LEGACY: The Life of Nikola Tesla (Chapter 3, page 2 of 3)


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Chapter 3

The men on the shore are unprepared and the water gushes on the officials and part of the crowd. Everyone cheers. Nikola emerges from the water half dressed; he is placed on the shoulders of a couple of firemen to lead the procession around town. Nikola is the Hero of the Day.

* * *

At the young age of seven he is introduced to a science classroom environment of beakers, measuring devices, experiments with atmospheric pressure, mechanical devices and gravity. He always sits in the front and is totally absorbed with the experiments.

After learning about chemical changes in the body, he decides to experiment by taking very deep breaths and holding them. By doing so, he discovers he can create a self-induced trance. "I wonder if I can create something that will let me fly."

A few days later he goes to the shed and proceeds to carefully build a box of wood which has a well crafted cylinder that fits tightly on one end and on the other side is a right-angle contact. He wants this right angle contact to produce rotation. If he can get the cylinder to rotate, then he can attach a propeller to the shaft. He straps the box to his body and he believes it will contain continuous power through the vacuum box which would lift him in the air.

He locates a typical air pump and reverses the gears. He keeps trying to pull all of the air out of the cylinder until he aches from the strength that is required to keep pumping. He almost gives up, but decides to rest to contemplate the situation.

He starts to breathe deeply to change the chemical balance in his body and all of a sudden the cylinders start to turn. Pressure starts to build and he can feel himself being pulled from his position. When the cylinder stops, he primes the pump and starts the proper whirling again.

A few days later he climbed up to the rooftop of the barn. He opens a parasol and attempts to catch a gust of wind. He manages to catch a small thermal, but it doesn't have enough strength to hold him and he comes crashing to the ground injuring his leg. He falls to the ground hurting himself badly and spends six weeks in bed recovering.

* * *

Nikola, now 13, and some friends are herding cattle along the military frontier of Romania and Yugoslavia (now called Bosnia). The boys are preparing to sleep out of doors. They're nearing a corn field.

Nikola suggests sleeping in the corn field. "It should be safe there for a little while."

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