"Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity."
"Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
"Even matter called inorganic, believed to be dead, responds to irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of a living principle within. Everything that exists, organic or inorganic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside."
On Invention: "It is the most important product of man's creative brain. The ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of human nature to human needs."
"Like a flash of lightning and in an instant the truth was revealed. I drew with a stick on the sand the diagrams of my motor. A thousand secrets of nature which I might have stumbled upon accidentally I would have given for that one which I had wrestled from her against all odds and at the peril of my existence."
"Before I put a sketch on paper, the whole idea is worked out mentally. In my mind I change the construction, make improvements, and even operate the device. Without ever having drawn a sketch I can give the measurements of all parts to workmen, and when completed all these parts will fit, just as certainly as though I had made the actual drawings. It is immaterial to me whether I run my machine in my mind or test it in my shop. The inventions I have conceived in this way have always worked. In thirty years there has not been a single exception. My first electric motor, the vacuum wireless light, my turbine engine and many other devices have all been developed in exactly this way."
"George Westinghouse was a man with tremendous potential energy of which only part had taken kinetic form. Like a lion in the forest, he breathed deep and with delight the smoky air of his Pittsburgh factories. Always affable and polite, he stood in marked contrast to the small-minded financiers I had been trying to negotiate with before I met him. Yet, no fiercer adversary could have been found when aroused. Westinghouse welcomed the struggle and never lost confidence. When others would give up in despair, he triumphed."
On Voltaire: "I had a veritable mania for finishing whatever I began, which often got me into difficulties. On one occasion I started to read the works of Voltaire when I learned, to my dismay, that there were close on one hundred large volumes in small print which that monster had written while drinking seventy-two cups of black coffee per diem. It had to be done, but when I laid aside the last book I was very glad, and said, "Never more!" (Nikola Tesla, "My Inventions: the autobiography of Nikola Tesla", Hart Bros., 1982. Originally appeared in the Electrical experimenter magazine in 1919.)
"In our dynamo machines, it is well known, we generate alternate currents which we direct by means of a commutator, a complicated device and, it may be justly said, the source of most of the troubles experienced in the operation of the machines. Now, the currents, so directed cannot be utilized in the motor, but must - again by means of a similar unreliable device - be reconverted into their original state of alternate currents. The function of the commutator is entirely external, and in no way does it affect the internal workings of the machines. In reality, therefore, all machines are alternate current machines, the currents appearing as continuous only in the external circuit during the transfer from generator to motor. In view simply of this fact, alternate currents would commend themselves as a more direct application of electrical energy, and the employment of continuous currents would only be justified if we had dynamos which would primarily generate, and motors which would be directly actuated by, such currents." (Adopted from T.C. Martin, "The Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla," New Work: Electrical Engineer, 1894, pp. 9-11.)
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