Friday, May 06, 2005

Flashes from the Past: One Remarkable Mother

He said that his mother was "an inventor of the first order and would, I believe, have achieved great things had she not been so remote from modern life and its multifold opportunities. She invented and constructed all kinds of tools and devices and wove the finest designs from thread which was spun by her. She even planted the seeds, raised the plants, and separated the fibers herself. She worked indefatigably, from break of day till late at night, and most of the wearing apparel and furnishings of the home was the product of her hands."

As a young man, this genius from the past had many bad habits and got into difficulties. He was expelled from college and then from the city because of "playing cards and leading an irregular life." When his mother scraped together enough money to attend University in another city (his father was not talking to him), he wasted the chance again. Then, he recalls, one day "when I had lost all my money and was craving for a game, she came to me with a roll of bills and said, 'Go and enjoy yourself. The sooner you lose all we possess the better it will be. I know you will get over it.' She was right. I conquered my passion then and there..."

His mother's belief in him at that moment convinced Nikola Tesla to give up his life as a wastrel. He gave up gambling and he gave up drinking. Tesla went on to educate himself by auditing courses and reading in the library at the University. He would go onto register over 700 patents and discover fluorescent light, the laser beam, wireless communications, remote control, robotics, Tesla's turbines, and vertical take off aircraft. His alternating current induction motor is considered one of the ten greatest discoveries of all time. His mother was also quite some lady.

Have a Happy Mother's Day.

Tesla Website

If you want to read a book biography about Tesla, check here.

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