Under construction

 

The Wardenclyffe Laboratory & the World Wireless System (1901-1906)

 

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

 

 

The Wardenclyffe project

 

In mid-January 1900 Tesla returned to New York after spending eight or nine months in his research in Colorado Springs and then he applied for a patent US787,412- Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905 on the wireless telegraphy system that he had been perfecting in Colorado but the patent was not granted until 1905.

 

Upon the conclusion of his preliminary investigations Tesla wrote Westinghouse:

 

"I have just returned from Colorado, where I have been carrying on some experiments since a few months past. The success has been even greater than I anticipated, and among other things I have absolutely demonstrated the practicability of the establishment of telegraphic communication to any point on the globe by the help of the machinery I have perfected".

 

James S. Warden was a western lawyer and banker and he bought the land for the endeavor in Shoreham, Long Island (about sixty miles from Manhattan). In this land was built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. 

 

In April, 1901, the Wardenclyffe Post Office was established in the town. The comunity kept growing and in l906 the town became the Village of Shoreham.

 

Warden decided to give his support to Tesla's idea of the "World Wireless System" to build a "Radio City" in that area. The lawyer and banker offered Tesla 200 acres (81 ha) of land which were part of an 1,800 acre potato farm along what is today Route 25A in Shoreham, NY. It was situated very close to the railway line and they used this advantage to bring materials to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility. Warden planed to eventually build housing for 2000-2500 people who would work in a factory producing Tesla's patented devices.

 

LIRR Station & Tesla tower - Rustic entrance to Shoreham in foreground
LIRR Station & Tesla tower - Rustic entrance to Shoreham in foreground

 

The Century Magazine published a sensational article wrote by Tesla "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" - June 1900. In this interesting article he described his detailed and futuristic vision. He explained about some means of tapping the sun's energy with using an antenna and he suggested that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. The greatest objective of such system would be to be able to control machines wirelessly and the war would be an impossible task. Obviously for most people of that times those ideas were almost incomprehensible, but Tesla was an important figure which had a nice reputation for his technological achivements.

 

My Inventions - Chapter 5: The Magnifying Transmitter

 

In order to advance further along this line, I had to go into the open, and in the spring of 1899, having completed preparations for the erection of a wireless plant, I went to Colorado where I remained for more than one year. Here I introduced other improvements and refinements which made it possible to generate currents of any tension that may be desired. Those who are interested will find some information in regard to the experiments I conducted there in my article, "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy," in the Century Magazine of June 1900, to which I have referred on a previous occasion.

 

J. P. Morgan, the most powerfull figure on earth read the article wrote by Tesla and it caught quickly his attention and then the inventor became a frequent guest in Morgan's home. He proposed the scheme to the investor of the "World Wireless System" for communications to relay telephone messages instantly across the ocean to broadcast music, news, stock market reports, private messages, secure military non-interferable communications, and pictures to any part of the world.

 

 

Tesla told Morgan:

 

"When wireless is fully applied the earth will be converted into a huge brain, capable of response in every one of its parts,"

 

Morgan accepted to become the main investor of the project and he offered to Tesla $150,000 to build a 90 foot transmission tower and power plant.

 

On March 21 of 1901, Tesla arranged for the Westinghouse Electric Company in Pittsburgh to make the transformers and generators that he needed to power the oscillator. Tesla worked closely with the engineers at Westinghouse Co. in designing apparatus during the process.

 

The famed architect, Stanford White, who was a personal friend of Tesla's, designed a laboratory building (seen above) that would house the power plant and oscillator. Five or six other buildings were to be built later on. Tesla may have planned to build a number of transmitters at that site as his company expanded.

 

The summer of 1901 saw exciting happenings in the little village of Shoreham. On August 2nd The Port Jefferson Echo reported:

 

“Mr. Nikola Tesla, the world renowned scientist on Tuesday of this week, closed a contract for the immediate building of a wireless telegraph plant and electrical laboratory at Wardenclyffe, situated nine miles east of Port Jefferson, where on the 200 acres recently acquired by Mr. Tesla, he will within thirty days, begin the erection of a plant, which when completed will be the largest of its kind in the world. The first building will be 100 feet square with others to follow. The power plant will be 350-horse power. Mr. Tesla has for several years past maintained an extensive electrical laboratory at Houston Street in New York City, where he has discovered and developed many marvelous features in electrical power and usefulness. The above will draw to Wardenclyffe men in the highest scientific circles from many portions of the globe.”


By February of 1902, the Echo reported further improvements at Wardenclyffe. Port Jefferson Echo, February 1902:

 

“Notwithstanding inclement weather and the usual obstacles and difficulties incident to the development of great enterprises, the Tesla improvements at Wardenclyffe have gone steadily forward. The power house, constructed of pressed brick, is 100 feet square and divided into a boiler room, engine and dynamo room, machine shop and laboratory. The boilers, engines, dynamo and other electrical equipment are being placed under the supervision of the Westinghouse Electric Company, where a force of employees from Mr. Tesla’s New York establishment is busy setting the drills, lathes, etc. in the machine room. The power house is completed, the foundations of the great tower put in and the well in connection herewith sunk to the required depth of 120."

 

According to a 1902 edition of the Babylon Signal, Nikola Tesla asserted there was a similar power house in Scotland but where this enigmatic structure was built, or if it was in fact built at all, remains a mystery.

 

Babylon Signal, August 1902:

 

"...the power house at Wardenclyffe occupies nearly three acres and is fenced in so that no one can get a view of it except those who are working within the enclosure. Mr. Tesla asserted there was a similar power house in Scotland.” Tesla said “We have been sending wireless messages for long distances from this station for some time, but whether we are going into the telegraph field on a commercial basis I cannot say at present. ”

 
It was well known to the pioneers of the early 20th century that the west coast of Scotland was perfectly structured for the large scale testing of Atlantic radio transmissions. It faced the east coast of the United States and was peppered with numerous isolated spots. An early technician could set up a radio station in any one of the secret sites of the west coast of Scotland and know that his site was safe, secure and within radio reach of America. Unfortunately we still don’t know where the Scottish station was erected, or in fact if it was ever used. But there are a few indicators that it may have been located in or near Ayrshire.

 

Reginald Fessenden constructed a two-way radio transmitter/receiver system across the Atlantic in 1906. He had initially planned to build it in Machrihanish (in a county visible from Ayrshire, sitting roughly at the same latitude as Troon and Prestwick) but the project was abandoned after a storm felled the large antennae and radio shack already built on the site. The entire system was moved to England, where a successful transmission was received before the year was out.

 

Tesla employed about fifty people in this new project, including guards to keep people away from the area. He feared that someone might steal some of his inventions (many of which he never patented), and he wished to keep things quiet.

 

Reference has been made by O'Neill and contemporary newspaper accounts of the large crew that Tesla had working for him at Wardenclyffe. Instead of just referring to the "large crew" as such, these are a few names of Tesla's direct assistants: Willie Eppersteiner, Hartmann, Johnnison, Lindeke, Meyer, Alfred Peters, Seibe, Mr. Uhlman (815 N. 12th St., St. Joseph, MO), Wagner (the glass blower).

 

 

New-York tribune., August 07, 1901, Page 4, Image 4
New-York tribune., August 07, 1901, Page 4, Image 4

 

In early 1902 Tesla sent a letter to J.P.Morgan to explain his research in which he evisaged the following distinct steps to be made:

 

  1. The transmission of minute amounts of energy and the production of feeble effects, barely perceptible by sensitive devices;
  2. The transmission of notable amounts of energy dispensing with the necessity of sensitive devices and enabling the positive operation of any kind of apparatus requiring a small amount of power;
  3. The transmission of power in amounts of industrial significance. With the completion of my present undertaking the first step will be made.

Owing to a variety of unforeseen causes, exasperating delays in the delivery of electrical equipment were beginning to try Tesla's patience. Also the friction among the carpenters delayed the end of the project and was reported in the July 1902 issue of the Echo. Tesla had his hands full with managing of crew, machinery and the need for more capital from his investor, J. P. Morgan. The carpenters employed on Tesla’s wireless plant refused to work last Saturday and left for their homes at Port Chester. The men were set at work by Foreman Houck putting shingles on the outside of a 150’ tower, when a stick of timber came crashing down to the ground. It seems another contractor, completing the upper portion of the tower, would not take his men off. The carpenters said they would not work with a careless set of laborers over their heads.” These delays resulted to be a great inconvenient for Nikola Tesla to finish his project.

 

 

Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island in partial stage of completion. Work on the 55-foot diameter cupola had not yet begun.
Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island in partial stage of completion. Work on the 55-foot diameter cupola had not yet begun.
Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant in partial stage of completion. Work on the cupola had not yet begun.
Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant in partial stage of completion. Work on the cupola had not yet begun.

 

It passed not so long since the beginning of the project when Morgan sailed for Europe for his yearly extended stay and Tesla learned that Marconi was copying his apparatus. The inventor informed to his investor about his decison that the size of the tower should be the double of what he designed at first. He told to his investor that with this configuration he could send messages to Europe, but it also would be possible to reach the whole world as well. And he probablly still didn't explain that it was supposed that by doubling the size of the tower, would increase the coverage of wireless signals but also the coverage of the wireless power, probablly because the resistance of the air between the surface and the ionosphere would be lesser.

 

Tesla said:

 

“We have been sending wireless messages for long distances from this station for some time, but whether we are going into the telegraph field on a commercial basis I cannot say at present. ”

 

Dear Mr. Morgan:

 

"The enclosed bears out my statement made to you over a year and a half ago. The old plant has never worked beyond a few hundred miles. Apart of imperfections of the apparatus design there were four defects, each of which was fatal to success. It does not seem probable that the new plant will do much better, for these faults were of a widely different nature and difficult to discover".

 

"As to the remedies, I have protected myself in applications filed 1900-1902, still in the office".

 

Yours faithfully,

N. Tesla

 

Unfortunately Tesla committed a big mistake when he first designed the project with the first fundings that he could rise, but Tesla took what was available and he just strated to work.

 

A tower of 187 foot tall was built progressively untill it became evident that more funds were needed urgently. Tesla tryed to contact with Morgan but in this occasion his investor didn't answer quickly because on 12 December of 1901 the world awoke to the news that Marconi had signaled the letter "S" across the Atlantic from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland. Tesla undisturved by Marconi's achivement explained that the italian inventor used at least 17 of his patents without permission to accomplish the first transmission.

 

The equipment used by Marconi was a crude single circuit transmitter (as opposed to Tesla's primary-secondary type) contained in a small building and operated by a heavy wooden lever. Marconi’s plans were considerably less ambitious in scale and for this reason his apparatus was also considerably less expensive. Although Marconi's achievement was great, Tesla was far ahead of him. Where Tesla was envisioning the transmission of voice, pictures and power and the creation of an unlimited number of wireless channels, equivalent to today’s cell phone technology (he achieved this by using multiple frequencies) Marconi could only send pulsed signals on only a very small number of channels and admittedly had no understanding of selective tuning.

 

"Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power”, an extended interview, Leland Anderson, editor.; Published 2002 by Twenty-First Century Books

 

"The apparatus is suitable for one or the other method. I am not producing radiation in my system; I am suppressing electromagnetic waves. But, on the other hand, my apparatus can be used effectively with electromagnetic waves. The apparatus has nothing to do with this new method except that it is the only means to practice it. So that in my system, you should free yourself of the idea that there is radiation, that energy is radiated. It is not radiated; it is conserved."

 

By February 22, 1902 The Echo printed the following announcement:

 

“The immense wireless telegraph plant now being built at Wardenclyffe marks the beginning of the real war between Marconi and Nikola Tesla. Marconi has so far found only one way to send messages by wireless telegraphy - through the air. Tesla will try two methods. By means of his great tower he will send messages through the air. By means of his great well he will send messages through the ground. It is the latter method that Tesla thinks will achieve the greatest success". 

 

Famous Scientific Illusions - by Nikola Tesla - Electrical Experimenter - February, 1919:

 

“Then you are not making use of Hertz waves?” “Certainly not,” I replied, “these are radiations. No energy could be economically transmitted to a distance by any such agency. In my system the process is one of true conduction which, theoretically, can be effected at the greatest distance without appreciable loss.”

 

 

Marconi’s success in transmitting a Morse coded signal across the Atlantic captured the imagination of the world, and hurt Tesla’s credibility with Morgan. When he went back to Morgan for more funding, he had the bad judgment to reveal the true purpose of his World Wireless System. It was probablly a mistake of Tesla to hide the actual plan to his investor of developing a large-scale demonstration of wireless power transmission. It is supposed that this turned out to be a fatal mistake for the continuation of the construction.

 

He was trying to develop his ideas to be able to bring the best design, but he had to modify the first ideal conditions which would be necessary to build a powerfull wireless system. In this case his objective was just to build the first station as a prototype to demonstrate his theories of the wireless transmission of signals and power. The first configuration developed by the inventor was the use of a powerful type-two transmitter to produce global displacements of the earth’s charge. It is supposed that the tower should be as tall as possible, and the ideal design which Tesla had in mind was the instalation of two 600-foot tall towers in relatively close proximity to each other. However, this idea of the instalation of two towers could obviously not be implemented due to financial constraints, which led to a series of modifications according to the real fundings which he had at his disposal, and the final design was a tower of 187 foot tall.

 

Morgan, who had invested in a project to capitalize on multichannel wireless message transmissions across the Atlantic, was not interested in the concept of industrial power transmission, which Tesla viewed as the ultimate goal. Tesla’s ideas were so futuristic, that Morgan simply couldn’t comprehend them and when he asked for more financial support the investor flatly refused his demand.

 

George Scherff cautioned Tesla that funds were getting dangerously low, and that creditors would soon be pressing him on outstanding accounts. Substantially more investments would be needed to complete the project. Tesla wrote to Morgan about the frustrating delays he had suffered during the course of the project saying in part. April 8, 1903:

 

"You have raised great waves in the industrial world and some have struck my little boat. Prices have gone up in consequence twice, perhaps three times higher than they were"

 

Morgan was not agreeable to advancing additional funds. April 22, 1903:

 

"You have extended me a noble help at a time when Edison, Marconi, Pupin, Fleming, and many others openly ridiculed my undertaking and declared its success impossible"

 

No change in Morgan's position. Tesla must now be candid to the point that his true aim was a mark much higher than that originally presented —that is, the wireless transmission of power.

 

July 3, 1903:

 

"If I would have told you such as this before, you would have fired me out of your office. Will you help me or let my great work—almost complete—go to pots?"

 

The answer - July 14, 1903:

 

N. Tesla, Esq.

 

"I have received your letter and in reply would say that I should not feel disposed at present to make any further advances."

 

J. P. Morgan

 

J.P.Morgan
J.P.Morgan

 

Morgan left Tesla alone with his unfinished project, and the only chance he had was to conduct preliminary tests. That night, and for several succeeding nights, the residents of Shoreham were astonished to see lightning-like flashes emanating from the tower.

 

In 1903, when Tesla realized that financial backing for Wardenclyffe would cease, he demonstrated lightening-type flashes from his tower in Shoreham. The air was filled with blinding streaks which seemed to shoot off into the darkness on some mysterious errand. When questioned about them the following day, neither Tesla nor his workers would give any explanation. The July 14th report from "The New York Sun" stated:  

 

“Tesla’s Flashes Startling, but he won’t tell what he is trying for at Wardenclyffe. Natives hereabouts are intensely interested in the nightly electrical display shown from the tall tower where Nikola is conducting his experiments in wireless telegraph and telephony".

 

Tesla's Flashes Startling - New York Sun - July 17th, 1903:

 

"All sorts of lightning were flashed from the tall tower and poles last night. For a time the air was filled with blinding streaks of electricity which seemed to shoot off into the darkness on some mysterious errand. The display continued until after midnight.

 

This morning workmen about the plant declined to say anything. It is understood that Tesla has a well more than 200 feet deep driven beneath the tower and that electrical waves are sent both underground and through the air.

 

Mr. Tesla said last evening that the evidences of experiments which have been seen by the people of Wardencliffe (sic), near which his laboratory is located, have been going on for some time there, but that he had no announcement to make at this time as to their character or the success that had been achieved".

 

“It is true (said Mr. Tesla) that some of them have had to do with wireless telegraphy and that in addition to the tower and poles there is a hole dug in the ground. This is 150 feet deep and is used in these experiments. The people about there, had they been awake instead of asleep, at other times would have seen even stranger things. Some day, but not at this time, I shall make an announcement of something that I never once dreamed of.”

 

 

Weird doings at the Tesla plant - The Evening World (New York) - July 17th, 1903

 

Whatever Nikola Tesla is trying to do at Wardenclyffe, Long Island, he has succeeded in keeping the natives guessing. Some think he is trying to signal Mars; others think that he has evolved a new system of communication by electricity through the air without wires; still others believe that he has another station off in China or Siberia, and is trying to communicate with it by electrical currents through the earth.

 

Weird doings around the Tesla plant at Wardenclyffe serve to excite the inhabitants these fine nights. None of the natives is allowed to get near the bewildering stack of towers, poles and queer structures that the Tesla workmen have erected, and these same workmen are as reticent as clams. The tall electrician is seen but seldom, and when he does condescend to speak all he will admit is that his experiments have to do with wireless telegraphy.

 

“Some day,” he said today, “but not at this time, I shall make an announcement of something that I once never dreamed of.”

 

For a great many years, Mr Tesla has been on the verge of making an announcement calculated to paralyze the world. In a laboratory up in Houston Street, he had a mysterious machine that poked white shafts of lightning into the atmosphere. Many men of science and finance looked at the machine and wondered.

 

Similar flashes, longer and more intense, leap from the tower of the Tesla works at Wardenclyffe. The villagers sit out in front of their houses, and at intervals between batting mosquitoes from their visages speculate on the meaning of the strange lights that shoot out and appear to dissolve in the surrounding atmosphere.

 

Under the tall tower there is a hole in the ground 150 feet deep. Mr Tesla admits that he shoots electric currents down this hole, and there is no doubt that he creates flashes long enough to reach the bottom of it. But there is a great deal of speculation concerning why he should want to shoot electric flashes into a hole in the ground.

 

Wise-looking men of mystery who have been snooping around Wardenclyffe have been heard to say that Tesla is trying to get electricity out of the earth without the employment of artificial mediums. A man in Chicago thinks that if he can shoot a magnet into the air far enough he can accumulate electricity which can be carried to the earth on a wire. Why shouldn’t Mr Tesla dig a deep hole in the ground and bring electricity to the surface? It is easier to drop a magnet into the earth than it is to fire a magnet into the atmosphere and make it stay fired!

 

In the interval of waiting for what Mr Tesla is going to announce the people of Wardenclyffe and the surrounding country are having the time of their lives.

 

 

In the end of 1903, when J.P. Morgan withdrew his support to the project, the most important financiers quickly followed him and by other hand other possible investors were becoming much more wary of Tesla. After some attempts for finding new investors, he obtained the help from Thomas Fortune Ryan, who agreed to provide supplemental investment funds, these were used to pay an existing mountain of debts, with no excess for completion of the World System project. Tesla exclaimed:

 

"My enemies have been so successful in representing me as a poet and visionary, that it is absolutely imperative for me to put out something commercial without delay."

 

So, to obtain other needed investments, he issued two brochures—The World System, and another handsome manifesto "Tesla Manifesto" - Electrical World & Engineer - February 6th, 1904 prepared on vellum which announced his intention of entering into the field of consulting engineership. He wrote to George Scherff:

 

"I swear! If I ever get out of this hole nobody will catch me without cash."

