Nikola Tesla and the Taming of Electricity

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Electrical engineer Nikola Tesla is the true father of the radio, but few of us recognize his name today. In fact, the Supreme Court revoked the patent for the radio given to Marconi and awarded it to Tesla eight months after his death. This well-researched biography provides the details of Tesla's life, his experiments and inventions, and his numerous personality quirks. The first chapter begins with Tesla's birth in Croatia in 1856. At age 26, Tesla discovered the rotating magnetic field. Two years later, Tesla came to America and began his lengthy battle with Edison over electricity. Edison advocated for direct current, while Tesla promoted the use of alternating currency. Throughout his lifetime, Tesla invented numerous ways to generate, transport, and use electricity. Besides his brilliance, the book also describes Tesla unusual behaviors. For example, Tesla was terrified of germs and required 18 napkins for each meal. Also, he was fascinated with pigeons, feeding them and allowing them into his living quarters. The book includes numerous quotes from Tesla. It also has insets that explain some of the electrical-engineering concepts, such as types of currents and energy. The appendices include a timeline, a list of sources, a bibliography, and a list of web sites with additional information about Tesla and electricity. 2005, Morgan Reynolds Publishing, Ages 8 to 12.
—Lynn O'Connell
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Beginning with her subject's boyhood in Croatia, Aldrich makes good use of the drama in the scientist's life to craft a very readable story. She covers his great inventions, such as early remote controls, radio, and alternating current equipment, technology that forms the basis for all electrical service in the world today. Although at one point Tesla was owed millions by Westinghouse, he voided the contract when the company was in financial trouble and died a pauper. Few know that after his death, the Supreme Court revoked the patent for radio given to Marconi and awarded it to Tesla instead. Readers learn about the genius's quirky personality and unusual obsessions, such as his fascination with pigeons and his abhorrence of germs. Some passages read like pulp science fiction, as Tesla works at creating a death ray, states that he has received communications from Mars, and describes beams of light coming from the eyes of a pigeon. The text includes numerous quotes and is supported by insets that explain some of the electrical-engineering concepts. Period photographs, diagrams from Tesla's notebooks, and similar illustrative materials appear throughout. A brief list of Web sites about the inventor, his longtime rival Thomas Edison, and the U.S. Patent Office is appended. A solidly researched and interesting biography.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931798464
  • Publisher: Morgan Reynolds Pub
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Series: Profiles in Science Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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