an isochronous controller in the center, and furthermore, that controller was so arranged that I could set two pairs of engines to any phase or produce any beat I desired. Usually I operated quarter phase ; this is, I generated currents of 90º displacement.

By the way, now, for a first time you see my apparatus om Houston street, which I used for obtaining oscillations, damped and undamped as well . But it was necessary to state that while others, who had been using my apparatus, but without my experience, have produced with it  damped oscillations, my oscillations were almost invariably continuous, or undamped, because my circuits were so designed that they have a very small damping factor. Even if I operated with very low frequencies, I allways obtained continuous, or undamped, waves for the reason that I designed my circuits as nonradiative circuits.

Figure 29. Small high frequency mechanical and electrical oscillator used in many investigations.
Figure 29. Small high frequency mechanical and electrical oscillator used in many investigations.


Nikola Tesla on his work with alternating currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power: An Extended Interview - Leland I. Anderson, Editor:


That oscillator (Fig. 29) was one of high frequency for isochronous work, and I used it in many ways. The machine, you see, comprised a magnetic frame. The energizing coil, which is removed, produced a strong magnetic field in this region. I calculated the dimensions of the field to make it as intense as possible. There was a powerful tongue of steel which carried a conductor at the extreme end. When it was vibrated, it generated oscillations in the wire. The tongue was so rigid that a special arrangement was provided for giving it a blow; then it would start, and the air pressure would keep it going. The vibrating mechanical system would fall into synchronism with the electrical, and I would get isochronous currents from it. That was a machine of high frequency that emitted a note about like a mosquito. It was something like 4,000 or 5,000. It gave a pitch nearly that of my alternator of the (first) type which I have described.


Of course this device was not intended for a big output, but simply to give me, when operating in connection with receiving circuits, isochronous currents. The excursions of the tongue were so small that one could not see it oscillate, but when the finger was pressed against it the vibration was felt.


In spite of this initial success Tesla was clearly not satisfied with his results. Further improvements included the development of techniques for obtaining frequency stability, selectivity, immunity to interference, and security of communications.

Nikola Tesla on his work with alternating currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power: An Extended Interview - Leland I. Anderson, Editor:


I want to say now why these machines were the means of obtaining the best results in the wireless work. The machine at the Houston Street laboratory with which I could obtain any difference of phase, as well as that machine at 35 Soth Fifth Avenue, were the means of running a motor in perfect isochronism. That is, if I connected a synchronous motor to these machines and drove it with currents of different phase, I obtained an absolutely uniform rotation, constant in time, and when I coupled this motor directly to an alternator, I obtained from the latter currents of absolutely constant frequency, all the more readily as I tuned the circuit of the alternator to the same frequency.

These machines described in the general way only. The work has covered years, and it would take a long time to explain all about them. They enabled me to operate in whatever I did with currents of constant frequency, and the small alternators in my experiments were driven in this way. While this work was going on, I was perfecting other ways of generating electric oscillations of absolutely constant frequency which were then not producible in that art.

It is a footnote to history that a portion of this work with high-power radio-frequency oscillators involved the first electronic implementation of the AND logic function. The resulting patents US723,188 - Method of Signaling - March 17, 1903 & US725,605 - System of Signaling - April 14, 1903 for wireless signaling cover logic gates in general and also describe the basic principles of frequency-hopping and frequency-division multiplexing in wireless spread spectrum telecommunications. See Wireless Remote Control and the Electronic Computer Logic Gate for an exhibit in the U.S. patent interference "Nikola Tesla vs. Reginald A. Fessenden, Interference No. 21,701, Systems of Signaling" showing a circuit diagram of an electronic AND logic gate used by Tesla in 1899. (Guided Weapons & Computer Technology).

While many of Tesla's innovations are embodied in our present apparatus for wireless telecommunications there are certain elements which have not been incorporated. In Tesla's own words:


"devices of this kind, to be most effective and efficient, should be designed with due regard to the physical properties of this planet and the electrical conditions obtaining on the same."