 

In a series of articles, and in numerous letters, Tesla pleaded with Morgan to give him the funds to complete the plant. The article from Electrical World & Engineer in 1904 was written specifically to explain to Morgan the inventor’s vast plan. Note how Tesla, in a sense, foresees what became the internet:

 

"World Telegraphy System involve the employment of a number of plants each of which 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 pocket-sized device may then be set up on land or sea, and it will record the world’s news or such special message 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. Such a single plant... can operated hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity".

 

Wardenclyffe provided the seclusion and quiet more in keeping with his desire for secrecy about new avenues of investigation. But it was not entirely out of reach, and Tesla gave strict orders to Scherff that no details of the project were to be disclosed even with so many dificulties, and no one other than his workers be permitted on the premises.

 

The Brooklyn Times of June 1905 reported:

 

“From the time that Tesla secured the large tract of woodland, where the electrical plant is now situated, up to the present date, Mr. Tesla has maintained rigid privacy about his methods and plans. He does not court publicity as to the details of his work and newspapermen who call to see him are not likely to get overloaded with technical information. The visitor who walks into the grounds and approaches either the machine shop or the tower and well is met by an employee, who explains in polite but forceful language, that it is private property and that Mr. Tesla does not care to have visitors at that place. Mr. Tesla claims that it is today possible to communicate between any two points on earth, using the earth as a conductor. From his plant at Wardenclyfe he could run the electric motors and the big printing presses in the Brooklyn Times office."

 

"The queer tower has been taken for some new-fangled kind of a lighthouse, a wireless telegraph station and a pumping station. Every native keeps his eye on it in the hope that he may catch on to its secret, but as yet all are in the dark as to its purpose.”

 

Tesla was sued several times from Colorado Springs for unpaid bills and even had to appear in court out there on September 6 of 1905. To get money, Tesla ordered the Colorado Springs lab to be sold to pay the $180 judgment, and in 1906 some of his equipment was put up for auction there. To top all this off, Tesla's AC motor patents in Europe expired and left him without any income from royalties.

 

The situation became even worse when the stock market crashed and it caused that the prices for the tower's materials doubled and then the wardenclyffe station resulted economically unviable. The high prices combined with Tesla's difficulty to find enough willing investors eventually led to the unfeasibility of the project and the development stopped.

 

In spire of all the financial troubles Tesla had, it may have been his health that forced him to abandon the Wardenclyffe building in 1906. He had suffered from several serious nervous breakdowns brought about from over work (Tesla slept about five hours a night and the rest of the day was filled with work) during the past two decades before then. Local people reported seeing Tesla collapse from exhaustion while taking a walk by the sea.

 

Wardenclyffe: A Forfeited Dream - by Leland I. Anderson - Long island forum - Aug. and Sept. 1968

 

When it became generally known that the Wardenclyffe operation had closed, an occasional research engineer bitten with curiosity would make his way out to the laboratory. If the caretaker was still there, the visitor would be admitted for a tour of the laboratory. What he would behold was something quite beyond his expectations —intricate mechanical mechanisms, glass blowing equipment, a complete machine shop including eight lathes, X-Ray devices, many varieties of high frequency (Tesla) coils, a radio controlled boat, exhibit cases with at least a thousand bulbs and tubes, an instrument room, electrical generators and transformers, wire, cable, library and office. A strange stillness filled the building. It seemed as if it were a holiday, and the workday tomorrow would bring back all the workers to their assignments. A walk outside to the tower and up the flights of stairs—soon one caught the whisper of the wind through the spars. One believed he could perceive muted voices and clanking sounds below. But the switch had not been thrown. The dynamos stood idle.

 

Verdict Against Tesla - by William Stanley - Brooklyn Eagle - May 9, 1905

 

In 1912, Westinghouse, Church, Kerr & Company obtained a judgment against Tesla for $23,500 for machinery furnished at Wardenclyffe. The equipment was subsequently removed. In order to keep a roof over his head, Tesla had given two mortgages on Wardenclyffe to George C. Boldt, proprietor of the Waldorf-Astoria, to secure payment of hotel bills amounting to $20,000. Tesla requested that they not be recorded fearing that all his project's would be destroyed if the matter became public. He was unable to make any payments at all, and in 1915 he turned the Wardenclyffe deed over to Waldorf-Astoria, Inc., through a silent intermediary. In July of 1917, the tower was demolished and it was sold for scrap. The Wardenclyffe laboratory/building was sold in 1938 to the Peerless Photos Products Inc. who transformed it into a factory to produce light sensitive paper.

 

 

September 1917
September 1917
A second view of the tower after the first demolition attempt.
A second view of the tower after the first demolition attempt.

 

In the newspapers appeared the title: Tesla's Million Dollar Folly - Export American Industries - March 1, 1916

 

In that moments Tesla experienced a nervous breakdown for despair.

 

My Inventions - Chapter 5: The Influences That Shape Our Destiny - 

Electrical Experimenter - February June and October 1919 - p. 87-90:

 

“The tower was destroyed two years ago but my projects are being developed and another one, improved in some features, will be constructed".

 

"I have refrained from publicly expressing myself on this subject before, as it seemed improper to dwell on personal matters while all the world was in dire trouble. I would add further, in view of various rumors which have reached me, that Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan did not interest himself with me in a business way, but in the same large spirit in which he has assisted many other pioneers. He carried out his generous promise to the letter and it would have been most unreasonable to expect from him anything more. He had the highest regard for my attainments and gave me every evidence of his complete faith in my ability to ultimately achieve what I had set out to do. I am unwilling to accord to some small-minded and jealous individuals the satisfaction of having thwarted my efforts. These men are to me nothing more than microbes of a nasty disease. My project was retarded by laws of nature. The world was not prepared for it. It was too far ahead of time, but the same laws will prevail in the end and make it a triumphal success.".

 

 

After leaving his project of Wardenclyffe, Tesla opened up an office at 165 Broadway in New York. After all that problems Tesla did not have enough money to carry out his research and he became more reclusive.

 

In 1915, he became involved in a law suite with Marconi. According to Tesla statements, Marconi used some of his patents and more precisely the US645,576 -  System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - March 20, 1900 and US649,621 - Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy - May 15, 1900 . Tesla didn't get anything from it but in 1943 the most important patents by Marconi were invalidated by the Supreme Court, stating that there already existed some patented inventions which used the same principles before Marconi's invention.

 

Wardenclyffe: A Forfeited Dream, by Leland I. Anderson - Long island forum - Aug. and Sept. 1968

 

Tesla was not in New York when the tower finally came down. He had been engaged by a Chicago firm as consulting engineer for a development program of his spiral-flow turbine. Imagined stories were given exaggerated play in all the New York papers that the tower had been destroyed by order of the government to prevent its use by foreign agents. No basis in fact supports these stories and would not have been given encouragement if the Waldorf-Astoria legal action had been made public. Moreover, an expert rigger for the salvage firm feared to scale the tower more than half way. The stairs had fallen and many wood members were rotted out.

 

In 1925 the property was acquired by Walter L. Johnson of Brooklyn. Through the untiring efforts of Mrs. Sadie E. Robinson, Shoreham booster and agent for Johnson, the property was purchased on March 6, 1939, by Plantacres, Inc., and leased to the corporate predecessor of Peerless Photo Products, Inc. The firm today occupies fifteen acres of the original tract owned by Tesla for research and production of photosensitive materials.

 

When the grandiose plan of wireless power transmission was finally out of reach for Tesla he wrote:

 

"It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering , only expensive—blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discoverer's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence—by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed—only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle."

 

 

Political cartoon of J.Pierpont Morgan.
Political cartoon of J.Pierpont Morgan.

 

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

My Inventions: Chapter 5 - The Influences That Shape Our Destiny

 

The terrestrial transmission line modes so excited would have supported a system with the following technical capabilities:

 

  1. Establishment of a multi-channel global broadcasting system with programming including news, music, et cetera.

     

  2. Interconnection of the world's telephone and telegraph exchanges, and stock tickers.

     

  3. Transmission of written and printed matter, and data.

     

  4. World wide reproduction of photographic images.

     

  5. Establishment of a universal marine navigation and location system, including a means for the synchronization of precision timepieces.

     

  6. Establishment of secure wireless communications services (non-interferable government telegraph service). Additional World System capabilities and related technologies included.

     

  7. Remote control and propulsion of UAV "atmospheric satellites" in long duration flight (World System of intelligence transmission for exclusive private use).

     

  8. Wireless transmission of electrical energy for propulsion of aerial and other vehicles, and industrial purposes.

     

  9. Geophysical exploration [Waite].

     

  10. Weather control, artificial rain; climate control.

     

  11. Macroscopic charged particle beam projection.

     

  12. Electrical projection of explosive energy.

     

  13. Electrotherapeutics.

     

  14. Interplanetary Communications providing a stable, high-capacity interplanetary network backbone supporting high-speed Internet protocols.

     

  15. Electronic logic gate and digital computing allow:
  • Software defined radio.
  • Digital world-system broadcasting and terrestrial network backbone.
  • Artificial intelligence.

 

Tesla And His Wireless Age - Popular Electricity - June 1, 1911

 

"Tesla dreams of making it a receiving station to which can be transmitted a ceaseless day and night service of millions upon millions of volts from such power plants as those of Niagara. Thence such a force could be transmitted to run the street cars, the elevateds, the subways, the factories, the electric lights, the railroads, the automobiles, the ferries, the trucks, the heaters in the cellars and the clocks in the parlors of the great city of New York. Tesla’s dream also includes the erection of towers similar to this at Wartlenclyffeat convenient places, everywhere, for the pur- pose of distributing wireless energy for all these purposes over their respective areas. Some towers would be supplied with power from such sources as Niagara Falls or Victoria Falls. Or plants will be erected alongside or between the main uprights, each distributing a huge horsepower under a tension of millions of volts. Mr. Tesla declares he can handle the most amazing voltage from such towers with absolute safety, and his dream is of an America dotted over with these towers, each supplying all the energy for, say, an area of 30 miles about and spaced from each other 60 miles in such a manner that practically every inch of ground is covered by his new wireless service. Not only wireless power service but wireless telegraph and telephone service will be furnished by this network of towers, covering the entire earth and making it possible for a man in New York to talk directly with his friend in London. Tesla dreams of the day when a man may dictate his orders in San Francisco and they may be set up and printed directly in New York, of a day when not merely photographs will be transmitted by wireless, but when one can actually see over the wireless the friend to whom he is talking in some distant part of the earth, watch his facial movements, “see" him as plainly as if he were in the room. In fact the possibilities of the wireless age of the future as Tesla conceives it are boundless. That is why he is more interested in schemes that are called “visionary” than in those of his inventions which “the world calls practical".

 

 

 Tesla's system of transmission of power to aircraft by radio. Illustrated by Frank Paul for Radio News, December 1925. (Click on to enlarge)
Tesla's system of transmission of power to aircraft by radio. Illustrated by Frank Paul for Radio News, December 1925. (Click on to enlarge)

 

Tesla Tower in Long Island, New York, transmitting electrical power to aircraft in flight. Tesla's inventions in electrical generation and power transmission resulted in the development of alternating current, the form of electricity used today to provide power to homes and businesses. In honor of the Croatian-born inventor, this issue of The Trumpeter is dedicated in honor of the genius who ushered in the power age.

 

 

Controversy of the invention of radio

 

More info: Invention of Radio

 

John Stone Stone (1869-1943) was an important mathematician, physicist and inventor, and he worked in telephone research, followed by influential work developing early radio technology. Once he said:

 

"I misunderstood Tesla. I think we all misunderstood Tesla.  We thought he was a dreamer and visionary. He did dream and his dreams came true, he did have visions but they were of a real future, not an imaginary one.  Tesla was the first man to lift his eyes high enough to see that the rarified stratum of atmosphere above our earth was destined to play an important role in the radio telegraphy of the future, a fact which had to obtrude itself on the attention of most of us before we saw it.  But Tesla also perceived what many of us did not in those days, namely, the currents which flowed way from the base of the antenna over the surface of the earth and in the earth itself."

 

 

Figure ?. Small electrical oscilator for scientific uses, Type B - Instrument to receive radio waves of 1896 structure.
Figure ?. Small electrical oscilator for scientific uses, Type B - Instrument to receive radio waves of 1896 structure.

 

The First "Beat" Receptor for Radio-Telegraphy invented by Tesla, Which Foreshadowed the "Heterodyne."

 

Tesla used similar types of devices since 1892. He improved the instrument on the photograph at the east of Houston Street Laboratory

 

As early as 1892, Nikola Tesla created a basic design for radio. He developed the concept of two coupled resonant circuits driven by a spark generator (basically, the Tesla Coil – the first air-cored transformer), so producing an output which was a lightly-damped oscillation, approaching his objective of continuous high-frequency oscillations.

 

Tesla’s 1893 achievements were followed in 1894 with wireless transmission by Professor Oliver Lodge (12th June 1851 - 22nd August 1940) to a receiver with a dipole antenna and coherer that were carried out at Liverpool University in England. Popov’s demonstrations were in 1895, and Marconi’s arrival in England was 1896. There is thus a strong basis for claiming Tesla as a significant “inventor of radio”, and perhaps even the first.

 

Marconi’s US patent 763772, granted in June 1904, was considered as the fundamental American radio patent, but in 1943, the US Supreme Court cancelled it, on the grounds that it contained nothing not already in patents granted to Tesla (and Lodge and Stone). But it was too late for Tesla to defend himself, after the noble inventor gone away. Tesla made the radio first, the rest was patent use.

 

Nikola Tesla To Fight Marconi Patent Suit - New York Sun - August 29, 1914

 

Mr Tesla asserts priority in patent on which Mr. Marconi has brought action - New York Herald - September 1, 1914

 

Marconi pictured in 1896 with an early Spark Gap transmitter and receiver that could send and receive Morse Code
Marconi pictured in 1896 with an early Spark Gap transmitter and receiver that could send and receive Morse Code

 

When, in 1897, the English press began to write about Marconi, Lodge stated that nothing had been invented by the Italian scientist, because in 1894, one year prior to Marconi, he had already proved the possibility of wireless transmission over distance. In this debate Lodge was supported by a large part of the British physicists of the time. He repeated his claim several times and totally disagreed with the Post Office chief engineer, William Preece, whom he had already challenged on various occasions in the past.  In 1911 the Marconi Company lost a brief legal battle and was forced to purchase Lodge's syntonic tuner.

 

It is said that Guglielmo Marconi had to read about some of the most important discoveries of that times on the electromagnetic phenomena to keep himself up to date. The most important news on this subject was about the experiments that Hertz did during the 1880s while he was on vacation in 1894 and about Nikola Tesla's work in the just-published book Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla. It doesn't seems to be a coincidence that it was during the same period of time when Marconi began to understand that radio waves could be used to send messages wirelessly through long distances.

 

Syntonic Wireless Telegraphy - by Guglielmo Marconi - The Electrician - May 24, 1901:

 

Leyden jar or condenser circuit in which is included the primary of what may be called Tesla coil, the secondary of which is connected to the earth or aerial conductor. The idea of using a Tesla coil to produce oscilations is not new. It was tried by the Post Office officials when experimenting with my system in 1898, and also suggested in a patent specification by Mr. Lodge, dated on May 10, 1897 No.11.575 and by Prof Braun in the specification of a patent dated on Ja. 26, 1899, No.1862. My idea was to asociate with this compound radiator a reciever tuned to the frequency of the oscilations set up in the vertical wire by the condenser circuit

 

 

Tesla knew that Marconi used some 17 patents to make his radio but Tesla radio was a longer range compared to Marconi's. Many people think of Guglielmo Marconi as the father of radio, but some sources doesn't mention Tesla for his achievements of transmitting signals to long distances before many inventors of that times. Marconi claimed all the first patents for radio, and he didn't give any credit to Tesla's achievements. By other hand many sources also doesn't mention that he recognized the merit of Lodge and Marconi in some ocasions and he described himself as a "disinterested overlooker" about Herzian telegraphy:


Tesla Describes His Efforts in Various Fields of Work - by Nikola Tesla -  The Sun (New York) - November 21, 1898 - Electrical Review - Nov, 30, 1898

 

"This machine was simply to charge and discharge in rapid succession a body insulated in space, thus altering periodically the amount of electricity in the earth, and consequently the pressure all over its surface. It was nothing but what in mechanics is a pump, forcing water from a large reservoir into a small one and back again. Primarily I contemplated only the sending of messages to great distances in this manner, and I described the scheme in detail, pointing out on that occasion the importance of ascertaining certain electrical conditions of the earth. The attractive feature of this plan was that the intensity of the signals should diminish very little with the distance, and, in fact, should not diminish at all, if it were not for certain losses occurring, chiefly in the atmosphere. As all my previous ideas, this one, too, received the treatment of Marsyas, but it forms, nevertheless, the basis of what is now known as —wireless telegraphy.— This statement will bear rigorous examination, but it is not made with the intent of detracting from the merit of others. On the contrary, it is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the early work of Dr. Lodge, the brilliant experiments of Marconi, and of a later experimenter in this line, Dr. Slaby, of Berlin. Now, this idea I extended to a system of power transmission, and I submitted it to Helmholtz on the occasion of his visit to this country. He unhesitatingly said that power could certainly be transmitted in this manner, but he doubted that I could ever produce an apparatus capable of creating the high pressures of a number of million volts, which were required to attack the problem with any chance of success, and that I could overcome the difficulties of insulation".

 

 

Tesla On Lodge's Priority - New York Sun - April 7, 1902

 

Less disputable than the importance og his devices in Wireless Telegraphy

 

Nikola Tesla returned yesturday to New York from his plant on Long Island and was seen by Sun reporter in reference to Prof. Silvanus Thompson's statement that both Marconi and Slavy are indepted to Lodge for his discoveries in wireless telegraphy, rather than to anything that they have originated.

 

"It is to be regretted that so many eminent men should engage in battle over this matter" Mr. Tesla said "especially when there is no necessity for it. All the facts in the case may easily be ascertained by going over the records".

 

"In reference to Herzian telegraphy, I have been a disinterested overlooker, as I devoted my self to my own system. But I know in a general way that Lodge gave first descriptions of certain devices known as the coherer and the tapper, subsequently used by others. Lodge is a pioneer of great force, and I have myself frequently acknowledged my indebtedness to him in other lines of work".

 

"Nevertheless, I consider that the published writings of Prof. Slaby on Herzian apparatus are deserving of the greatest credit, which every one should unhesitatingly accord to him as he was never failed to acknowledge duly the work of others".

 

"I disagree with Prof. Thompson on the importance he assigns to the coherer and tapper, as I exhaustively tested this devices and proved them inadequate for carrying on practically quick telegraphy".

 

"The coherer is an instrument of wonderfull sensitiveness, but there are other devices better suited to use in connection with tunned circuits in all cases in which reliability of action is an important factor".

 

"Quite appart from that the Herzian circuits separated from the ground by spark gaps and choking coils, as used by Lodge and others, are for all pruposes inoperative, as they permit neither the transmission of effects at considerable distance from the source".

