Why did Nikola Tesla’s dreams of a global wireless communication system fail?
Nikola Tesla is remembered today as being one of the greatest and most formidable scientific geniuses to have ever lived. Designs that he created in the nineteenth century with regard to electrical transmission have still yet to be improved on, and his untested designs and models are still dazzling the greatest scientific minds of the modern world.
In his own lifetime, not all of his plans came to great fruition because of the limitations of the time. For instance, his plan to harness the energy of the sun with a powerful antenna and his designs for a global system of wireless communication.
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While living in New York city, Tesla penned an article outlining his design for a system of wireless communication which could be utilized all over the world. His article caused a minor sensation at the time and attracted the attention of JP Morgan, one of the richest men in the world. Morgan visited Tesla and agreed to give him $150,000 to create the wireless transmission tower. Tesla promised him, “When wireless is fully applied, the earth will be converted into a huge brain, capable of response in every one of its parts.”
Tesla immediately set to work in designing the wireless system which involved the construction of an enormous tower which was 187 feet high and supported a 55-ton metallic steel. However, in the course of constructing the tower, it became obvious that the project acquired more funds than had been allocated. However, Morgan was not prepared to fund the rest of the construction of the project. The refusal of funds and the crash in the stock markets shortly after that put a definitive end to the project.
The newspapers of the age called the entire aborted project “Tesla’s million-dollar folly” and claimed that the project was simply impossible. Tesla denied this saying, “It is not a dream. It is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive…in a blind, faint-hearted, doubting world.”