Experiments with Alternate Currents of High Potential and High Frequency- A lecture delivered before the IEE, London, February 1892


“But such cables will not be constructed, for ere long intelligence—transmitted without wires—will throb through the earth like a pulse through a living organism. The wonder is that, with the present state of knowledge and the experiences gained, no attempt is being made to disturb the electrostatic or magnetic condition of the earth, and transmit, if nothing else, intelligence.”


Tesla hoped for high-power transmission, which attracted him because, if feasible, this would have eliminated the need for cables to transmit electrical power. Although he suggested some techniques for this, and apparently believed that some kind of resonance could make this possible, his ideas were associated with doubts and controversy, and it seems likely that there was no realistic method for their success. He had no technique for generation of high power microwaves, which could have been transmitted in a focussed beam, and there does not seem to be any basis for supposing that the frequencies which he was able to generate could ever have been used in any point-to-point wireless power distribution system.


However, there is some recent speculative work on very low frequency oscillations which does hint at possibilities of remarkable phenomena involving resonance of the Earth’s structure.


Drawings from the U.S. AND-logic gate patent METHOD OF SIGNALING, No. 723,188 (improved type-one, C/S #1). Dr. Nikola Complete Patents, p. 409
Drawings from the U.S. AND-logic gate patent METHOD OF SIGNALING, No. 723,188 (improved type-one, C/S #1). Dr. Nikola Complete Patents, p. 409


Tesla understood immediately, from the construction of the first radio transmitter, that a confusing welter of signals would soon cover the world. Having studied Spencer’s work on nerve conduction, Tesla got the idea of combining frequencies to send complex information along separate secure channels. With this in mind he invented circuits that would respond only when a preselected set of frequencies were detected at the same time or in a specific sequence and for instance, say one only had ten wireless frequencies to work with. A sender, thereby, could feel assured that messages would be received only at their intended destinations and would remain identifiable against a noisy background of unrelated radio traffic. If we are talking about cell phones, this means that a manufacturer could only create ten separate channels and thus ten separate phones. However, if combinations of frequencies were used, the amount of potential channels would increase in geometric proportions: combining two frequencies would create 10 X 10 or one hundred channels, three frequencies, a thousand, and so on. This invention, which he patented in 1901, became the basis for protected privacy communication and radio guidance systems developed by his protégé John Hays Hammond Jr., who called the invention Tesla’s “prophetic genius patent.” By combining frequencies, Tesla had set the stage for the age of cell phones whereby a virtually unlimited number of individual wireless phone numbers could be set up.


His designs for "individualization" operate in the same way indeed they introduced the principle as logic gates in computer circuitry. And the idea of breaking up signals, moving them around in frequency or time, lies at the heart of present-day communications security.


But the telautomaton was more than this. Since the inventor could send a signal to the boat and the boat would respond, from Tesla’s point of view, he had created the first prototype of a thinking machine, the first of a new species on the planet, “not made out of flesh and bones, but rather of wire and steel.” Within the construction of Tesla’s telautomaton are such devices as the garage door opener, wireless car-lock system, cell phone technology, encryption devices, the TV remote, wireless communication, radar, artificial intelligence and robotics.



From Miessner's book "On the Early History of Radio Guidance", published in 1964:


"I [Miessner] am almost certain that the reader who reviewed the book for Van Nostrand was none other than Nikola Tesla. Since I was planning to include descriptions and drawings of his pioneering efforts in the field of automatic control, I had written to him, only to find that he was already well acquainted with my project. We exchanged three letters in all, the first in September 1915". (The originals of his letters are in the Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library.)


Tesla to Miessner, Sept. 29, 1915:


"Your favor of September 24th has been received in due course and has interested me in view of your forthcoming book on "Radio Dynamics". Some time ago my friend, Charles E. Speirs of the D. Van Nostrand Company, told me that you were engaged in its preparation and I commended it for publication as very little has been written on the subject".