 

 

The Wardenclyffe laboratory/station

 

3D modeling by Vladimir Jaksic, Marko Novakovic, Milos Novakovic, Nikola Stojanovic

 

---

 

Inventor Tesla's plant nearing completion - Brooklyn Eagle - February 8, 1902:

 

Buildings at Wardencliff to be Used in Developing His Electrical Discoveries

 

SINKING A VERY DEEP WELL

 

A Big Tower 100 Feet in Diameter and Over 200 Feet High--Power House and Dynamos

 

(Special to the Eagle)

 

Wardenclyffe, L. I., February 8--Work on the buildings at Wardenclyffe, L. I. to be used by Electrician Tesla in the development of his electrical discoveries, is progressing rapidly. The power house is completed and the foundations of the big tower have been laid.

 

The working room, or tower, which will be the foundation for Mr. Tesla's across-the-world flashes, will be octagonal in shape and will be 210 feet high (precisely 187 feet high), 100 feet In diameter at tbe base (the smallest section was 95 feet), narrowing down to 80 feet in diameter at the top (precisely 68 feet). It will be constructed chiefly of wood, though the builders say that fifty tons of iron and steel and 50,000 bolts of various sizes are used in Its construction.

 

Inside the big tower a well 120 feet deep has been sunk, the well being 12 feet square, cased Its entire depth with 8 inch timbers, which will be finished off with brick and cement. A staircase, which will lead down into the well, is nearly completed.

 

Transversely across the bottom of the well will be a series of four tunnels, each to be 100 feet long, and a force of workmen has begun work on these subterranean passages.

 

The power house Is constructed of pressed brick, and is 100 feet square (precisely 94 feet square). In it are a boiler room, engine and dynamo room, machine shop and laboratory. The Westinghouse Company furnished the electrical equipment, boilers, engines and dynamos. Only the finishing touches are needed on the electrical equipment to make it available and Mr. Tesla promises to begin active operations very soon.

 

 

 

Stanford White was a very popular architect who designed many important homes and other buildings in Long Island. He became the architect for Tesla’s facility which had a tower 187 feet high above ground and a well beneath the tower below ground level 120 feet deep.  An associate of White, W. D. Crow of East Orange, New Jersey, supervised the construction work of the laboratory, which took more than a year to complete.

 

The red brick laboratory building still exist on the north side of Route 25A between the intersection of Randall Road and the Shoreham Fire Department.

 

 

 

For years, the laboratory building turned to ruins and it looked like its demolition was likely. However, in August 2012, in collaboration with internet cartoonist Matt Inman (TheOatmeal.com), The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe (TSC) group launched an internet fundraising campaign that ultimately raised $1.37 million and eventually, in May 2013, succeeded in purchasing the 16-acre industrial property, including Wardenclyffe and the original tower base.

 

For his 158th birthday, Nikola Tesla got a day named in his honor and a new science museum with $1 million in funding from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.

 

Musk, the CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors and rocket company SpaceX, pledged the money in support of a new Tesla museum to be built on the grounds of the Serbian-American inventor's laboratory at Wardenclyffe in Long Island, New York. The announcement was made on Thursday, July 10, 2014 at a birthday celebration on the historic site.

 

 

 

The laboratory was the brick building which is about 94 feet square and as tall as a two-story building. It was completed in a few months, and the concrete footings for a huge tower were laid 250 feet south of the building. Tesla had ordered a couple of 100 horsepower steam engines and they were installed in the power plant in November of 1901. A 300-kilowatt Westinghouse Alternator (above) was installed later. The laboratory building was divided into four parts: the Boiler room, the engine & dynamo room, a Workshop area containing eight metal lathes, and a laboratory.

 

 

 

Tesla’s short-term goal was to build a prototype world-system communications facility. This was intended as the first of many wireless plants that would be located near major population centers around the world. If the program had moved forward without interruption, the Long Island prototype would have been followed by additional stations, the first being built somewhere along the southern coast of England. By the Summer of 1902 Tesla had shifted his laboratory operations from the Houston Street Laboratory to the rural Long Island setting, and work began in earnest on development of the plant. The building was essentially completed and octagonal wooden tower had taken form. The 200 kW Westinghouse alternator was installed to power the system, with four large oil filled transformers as the high voltage supply. Four additional steel tanks contained condensers, and another a set of regulating coils. Designed by Tesla and Westinghouse engineers, two of these complex units were assembled. One was delivered to Wardenclyffe and the other was warehoused, presumably for future delivery to the second installation to be built across the Atlantic.

 

 

Tower/antenna

 

The Wardenclyffe project was under construction by 1901 and probablly the most difficult or challenging task was to build the giant tower which began in the summer of 1901 and it was finished by the early part of 1903. This was to be the actual Tesla Coil or Magnifying Transmitter.

 

 

 

It was a pyramid shaped tower having eight sides and rising 185 - 187 feet wich would support on its top a 55 ton copper mesh dome. This dome was 68 feet in diameter and was to have been covered with copper sheeting to form a giant copper electrode elevated above the ground by the insulating wooden tower. It was designed so that every spar could be taken out at any time and replaced if necessary. The smallest section of the base was 97 feet and 154 feet from the base till the spherical metal dome.

 

Tesla And His Wireless Age - Popular Electricity - June 1, 1911:

 

"This tower is 185 feet high from the ground to the top of the cupola. The smallest dimension across the base of uprights is 97 feet. The height to the ledge of the cupola is 153 feet, while the cupola itself is 65 feet in diameter, The tower has eight sides, with a staircase and lift for reaching the cupola platform"

 

 

 

The tower was made out of large wooden beams joined together with copper gussets and approximately 50,000 bronze bolts (according to the source) which were assembled on the ground and hoisted up into position. No ferrous metals were used anywhere in the structure because of magnetic hysteresis which would cause heating and power loss. The sections were constructed on the ground and later hoisted into place with cranes.

 

Large multi-strand cables connected the shaft termination to the periphery of the sphere. It was eventually intended to enclose the ribbed cage with copper plates to form an insulated metal ball.

 

The staircase, which led up the tower, was also constructed entirely of wood, and fastened by wooden pegs without the use of nails. The tower was high enough to be easily seen from New Haven Connecticut, across Long Island Sound.

 

My Inventions - Chapter 5: The Influences That Shape Our Destiny - 

Electrical Experimenter - February June and October 1919 p. 87-90:

 

"I also proposed to make demonstration in the wireless transmission of power on a small scale, but sufficient to carry conviction. Besides these, I referred to other and incomparably more important applications of my discoveries which will be disclosed at some future date. A plant was built on Long Island with a tower 187 feet high, having a spherical terminal about 68 feet in diameter. These dimensions were adequate for the transmission of virtually any amount of energy. Originally, only from 200 to 300 K.W. were provided, but I intended to employ later several thousand horsepower. The transmitter was to emit a wave-complex of special characteristics and I had devised a unique method of telephonic control of any amount of energy. The tower was destroyed two years ago (on 1917) but my projects are being developed and another one, improved in some features will be constructed".

 

 

Underground connection

 

A second part of the tower/transmitter consisted of a well-like shaft plunged 120 feet into the ground and a copper pipe was driven 150 feet into the ground to make a good earth connection (more info: http://www.teslascience.org/pages/twp/tunnels.htm) Sixteen iron pipes were driven three hundred feet deeper so that currents could pass through them to grip the earth.

 

Nikola Tesla planned to build another two towers to duplicate the tower with the large sphere on top. The three towers, one for each powerhouse, would each have a 500-foot well. The water at the bottom of the well was to be kept warm and was not to exceed a certain temperature. Excavation was planned to continue down to 500 feet.

 

In 1916 Tesla described the underground portion of the tower as it is displayed in the article Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power, L.I. Anderson - Sun Publishing, Denver - 1992 - pg. 203; or Wardenclyffe Foreclosure Proceedings, pp.177-179:

 

"In this system that I have invented it is necessary for the machine to get a grip of the earth, otherwise it cannot shake the earth. It has to have a grip on the earth so that the whole of this globe can quiver, and to do that it is necessary to carry out a very expensive construction. I had in fact invented special machines".

 

"There was a big shaft about ten by twelve feet goes down about one hundred and twenty feet and this was first covered with timber and the inside with steel and in the center of this there was a winding stairs going down and in the center of the stairs there was a big shaft again through which the current was to pass, and this shaft was so figured in order to tell exactly where the nodal point is, so that I could calculate every point of distance. For instance I could calculate exactly the size of the earth or the diameter of the earth and measure it exactly within four feet with that machine".

 

"And then the real expensive work was to connect that central part with the earth, and there I had special machines rigged up which would push the iron pipe, one length after another, and I pushed these iron pipes, I think sixteen of them, three hundred feet, and then the current through these pipes takes hold of the earth. Now that was a very expensive part of the work, but it does not show on the tower, but it belongs to the tower".

 

"The ground water on that place is about one hundred and twenty feet. We are above the ground water about one hundred and twenty feet. In the well we struck water at about eighty feet, but there we had to go deeper"

 

"The primary purpose of the tower, your Honor, was to telephone, to send the human voice and likeness around the globe through the instrumentality of the earth. That was my discovery that I announced in 1893, and now all the wireless plants are doing that. There is no other system being used. And the idea was to reproduce this apparatus and then connect it just with a central station and telephone office, so that you may pick up your telephone and if you wanted to talk to a telephone subscriber in Australia you would simply call up that plant and the plant would connect immediately with that subscriber, no matter where in the world, and you could talk to him. And I had contemplated to have press messages, stock quotations, pictures for the press and these reproductions of signatures, checks and everything transmitted from there throughout the world"

 

Leland Anderson commented (Wizard, ch 33, p. 291):

 

"At the base of the edifice, deep below the earth, along the descending spiral staircase, was a network of catacombs that extended out like spokes of a wheel. Sixteen of them contained iron pipes which protruded from the central shaft to a distance of three hundred feet. The expense for these "terrestrial grippers" was notable, as Tesla had to design "special machines to push the pipes, one after the other"

 

"Also in the well were four stone-lined tunnels, each of which gradually rose back to the surface. Large enough for a man to crawl through, they emerged like isolated, igloo-shaped brick ovens three hundred feet from the base of the tower.

 

"Although the exact reason for the burrows has not been determined, their necessity was probably multifaceted. Tesla had increased the length of the aerial by over a hundred feet by extending the shaft into the earth. Simultaneously, he was able to more easily transmit energy through the ground with this arrangement. It is possible that he also planned to resonate the aquifer which was situated slightly below the bottom of the well. The insulated passageways which climbed back to the surface may have been safety valves, which would have allowed excess pressure to escape. They also provided an alternative way to access the base. Tesla may have planned to fill other shafts with salt water or liquid nitrogen to augment transmission. There may have also been other reasons for their construction."

 

 

Local rumors told that pits and underground tunnels were being constructed, but these do not appear to be true. Years later, there was reported to be a well 12 feet wide and 100 feet deep at the site of the tower.

 

The tunnels, which were supposedly built under the great tower, were considered a great mystery. A well was dug below the tower 120’ deep and 12 by 10 feet, lined with 8’ timbers. A spiral stairway encircled a telescopic steel shaft. Air pressure would cause the shaft to rise 300 feet to contact the tower’s top platform. Connected to the well were four brick-lined tunnels nearly 100 feet in length, but they were for the same objective of his "special machines".

 

One account by Anderson on 1969 states:

 

Excitation currents pulsed through a 16-section telescoping shaft that rose under air pressure 300 feet from the bottom of the well to contact the spherical terminal.

 

and another by Popovic on 1976:

 

Radio station on Long Island consisted of a large building and a special antenna tower suspended on a wooden pyramid of several meters in diameter with a changeable height position by means of a metal tube which was telescopically vertically moveable, was emerging from a cylindrical 30 m deep hole in the ground beneath the pyramid.

 

The Port Jefferson Echo reported in February of 1902:

 

“The staircase leading down into this subterranean chamber is partially completed, and next week a force of workmen will begin the driving of a series of four small tunnels, each 100 feet long transversely across the bottom of the well. As these tunnels will be below the water level, some skillful engineering will be required to carry the work through. Mr. Tesla’s energy is pushing the work of construction forward and the fact that the boilers, engines and heavy machinery need only the finishing touches to make the power available, is an assurance that within a very brief period, he will be transmitting messages across the ocean through his wonderful wireless system.” The March 1902 Patchogue Advance reported “Under the center of the tower a well 123 feet square has been sunk a distance of 120 feet. This has been cased with eight-inch timbers and at the bottom, below the water line, a system of four tunnels will be driven out a distance of 100 feet each to the north, south, east and west. The particular use to which all this is to be put is one of the mysteries of the wireless system.”

 

In 1904 The New York Times told of the curiosity of the tunnels at Wardenclyffe:

 

“While the tower itself is very stagy and picturesque, it is the wonders that are supposed to be hidden in the earth underneath it that excite the curiosity of the population in the little settlement. In the centre of the wide concrete platform, which serves as a base for the structure there is a wooden affair very much like the companionway on an ocean steamer. The tower and the inclose in which it has been built are being carefully guarded these days, and no one except Mr. Tesla’s own men is allowed to approach it. Only they have been allowed as much as the briefest peep down the companionway. Mr. Scherff, the private secretary of the inventor, told an inquirer that the companionway led to a small drainage passage built for the purpose of keeping the ground about the tower dry. But such of the villagers as saw the tower constructed, tell a different story. They declare that it leads to a well-like excavation as deep as the tower is high with walls of mason work and a circular stairway leading to the bottom. From there, they say, tunnels have been built in all directions, until the entire ground below the little plain on which the tower is raised has been honeycombed with subterranean passages. They tell with awe how Mr. Tesla, on his weekly visits to Wardenclyffe, spends as much time in the underground passages as he does on the tower or in the handsome laboratory and workshop erected beside it, and where the power plant for the world telegraph has been installed.”

 

A direct electrical connection between the elevated isotropic capacitance and the subterranean ground connection would be consistent with the type-two transmitter design.

 

In a conversation this writer had with Tesla author, Leland I. Anderson, he mentioned that Nikola Tesla stated it would be very dangerous to walk on the ground between the tower and the laboratory building when it was operating, because of the tunnel, which connected the building to the tower. Anderson also referred to a spiral stairway, which ascended down into the tunnel. At the bottom there are four stone-lined tunnels going out in various directions. These were used to establish ground connection (transmission) for the tower and not to be walked in. The tunnels gradually rose to the surface into brick, igloo-shaped mounds. Some people remember seeing these mounds at the edge of the Tesla property, near the present Fire Department. When the adjacent Fire Department built an extension on their garage, the bulldozer sank deep into the ground.

 

By February 22, 1902 The Echo printed the following announcement:

 

"One of the remarkable features of the well is that at the bottom, the water will be warm. The principles on which Tesla will send wireless messages through the ground is, as explained by a friend, that a straight line through the earth, say between New York and London, is shorter than a line around the earth. His belief in it is so great that he has declared, in confidence to his friends, that ten years from now Wardenclyffe will be the great telegraph and cable center of America.”

 

 

Remains of the Tesla Wireless Tower Base at the Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island after removal of tower. It appears the shaft's wooden shoring has given way, allowing the surrounding soil to be washed into the hole. In this photo the undercut portion of the concrete foundation is in the process of collapse.

 

 

 

Much of the surrounding soil has collapsed into the central shaft and a large portion of the unsupported concrete foundation has either fallen into the pit or been removed.

 

 

 

Base of tower at Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island after removal of tower. Note the opening of the large conduit that ran from the laboratory building to the 120-foot tower shaft, one of two installed to carry electric and hydraulic mains.

 

Rare Notes by Leland I. Anderson
Rare Notes by Leland I. Anderson

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings - by Leland I. Anderson, Editor:

 

"There were two channels. One was for communicating, for bringing into the tower compressed air and water and such things as I might have needed for operations and the other on was to bring in electrical mains".

 

The considerable distance (about 350 feet) between the high-voltage power supply transformers and the tower-side components, including, at the very least, a helical resonator, could have been a problem on Long Island. Tesla patented two inventions during the same period of time which could be useful to improve the Wardenclyffe plant's preformance:

 

A method for producing a "great increase in the intensity and duration of the (electrical) oscillations excited in a freely-vibrating or resonating circuit by maintaining the same at a low temperature". With this patent it is supposed that he would be able to increase intensity and duration of electric oscillations. Combination of a circuit to possess freely-vibrating excitations and of means for artificially cooling the circuit to a low temperature (low temperature resonating circuit). A circuit upon which oscillations are impressed, and which is adapted to vibrate freely, in combination with a receptacle containing an artificial refrigerant in which the circuit is immersed. Uses electrical oscillators in a series of transmitting and receiving circuits in a system for the transmission of energy.

 

It is supposed that this invention could be arranged to provide the right operation conditions of the  magnifying transmitter itself.

 

 

 

The wonder world to be created by electricity" - Manufacturer's Record, September 9, 1915

 

The underlying principle is to convey through a tubular conductor hydrogen at a very low temperature, freeze the surrounding material and thus secure a perfect insulation by indirect use of electric energy.

 

Method and practical application of insulation by freezing and solidification; Expounding on Faraday's hypothesis of freezing substances make them possess a higher dielectric level to insulate transmission conductors; Improvements in the method set out by Faraday; Method of insulating electrical conductors which consist in surrounding or supporting said conductors by a material which acquires insulating properties when frozen or solidified; Method of maintaining a conductor within a gaseous cooling agent by the continuous application of said agent; Trough or conduit with circulating cooling agents; Reissued as U.S. Patent RE11865

 

The inventor might use this patent to improve the efficiency of the high-voltage power transmission between the lab building and the tower-antenna.

 

 

The oscilator

 

The oscillator of the first prototype of the World Wireless System was contained in the building and would be connected to the primary of the Magnifying Transmitter by underground cable. Four seven-foot high steel tanks filled with oil were to contain the high voltage transformer. The condenser bank would consist of seven tanks more, and one special tank was to be filled with a system of coils and regulating apparatus for controlling the frequency and power of the oscillations. Not all of this equipment was installed, but even when not finished, the inside of the lab was an impressive sight. Its huge tanks and giant pieces of machinery made contemporary efforts at wireless transmission seem very pitiful.

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings -  by Leland I. Anderson, Editor - Pg. 171:

 

"There were five large tanks. Four of those contained special transformers according to my design made by Westinhouse Electric Manufacturing Company. These were to transform the energy for the plant. There were about, I should say, seven feet high and about five by five feet each, and were filled with special oil which we recall transformer oil, to stand an electric tension of 60.000 Volts. The beside this fours tanks, there was a similar tank which was for special pruposes, containing a transformer. Then there were two doors, one door that led to the other compartment and the other one led in the closets, and between these two doors there was space on which was placed my electric generating apparatus. This apparatus I used in my laboratory demonstrations in two laboratories before and I had used it in the Colorado experiments where I erected a wireless plant in 1889. That apparatus was precious because it could flash a message across the Atlantic and yet it was built in 1894 or 1895. That is a very complicated and expensive apparatus".

 

"There were again four, big tanks almost the same size as those described. These four tanks were to contain the condensers, what we recall electric condensers, which store energy and then discharge and make it go around the world. These condensers, some of them were in an advanced state of construction, two I think, and the others were not. They were according to a principle of discovery. Then there was a very expensive apparatus which Westinhouse  Company furnished me. Only two of this kind of apparatus were made by the Westinhouse Company. One for me and the other for themselves. It was developed together by myself and by their engineers. That was a steel tank which contained a very elaborate assemblage of coils, and elaborate regulating apparatus, and it was intended to give every imaginable regulation that I wanted in my measurements and control of energy. Then on the last  side, where I had described the first four big tanks there was a spacial 100 H.P motor"

 

 

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

The Westinghouse alternator was installed to power the system, with four large oil filled transformers as the high voltage supply. Four additional steel tanks contained condensers, and another a set of regulating coils. Designed by Tesla and Westinghouse engineers, two of these complex units were assembled. One was delivered to Wardenclyffe and the other was warehoused, presumably for future delivery to the second installation to be built across the Atlantic.

