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1891« Previous year|Next year »

May 20th, 1891: Tesla's Lecture Before AIEE

"Experiments with Alternate Currents of Very High Frequency and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination" lecture is given before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now the IEEE) at Columbia University in New York.

June 21st, 1891: Telluride Power Station Online

L.L. Nunn, a Colorado lawyer and manager of the Gold King Mine, signed a contract with Westinghouse to install the Tesla A.C. power system. The plan was to harness a river below the mine and replace the costly coal powered steam generators. This facility became known as the Ames Power Plant and was the first power station in the world to transmit alternating current at high voltage for power purposes, for a long distance.

July 30th, 1891: Tesla's American Citizenship

Tesla becomes an American citizen. He often told friends that he valued this citizenship more than any scientific honors he'd received.

August 26th, 1891: Did Tesla Discover Electrons?

One could argue that Nikola Tesla was the first to discover the electron. This is evidenced by his article "Reply to J.J. Thomson's note," published on this date in "Electrical Engineer, New York." In this article, Tesla claims that his experiments prove the existence of charged particles ("small charged balls"), while J.J. Thomson denied this. It was only five years later that Thomson proved the existence of electrons using another experiment.

1891: The Tesla Coil Is Born

Maybe not the most successful of Tesla's invention, but certainly the invention he is most famous for. The Tesla coil was originally developed to power Tesla's new wireless lighting systems, but later became the basis of the ill-fated World-Wide Wireless System, otherwise known as Wardenclyffe.

The original armature from the generator used at the Ames Plant near Telluride, Colorado.
The original armature from the generator used at the Ames Plant near Telluride, Colorado.
The original armature from the generator used at the Ames Plant near Telluride, Colorado. The home of L.L. Nunn, financier of first A.C. power plant. An illustration of Tesla giving his lecture before the AIEE. The library of Columbia University, New York City. Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant near Telluride, Colorado. Tesla's naturalization record.