"I am naturally greatly absorbed in this field of invention which has been barely touched and which I look upon as extremely promising. In an article in the Century Magazine, copy of which I am forwarding to you, I have related the circumstances which led me to develop the idea of a self-propelled automaton. My experiments were begun sometime in '92 and from that period, on, until '95, in my Laboratory at 35 South Fifth Avenue, I exhibited a number of contrivances and perfected plans for several complete telautomata. After the destruction of my Laboratory by fire in '95, there was an interruption in these labors which, however, were resumed in '96 in my new Laboratory at 46 East Houston Street where I made more striking demonstrations,




in many instances actually transmitting the whole motive energy to the devices instead of simply controlling the same from distance. In '97 I began the construction of a complete automaton in the form of a boat, which is described in my original patent specification 013,809. A copy of this, also, is being forwarded under separate cover. This application was written during that year but the filing was delayed until July of the following year, long before which date the machine had been often exhibited to visitors who never ceased to wonder at the performances. The drawings of this specification were made from this machine to scale. In that year I also constructed a larger boat which I exhibited, among other things, in Chicago during a lecture before the Commercial Club. In this lecture I treated the whole field broadly, not limiting myself to mechanisms controlled from distance but to machines possessed of their own intelligence. Since that time I have advanced greatly in the evolution of the invention and think that the time is not distant when I shall show an automaton which, left to itself, will act as though possessed of reason and without any wilful control from the outside. Whatever be the practical possibilities of such an achievement, it will mark the beginning of a new epoch in mechanics".


"I would call your attention to the fact that while my specification, above mentioned, shows the automatic mechanism as controlled through a simple tuned circuit, I have used individualized control; that is, one based on the co-operation of several circuits of different periods of vibration, a principle which I had already developed at that time and which was subsequently described in my patents #723,188 and 723,189 of March, 1903. The machine was in this form when I made demonstrations with it in 1898 before the Chief Examiner, Seeley, prior to the grant of my basic patent on Method of and Apparatus for Controlling Mechanisms at a Distance". (My italics.)


"In my experiments and investigations in Colorado from 1899 to 1900, I developed, among other things, two important discoveries which will be essential in the future development of telautomatics. They are described in my patents #685,953 and 119,732 which were taken out at a later date. These two advances make it possible to supply to an automaton great amounts of energy and also to control it with the utmost accuracy when it is entirely out of sight and at any distance".


Pioneer Radio Engineer Gives Views On Power - New York Herald Tribune - September 11, 1932:


"The chief object of employing very short waves is to provide an increased number of channels required to satisfy the ever-growing demand for wireless appliances. But this is only because the transmitting and receiving apparatus, as generally employed, is ill-conceived and not well adapted for selection. The transmitter generates several systems of waves, all of which, except one, are useless. As a consequence, only an infinitesimal amount of energy reaches the receiver and dependence is placed on extreme amplification, which can be easily affected by the use of the so-called three-electrode tubes. This invention has been credited to others, but as a matter of fact, it was brought out by me in 1892, the principle being described and illustrated in my lecture before the Franklin Institute and National Electric Light Association. In my original device I put around the incandescent filament a conducting member, which I called a "sieve." This device is connected to a wire leading outside of the bulb and serves to modify the stream of particles projected from the filament according to the charge imparted to it. In this manner a new kind of detector, rectifier and amplifier was provided. Many forms of tubes on this principle were constructed by me and various interesting effects obtained by their means shown to visitors in my laboratory from 1893 to 1899, when I undertook the erection of an experimental world-system wireless plant at Colorado Springs.


It should enable us to obtain many important results heretofore considered impossible".


Pioneer Radio Engineer Gives Views On Power - New York Herald Tribune - September 11, 1932:


"Since waves of this kind (Short Waves) are all the more penetrating, the shorter they are, I have urged the experts engaged in the commercial application of the wireless art to employ very short waves, but for a long time my suggestions were not heeded. Eventually, though, this was done, and gradually the wavelengths were reduced to but a few meters. Invariably it was found that these waves, just as those in the air, follow the curvature of the earth and bend around obstacles, a peculiarity exhibited to a much lesser degree by transverse vibrations in a solid. Recently, however, ultrashort waves have been experimented with and the fact that they also have the same property was hailed as a great discovery, offering the stupendous promise to make wireless transmission infinitely simpler and cheaper".