 

 

Testing or Laboratory room

 

More info: "Testing or Laboratory room"

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings, by Leland I. Anderson, Editor

 

  • 7 Rheostats.
  • 4 Desks.
  • 2 Safes.
  • 3 Motors.
  • 1 Set of storage batteries and tanks.
  • 1 Submarine boat.
  • 1 Westinhouse motor nº 28292.
  • 1 Westinhouse motor, type C, 5 H.P. nº 62320.
  • 1 Westinhouse motor, type C, 5 H.P. nº 22070.
  • 4 High tension transformers in tanks; and switchboards.
  • Wiring drums
  • Drafting boards and tools.
  • 24 Chairs.
  • 2 Clocks
  • 14 Radiators.

 

 

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

 

 

Interior view of Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant showing various electrical apparatus, including the large telautomaton, "Egg of Columbus," and various transformers. Circa 1902.

 

 

 

Interior view of Tesla's Wardenclyffe plant showing various electrical apparati, including a tuning table, two-phase dynamo, various transformers and oscilators, and large spiral coil. The telautomaton and "Egg of Columbus" are in background. Circa 1902.

 

In June of 1902, Tesla moved out of his laboratory on Houston Street and into the Wardenclyffe building. The laboratory section was soon filled with lecture equipment, coils, X-ray machinery and other devices. In the workshop, glass blowers were busy making the electron bulbs that Tesla hoped to use in his receivers.

 

 

 Wardenclyffe plant, experimental area side.  Circa 1905.
Wardenclyffe plant, experimental area side. Circa 1905.

 

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

 

 

The Westinhouse Electric Company constructed this dynamo under direction of his friend Mr. Albert Schmidt, and using Bessemer steel as suggested by Tesla. It was rated at 30 H.P. but it was even possible to run it at 150 H.P, as he did in some occasion.

 

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:

 

"By the way, and this is a painful reflection, it was Schmidt and I who developed this type of frame and this general arrangement which is universally adopted now—a base, with the magnets cast below, split at the center line, and a corresponding upper part. That is now used everywhere. I remember years ago, some of my friends, Messrs. Crocker and Wheeler, started with those long magnets and I told them, "The sooner you throw these away and adopt this construction, the better it will be for you." They have got it now; it is all right".

 

 

It consisted of a two-phase machine which could develop four-phase. This machine could generate continuous electromotive force and production of "absolutely" undamped waves or isochronous oscillations of any period.

 

Tesla used this machine from 1895 and on with different configurations for the generation of continuous electromotive force and production of undamped waves:

 

  • To produce alternating currents and then interrupt them with a mechanical break at the high peaks of the wave;
  • Using alternating currents and interrupted them with an independent rotating break having a great number of teeth. 
  • To generate continuous currents by commutating the high tension alternating currents of the transformer.

 

The 4 big Westinhouse transformers close to the wall were to provide constant pressure and could each develop 44,000 volts but Tesla explained that when connecting just 11,000 volts to each transformer, their secondaries could be connected to the 4-phase machine and commutate them by a commutator consisting of aluminum plates, or aluminum segments, which were rotated in synchronism with the alternator to obtain direct current of a tension of 44,000 volts to charge the condensers shown on those 2 tables. Then by discharging the condensers, either through a stationary gap or through a gap with a mechanical interrupter, he obtained any frequency, and perfectly undamped waves.

 

"It was connected to the condensers, and these condensers were discharged through a primary which excited the secondary; the antenna was included in the secondary. At other times we discharged the condensers directly so that I could use the antenna without the secondary"

 

"In most cases the instrument of reception was different. When I operated with these continuous, or undamped, waves, generated in this way, I usually went to high frequencies. I did operate [at] a very few thousand, but that gave me a smaller output. Such a machine you have to operate at high frequencies of 30,000, 40,000, 50,000, or something like that to get power"


"I could not use it untuned. That would be absurd"


"T he horsepower activity was usually something like 50 horsepower, and I would get, I should say, approximately 30 horsepower in the antenna; that is, I would get 30 horsepower in the oscillating circuit"

 

 

This machine was used at first in his Laboratory in Houston Street and in 1901 was installed in Tesla's wireless plant at Long Island. With this system he stated, was to telephone around the world.

 

 

Workshop area

 

More info: "Workshop area"

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings, by Leland I. Anderson, Editor

 

  • 1 Westinhouse electric motor, used for power to drive machine shop, type C induction motor 6 H.P., nº 162319.
  • 1 Milling machine with tools complete, made by Brown & Sharp company.
  • 1 Lathe by Pond Machine Tool Company, nº P-3040, with tools, belting and shifting.
  • 11 Work benches.
  • 4 Vises.
  • 1 Westinhouse, type C, 2 H.P. Induction motor, nº 162278.
  • 1 Westinhouse, type C, induction motor, 2 H.P. Serial nº 162272.
  • 1 Westinhouse, type C, induction motor, 5 H.P. nº L-74487.
  • 1 Westinhouse motor, about 1/4 H.P. nº 22190.
  • 3 Lathes made by F.E Reed of Worcester, Mass, with shafting, belting and tools.
  • 1 Plainer made by Hendey Machine Co., with shafting, belting and tools.
  • 1 Plainer made by Pedrick & Ayr, with shafting, belting and tools.
  • 1 F.E. Reed, hand drill press, shafting, beltinging and tools.
  • 1 Large drill press by Prince Brothers, with shafting, belting and tools.
  • 36 Lockers containing miscelanious supply for valves, joints, lubricators, fittings, scales, switches, single and double pole, socket, wrenches, fuses & plugs.
  • 1 Testing fan motor
  • A quality telephone and bell wire.
  • A quality of lead cable material.
  • 4 Radiators
  • A quality of drills, rose bits, reamers, taps, and tools for milling machine and lathes, at ppresent time in store room located in the workshop.
  • 2 Oil tanks
  • 1 Testing motor by Crocker Wheeler, 1/2 H.P. with Rheostat, nº 1000.
  • 1 Submarine boat.
  • 1 Clock.
  • All of the aforesaid motors with starting boxes and switches.

 

(Coloured photo) The Workshop area contained a Glass Blowing facility, 8 metal lathes and some other tools
(Coloured photo) The Workshop area contained a Glass Blowing facility, 8 metal lathes and some other tools

 

Courtesy of Rex Hebert -  http://www.magnetricity.com/Tesla/Tesla.php#Gallery

 

 

Generating room

 

More info: "Generating room"

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings, by Leland I. Anderson, Editor:

 

  • 1 Westinhouse auto compound nº 1497, size 16 by 27 by 16.
  • 1 Direct connecting Westinhouse alternating current generator 200 Kw; serial nº 155407, with complete lubricator, gauge, Rheostadt, switchboard and switches.
  • 1 Westinhouse engine nº 4750, size 8 (1/2) by 8, with direct connected double current generator, 25 Kw; serial nº 168362, complete with lubricator, gauge, Rheostadt, switchboard and switches.
  • 1 15 H.P. Westinhouse motor, nº 162315.
  • 4 Westinhouse transformers, 15 Kw. Type O.D.
  • 1 Tank manufactured by Stoutenborough.
  • 1 Truck.
  • 1 Fairbank's scale.
  • 1 Laidlaw Dunn-Gordon pump, nº 16473.

 

 

A photograph taken in the Wardenclyffe plant generator room showing a 200 kilowatt, 3-phase direct-connecting Westinghouse alternating current generator. It was driven by a Westinghouse auto compound engine No.1497, 16 x 27 x 16 feet.

 

My Inventions, Chapter 5

 

“Originally, only from 200 to 300 K.W. were provided, but I intended to employ later several thousand horsepower. The transmitter was to emit a wave-complex of special characteristics and I had devised a unique method of telephonic control of any amount of energy".

 

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

The energy of Tesla's steam driven Westinghouse 200 kW alternator was to be channeled instead into an underground structure consisting of iron pipes drivenm from a point 120 feet beneath the tower's base. This was to be accomplished by combining an extremely low frequency signal (ELF) along with the higher frequency current coursing between the earth and the transmitter's elevated terminal [through the master oscillator and helical resonator]. The low frequency current in the presence of an enveloping corona-induced plasma of free charge carriers would have "pumped" the earth's charge.

 

100 HP steam engine, Control menus and an stairway access to underground.
100 HP steam engine, Control menus and an stairway access to underground.

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings, by Leland I. Anderson, Editor - (Pg. 171)

 

"This motor was equiped with special devices for rectifying the alternating currents and sending them into the condersers. On this apparatus alone I spent thousands of dollars. The 100 H.P. motor was specially constructed for me by the Westinhouse Company, but the other parts were all made by myself and that took a considerable portion of space there and it was a wonderful apparatus".

 

This machine was the main generator of 100H.P. powered by steam pressure  which had to be connected under the tower to provide the power for the wireless transmission through the atmosphere.

 

Tesla had ordered a couple of 100 horsepower steam engines and they were installed in the power plant in November of 1901. A 300-kilowatt Westinghouse Alternator (above) was installed later.

 

 

Boiler room

 

More info: "Boiler room".

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings, by Leland I. Anderson, Editor:

 

  • 2 Babcock & Wilcox boilers with steam gauges and water columns and with Metropolitan injector and Worthington feed pump.
  • 1 Other feed pump.
  • 1 Hand blacksmith and forge.

 

Adjoining boiler room:

 

  • 7 Toiletes.
  • 1 Urinal.
  • 6 Wash basins.

 

Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers of 300 H.P. at the boiler room
Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers of 300 H.P. at the boiler room

Principles & concepts of the World Wireless System

 

Tesla And His Wireless Age - Popular Electricity - June 1, 1911

 

“A systematic research carried on for a number of years with the object of perfecting a method of transmission of electrical energy through the natural medium has led me to recognize three important necessities: First, to develop a transmitter of great power; second, to perfect means for individualizing and isolating the energy transmitted; and third, to ascertain the laws of propagation of currents through the earth and atmosphere.”

 

Electrical Experimenter (Cheney "Man out of time", p. 175):

 

"It is a resonant transformer which is accurately proportioned to fit the globe and its electrical constants and properties, by virtue of which design it becomes highly efficient and effective at wireless transmission of energy. Distance is then absolutely eliminated, there being no diminution of the transmitted impulses. It is even possible to make the actions increase with the distance from the plant according to an exact mathematical law."

 

New York Herald in 1893:

 

"The plan I have suggested is to disturb by powerful machinery the electricity of the earth, thus setting it in vibration. Proper appliances will be constructed to take up the energy transmitted by these vibrations, transforming them into a suitable form of power to be made available for the practical wants of life."

 

 

My Inventions: Chapter 5 - The Influences That Shape Our Destiny

 

The World System is based on the application of the following import and inventions and discoveries:

 

  1. The Tesla Transformer (US593,138 - Electrical Transformer- November 2, 1897):

     

    This apparatus is in the production of electrical vibrations as revolutionary as gunpowder was in warfare. Currents many times stronger than any ever generated in the usual ways and sparks over one hundred feet long, have been produced by the inventor with an instrument of this kind.

     

  2. The Magnifying Transmitter (US1,119,732 - Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy- December 1, 1914):

     

    This is Tesla's best invention, a peculiar transformer specially adapted to excite the earth, which is in the transmission of electrical energy when the telescope is in astronomical observation. By the use of this marvelous device, he has already set up electrical movements of greater intensity than those of lightening and passed a current, sufficient to light more than two hundred incandescent lamps, around the Earth.

     

  3. The Tesla Wireless System (US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - March 20, 1900 & US649,621 - Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy- May 15, 1900):

     

    This system comprises a number of improvements and is the only means known for transmitting economically electrical energy to a distance without wires. Careful tests and measurements in connection with an experimental station of great activity, erected by the inventor in Colorado, have demonstrated that power in any desired amount can be conveyed, clear across the Globe if necessary, with a loss not exceeding a few per cent.

     

  4. The Art of Individualization (US723,188 -  Method of Signaling - March 17, 1903 & US725,605 - System of Signaling- April 14, 1903):

     

    This invention of Tesla is to primitive Tuning, what refined language is to unarticulated expression. It makes possible the transmission of signals or messages absolutely secret and exclusive both in the active and passive aspect, that is, non-interfering as well as non-interferable. Each signal is like an individual of unmistakable identity and there is virtually no limit to the number of stations or instruments which can be simultaneously operated without the slightest mutual disturbance.

     

  5. The Terrestrial Stationary Waves:

     

    This wonderful discovery, popularly explained, means that the Earth is responsive to electrical vibrations of definite pitch, just as a tuning fork to certain waves of sound. These particular electrical vibrations, capable of powerfully exciting the Globe, lend themselves to innumerable uses of great importance commercially and in many other respects. The "first World System" power plant can be put in operation in nine months. With this power plant, it will be practicable to attain electrical activities up to ten million horsepower and it is designed to serve for as many technical achievements as are possible without due expense.

 

 

http://www.n-atlantis.com/wireless_hanky_panky.htm

http://www.mds975.co.uk/Content/tesla.html

 

Anthony C Davies

Visiting Professor, Kingston University

Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

 

Tesla’s contributions to radio were associated with the idea of generating high-frequency continuous oscillations (in contrast to the transient spark-based methods of his contemporary innovators), and he succeeded in direct generation of 15kHz by a rotating electrical alternator – far higher than anything possible before that from a rotating machine.

 

He developed the concept of two coupled resonant circuits driven by a spark generator (basically, the Tesla Coil – the first air-cored transformer), so producing an output which was a lightly-damped oscillation, approaching his objective of continuous high-frequency oscillations.

 

By 1893, based on this system of coupled resonant circuits, he showed the need for an aerial and earth connection for radio telegraphy communications. In a public lecture in Philadelphia in February 1893, he is reported as having discussed the wireless transmission of both energy and signals carrying intelligence. His ambition was to achieve wireless methods of lighting and operating electrical motors over substantial distances. He 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 but 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.

 

---

 

Efficient near-field power transmission is quite possible but it has a range similar to the size of the antenna. If the antenna has to be this big, you may as well run a wire in most cases. Far-field power transmission is possible if the transmitting antenna is many times the wavelength. The inverse square law ultimately limits the range of free-space transmission. This practically imply the need of a laser or microwave transmitter. Both of these are far beyond the technology available to Tesla. Anyway, it isn't the same method of Tesla's design of the World Wireless System.

 

Today, when we have proof of the earth's resonant modes (Schumann resonance), and it is known that certain waves can propagate with very little attenuation, setting up standing waves in the Earth-ionosphere system, we can judge how right Tesla was when he said that the mechanism of electromagnetic wave propagation in his system wasn't the same as in Hertz's system with collimated radiation. Naturally Tesla could not have known that the phenomena he was talking about would only become pronounced at very low frequencies, because it seems he was never able to carry out the experiments which he had so brilliantly planned as early as 1893.

 

His main idea was that the entire Earth could act as an electrical resonator, and that its potential could oscillate at one or more natural resonant frequencies. If driven by pulses of current at one of these resonant frequencies from a grounded electrical oscillator such as his Tesla coil, standing waves of voltage would be generated over the surface of the Earth. A receiver consisting of a resonant circuit connected between the Earth and an elevated capacitive electrode, if tuned to resonance with the Earth oscillations, might receive power at any point over the surface of the Earth.

 

This idea came in two stages. In his March 1893 lecture On light and other high frequency phenomena, Tesla demonstrated how a single wire terminated by a capacitive plate can conduct alternating current power, powering a light bulb without a return path. The capacitive plate functions as a charge reservoir, allowing alternating current to pass along the wire. Tesla said the ground can serve the same function, conducting power between a driving grounded oscillator working against a capacitive plate, and a receiver consisting of a grounded tuned circuit and a second capacitive plate. He said this technology could be exploited now to power a city by ground current, possibly using its water mains. He speculated that the Earth itself might serve as the resonator, but that it would take further research to determine its capacitance and resonant frequency.

 

 

http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=205&sid=36a937a83b9e2a02bd2fb1406964c03b&start=30

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

http://www.tuks.nl/Mirror/frankgermano_net/nikolatesla2.htm

 

Then on July 3, 1899 while in Colorado Springs, Tesla observed that the intensity of radio signals he received from lightning strikes varied periodically over hundreds of miles as the lightning storm moved away from him. He interpreted these as nodes and antinodes of "standing waves" within the earth caused by the discharge of lighting storms. To Tesla this was proof that the Earth itself could act and in fact did act as a resonator. It was since that experience that he usually described the Earth's electrical properties comparing it with a shiny polished metal ball which possesses electrical vibrations and resonance.

 

Colorado Springs Notes - July 23, 1899:

 

"In investigating the propagation through the media, and more particularly through the ground, of the electrical disturbances produced by the experimental oscillator, as well as those caused by lightning discharge, to which work a few hours were so far devoted every day, a form of sensitive device used in some experiments in New York was adopted, as the best suitable for these purposes".

 

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy - by Nikola Tesla - Century Illustrated Magazine - June 1900:

 

"When we raise the voice and hear an echo in reply, we know that the sound of the voice must have reached a distant wall, or boundary, and must have been reflected from the same. Exactly as the sound, so an electrical wave is reflected, and the same evidence which is afforded by an echo is offered by an electrical phenomenon known as a "stationary" wave—that is, a wave with fixed nodal and ventral regions. Instead of sending sound-vibrations toward a distant wall, I have sent electrical vibrations toward the remote boundaries of the earth, and instead of the wall the earth has replied. In place of an echo I have obtained a stationary electrical wave, a wave reflected from afar".

 

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy - by Nikola Tesla - Century Illustrated Magazine - June 1900

 

When I advanced this system of telegraphy, my mind was dominated by the idea of effecting communication to any distance through the earth or environing medium, the practical consummation of which I considered of transcendent importance, chiefly on account of the moral effect which it could not fail to produce universally. As the first effort to this end I proposed at that time, to employ relay-stations with tuned circuits, in the hope of making thus practicable signaling over vast distances, even with apparatus of very moderate power then at my command. I was confident, however, that with properly designed machinery signals could be transmitted to any point of the globe, no matter what the distance, without the necessity of using such intermediate stations. I gained this conviction through the discovery of a singular electrical phenomenon, which I described early in 1892, in lectures I delivered before some scientific societies abroad, and which I have called a "rotating brush." This is a bundle of light which is formed, under certain conditions, in a vacuum-bulb, and which is of a sensitiveness to magnetic and electric influences bordering, so to speak, on the supernatural. This light-bundle is rapidly rotated by the earth's magnetism as many as twenty thousand times pre second, the rotation in these parts being opposite to what it would be in the southern hemisphere, while in the region of the magnetic equator it should not rotate at all. In its most sensitive state, which is difficult to obtain, it is responsive to electric or magnetic influences to an incredible degree. The mere stiffening of the muscles of the arm and consequent slight electrical change in the body of an observer standing at some distance from it, will perceptibly affect it. When in this highly sensitive state it is capable of indicating the slightest magnetic and electric changes taking place in the earth. The observation of this wonderful phenomenon impressed me strongly that communication at any distance could be easily effected by its means, provided that apparatus could be perfected capable of producing an electric or magnetic change of state, however small, in the terrestrial globe or environing medium.

