Nikola Tesla Patents

Nikola Tesla patents are some of the most well known patents worldwide. Nikola Tesla, born in 1856, was the discoverer of the alternating light and power system that is still used today. If Tesla had not invented and patented what he did over a hundred years ago, we wouldn’t have the radio, television, x-rays, microwaves, robotics, and several other inventions that make up life as we currently know it.

Nikola Tesla: A Brief History

Throughout his lifetime, Tesla managed to obtain 112 U.S. patents. Additionally, he held at least 196 patents from 26 other countries, including France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Austria to name a few. However, he had countless additional inventions that never made it to the patent stage, including the ultra-high vacuum, a rocket engine, and ideas relating to solar power.

Tesla was born in 1856 in Croatia. His mother was also an inventor and maker of tools and devices for carpentry. Even as a child, Tesla began building things, particularly a bug propelled engine. He once mentioned that he’d always had a mind to build new things, and spent much of his childhood doing so.

He had the ability to retain information, and used his knowledge to work in the electrical industry. In 1881, Tesla was hired to work for the European subsidiary of the Edison Tel. Co. After a few years having worked for Edison Tel. Co., Tesla took the knowledge he gained and consulted, invented, and invested his time and money into several companies to help product AC patents that revolutionized industrial America.  

In 1888, Tesla worked with George Westinghouse, as Westinghouse purchased Tesla’s basic AC patents totaling $60,000. Thereafter, Tesla had a strong partnership with the Westinghouse Corporation. Since AC patents were popular during this time, for years, there was significant competition between General Electric and Westinghouse. Most popularly, this included the invention of the electric chair that would be used in prisons. This is when Tesla’s wealth skyrocketed.

By 1899, Tesla built a laboratory in Colorado that conducted research on many of his new inventions, including the 52-foot Tesla coil. In 1902, Tesla entered into a venture with J.P. Morgan to construct a transatlantic radio. However, by 1906, the idea was abandoned.

Tesla: List of Patents

Some of the patents held by Tesla include the following:

  • Electric arc lamp, which was patented in 1886
  • Dynamo electric machinery, which was also patented in 1886.
  • Electro magnetic motor, which was patented in 1888.
  • Electrical transmission of power, patented in 1888.
  • Electrical distribution system, also patented in 1888.
  • Thermo magnetic motor, patented in 1889.
  • Alternating motors, several of which were patented in 1889 and 1890
  • Electric incandescent lamp, patented in 1891
  • Electric generator, patented in 1894
  • Coil for electromagnets, patented in 1894
  • A method for generating electric currents, also patented in 1894
  • Electric railway system, patented in 1894
  • Apparatus to make ozone, patented in 1896
  • Various electric circuit controllers, which were patented in the late 1890s
  • The manufacturing of condensers, coils, and other similar devices, which were patented in 1897
  • Electrical igniters for gasoline engines, patented in 1898
  • Improvements relating to transmitting electrical energy, patented in 1901 and again in 1905
  • Additional methods for improving energy or deriving energy from fluid, improving processes and apparatuses, and creating new methods for the transportation of energy and steam, and rotating machine parts
  • A method to use radiant energy, patented in 1901
  • A method for signaling, patented in 1903
  • A method of increasing the intensity of electrical currents and energy, patented in 1900
  • Speed indicator, patented in 1918
  • Flow meter, patented in 1922
  • Flow meter, patented in 1921
  • Frequency meter, patented in 1922
  • A method of aerial transportation, which was patented in 1928

If you want to find additional information regarding Tesla or his patents, you can view the archives that can be found at the Nikola Tesla Museum. It holds additional records of roughly 33 failed patent applications, along with patent applications that Tesla prepared but failed to submit. There are also additional inventions that can be found here, of which Tesla didn’t even attempt submitting for patent protection.

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