"As the general knowledge of this subject seems very limited, I may state, that even waves only one or two millimeters long, which I produced thirty-three years ago, provided that they carry sufficient energy, can be transmitted around the globe. This is not so much due to refraction and reflection as to the properties of a gaseous medium and certain peculiar action, which I shall explain some time in the future. At present it may be sufficient to call attention to an important fact in this connection, namely, that this bending of the beam projected from reflector does not affect in the least its behavior in other respects. As regards deflection in a horizontal plane, it acts just as though it were straight. To be explicit the horizontal deviations are comparatively slight. In a proposed ultrashort wave transmission, the vertical bending, far from being an advantage, is a serious drawback, as it increased greatly the liability of disturbances by obstacles at the earth's surface. The downward deflection always occurs, irrespective of wavelength, and also if the beam is thrown upward at an angle to the horizontal, and this tendency is, according to my finding, all the more pronounced the bigger the planet. On a body as large as the sun, it would be impossible to project a disturbance of this kind to any considerable distance except along the surface".



The following list is a selection of quotes related on the concepts and principles of telautomautomatics (comming soon):


Excerpt from "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" - The Century Magazine - June, 1900:


A machine having all the bodily or translatory movements and the operations of the interior mechanism controlled from a distance without wires. The crewless boat shown in the photograph contains its own motive power, propelling and steering machinery, and numerous other accessories, all of which are controlled by transmitting from a distance, without wires, electrical oscillations to a circuit carried by the boat and adjusted to respond only to these oscillations.


With these experiences it was only natural that, long ago, I conceived the idea of constructing an automaton which would mechanically represent me, and which would respond, as I do myself, but, of course, in a much more primitive manner, to external influences. Such an automaton evidently had to have motive power, organs for locomotion, directive organs, and one or more sensitive organs so adapted as to be excited by external stimuli. This machine would, I reasoned, perform its movements in the manner of a living being, for it would have all the chief mechanical characteristics or elements of the same. There was still the capacity for growth, propagation, and, above all, the mind which would be wanting to make the model complete. But growth was not necessary in this case, since a machine could be manufactured full grown, so to speak. As to the capacity for propagation, it could likewise be left out of consideration, for in the mechanical model it merely signified a process of manufacture. Whether the automation be of flesh and bone, or of wood and steel, it mattered little, provided it could perform all the duties required of it like an intelligent being. To do so, it had to have an element corresponding to the mind, which would effect the control of all its movements and operations, and cause it to act, in any unforeseen case that might present itself, with knowledge, reason, judgment, and experience. But this element I could easily embody in it by conveying to it my own intelligence, my own understanding. So this invention was evolved, and so a new art came into existence, for which the name "telautomatics" has been suggested, which means the art of controlling the movements and operations of distant automatons. This principle evidently was applicable to any kind of machine that moves on land or in the water or in the air. In applying it practically for the first time, I selected a boat (see Fig. 2). A storage battery placed within it furnished the motive power. The propeller, driven by a motor, represented the locomotive organs. The rudder, controlled by another motor likewise driven by the battery, took the place of the directive organs. As to the sensitive organ, obviously the first thought was to utilize a device responsive to rays of light, like a selenium cell, to represent the human eye. But upon closer inquiry I found that, owing to experimental and other difficulties, no thoroughly satisfactory control of the automaton could be effected by light, radiant heat, hertzian radiations, or by rays in general, that is, disturbances which pass in straight lines through space. One of the reasons was that any obstacle coming between the operator and the distant automaton would place it beyond his control. Another reason was that the sensitive device representing the eye would have to be in a definite position with respect to the distant controlling apparatus, and this necessity would impose great limitations in the control. Still another and very important reason was that, in using rays, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to give to the automaton individual features or characteristics distinguishing it from other machines of this kind. Evidently the automaton should respond only to an individual call, as a person responds to a name. Such considerations led me to conclude that the sensitive device of the machine should correspond to the ear rather than the eye of a human being, for in this case its actions could be controlled irrespective of intervening obstacles, regardless of its position relative to the distant controlling apparatus, and, last, but not least, it would remain deaf and unresponsive, like a faithful servant, to all calls but that of its master. These requirements made it imperative to use, in the control of the automaton, instead of light or other rays, waves or disturbances which propagate in all directions through space, like sound, or which follow a path of least resistance, however curved. I attained the result aimed at by means of an electric circuit placed within the boat, and adjusted, or "tuned," exactly to electrical vibrations of the proper kind transmitted to it from a distant "electrical oscillator." This circuit, in responding, however feebly, to the transmitted vibrations, affected magnets and other contrivances, through the medium of which were controlled the movements of the propeller and rudder, and also the operations of numerous other appliances.