 

Nikola Tesla On his experiments with Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power - 1916:

 

"You must simply realize that the earth is, so far as it is mechanically looked upon, like a rough ball; but when you look at it electrically, it is a polished ball. Lord Kelvin has already, in his papers on atmospheric electricity, of which he kindly sent me two copies—he did not stop at sending me one—grasped that; he considered the distribution of electricity on the globe, and came to the conclusion that the capacity of definite terrestrial areas does not increase sensibly with elevation".

 

"You see, the electrical surface density on the highest peaks is not any more than just a fraction of 1 percent greater than on the sea. So that the whole thing, to my mind, appears as a wonderfully providential arrangement, and we can by this means realize things so marvelous that one would be almost afraid to talk about them".

 

Famous Scientific Illusions - Electrical Experimenter - February, 1919:

 

“The idea gradually took hold of me that the earth might be used in place of the wire, thus dispensing with artificial conductors altogether. The immensity of the globe seemed an unsurmountable obstacle but after a prolonged study of the subject I became satisfied that the undertaking was rational”

 

He experimented with waves characterized by a lack of vibration at points, between which areas of maximum vibration occur periodically. These standing waves were produced by confining waves within constructed conductive boundaries. Tesla demonstrated that the Earth could respond at predescribed frequencies of electrical vibrations.

 

Tuned Lightning - English Mechanic and World of Science - March 8, 1907:

 

"The discovery of the stationary terrestrial waves indicates that, despite its vast extent, the entire planet can be thrown into resonant vibration like a little tuning fork; that electrical oscillations suited to its physical properties and dimensions pass through it unimpeded, in strict obedience to a simple mathematical law, has proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Earth, considered as a channel for conveying electrical energy is infinitely superior to a wire or cable".

 

The Disturbing Influence Of Solar Radiation On the Wireless Transmission of Energy - Electrical Review and Western Electrician - July 6, 1912

 

"...my discovery of the wonderful law governing the movement of electricity through the globe...the projection of the wavelengths (measured along the surface) on the earth's diameter or axis of symmetry...are all equal."

 

Letter: Nikola Tesla Says We Will Soon Be Talking Clear Around The World - by Nikola Tesla - New York World - July 2, 1905 & C142,352 - Electrical Energy Transmission - August 13, 1912:

 

In the course of certain investigations which I carried on for the purpose of studying the effects of lightning discharges upon the electrical condition of the earth I observed that sensitive receiving instruments arranged so as to be capable of responding to electrical disturbances created by the discharges at times failed to respond when they should have done so, and upon inquiring into the causes of this unexpected behavior I discovered it to be due to the character of the electrical waves which were produced in the earth by the lightning discharges and which had nodal regions following at definite distances the shifting source of the disturbances.  From data obtained in a large number of observations of the maxima and minima of these waves I found their length to vary approximately from twenty-five to seventy kilometre and these results and certain theoretical deductions led me to the conclusion that waves of this kind may be of still more widely differing lengths, the extreme limits being imposed by the physical dimensions and properties of the earth. Recognising in the existence of these waves an unmistakable evidence that the disturbance created had been conducted from their origin to the most remote portions of the globe and had been thence reflected, I conceived the idea of producing such waves in the earth by artificial means with the object of utilising them for many useful purposes or which they are or might be found applicable. 

 

This problem was rendered extremely difficult owing to the immense dimensions of the planet, and consequently enormous of electricity or rate at which electrical energy had be delivered in order to approximate, even in a remote degree, movements or rates which are manifestly attained in the displays of electrical forces in nature and which seamed at first unrealisable by any human agencies; but by gradual and continuous improvements of a generator of electrical oscillations, which I have described in my United States patents US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - March 20, 1900 & US649,621 - Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy - May 15, 1900, I finally succeeded in reaching electrical movements or rates of delivery of electrical energy not only approximating, but, as shown in many comparative tests and measurements, actually surprising those of lightning discharges, and by means of this apparatus I have found it possible to reproduce whenever desired phenomena in the earth the same as or similar to those due to such discharges.  With the knowledge of the phenomena discovered by me and the means at command for accomplishing these results I am enabled not only to carry out many operations by the use of known instruments, but also to offer a solution for many important problems involving the operation or control of remote devices which for want of this knowledge and the absence of these means have heretofore been entirely impossible.  For example, by the use of such a generator of stationary waves and receiving apparatus properly placed and adjusted in any other locality, however remote, it is practicable to transmit intelligible signals or to control or actuate at will any one or all of such apparatus for many other important and valuable purposes, as for indicating wherever desired the correct time of an observatory or for ascertaining the relative position of a body or distance of the same with reference to a given point or for determining the course of a moving object, such as a vessel at sea, the distance traversed by the same or its speed, or for producing many other effects at a distance dependent on the intensity, wave length, direction or velocity of movement, or other feature or property of disturbances of this character.

 

The Wardenclyffe World Wireless facility as envisioned by Tesla was to have been quite different from radio broadcasting stations, as they presently exist. While there was to be a great similarity in the apparatus employed, the method in which it was to be utilized would have been radically different. Conventional transmitters are designed so as to maximize the amount of electromagnetic radiation emitted by the antenna structure.

 

For long-range communications such equipment must process tremendous amounts of power in order to counteract the loss in field strength (P = 1/R2) encountered as the signal radiates outward from its point of origin.

 

The transmitter at Wardenclyffe was configured so as to minimize the radiated power. Instead of being directed into an elevated antenna, the electrical energy flowing through Tesla's transmitter was sent instead into the extra coil. Rather than acting as a radiator, the large metallic spheroid, now known as an isotropic capacitance, which Tesla positioned above the extra coil was intended only as a reservoir for electrical charge.

 

"Extra coils enable the obtainment of practically any emf, the limits being so far remote that I would not hesitate to produce sparks of thousands of feet in this manner.”

 

"Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power”, an extended interview, Leland Anderson, editor:

 

"The apparatus is suitable for one or the other method. I am not producing radiation in my system; I am suppressing electromagnetic waves. But, on the other hand, my apparatus can be used effectively with electromagnetic waves. The apparatus has nothing to do with this new method except that it is the only means to practice it. So that in my system, you should free yourself of the idea that there is radiation, that energy is radiated. It is not radiated; it is conserved."


Canadian Patent 142,352 – Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy through the natural Medium - August 13, 1912:

 

"It is necessary to employ oscillations in which the rate of radiation of energy into space in the form of Herzian or electromagnetic waves is very small. To give an idea, I would say that the frequency should be smaller than twenty thousand per second, though shorter waves might be practicable. The lowest frequency would appear to be six per second, in which case there will be but one node, at or near the ground-plate, and paradoxical as it may seem, the effect will increase with distance."

 

Tesla And His Wireless Age - Popular Electricity - June 1, 1911:

 

"My experiments have shown that the entire electrical movement which keeps the whole globe a-tremble can be maintained with but a few horsepower. Apart from the trans- mitting and receiving apparatus the only loss incurred is the energy radiated in the form of Hertzian or electro-magnetic waves which can be reduced to an entirely insig- nificant quantity"

 

 

The Transmission Of Electric Energy Without Wires - Electrical World and Engineer - March 5, 1904:

 

"With these stupendous possibilities in sight, and the experimental evidence before me that their realization was henceforth merely a question of expert knowledge, patience and skill, I attacked vigorously the development of my magnifying transmitter, now, however, not so much with the original intention of producing one of great power, as with the object of learning how to construct the best one. This is, essentially, a circuit of very high self-induction and small resistance which in its arrangement, mode of excitation and action, may be said to be the diametrical opposite of a transmitting circuit typical of telegraphy by Hertzian or electromagnetic radiations. It is difficult to form an adequate idea of the marvelous power of this unique appliance, by the aid of which the globe will be transformed. The electromagnetic radiations being reduced to an insignificant quantity, and proper conditions of resonance maintained, the circuit acts like an immense pendulum, storing indefinitely the energy of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth of the primary exciting impulses and impressions upon the earth and its conducting atmosphere uniform harmonic oscillations of intensities which, as actual tests have shown, may be pushed so far as to surpass those attained in the natural displays of static electricity".

 

According to modern science, the first suggestion that an ionosphere existed, capable of trapping electromagnetic waves, is attributed to Heaviside and Kennelly (1902). It took another twenty years before Edward Appleton and Barnett in 1925, were able to prove experimentally the existence of the ionosphere.

 

He transmitted extremely low frequencies through the ground as well as between the Earth’s surface and the Kennelly-Heaviside layer. He received patents on wireless transceivers that developed standing waves by this method. Making mathematical calculations based on his experiments, Tesla discovered that the resonant frequency of the Earth was approximately 6-8 hertz (Hz).

 

Rare notes by Leland I. Anderson
Rare notes by Leland I. Anderson


It was not until 1952–1954 that the German physicist W. O. Schumann, together with H. L. König, attempted to measure the resonant frequencies around the world and researchers were surprised to discover that the resonant frequency of this space was indeed in the range of between 6 to 8 Hertz as Tesla suggested in his experiments. The first spectral representation of this phenomenon was prepared by Balser and Wagner in 1960.

 

The Schumann resonances (SR) are a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth's electromagnetic field spectrum. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth's surface and the ionosphere.

 

With this conditions, the Earth behaves like an enormous electric circuit. The atmosphere is actually a weak conductor and if there were no sources of charge, its existing electric charge would diffuse away in about 10 minutes. There is a 'cavity 'defined by the surface of the Earth and the inner edge of the ionosphere 55 kilometers up. At any moment, the total charge residing in this cavity is 500,000 Coulombs. There is a vertical current flow between the ground and the ionosphere of 1 - 3 x 10^-12 Amperes per square meter. The resistance of the atmosphere is 200 Ohms. The voltage potential is 200,000 Volts. There are about 1000 lightning storms at any given moment worldwide. Each produces 0.5 to 1 Ampere and these collectively account for the measured current flow in the Earth's 'electromagnetic' cavity.

 

The normal mode descriptions of Schumann Resonances are quasi standing wave electromagnetic waves that exist in the Earth–ionosphere cavity trough the circumference of the Earth. Like waves on a spring, they are not present all the time, but have to be 'excited' to be observed. They are not caused by anything internal to the Earth, its crust or its core. They seem to be related to electrical activity in the atmosphere, particularly during times of intense lightning activity. This lowest-frequency (and highest-intensity) mode of the Schumann resonance at several frequencies between 6.5 and 50 cycles per second; specifically 7.83, 14, 20, 26, 33, 39 and 45 Hertz, with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 Hertz. This variation is caused by different factors. So long as the properties of Earth's electromagnetic cavity remains about the same, these frequencies remain the same. Presumably there is some change due to the solar sunspot cycle as the Earth's ionosphere changes in response to the 11-year cycle of solar activity. Schumann resonances are most easily seen between 2000 and 2200 UT. Such solar-induced perturbations to the ionosphere are able to compress or to produce deformations on the upper wall of the closed cavity.

 

The higher resonance modes are spaced at approximately 6.5 Hz intervals, a characteristic attributed to the atmosphere's spherical geometry. The peaks exhibit a spectral width of approximately 20% on account of the damping of the respective modes in the dissipative cavity. The 8th partial lies at approximately 60 Hz.

 

Given that the earth's atmosphere carries a charge, a current and a voltage, it is not surprising to find such electromagnetic waves. Much of the research in the last 20 years has been conducted by the Department of the Navy who investigate Extremely Low Frequency communication with submarines.

 

Schuman resonance
Schuman resonance

 

Telluric currents are electrical currents which moves underground or through the sea. They are primarily geomagnetically induced currents, which are induced by thunderstorms and changes in the outer part of the magnetosphere (Earth's magnetic field), which are usually caused by interactions between the solar wind and the magnetosphere or solar radiation effects on the ionosphere and other intergalactic phenomena. They are also the result of humans using electric currents and changing magnetic fields.

 

These Telluric currents are very unpredictable because the discrete currents interact in a complex pattern, moving mainly toward the equator or poles depending on the time of day. The currents are extremely low frequency and travel over large areas at or near the surface layers of the earth. At the proper frequencies, around 7.3 Hz, the Earth’s impedance drops dramatically.

 

Magnetotellurics (MT) is an electromagnetic geophysical method of imaging the earth's subsurface by measuring natural variations of electrical and magnetic fields at the Earth's surface.

 

Potential field geophysics
Potential field geophysics

 

Tesla's first idea was that it might be possible to produce global displacements of the earth’s charge using a powerful type-two transmitter. In theory, the local electrical current flowing in the earth between the two ground terminals causes this widespread charge displacement.

 

After some time dedicated with his research, Tesla proposed two different methods by which global wireless energy transmission might be achieved. The first is by atmospheric conduction using two type-one facilities. The second involves the use of earth resonance principles, the creation of manmade oscillations in Earth’s naturally existing electrical charge. This was made clear in a 1932 interview in which he makes a distinction between the transmission of electrical energy by ionization of the upper atmosphere and terrestrial resonance.

 

Tesla Cosmic Ray Motor May Transmit Power 'Round Earth - Brooklyn Eagle - July 10, 1932, John J. A. O'Neill:

 

"He announced two principles which could be used in this project. In one the ionizing of the upper air would make it as good a conductor of electricity as a metal (using a very powerful type-one transmitter). In the other the power would be transmitted by creating "standing waves" in the earth by charging the earth with a giant electrical oscillator (of the type-two design) that would make the earth vibrate electrically in the same way a bell vibrates mechanically when it is struck with a hammer. "I do not use the plan involving the conductivity of the upper strata of the air," he said, "but I use the conductivity of the earth itself, and in this I need no wires to send electrical energy to any part of the globe."

 

 

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy - Century Illustrated Magazine - June 1900:

 

"The most valuable observation made in the course of these investigations was the extraordinary behavior of the atmosphere toward electric impulses of excessive electromotive force. The experiments showed that the air at the ordinary pressure became distinctly conducting, and this opened up the wonderful prospect of transmitting large amounts of electrical energy for industrial purposes to great distances without wires, a possibility which, up to that time, was thought of only as a scientific dream. Further investigation revealed the important fact that the conductivity imparted to the air by these electrical impulses of many millions of volts increased very rapidly with the degree of rarefaction, so that air strata at very moderate altitudes, which are easily accessible, offer, to all experimental evidence, a perfect conducting path, better than a copper wire, for currents of this character".

 

"Thus the discovery of these new properties of the atmosphere not only opened up the possibility of transmitting, without wires, energy in large amounts, but, what was still more significant, it afforded the certitude that energy could be transmitted in this manner economically".

 

An important component of Tesla's Long Island apparatus was an underground array of iron pipes which extended outward from the bottom of a deep shaft beneath the transmitter tower. When coupled with the transmitter these pipes provided a connection to the earth through which a powerful oscillating electrical current would flow.

 

Tesla's description of Long Island plant and inventory of the installation as reported in 1922 foreclosure appeal proceedings - by Leland I. Anderson, Editor, pp.177-179:

 

"There was a big shaft about ten by twelve feet goes down about one hundred and twenty feet and this was first covered with timber and the inside with steel and in the center of this there was a winding stairs going down and in the center of the stairs there was a big shaft again through which the current was to pass, and this shaft was so figured in order to tell exactly where the nodal point is, so that I could calculate every point of distance. For instance I could calculate exactly the size of the earth or the diameter of the earth and measure it exactly within four feet with that machine".

 

Tesla's Flashes Startling - New York Sun - July 17th, 1903:

 

“It is true that some of them have had to do with wireless telegraphy and that in addition to the tower and poles there is a hole dug in the ground. This is 150 feet deep and is used in these experiments. The people about there, had they been awake instead of asleep, at other times would have seen even stranger things. Some day, but not at this time, I shall make an announcement of something that I never once dreamed of.”

 

Unlike a conventional radio transmitter with an antenna that radiates dissipating electromagnetic waves out into space, the magnifying transmitter's extra coil excites a low-frequency ground wave called the Zenneck surface wave. In this case the propagating energy does not radiate into space but is concentrated near the earth's surface.

 

The Disturbing Influence Of Solar Radiation On the Wireless Transmission of Energy - Electrical Review and Western Electrician - July 6, 1912

 

"...my discovery of the wonderful law governing the movement of electricity through the globe...the projection of the wavelengths (measured along the surface) on the earth's diameter or axis of symmetry...are all equal."

 

He stated that the resulting ground current and its associated wave complex would have allowed the propagation of wireless transmissions to any distance on the earth's surface with as little as 5% loss due to electromagnetic radiation.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power, an extended interview, Leland Anderson, editor:

 

"The apparatus which I devised was an apparatus enabling one to produce tremendous differences of potential and currents in an antenna circuit. These requirements must be fulfilled, whether you transmit by currents of conduction, or whether you transmit by electromagnetic waves. You want high potential currents, you want a great amount of vibratory energy; but you can graduate this vibratory energy. By proper design and choice of wave lengths, you can arrange it so that you get, for instance, 5 percent in these electromagnetic waves and 95 percent in the current that goes through the earth. That is what I am doing. Or, you can get, as these radio men, 95 percent in the energy of electromagnetic waves and only 5 percent in the energy of the current. The apparatus is suitable for one or the other method. I am not producing radiation in my system; I am suppressing electromagnetic waves. But, on the other hand, my apparatus can be used effectively with electromagnetic waves. The apparatus has nothing to do with this new method except that it is the only means to practice it. So that in my system, you should free yourself of the idea that there is radiation, that energy is radiated. It is not radiated; it is conserved."

 

Tesla's acceptance speech on receiving the Edison Medal - May 18, 1917:

 

"Years ago I was in the position to transmit wireless power to any distance without limit other than that imposed by the physical dimensions of the globe. In my system it makes no difference what the distance is. The efficiency of the transmission can be as high as 96 or 97 per cent, and there are practically no losses except such as are inevitable in the running of the machinery. When there is no receiver there is no energy consumption anywhere. When the receiver is put on, it draws power. That is the exact opposite of the Hertz-wave system. In that case, if you have a plant of 1,000 horsepower, it is radiating all the time whether the energy is received or not; but in my system no power is lost. When there are no receivers the plant consumes only a few horsepower necessary to maintain the electric vibration; it runs idle, as the Edison plant when the lamps and motors are shut off".

 

He asserted that it is possible to periodically disturb the equilibrium of the earth's electrical charge and cause it to oscillate with his apparatus. By using an appropriate resonant frequency, that is to say, one at which Earth itself would oscillate, the degree of charge displacement would increase over time.

 

My inventions - Electrical Experimenter, February & June and October 1919 - Chapter 5: The Magnifying Transmitter:

 

"One winter's day I managed to climb a steep mountain, in company with other boys. The snow was quite deep and a warm southerly wind made it just suitable for our purpose. We amused ourselves by throwing balls which would roll down a certain distance, gathering more or less snow, and we tried to outdo one another in this exciting sport. Suddenly a ball was seen to go beyond the limit, swelling to enormous proportions until it became as big as a house and plunged thundering into the valley below with a force that made the ground tremble. I looked on spellbound, incapable of understanding what had happened. For weeks afterward the picture of the avalanche was before my eyes and I wondered how anything so small could grow to such an immense size. Ever since that time the magnification of feeble actions fascinated me, and when, years later, I took up the experimental study of mechanical and electrical resonance, I was keenly interested from the very start. Possibly, had it not been for that early powerful impression, I might not have followed up the little spark I obtained with my coil and never developed my best invention".

 

This would be accomplished by superposing an extra low frequency baseband signal on the somewhat higher frequency signal coursing through the resonator. The low frequency current in the presence of an enveloping corona-induced plasma of free charge carriers produced by the oscillator in effect "pumping" the earth's charge.

 

Using a global array of these magnifying transmitters, it was Tesla's plan to establish what he called the World System, providing multichannel global broadcasting, an array of secure wireless telecommunications services, and a long range aid to navigation, including means for the precise synchronization of clocks. It is supposed that he kept the secret plan of using the World System to demonstrate the wireless transmission of electrical power around the world.

 

My inventions - Electrical Experimenter - February & June and October 1919 -  Chapter?:

 

I also proposed to make demonstration in the wireless transmission of power on a small scale, but sufficient to carry conviction. Besides these, I referred to other and incomparably more important applications of my discoveries which will be disclosed at some future date. A plant was built on Long Island with a tower 187 feet high, having a spherical terminal about 68 feet in diameter. These dimensions were adequate for the transmission of virtually any amount of energy. Originally, only from 200 to 300 K.W. were provided, but I intended to employ later several thousand horsepower. The transmitter was to emit a wave-complex of special characteristics and I had devised a unique method of telephonic control of any amount of energy".

 

Diagram from Rare notes by Leland I. Anderson - The vertical axis numbers are volts. The bottom axis numbers are microseconds.
Diagram from Rare notes by Leland I. Anderson - The vertical axis numbers are volts. The bottom axis numbers are microseconds.

 

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.

 

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.”

 

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

 

"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 US723,188 and US723,189 - Method of Signaling - March 17, 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 US685,953 - Method of Intensifying and Utilizing Effects Transmitted Through Natural Media - November 5, 1901 and US1,119,732 - Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy - December 1, 1914 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".

 

Functional methods of wireless energy transmission from Tesla's World Wireless System:

 

  • Earth’s Conductivity
  • Surface Waves
  • Atmospheric Conductivity
  • Earth Resonance

 

 

Earth’s Conductivity

 

Based upon a series of experiments conducted between 1888 and 1907 Tesla concluded that the earth is an excellent electrical conductor. He believed an electric current c ould propagate to terrestrial distances of thousands of miles “without diminution of intention,” and made observations that, he felt, supported this supposition. He also found that Earth’s naturally existing electrical charge can be made to oscillate, and that “by impressing upon it current waves [i.e., surface waves] of certain lengths, definitely related to its diameter, the globe is thrown into resonant vibration like a wire, forming stationary waves.”

 

The Future of the Wireless Art- Wireless Telegraphy & Telephony by Walter W. Massie & Charles R. Underhill, 1908 - pp. 67-71:

 

"Its singleness is only an apparent limitation, for by impressing upon it numerous non-interfering vibrations, the flow of energy may be directed through any number of paths which, though bodily connected, are yet perfectly distinct and separate like ever so many cables. Any apparatus, then, which can be operated through one or more wires, at distances obviously limited, can likewise be worked without artificial conductors, and with the same facility and precision, at distances without limit other than that imposed by the physical dimensions of the globe".

 

"It is intended to give practical demonstrations of these principles with the plant illustrated to dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type elsewhere talk to any telephone subscriber on the song, speech, picture, character, drawing, or print transferred from one to another place millions of instruments operated from one plant as transmission of power shown".

 

Tesla felt the resistance of the Earth would be negligible due to its immense cross sectional area and relative shortness as compared to its diameter. (Corum & Corum) The key to good performance is a robust ground connection.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power - an extended interview, by Leland Anderson (editor), pp. 134-135:

 

A [conducting] sphere of the size of a little marble offers a greater impediment to the passage of a current than the whole earth. This is not merely a theory, but a truth established in numerous and carefully conducted experiments.

 

You must first understand certain things. Consider, for instance, the term "resistance." When you think of resistance you imagine, naturally, that you have a long, thin conductor; but remember that while resistance is directly proportionate to length, it is inversely proportionate to the section. It is a quality that depends on a ratio. If you take a small sphere of the same size of a pea, and compare its length with its section, you would find a certain resistance. Now you extend this pea to the size of the earth, and what is going to happen?

 

While the length increases, say a thousand times or a million times, the section increases with the square of the linear dimensions, so that the bigger this thing is the less resistance it has. Indeed, if the earth were as big as the sun we would still be better off than we are; we could readily telephone from one end of the sun to the other by the system, and the larger the planet the better it would be. The resistance is only at the point where you get into the earth with your current. The rest is nothing".

 

 

Surface Waves

 

In 1916 Tesla stated in regards to the disposition of the “vibratory energy” of the oscillator.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, p. 132:

 

By proper design and choice of wavelengths, you can arrange it so that you get, for instance, 5 percent in these electromagnetic waves and 95 percent in the current that goes through the earth. That is what I am doing.

 

Tesla often spoke of the electrical disturbance being in the form of an electrical current flowing through the earth. As with any electrical current flowing through a conductor surrounded by an insulating medium, there is also an electrical disturbance in the material or space adjacent to that conductor. In the case of the World System, this is a surface wave traveling along the interface between the ground and the air. The wave energy is associated with the ground current. It does not radiate freely into space but tends to be concentrated near the surface of the conductor, i.e., the guiding surface. This is equivalent to the fields associated with an electrical current flowing in a wire.

 

Nikola Tesla: Guided Weapons & Computer technology - by Leland Anderson - Twenty First Century Books - p. 82:

 

126 x-Q. In this system, then, as you have described it, the current actually flows from the transmitter through the ground to the receiver; is that so?

 

Yes, sir; it does, in accordance with my understanding. In my Patent No. 649,621, “Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy,” [May 15, 1900] it is stated distinctly:

 

“It is to be noted that the phenomenon here involved in the transmission of electrical energy is one of true conduction and is not to be confounded with the phenomena of electrical radiation, etc.”

 

The attractive feature of this plan was that the intensity of the signals should diminish very little with the distance, and, in fact, should not diminish at all, if it were not for certain losses occurring, chiefly in the atmosphere.

 

 

Atmospheric Conductivity

 

The point-to-point type-one “air-ground system” depends upon passage of electrical current through both the earth and the atmosphere. To accommodate this, the Wardenclyffe-type World System transmitter/receiver facility includes both an air and a ground connection, each being called a “terminal.” Tesla clearly specified the earth as being one of the conducting media involved in ground and air system technology. The other specified medium is the atmosphere above 5 miles elevation. While not an ohmic conductor, in this region of the troposphere and upwards, the density or pressure is sufficiently reduced to so that, according to Tesla’s theory, the atmosphere’s insulating properties can be easily impaired, allowing an electric current to flow. His theory further states that the conducting region is developed through the process of atmospheric ionization, in which the effected portions thereof are changed to plasma. The presence of the magnetic fields developed by each plant’s helical resonator suggests that an embedded magnetic field and flux linkage is also involved. Flux linkage with Earth’s natural magnetic field is also a possibility.

 

The atmosphere below 5 miles is also viewed as a propagating medium for a portion of the aboveground circuit, and, being an insulating medium, electrostatic induction would be involved rather than true electrical conduction. Tesla felt that with a sufficiently high electrical potential on the elevated terminal the practical limitation imposed upon its height could be overcome. He anticipated that a highly energetic transmitter, as was intended at Wardenclyffe, would charge the elevated terminal to the point where the atmosphere around and above the facility would break down and become ionized, leading to a flow of true conduction currents between the two terminals by a path up to and through the troposphere, and back down to the other facility. The ionization of the atmosphere directly above the elevated terminals could be facilitated by the placement of a projection at the apex of the elevated terminal. Such projections are routinely used by Tesla coil builders to create a directed discharge. Alternatively, an ionizing beam of ultraviolet radiation could be used to form what might be called a high-voltage plasma transmission line.

 

In 1935 Tesla spoke about the transmission of propulsive power to ships at sea "through the stratosphere" using this method.

 

Faster Liners is Tesla's Dream - New York Sun - June 5, 1935:

 

"The principles of this high tension power, generated by shore plants and transmitted through the upper reaches of the air, illuminating the sky, turning night into day and at the same time supplying power, have occupied Dr. Tesla's attention on and off now for the past thirty-five years. . . .

 

There is a method of conveying great power to ships at sea which would be able to propel them across oceans at high speed. . . .

 

The principle is this. A ray of great ionizing power is used to give to the atmosphere great powers of conduction. A high tension current of 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 volts is then passed along the ray to the upper strata of the air, which strata can be broken down very readily and will conduct electricity very well.

 

A ship would have to have equipment for producing a similar ionizing ray. The current which has passed through the stratosphere will strike this ray, travel down it and pass into the engines which propel the ship".

 

A minimal type-one system would be composed of two identical type-one facilities. Each would be capable of acting as a transmitter or a receiver, i.e. each could serve as either an energy source or as a load. The net flow of energy between the two plants would be dictated by the phase relationship between them and the relative level of activity. There would be two elevated terminals, one at each facility. The atmospheric path passes high potential, low current electrical energy through a somewhat resistive plasma transmission line running the entire distance between the two elevated terminals. Conversely, the low-resistance ‘ground’ path passes electrical energy of low potential and high current, flowing through the body of the earth.

 

It is well known, the higher the voltage that is passed across a conventional electrical power transmission line, the greater is its efficiency. This is due to the relationship between voltage and current as they pertain to power dissipation. For example, to power a hypothetical 100-watt load, the current can be one ampere at 100 volts, 10 amperes at 10 volts or 100 amperes at 1 volt, or any number of similar combinations. Every conductor, other than a superconductor, has a finite resistance. The voltage drop (E) across a resistance (R) is given by Ohm’s law, E = IR. For any given load, with a constant transmission-line resistance, by lowering the current (I) that flows through the transmission line, the voltage drop or loss is reduced. As can be seen by the inverse relationship between voltage and current, increasing the transmission-line voltage reduces the current. Conversely, the greater the current involved in powering a given load, the greater is the transmission-line loss, taken as a function of transmission-line resistance.

 

The above statements about transmission-line loss are also true in regards to the plasma transmission line that runs between the two elevated terminals. Tesla designed his transmitter with the expressed purpose of developing the greatest possible potential on the elevated terminal in order to minimize the loss due to the plasma transmission-line resistance. Looking at the Tesla type-one wireless energy transmission system, each of the two transmitter-receiver facilities serve, in a sense, as a lever and a fulcrum for conversion of the electrical energy flowing across the two different conducting paths. [Corum & Corum]

 

US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - Mar. 20, 1900:

 

"By such means as have been described practically any potential that is desired may be obtained, the currents through the air strata may be rendered very small, whereby the loss in the transmission may be reduced".

 

The influence of resistance on transmission line efficiency depends upon the impedance of the source and the load. For example, if a power supply puts out one watt, but puts it out at one volt and one amp, then the output impedance of the source is one ohm. (R = E/I) The transmission line had better have much less resistance than one ohm (say 0.1 ohm or smaller) otherwise a significant portion of the transmitted energy will go into heating of the wire. In other words, the one volt, one amp source thinks the division between conductor and insulator is centered at the value of one ohm. A 100-ohm leakage path is nearly an insulator, since it dissipates only 1% of the output wattage. Now suppose the power supply puts out one watt at one kilovolt and one milliamp. In that case the source impedance is one megaohm, and the connecting wires had better be 100K or less in resistance. In this case a 10K resistor is a conductor of negligible resistance, and a one-megaohm leakage path will eat up half of the power supply's output.

 

Applying this relationship to a type-one Tesla coil transmission system, if the transmitter puts out one megawatt at one megavolts and one amp, then 100K is a fairly good conductor, and insulators have to measure 10 megaohms or better. In this case, if you could create a vertical plasma transmission line, and if the plasma filament measured 10 kilo-ohm, it would only consume 1% of the transmitter's power output. If the potential of transmitter's elevated terminal is raised to 100 megavolts at 10 mA (this is still 1 megawatt), then the supply impedance is 10,000 megaohms, and the plasma transmission line will act as a negligible series resistance even if its resistance is 100 megaohms. [The two preceding paragraphs are based upon an original text by William Beaty]

 

It was about 1896 when Tesla discovered that with a sufficiently high potential on the terminal plate (P1) he could modify the properties of the air in the vicinity of his apparatus, changing it from an insulator to a conductor.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power - an extended interview, by Leland Anderson - p. 125:

 

"Up to the end of 1896, I had been developing the wireless system along the lines set forth in my lecture which is in the Martin book, particularly in the chapter on Electrical Resonance, pages 340-349. But in experimenting with these high potential discharges which I was always producing, I discovered a wonderful thing. I found, namely, that the air, which had been behaving before like an insulator, suddenly became like a conductor; that is, when subjected to these great electrical stresses, it broke down and I obtained discharges which were not accountable for by the theory that the air was an insulator. When I calculated the effects, I concluded that this must be due to the potential gradient at a distance from the electrified body, and subsequently I came to the conviction that it would be ultimately possible, without any elevated antenna—with very small elevation—to break down the upper stratum of the air and transmit the current by conduction".

Tesla described this effect as observed at the Colorado Springs Experimental Station in the patent US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - Mar. 20, 1900:

 

"In illustration of these facts a few observations, which I have made with apparatus devised for the purposes here contemplated, may be cited. For example, a conductor or terminal, to which impulses such as those here considered are supplied, but which is otherwise insulated in space and is remote from any conducting-bodies, is surrounded by a luminous flame-like brush or discharge often covering many hundreds or even as much as several thousands of square feet of surface, this striking phenomenon clearly attesting the high degree of conductivity which the atmosphere attains under the influence of the immense electrical stresses to which it is subjected. This influence is however, not confined to that portion of the atmosphere which is discernible by the eye as luminous and which, as has been the case in some instances actually observed, may fill the space within a spherical or cylindrical envelop of a diameter of sixty feet or more, but reaches out to far remote regions, the insulating qualities of the air being, as I have ascertained, still sensibly impaired at a distance many hundred times that through which the luminous discharge projects from the terminal and in all probability much farther. The distance extends with the increase of the electromotive force of the impulses, with the diminution of the density of the atmosphere, with the elevation of the active terminal above the ground, and also, apparently, in slight measure, with the degree of moisture contained in the air".

 

"I have likewise observed that this region of decidedly-noticeable influence continuously enlarges as time goes on, and the discharge is allowed to pass not unlike a conflagration which slowly spreads, this being possibly due to the gradual electrification or ionization of the air or to the formation of less insulating gaseous compounds. It is, furthermore, a fact that such discharges of extreme tensions, approximating those of lightning, manifest a marked tendency to pass upward away from the ground, which may be due to electrostatic repulsion, or possibly to slight heating and consequent rising of the electrified or ionized air. These latter observations make it appear probable that a discharge of this character allowed to escape into the atmosphere from a terminal maintained at a great height will gradually leak through and establish a good conducting-path to more elevated and better conducting air strata, a process which possibly takes place in silent lightning discharges frequently witnessed on hot and sultry days".

 

"It will be apparent to what an extent the conductivity imparted to the air is enhanced by the increase of the electromotive force of the impulses when it is stated that in some instances the area covered by the flame discharge mentioned was enlarged more than sixfold by an augmentation of the electrical pressure, amounting scarcely to more than fifty per cent. As to the influence of rarefaction upon the electric conductivity imparted to the gases it is noteworthy that, whereas the atmospheric or other gases begin ordinarily to manifest this quality at something like seventy-five millimeters barometric pressure with the impulses of excessive electromotive force to which I have referred, the conductivity, as already pointed out, begins even at normal pressure and continuously increases with the degree of tenuity of the gas, so that at, say, one hundred and thirty millimeters pressure, when the gases are known to be still nearly perfect insulators for ordinary electromotive forces, they behave toward electromotive impulses of several millions of volts, like excellent conductors, as though they were rarefied to a much higher degree".

 

He was ionizing the air and creating plasma, which is electrically conductive. In light of this new understanding, he began to develop an alternative to the type-two-transmitter plan by which he might achieve wireless energy transmission.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, p. 126:

 

Having discovered that, I established conditions under which I might operate in putting up a practical commercial plant. When the matter came up in the patents before the Examiner, I arranged this experiment for him in my Houston Street laboratory.

 

 

Earth Resonance

 

Tesla’s “World System” for wireless telegraphy, telephony and transmission of power was also to apply the principle of earth resonance.

 

On light and other high frequency phenomena - delivered before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, and the National Electric Light Association, St. Louis, 1893; or Inventions, Researches and Writings of Nikola Tesla, 1894, p. 347:

 

"If ever we can ascertain at what period the earth's charge, when disturbed, oscillates with respect to an oppositely electrified system or known circuit, we shall know a fact possibly of the greatest importance to the welfare of the human race. I propose to seek for the period by means of an electrical oscillator, or a source of alternating electric currents. One of the terminals of the source would be connected to earth as, for instance, to the city water mains, the other to an insulated body of large surface. It is possible that the outer conducting air strata, or free space, contain an opposite charge and that, together with the earth, they form a condenser of very large capacity. In such case the period of vibration may be very low and an alternating dynamo machine might serve for the purpose of the experiment. I would then transform the current to a potential as high as it would be found possible and connect the ends of the high tension secondary to the ground and to the insulated body. By varying the frequency of the currents and carefully observing the potential of the insulated body and watching for the disturbance at various neighboring points of the earth's surface resonance might be detected. Should, as the majority of scientific men in all probability believe, the period be extremely small, then a dynamo machine would not do and a proper electrical oscillator would have to be produced and perhaps it might not be possible to obtain such rapid vibrations. But whether this be possible or not, and whether the earth contains a charge or not, and whatever may be its period of vibration, it certainly is possible—for of this we have daily evidence—to produce some electrical disturbance sufficiently powerful to be perceptible by suitable instruments at any point of the earth's surface".

 

The True Wireless - Electrical Experimenter - May 1919:

 

"It was clear to me from the very start that the successful consummation could only be brought about by a number of radical improvements. Suitable high frequency generators and electrical oscillators had first to be produced. The energy of these had to be transformed in effective transmitters and collected at a distance in proper receivers. Such a system would be manifestly circumscribed in its usefulness if all extraneous interference were not prevented and exclusiveness secured. In time, however, I recognized that 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".

 

The Future of the Wireless Art- Wireless Telegraphy & Telephony by Walter W. Massie & Charles R. Underhill, 1908 - pp. 67-71:

 

"When the earth is struck mechanically, as is the case in some powerful terrestrial upheaval, it vibrates like a bell, its period being measured in hours. When it is struck electrically, the charge oscillates, approximately, twelve times a second. By impressing upon it current waves of certain lengths, definitely related to its diameter, the globe is thrown into resonant vibration like a wire, stationary waves forming, the nodal and ventral regions of which can be located with mathematical precision. Owing to this fact and the spheroidal shape of the earth, numerous geodetical and other data, very accurate and of the greatest scientific and practical value, can be readily secured. Through the observation of these astonishing phenomena we shall soon be able to determine the exact diameter of the planet, its configuration and volume, the extent of its elevations and depressions, and to measure, with great precision and with nothing more than an electrical device, all terrestrial distances. In the densest fog or darkness of night, without a compass or other instruments of orientation, or a timepiece, it will be possible to guide a vessel along the shortest or orthodromic path, to instantly read the latitude and longitude, the hour, the distance from any point, and the true speed and direction of movement. By proper use of such disturbances a wave may be made to travel over the earth's surface with any velocity desired, and an electrical effect produced at any spot which can be selected at will and the geographical position of which can be closely ascertained from simple rules of trigonometry"

 

"This mode of conveying electrical energy to a distance is not 'wireless' in the popular sense, but a transmission through a conductor, and one which is incomparably more perfect than any artificial one. All impediments of conduction arise from confinement of the electric and magnetic fluxes to narrow channels. The globe is free of such cramping and hinderment. It is an ideal conductor because of its immensity, isolation in space, and geometrical form. Its singleness is only an apparent limitation, for by impressing upon it numerous non-interfering vibrations, the flow of energy may be directed through any number of paths which, though bodily connected, are yet perfectly distinct and separate like ever so many cables. Any apparatus, then, which can be operated through one or more wires, at distances obviously limited, can likewise be worked without artificial conductors, and with the same facility and precision, at distances without limit other than that imposed by the physical dimensions of the globe"

 

"It is intended to give practical demonstrations of these principles with the plant illustrated, dictate instructions, and have them instantly appear in type elsewhere, talk to any telephone subscriber on the globe, hear anywhere music orsong, speech, picture, character, drawing, or print transferred from one to another place millions of instruments operated from one plant transmission of power shown".