By the simple means described the knowledge, experience, judgment—the mind, so to speak—of the distant operator were embodied in that machine, which was thus enabled to move and to perform all its operations with reason and intelligence. It behaved just like a blindfolded person obeying directions received through the ear.


The automatons so far constructed had "borrowed minds," so to speak, as each merely formed part of the distant operator who conveyed to it his intelligent orders; but this art is only in the beginning. I purpose to show that, however impossible it may now seem, an automaton may be contrived which will have its "own mind," and by this I mean that it will be able, independent of any operator, left entirely to itself, to perform, in response to external influences affecting its sensitive organs, a great variety of acts and operations as if it had intelligence. It will be able to follow a course laid out or to obey orders given far in advance; it will be capable of distinguishing between what it ought and what it ought not to do, and of making experiences or, otherwise stated, of recording impressions which will definitely affect its subsequent actions. In fact, I have already conceived such a plan.


Although I evolved this invention many years ago and explained it to my visitors very frequently in my laboratory demonstrations, it was not until much later, long after I had perfected it, that it became known, when, naturally enough, it gave rise to much discussion and to sensational reports. But the true significance of this new art was not grasped by the majority, nor was the great force of the underlying principle recognized. As nearly as I could judge from the numerous comments which appeared, the results I had obtained were considered as entirely impossible. Even the few who were disposed to admit the practicability of the invention saw in it merely an automobile torpedo, which was to be used for the purpose of blowing up battleships, with doubtful success. The general impression was that I contemplated simply the steering of such a vessel by means of Hertzian or other rays. There are torpedoes steered electrically by wires, and there are means of communicating without wires, and the above was, of course an obvious inference. Had I accomplished nothing more than this, I should have made a small advance indeed. But the art I have evolved does not contemplate merely the change of direction of a moving vessel; it affords means of absolutely controlling, in every respect, all the innumerable translatory movements, as well as the operations of all the internal organs, no matter how many, of an individualized automaton. Criticisms to the effect that the control of the automaton could be interfered with were made by people who do not even dream of the wonderful results which can be accomplished by use of electrical vibrations. The world moves slowly, and new truths are difficult to see. Certainly, by the use of this principle, an arm for attack as well as defense may be provided, of a destructiveness all the greater as the principle is applicable to submarine and aerial vessels. There is virtually no restriction as to the amount of explosive it can carry, or as to the distance at which it can strike, and failure is almost impossible. But the force of this new principle does not wholly reside in its destructiveness. Its advent introduces into warfare an element which never existed before—a fighting-machine without men as a means of attack and defense. The continuous development in this direction must ultimately make war a mere contest of machines without men and without loss of life—a condition which would have been impossible without this new departure, and which, in my opinion, must be reached as preliminary to permanent peace. The future will either bear out or disprove these views. My ideas on this subject have been put forth with deep conviction, but in a humble spirit.


The establishment of permanent peaceful relations between nations would most effectively reduce the force retarding the human mass, and would be the best solution of this great human problem. But will the dream of universal peace ever be realized? Let us hope that it will. When all darkness shall be dissipated by the light of science, when all nations shall be merged into one, and patriotism shall be identical with religion, when there shall be one language, one country, one end, then the dream will have become reality.