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power - an extended interview, Leland Anderson, editor:

 

"The earth is 4,000 miles radius. Around this conducting earth is an atmosphere. The earth is a conductor; the atmosphere above is a conductor, only there is a little stratum between the conducting atmosphere and the conducting earth which is insulating. Now, you realize right away that if you set up differences of potential at one point, say, you will create in the media corresponding fluctuations of potential. But, since the distance from the earth's surface to the conducting atmosphere is minute, as compared with the distance of the receiver at 4,000 miles, say, you can readily see that the energy cannot travel along this curve and get there, but will be immediately transformed into conduction currents, and these currents will travel like currents over a wire with a return. The energy will be recovered in the circuit, not by a beam that passes along this curve and is reflected and absorbed, but it will travel by conduction and will be recovered in this way."

 

The exact law will be readily understood by reference to Fig. 82, in which a transmitting circuit is shown connected to earth and to an antenna. The transmitter being in action, two effects are produced: Hertz waves pass thru the air, and a current traverses the earth. The former propagate with the speed of light and their energy is unrecoverable in the circuit. The latter proceeds with the speed varying as the cosecant of the angle which a radius drawn from any point under consideration forms with the axis of symmetry of the waves. At the origin the speed is infinite but gradually diminishes until a quadrant is traversed, when the velocity is that of light. From there on it again increases, becoming infinite at the antipole. Theoretically the energy of this current is recoverable in its entirety, in properly attuned receivers.

 

Tesla’s diagram explanatory of the transmission of electrical energy by the ground air method. This was first put before Lord Kelvin in the Houston Street laboratory in September 1897.


It should be noted that in describing the “atmosphere above” as being conducting he roughly predicted the existence of the ionosphere and the earth-ionosphere cavity.

 

Fig. 82
Fig. 82

 

Diagram illustrating the law governing the passage of the current from the transmitter through the earth, first announced in U.S. Patent US787,412 - Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905. Application filed May 16, 1900. See also J. Erskine-Murray, A Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy, Chapt. 17, pp. 312-330, 1913 edition, published by Crosby Lockwood and Son, London, and Appleton & Company, New York

 

---

 

Tesla made the following statement regarding his theory and technique of energy transmission (excerpt from Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power, an extended interview, Leland Anderson, editor):

 

"This [Fig. 82] illustrates, on a larger scale, the earth. Here is my transmitter. Mine or anybody's transmitter because my system is the system of the day. The only difference is in the way I apply it. They, the radio engineers, want to apply my system one way; I want to apply it in another way".

 

"This is the circuit energizing the antenna. As the vibratory energy flows, two things happen: There is electromagnetic energy radiated and a current passes into the earth. The first goes out in the form of rays, which have definite properties. These rays propagate with the velocity of light, 300,000 kilometers per second. This energy is exactly like a hot stove. If you will imagine that the cylinder antenna is hot -- and indeed it is heated by the current it would radiate out energy of exactly the same kind as it does now. If the system is applied in the sense I want to apply it, this energy is absolutely lost, in all cases most of it is lost. While this electromagnetic energy throbs, a current passes into the globe".

 

"Now, there is a vast difference between these two, the electromagnetic and current energies. That energy which goes out in the form of rays, is, as I have indicated here [on the diagram of Fig. 82], unrecoverable, hopelessly lost. You can operate a little instrument by catching a billionth part of it but, except this, all goes out into space never to return. This other energy, however, of the current in the globe, is stored and completely recoverable. Theoretically, it does not take much effort to maintain the earth in electrical vibration. I have, in fact, worked out a plant of 10,000 horse-power which would operate with no bigger loss than 1 percent of the whole power applied; that is, with the exception of the frictional energy that is consumed in the rotation of the engines and the heating of the conductors, I would not lose more than 1 percent. In other words, if I have a 10,000 horsepower plant, it would take only 100 horsepower to keep the earth vibrating so long as there is no energy taken out at any other place".

 

"There is another difference. The electromagnetic energy travels with the speed of light, but see how the current flows. At the first moment, this current propagates exactly like the shadow of the moon at the earth's surface. It starts with infinite velocity from that point, but its speed rapidly diminishes; it flows slower and slower until it reaches the equator, 6,000 miles from the transmitter. At that point, the current flows with the speed of light -- that is, 300,000 kilometers per second. But, if you consider the resultant current through the globe along the axis of symmetry of propagation, the resultant current flows continuously with the same velocity of light".

 

"Whether this current passing through the center of the earth to the opposite side is real, or whether it is merely an effect of these surface currents, makes absolutely no difference. To understand the concept, one must imagine that the current from the transmitter flows straight to the opposite point of the globe".

 

"There is where I answer the attacks which have been made on me. For instance, Dr. Pupin has ridiculed the Tesla system. He says",

 

"The energy goes only in all directions."

 

"It does not. It goes only in one direction. He is deceived by the size and shape of the earth. Looking at the horizon, he imagines how the currents flow in all directions, but if he would only for a moment think that this earth is like a copper wire and the transmitter on the top of the same, he would immediately realize that the current only flows along the axis of the propagation".

 

"The mode of propagation can be expressed by a very simple mathematical law, which is, the current at any point flows with a velocity proportionate to the cosecant of the angle which a radius from that point includes with the axis of symmetry of wave propagation. At the transmitter, the cosecant is infinite; therefore, the velocity is infinite. At a distance of 6,000 miles, the cosecant is unity; therefore, the velocity is equal to that of light. This law I have expressed in a patent by the statement that the projections of all zones on the axis of symmetry are of the same length, which means, in other words, as is known from rules of trigonometry, that the areas of all the zones must also be equal. It says that although the waves travel with different velocities from point to point, nevertheless each half wave always includes the same area. This is a simple law, not unlike the one which has been expressed by Kepler with reference to the areas swept over by the radii vectors".

 

"I hope that I have been clear in this exposition — in bringing to your attention that what I show here is the system of the day, and is my system -- only the radio engineers use my apparatus to produce too much of this electromagnetic energy here, instead of concentrating all their attention on designing an apparatus which will impress a current upon the earth and not waste the power of the plant in an uneconomical process".

 

Counsel:

 

"You say radio engineers put too much energy into the radiating part. What, as a matter of fact, according to your conception, is the part of the energy that is received in the receivers in the present system?"

 

Tesla:

 

"That has been investigated. Very valuable experiments have been made by Dr. Austin, who has measured the effects at a distance. He has evolved a formula in agreement with the Hertz wave theory, and the energy collected is an absolutely vanishing quantity. It is just enough to operate a very delicate receiver. If it were not for such devices as are now in use, the audion, for instance, nothing could be done. But with the audion, they magnify so that this infinitesimal energy they get is sufficient to operate the receiver. With my system, I can convey to a distant point millions of times the energy they transmit".

 

 

Famous Scientific Illusions by Nikola Tesla - Electrical Experimenter - February, 1919

 

Imagine the earth to be a bag of rubber filled with water, a small quantity of which is periodically forced in and out of the same by means of a reciprocating pump, as illustrated. If the strokes of the latter are effected in intervals of more than one hour and forty-eight minutes, sufficient for the transmission of the impulse thru the whole mass, the entire bag will expand and contract and corresponding movements will be imparted to pressure gauges or movable pistons with the same intensity, irrespective of distance. By working the pump faster, shorter waves will be produced which, on reaching the opposite end of the bag, may be reflected and give rise to stationary nodes and loops, but in any case, the fluid being incompressible, its inclosure perfectly elastic, and the frequency of oscillations not very high, the energy will be economically transmitted and very little power consumed so long as no work is done in the receivers. This is a crude but correct representation of my wireless system in which, however, I resort to various refinements. Thus, for instance, the pump is made part of a resonant system of great inertia, enormously magnifying the force of the imprest impulses. The receiving devices are similarly conditioned and in this manner the amount of energy collected in them vastly increased.

 

Fig.? Tesla's World-Wide 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 Waves 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 To-Day.

 

"Some experts, whom I have credited with better knowledge, have for years contended that my proposals to transmit power without wires are sheer nonsense but I note that they are growing more cautious every day. The latest objection to my system is found in the cheapness of gasoline. These men labor under the impression that the energy flows in all directions and that, therefore, only a minute amount can be recovered in any individual receiver. But this is far from being so. The power is conveyed in only one direction, from the transmitter to the receiver, and none of it is lost elsewhere. It is perfectly practicable to recover at any point of the globe energy enough for driving an airplane, or a pleasure boat or for lighting a dwelling. I am especially sanguine in regard to the lighting of isolated places and believe that a more economical and convenient method can hardly be devised. The future will show whether my foresight is as accurate now as it has proved heretofore".

 

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!"

 

 

Transmitter configurations

 

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

The apparatus used in Colorado Springs served as an effective test bed for experimentation with various transmitter configurations. Six different arrangements were developed, and are shown in the Colorado Springs Notes on pages 190 and 191, and also a reproduction of Tesla’s original lab note on page 200. It seems that Tesla felt the arrangement illustrated in figures 5 and 6 was the most promising. It shows up with slight variations at a number of places in the Colorado Springs Notes, most significantly on pages 191, 200, 197 and 170 (see also pages 161, 162, 174, 177 and 184). In the corresponding text on page 191 Tesla writes, "In Fig. 5. & 6. it is found best to make [the] extra coil 3/4 wave length and the secondary 1/4 for obvious reasons." In the May 29, 1901 note Tesla wrote of the Wardenclyffe Design, "The length of conductors in the free system [equivalent to the 3/4 lambda extra coil in figure 5/6 CSN p. 191/200] should be lambda/4, and the length of the discharging circuit [equivalent to the 1/4 lambda secondary in figure 5/6] should be 3/4 lambda or n/4 lambda [“n” could be very large reflecting the wavelength of the superimposed ELF excitation. [?]] eventually, n being an uneven number.

 

Figure ?. One of the transmitter configurations illustrated in the Colorado Springs Notes (CSN - Sept. 19, 1899 - figure 5, p. 191/200).
Figure ?. One of the transmitter configurations illustrated in the Colorado Springs Notes (CSN - Sept. 19, 1899 - figure 5, p. 191/200).
Figure ?. This is the Colorado Springs configuration that was incorporated into the initial Wardenclyffe design (CSN - Sept. 19, 1899 - figure 6, p. 191/200)
Figure ?. This is the Colorado Springs configuration that was incorporated into the initial Wardenclyffe design (CSN - Sept. 19, 1899 - figure 6, p. 191/200)

 

Figure ?. Another rendering (from an unknown source) of the type-two transmitter configuration illustrated in figure 6, pp. 191, 200 of the Colorado Springs Notes. A receiving circuit is standing out to the right.

 

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http://www.frankgermano.net/nikolatesla2.htm (lost source)

http://www.tuks.nl/Mirror/frankgermano_net/nikolatesla2.htm

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

This general configuration was to be incorporated into the initial Wardenclyffe design, but it was not implemented. (Rare notes from Tesla on Wardenclyffe, Leland Anderson, Electric Spacecraft Journal, Apr./May/June, # 26, 1998)”

 

The AND-logic gate patents (US723,188 - Method of Signaling - Mar. 17, 1903 and US725,605 -System of Signaling - Apr. 14, 1903) show a similar arrangement; only the transmitter consists of two electrically driven oscillators tuned to different frequencies instead the single-frequency oscillator-plus-extra coil combination. Also, the transmitter has a common ground. The original application filing date is July 16, 1900 and it is probable that the Wardenclyffe installation, as initially proposed, would have taken on some attributes of this configuration, along with some modifications. For example, each transmitter secondary could be provided with a dedicated ground, and perhaps an independent high voltage power supply as well. Also, it has been suggested that if each transmitter was to be nearly in tune with its partner—say having only a 12 Hz difference in vibration rate—a low-frequency beat tone would be produced, thus introducing an ELF component to the wave complex.

 

 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

 

In April/May/Jun, 1997 issue 26 of a magazine “Electric Spacecraft” publishes a number of documents that Leland Anderson copied from the Tesla museum in Belgrade. These are known as "rare notes" and they concern Wardenclyffe.

 

The initial conceptual plan for Wardenclyffe discussed above was tied in with the idea Tesla had that it might be possible to produce global displacements of the earth’s charge using a powerful type-two transmitter. In theory, the local electrical current flowing in the earth between the two ground terminals causes this widespread charge displacement. By using an appropriate resonant frequency, that is to say, one at which Earth itself would oscillate, the degree of charge displacement would increase over time.

 

In these  set-ups of the Colorado Springs lab. it can be observed an extra spark gap (C1-C2 in the “rare notes”) and a 4th inductor (indicated in blue)
In these set-ups of the Colorado Springs lab. it can be observed an extra spark gap (C1-C2 in the “rare notes”) and a 4th inductor (indicated in blue)

 

The initial Wardenclyffe design plan called for the installation of two 600-foot tall towers in relatively close proximity to each other. The two-tower idea could not be implemented due to financial constraints, which led to a series of modifications. The first of these led to the arrangement shown in a sketch dated May 29, 1901 (to the left in figure below). An electrical oscillator or discharging circuit, consisting of a resonance transformer and an extra coil, is coupled to the tower structure through an adjustable air gap. The tower cupola is supported on electrically conducting legs, which, in turn, are attached to a substantial grounding system. The capacitance of the cupola relative to the environment and the high-potential oscillator terminal, along with the inductance of the tower legs comprise a separate resonant LC circuit which Tesla designated the “free system.”

 

Figure 12. Two design drawings, with variations, of "rare notes" of Wardenclyffe transmitter. Tesla calculated the legs would have to be at least 600 feet in length. Notice the alternator-driven discharge circuit and the adjacent free oscillatory system.
Figure 12. Two design drawings, with variations, of "rare notes" of Wardenclyffe transmitter. Tesla calculated the legs would have to be at least 600 feet in length. Notice the alternator-driven discharge circuit and the adjacent free oscillatory system.


http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

 

Alterations of the initial Wardenclyffe design brought about by the financing issue led to the arrangement shown in a sketch dated May 29, 1901 (to the left in figure ?). An electrical oscillator or discharging circuit, consisting of a resonance transformer and an extra coil, is coupled to the tower structure through an adjustable air gap. The tower cupola is supported on electrically conducting legs, which, in turn, are attached to a substantial grounding system. The capacitance of the cupola relative to the environment, along with the inductance of the tower legs comprise a separate resonant LC circuit which Tesla designated the “free system.”

 

The right-hand diagram of figure ? includes a low-frequency alternator and high-voltage power supply transformer connected to a disruptive-discharge type oscillator.  The circuit incorporates a dual capacitor-inductor (LC) arrangement in the oscillatory transformer primary tank circuit along with dual secondary windings.  Independent tuning the two sides of the circuit to different frequencies (n/4 lambda, n being an uneven number) would result in the development of a higher order wave complex above the resonant frequency of the extra coil.  The transmitter was to emit a wave-complex of special characteristics.

 

 

Two years after Colorado Springs Tesla tryed to investigate for the far more refined magnifying transmitter and then he no longer speaks of energy broadcast through the upper strata of the atmosphere but of a grounded resonant circuit.

 

---

 

http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=205&sid=36a937a83b9e2a02bd2fb1406964c03b&start=30

http://www.teslaradio.com/pages/wardenclyffe.htm

http://www.tuks.nl/Mirror/frankgermano_net/nikolatesla2.htm

 

This centrally located extra coil was separated by a wide space from the other two coils, which comprised the master oscillator section. Such spacing minimizes inductive coupling between the extra coil and the master oscillator, preventing, for the most part, a portion of the energy that is continuously flowing into the resonator from passing backward through the system and becoming lost. In addition to maximizing the efficiency of the system, allowing development of the highest possible power output for power consumed, the extra coil also served as the device's main transmitting element.

 

The straight conducting legs have been modified to a spiral form. An obvious advantage would be a reduction in the structure’s overall height above ground level. Also notice that the number of turns varies from leg to leg. This would also result in the development of a higher order wave complex by the transmitter—a form of frequency-division multiplexing. Tesla began operational testing of the Wardenclyffe plant in July 1903 and it appears that he was not at all satisfied with its’ performance.

 

Dear Mr. Morgan:

 

The enclosed bears out my statement made to you over a year and a half ago. The old plant has never worked beyond a few hundred miles. Apart of imperfections of the apparatus design there were four defects, each of which was fatal to success. It does not seem probable that the new plant will do much better, for these faults were of a widely different nature and difficult to discover.

 

As to the remedies, I have protected myself in applications filed 1900-1902, still in the office.

 

Yours faithfully, N. Tesla

 

The "old plant" refers to the Colorado Springs Experimental Station or perhaps an initial Wardenclyffe installation bearing some resemblance to it.

 

While it’s possible the dual-tower transmitter design might be made to work properly, it is clear from his experiments with the 1899 through 1901 configuration culminating with the dismal performance displayed during the July 1903 operational tests that he experienced extreme difficulties with its single-tower implementation. It led him to write his underwriter J.P. Morgan on November 5, 1903.

 

Getting back to the "remedies" in the letter to Morgan, protected in applications filed between 1900 and 1902, and "still in the office," the only patented invention meeting these criteria is US1,119,732 - Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy - issued Dec. 1, 1914. Comparing the two basic circuits the most obvious difference is the elimination of the stand-alone extra coil or free oscillating system and the plasma coupler (C/S #6). The entire transmitter in the patent US1,119,732 comprised solely of the discharging circuit—an oscillatory transformer with an extra coil connected directly to the elevated terminal.

 

An unanswered question is the purpose of what appears to be a flat-spiral coil suspended within the large elevated terminal (the cupola). In Colorado Springs Tesla specified a coil to be used in conjunction with a resonator when no ball termination was present. The additional inductance served to lower the resonant frequency of the vibrating system back to the resonant frequency with the ball present. It is conceivable this technique was adapted to achieve an overall lower frequency by using both the additional coil and the terminal capacitance. (See Colorado Springs Notes, Pg. 203 for illustration of the additional coil, form #5, “coil used in series with extra coil when ball was not employed.”)

 

 

The drawings in the "rare notes" show two essential differences with the patent

US1,119,732 - Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy - December 1, 1914:

 

  1. An adjustable sphere onto which a Tesla coil discharges.
  2. The terminal is connected through an inductor to the ground.

 

The 1902 transmitter constituted a departure from the earlier type-two transmitter planned for the Wardenclyffe facility. The new design was a type-one transmitter in which a second conducting path would be established in the upper half-space between plant’s elevated terminal and that of the distant receiving facility. (Type-one, C/S #1; Appparatus for tyransnitting electrical energy, No. 1,119,732, Dr. Nikola Tesla Complete Patents. p. 435).

 

In this patent he no longer speaks of energy broadcast through the upper strata of the atmosphere but of a grounded resonant circuit. Tesla predicted that his magnifying transmitter would prove most important and valuable to future generations, that it would bring about an industrial revolution and make possible great humanitarian achievements. Tesla estimated that the tower would emit a wave complex of a total maximum activity of 10 million horsepower.

 

Other defects of the Colorado apparatus could have been the antenna feed point (see Colorado Springs Notes, pp. 170, 197) and also the slender mast in contrast to the large diameter elevated capacity—either an oblate spheroid or toroid shaped—used in the Wardenclyffe design), the 1:1 aspect ratio C/S extra coil verses the 9.1:1 aspect ratio extra coil shown in the 1914 patent, and the shallow Colorado ground plate verses the 300-foot long section of pipe at the bottom of a 120-foot deep shaft (see also Connection to Earth). Further differences between the Colorado Springs layout and the Long Island plant?.

 

The precise design of the Magnifying Transmitter for the Wardenclyffe laboratory is still uknown, probablly because it was never finished.

 

In any case, it can be seen that some major modifications were made to the design. He later said (Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, Leland Anderson, Twenty First Century Books, p. 154)

 

"I used the antenna. I used it right along up to 1907. I made my measurements and experiments, and I transmitted for the purpose of tests, energy and all that, but it never went further than is shown in the picture".

 

The only aditional details that anyone could find are contained in the interviews with Tesla for newspapers. For those descriptions it could be deduced that the right design would be similar to the patent US1,119,732. This invention was designed to be able to work with very high voltages.

 

In the diagram of the same patent it is possible to appreciate the different parts:

 

  • “G” is the oscillator (alternator or condenser).
  • “E” is the ground plate
  • “C” is the primary coil of a Magnifying Transmitter.
  • “A” is the secondary coil.
  • “B” is the extra coil wound on the insulating drum.
  • “D'” is a drum of insulating material.
  • “B'” is a metalic conducting cilinder to connect the extra coil with the elevated terminal D.
  • “D” is the elevated terminal with a torus shaped electrode.
  • The bumps on the terminal (“P”) are to prevent the freely resonating circuit from getting out of hand.

 

If the voltage gets too high, it would arc from one of these bumps instead of some part of the circuit nearer the ground. With energy that would have dwarfed the Colorado transmitter, this station could destroy itself by such an accident.

 

It is not known why this patent was taken out so long after the Wardenclyffe project itself had been shut down. From 1907 on, equipment “leaked” out of the laboratory on Long Island in various ways, including by a few court orders. We know that in 1911 Tesla spent some time in court defending himself against numerous financial demands, and equipment in that laboratory was considered valuable enough for the heirs of Westinghouse to claim and eventually remove. This patent is evidence that by 1914 Tesla had not yet given up on the dream of free wireless electricity transmission for everyone.

 

The text of the patent is short, and the fact that materials are not specified can be frustrating. This means we need to make many experiments with optimum materials for these purposes. However, this patent is the basic principle behind the whole system, and it will be valid forever.

 

My Inventions, Chapter 5:

 

I will be quite explicit on the subject of my magnifying transformer so that it will be clearly understood. In the first place, it is a resonant transformer, with a secondary in which the parts, charged to a high potential, are of considerable area and arranged in space along ideal enveloping surfaces of very large radii of curvature, and at proper distances from one another, thereby insuring a small electric surface density everywhere, so that no leak can occur even if the conductor is bare. It is suitable for any frequency, from a few to many thousands of cycles per second, and can be used in the production of currents of tremendous volume and moderate pressure, or of smaller amperage and immense electromotive force. The maximum electric tension is merely dependent on the curvature of the surfaces on which the charged elements are situated and the area of the latter. Judging from my past experience there is no limit to the possible voltage developed; any amount is practicable.

 

On the other hand, currents of many thousands of amperes may be obtained in the antenna. A plant of but very moderate dimensions is required for such performances. Theoretically, a terminal of less than 90 feet in diameter is sufficient to develop an electromotive force of that magnitude, while for antenna currents of from 2,000-4,000 amperes at the usual frequencies, it need not be larger than 30 feet in diameter. In a more restricted meaning, this wireless transmitter is one in which the Hertz wave radiation is an entirely negligible quantity as compared with the whole energy, under which condition the damping factor is extremely small and an enormous charge is stored in the elevated capacity. Such a circuit may then be excited with impulses of any kind, even of low frequency and it will yield sinusoidal and continuous oscillations like those of an alternator.

 

 

Nikola Tesla On his experiments with Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power, p. 125:

 

"This is a diagram representing the arrangement of apparatus as in a practical experiment which I performed before G.D. Seeley, Examiner in Chief, U.S. Patent Office, on the 23rd of January, 1898. This experiment illustrates a great departure I had made a little prior to that date".

 

Tesla’s demonstration for the U.S. Patent Office, on January 23, 1898, at his Houston St. laboratory in New York City, was to show of the practicability of transmission of electrical energy in industrial amounts by the method and apparatus described in the patents US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - March 20, 1900 and US649,621 - Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy - May 15, 1900. The applications for both patents were filed September 2, 1897. These are the initial patents specifically covering Tesla’s wireless system and involved the transmission of electrical energy in industrial amounts through a rarified medium with ground for return.

 

Nikola Tesla On his experiments with Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony and Transmission of Power, p. 27:

 

In 1898 I made certain demonstrations before the Examiner-in-Chief of the Patent Office, Mr. Seeley, and it was upon showing him the practicability of the transmission that patents were granted to me.

 

It might be argued the Colorado Springs experiments also served to demonstrate the technology in advance of patent issuance. The above-mentioned patents are dated March 20 and May 15, 1900, about 7 months after Tesla’s return to New York. The Wardenclyffe project served to further demonstrate and refine the method and apparatus, as described in the U.S. Patents US787,412 - Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905, US1,119,732 -  Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy - December 1, 1914.

 

US787,412 - Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905
US787,412 - Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905

 

http://www.tuks.nl/Mirror/frankgermano_net/nikolatesla2.htm

 

The earth resonance method has basis in the one-wire transmission principles spoken of in the 1893 lecture On light and other high frequency phenomena - delivered before the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, and the National Electric Light Association, St. Louis, 1893. It is described in the patent US787,412 - Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums - April 18, 1905. Here are some statements regarding “improvement in the art of transmitting electrical energy to a distance which consists in establishing stationary electrical waves in the earth” contained in the Canadian Patent CP142,352 - Electrical Energy Transmission - August 13, 1912 and the british patent GBP8200 - Improvements relating to the Transmission of Electrical Energy - April 17, 1905:

 

"Electrical disturbances may be transmitted through portions of the earth by grounding only one of the poles of the source. Earth behaves much like a vast reservoir or ocean, which, while it may be locally disturbed by a commotion of some kind remains unresponsive and quiescent in a large part or as a whole. When electrical waves or oscillations are impressed upon a metallic wire, reflection takes place under certain conditions from the end of the wire, and in consequence of the interference of the impressed and reflected oscillations the phenomenon of "stationary waves" with maxima and minima in definite fixed positions is produced. The terrestrial globe may in a large part or as a whole behave toward disturbance impressed upon it in the same manner as a conductor of limited size".

 

"In studying the effects of lightning discharges upon the electrical condition of the earth I observed electrical waves which were produced in the earth and which had nodal regions following at definite distances the shifting source of the disturbances. From data obtained in a large number of observations of these waves I found their length to vary approximately from twenty-five to seventy kilometre and these results and certain theoretical deductions led me to the conclusion that waves of this kind may be of still more widely differing lengths, the extreme limits being imposed by the physical dimensions and properties of the earth".

 

"Figure 1 represents diagrammatically the generator which produces stationary waves in the earth, and Fig. 2 an apparatus situated in a remote locality for recording the effects of these waves".

 

"In Fig. 1, A designates a primary coil forming part of a transformer and consisting generally of a few turns of a stout cable of inappreciable resistance, the ends of which are connected to the terminals of a source of powerful electrical oscillations, diagrammatically represented by D. This source is usually a condenser charged to a high potential and discharged in rapid succession through the primary, as in a type of transformer invented by me and now well known; but when it is desired to produce stationary waves of great lengths an alternating dynamo of suitable construction may be used to energize the primary A. The total length of the conductor, from the ground-plate E to the elevated terminal D should be equal to one-quarter of the wave length of the electrical disturbance in the system E C D or else equal to that length multiplied by an odd number. This relation being observed, the terminal D will be made to coincide with the points of maximum pressure in the secondary or excited circuit, and the greatest flow of electricity will take place in the same. In order to magnify the electrical movement in the secondary as much as possible, it is essential that its inductive connection with the primary A should not be very intimate, as in ordinary transformers, but loose, so as to permit free oscillation. The spiral form of coil C secures this advantage. The powerful electrical oscillations in the system E C D being communicated to the ground cause corresponding vibrations to be propagated to distant parts of the globe, whence they are reflected and by interference with the outgoing vibrations produce stationary waves the crests and hollows of which lie in parallel circles relatively to which the ground–plate E may be considered to be the pole. Stated otherwise, the terrestrial conductor is thrown into resonance with the oscillations impressed upon it just like a wire. Three requirements seem to be essential to the establishment of the resonating condition".

 

First. The earth’s diameter passing through the pole should be an odd multiple of the quarter wave length – that is, of the ratio between the velocity of light – and four times the frequency of the currents.

 

M = D/(1/4 lambda) where lambda = c/f = 4D/M and M is the odd multiple.

 

C = speed of light at 299,792 km/sec.

 

D = Earth diameter at 12,742 km.

 

M = odd multiple at 1

 

The resonant frequency is therefore given to be: f = M x C / 4D = 5.881965 (Yost)

 

The resonant frequency based upon round-trip time: f = 2(M x C / 4D) = 11.76393

 

Second. It is necessary to employ oscillations in which the rate of radiation of energy into space in the form of hertzian or electromagnetic waves is very small say smaller then twenty thousand per second, though shorter waves might be practicable. The lowest frequency would appear to be six per second, in which case there will be but one node, at or near the ground-plate.

 

Third. irrespective of frequency the wave or wave-train should continue for a certain interval of time, estimated to be not less then one-twelfth or probably 0.08484 of a second and which is taken in passing to and returning from the region diametrically opposite the pole.

 

The presence of the stationary waves may be detected in many ways . For instance, a circuit may be connected directly or inductively to the ground and to an elevated terminal and tuned to respond more effectively to the oscillations. Another way is to connect a tuned circuit to the ground at two points lying more or less in a meridian passing through the pole E or, generally stated, to any two points of a different potential.

 

The specific plan of producing the stationary waves, here-in described, might be departed from. For example, the circuit which impresses the powerful oscillations upon the earth might be connected to the latter at two points [a type-two transmitter].

 

In collecting the energy of these disturbances in any terrestrial region at a distance from their source, the most economical results will be generally secured by the employment of my synchronized receiving transformer.

 

To complete this description, it may be stated that when it is desired to operate, independently, a great many receiving devices, by such stationary waves of different length, the principles which I have set forth in my British patent GBP14,579 - Improvements in and relating to the transmission of electrical energy - July 17, 1901 and in my United States patents Nos. US723,188 - Method of Signaling - March 17, 1903, and US725,605 - System of Signaling - April 14, 1903 may be resorted to for rendering the signals or quantities of energy intended for any particular receiver or receivers non-interfering and non-interferable.

 

 

Improved terminal

 

Fig. ?. — Probable Appearance of the Wonderful Tesla Oscillator Tower at Night — It Is Located at Shoreham, L. I., and Is Intended for Radiating Electrical Energy in the Form of High Frequency Waves Propagated Thru the Earth Itself — Tower Stands 185 Feet High.

 

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy - The Century Magazine - June, 1900:

 

"In recent experiments I have discovered two novel facts of importance in this connection.  One of these facts is that an electric current is generated in a wire extending from the ground to a great height by the axial, and probably also by the translatory, movement of the earth. No appreciable current, however, will flow continuously in the wire unless the electricity is allowed to leak out into the air.  Its escape is greatly facilitated by providing at the elevated end of the wire a conducting terminal of great surface, with many sharp edges or points. We are thus enabled to get a continuous supply of electrical energy by merely supporting a wire at a height, but, unfortunately, the amount of electricity which can be so obtained is small.


The second fact which I have ascertained is that the upper air strata are permanently charged with electricity opposite to that of the earth. So, at least, I have interpreted my observations, from which it appears that the earth, with its adjacent insulating and outer conducting envelope, constitutes a highly charged electrical condenser containing, in all probability, a great amount of electrical energy which might be turned to the uses of man, if it were possible to reach with a wire to great altitudes."

 

US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - (Sept. 2, 1897) March 20, 1900:

 

"A conductor or terminal, to which impulses such as those here considered are supplied, but which is otherwise insulated in space and is remote from any conducting-bodies, is surrounded by a luminous flame-like brush or discharge often covering many hundreds or even as much as several thousands of square feet of surface, this striking phenomenon clearly attesting the high degree of conductivity which the atmosphere attains under the influence of the immense electrical stresses to which it is subjected. This influence is however, not confined to that portion of the atmosphere which is discernible by the eye as luminous and which, as has been the case in some instances actually observed, may fill the space within a spherical or cylindrical envelop of a diameter of sixty feet or more, but reaches out to far remote regions, the insulating qualities of the air being, as I have ascertained, still sensibly impaired at a distance many hundred times that through which the luminous discharge projects from the terminal and in all probability much farther."

 

 

http://www.frankgermano.net/nikolatesla2.htm - lost source

http://www.tuks.nl/Mirror/frankgermano_net/nikolatesla2.htm

 

The 1914 patent “Apparatus for Transmitting Electrical Energy” refers to an improved elevated or free terminal.

 

Referring to the accompanying drawing, the figure is a view in elevation and part section of an improved free terminal and circuit of large surface with supporting structure and generating apparatus. A part of the improvements which form the subject of this specification, the transmitting circuit, in its general features, is identical with that described and claimed in my original Patents US645,576 - System of Transmission of Electrical Energy - March 20, 1900  and US649,621 - Apparatus for Transmission of Electrical Energy- May 15, 1900. [Dr. Nikola Tesla Complete Patents, p. 436]

 

Tesla’s work was directed towards the development of a system that combined wireless telecommunications and electrical power transmission, the communications component being Tesla’s initial goal. While electrical power transmission was viewed as being of greater importance, the attempt at its large-scale implementation would have taken place after the feasibility of the basic concept had been established.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, p. 145:

 

"The currents are proportionate to the potentials which are developed under otherwise equal conditions. If you have an antenna of a certain capacity charged to 100,000 volts, you will get a certain current; charged to 200,000 volts, twice the current. When I spoke of these enormous potentials, I was describing an industrial plant on a large scale because that was the most important application of these principles (the wireless transmission of electrical power), but I have also pointed out in my patents that the same principles can be applied to telegraphy and other purposes. That is simply a question of how much power you want to transmit".

 

When the system as configured for telecommunications purposes only, the potential of each elevated terminal might be relatively low. The energy flow between the elevated terminals is by means of electrostatic induction. (What if the distance between facilities is greater than one wavelength?)

 

For high power energy transmission by true electrical conduction, a very high potential on the elevated terminal is needed in order to break down the insulating stratum around and above each plant. As the potential is increased a point will eventually be reached at which charge on the terminal will ‘break out’ and form what Tesla called “streamers.” Once this fault situation occurs, the potential drops and the system goes out of tune.

 

Nikola Tesla On His Work With Alternating Currents and Their Application to Wireless Telegraphy, Telephony, and Transmission of Power, p. 112:

 

"In this experiment, the voltage might have been something like 7 or 8 million volts, but I want to tell you, though, that I am referring to the maximum potential. The moment you get these enormous streamers the potential drops. I mean that was the breaking potential."

 

The maximum potential can be increased by the prevention of streamers. The 1914 patent shows an improved terminal that achieved this by modifying the terminal’s smooth surface with closely spaced hemispherical attachments.

 

 

A further improved terminal wasn’t available until the mid 1930s, at which time the following announcement appeared, “Tesla Prepares to Send Power Without Wires, Inventor, 80, Announces Solution of Problem He Worked on for 35 Years. Earth Will Carry Current. 100-Million-Volt Plant to be Build in Foreign Land," (N. Y. Herald Tribune, July 27, 1936). It was the vacuum tube studded elevated terminal, disclosed in “New Art of Projecting Concentrated Non-Dispersive Energy Through Natural Media,” that freed him to make this statement.

 

 

 

Tesla’s improved terminal, circa 1936, consists of:

 

  1. a spherical frame
  2. an insulating bulb with an electrode of thin sheet metal suitably rounded and a metallic socket, exhausted to the highest vacuum obtainable, attached with
  3. a nut fastener. (Nikola Tesla’s Teleforce and Telegeodynamics Proposals, p. 22).

 

The elevated terminal is involved in the launching of a plasma wave, a “disturbance of a plasma away from equilibrium, involving oscillations of the plasma's constituent particles and/or the electromagnetic field.” Propagation of the ion acoustic wave in plasma conforms with Tesla’s description of “the universal medium a gaseous body in which only longitudinal pulses can be propagated, involving alternating compressions and expansions similar to those produced by sound waves in the air. (See also "The Generation of Plasma Waves at the Earth's Surface for World System Telecommunications Purposes" - DRAFT, REVISED tfcbooks.com - 02/21/2008) This is not to say that plasma is a requirement for the propagation of radio waves. The high-power pulsed magnetic field produced by the helical-resonator transmitting element may also be involved in the conduction process.

 

Keeping in mind that plasma is an electrical conductor with finite resistivity, when attempting to simulate the World System, the mathematical model must incorporate a value for the effective resistance between the two elevated terminals as well as earth resistance and that of the ground connections.

 

 A graphic rendering by artist Frank Paul, shows final appearance of the massive structure if had it been completed.
A graphic rendering by artist Frank Paul, shows final appearance of the massive structure if had it been completed.

Sources:

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Write a comment

Comments: 3
  • #1

    Ernst (mage00000) (Sunday, 02 July 2017 05:19)

    You are giving Frank Germano credit for something that he copied from my site. (blogspot)
    You can find the full story (from which he copied only a small fragment) here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B70OHRF13ajnc245VDZuMkRhRlU
    Please give credit where credit is due and not to some copy&paste clown.
    Look me up on steemit: https://steemit.com/@mage00000

  • #2

    Ernst (mage00000) (Sunday, 02 July 2017 05:35)

    Sorry, I just looked up the Frank Germano link, but that is not the page that he copied from me.
    I thought I recognized the URL....
    Sorry.

  • #3

    Teslaresearch (Saturday, 15 July 2017 02:59)

    Hello Ernst. Thank you to tell me about. You did such a nice job! I'll change the references as soon as I can.
    The fact is that most part of my website have been copied with the permission of other important websites about Tesla. Because I would explain the same thing which appear in many other websites and I don't get any profit about this. Sometimes I select the information to put together all the contents to get a better understanding and just paying attention to the original articles and documents. Sometimes I just cannot contact the owner ot to find the origin of some information.
    In the future I'll put the numbers with the references.
    Please, let me know if you find any other mistake