Excerpt from "The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires" - Electrical World and Engineer, March 5, 1904:


"Much has already been done towards making my system commercially available, in the transmission of energy in small amounts for specific purposes, as well as on an industrial scale. The results attained by me have made my scheme of intelligence transmission, for which the name of "World Telegraphy" has been suggested, easily realizable. It constitutes, I believe, in its principle of operation, means employed and capacities of application, a radical and fruitful departure from what has been done heretofore. I have no doubt that it will prove very efficient in enlightening the masses, particularly in still uncivilized countries and less accessible regions, and that it will add materially to general safety, comfort and convenience, and maintenance of peaceful relations."


"It involves the employment of a number of plants, all of which are capable of transmitting individualized signals to the uttermost confines of the earth. Each of them will be preferably located near some important center of civilization and the news it receives through any channel will be flashed to all points of the globe. A cheap and simple device, which might be carried in one's pocket, may then be set up somewhere on sea or land, and it will record the world's news or such special messages as may be intended for it. Thus the entire earth will be converted into a huge brain, as it were, capable of response in every one of its parts. Since a single plant of but one hundred horsepower can operate hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity, and it must needs immensely facilitate and cheapen the transmission of intelligence."

"The first of these central plants would have been already completed had it not been for unforeseen delays which, fortunately, have nothing to do with its purely technical features. But this loss of time, while vexatious, may, after all, prove to be a blessing in disguise. The best design of which I know has been adopted, and the transmitter will emit a wave complex of a total maximum activity of 10,000,000 horsepower, one percent of which is amply sufficient to "girdle the globe." This enormous rate of energy delivery, approximately twice that of the combined falls of Niagara, is obtainable only by the use of certain artifices, which I shall make known in due course."


"For a large part of the work which I have done so far I am indebted to the noble generosity of Mr.J. Pierpont Morgan, which was all the more welcome and stimulating, as it was extended at a time when those, who have since promised most, were the greatest of doubters. I have also to thank my friend Stanford White, for much unselfish and valuable assistance. This work is now far advanced, and though the results may be tardy, they are sure to come. Meanwhile, the transmission of energy on an industrial scale is not being neglected. The Canadian Niagara Power Company have offered me a splendid inducement, and next to achieving success for the sake of the art, it will give me the greatest satisfaction to make their concession financially profitable to them. In this first power plant, which I have been designing for a long time, I propose to distribute 10,000 horsepower under a tension of 10,000,000 volts, which I am now able to produce and handle with safety."

"This energy will be collected all over the globe preferably in small amounts, ranging from a fraction of one to a few horsepower. One of the chief uses will be the illumination of isolated homes. It takes very little power to light a dwelling with vacuum tubes operated by high frequency currents and in each instance a terminal a little above the roof will be sufficient. Another valuable application will be the driving of clocks and other such apparatus. These clocks will be exceedingly simple, will require absolutely no attention and will indicate rigorously correct time. The idea of impressing upon the earth American time is fascinating and very likely to become popular."


"There are innumerable devices of all kinds which are either now employed or can be supplied and by operating them in this manner I may be able to offer a great convenience to the whole world with a plant of no more than 10,000 horsepower. The introduction of this system will give opportunities for invention and manufacture such as have never presented themselves before. Knowing the far reaching importance of this first attempt and its effect upon future development, I shall proceed slowly and carefully. Experience has taught me not to assign a term to enterprises the consummation of which is not wholly dependent on my own abilities and exertions. But I am hopeful that these great realizations are not far off and I know that when this first work is completed they will follow with mathematical certitude."

"When the great truth, accidentally revealed and experimentally confirmed, is fully recognized, that this planet, with all its appalling immensity, is to electric currents virtually no more than a small metal ball and that by virtue of this fact many possibilities, each baffling imagination and of incalculable consequence, are rendered absolutely sure of accomplishment; when the first plant is inaugurated and it is shown that a telegraphic message, almost as secret and non-interferable as a thought, can be transmitted to any terrestrial distance, the sound of the human voice, with all its intonations and inflections faithfully and instantly reproduced at any other point of the globe, the energy of a waterfall made available for supplying light, heat or motive power, anywhere...on sea, or land, or high in the air...humanity will be like an ant heap stirred up with a stick.

See the excitement coming!"




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