My Inventions

ISBN: 1599869942
ISBN 13: 9781599869940
By: Nikola Tesla

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Reader's Thoughts

Matthewmartinmurray murray

This book was very well written. You get a pretty good idea of the curiosities of how Tesla was. He goes into interesting detail of how he invented things and his methodology concerning his creative process. He even describes with great detail how he first started training his imagination as a child and ended up visualizing things with remarkable accuracy. This book doesn't really go into equations and complicated engineering but is more about how Tesla came to be the timeless inventor of his age. He also describes the possible uses and future technologies that could eventually evolve from his ideas and ends up describing our modern world quite well. Some of the things that were not very strongly mentioned was detail about his rivalry with Edison. It seemed that he treated the whole situation with class by just mentioning it. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that has any interest in Tesla.


If you haven't heard of him before, you will never forget him after reading this collection of his writings, inventions, thoughts and process. A humanitarian, creator and persona of immense presence and prescience this work gives you a view of history and the world seldom seen. Peppered with names and inventions that changed life for mankind in the early 20th Century, Nikola Tesla imagined life in the 21st. Read it.

Otis Chandler

Read this on Graham's recommendation, and it was *fascinating* to hear it from the man himself. Tesla was famous for inventing alternating current (AC), which is used in every house and electric motor today. He was a famous scientist of his time, and supposedly there was some rift with him and Edison. It appears actually that Tesla sold his patents and the company that bought them sued everyone else, causing his name to be associated with the suits, even though he wasn't really involved. Tesla is also known for being a little too eccentric later in his career, trying to invent things that were impossible like wireless power.I found this book a really good read, because Tesla is a character, and not a bad writer! He tells a lot of stories of his childhood, which were a very interesting glimpse into a great mind.One part I liked was when Tesla was expounding on his personal philosophy of health, or 'focusing on himself'. He was frequently ill and overworked, and had to spend a lot of time working on his health. At one point he says of coffee and tea "These delicious beverages superexcite and gradually exhaust the fine fibers of the brain. They also interfere seriously with arterial circulation and should be enjoyed all the more sparingly as their deleterious effects are slow and imperceptible." He then goes on to say "The truth about this is that we need stimulants to do our best work under present living conditions, and that we must exercise moderation and control our appetites and inclinations in every direction." I think this is my new philosophy.Tesla was also a believer that he who works harder will be successful. As someone who is starting a company (Goodreads), I'm starting to have a big appreciation for those who can believe in an idea against all odds, when everyone else believes it can't be done. It takes a special kind of person - one driven by passion in their ideas. Tesla's work schedule from college is also inspiring - he would work in the lab from 10am until 5am the next day. I've often heard lots of genius's haven't needed much sleep - I wish I could do that!

Samuel knowles

this autobiography of Nikola Tesla is a true remake of the original. as a piece originally made for the electrical examiner, this book will forever entomb the most profound convictions, livelihood, aspirations, problems and gifts of this great inventor. As a man credited for being the pioneer of the worlds first wireless data transmission device, he has had some unusual beginnings. Having an unsettling case of OCD, hypersensitivity to certain chemical compounds and foods and many, many other health problems he has consistently shown that no matter what this Serbian continues to show unparalleled sense of focus and achievement in life through his obsession in the physics behind electricity and magnetism (namely high voltage alternating current). Even when he ventured across to america he has made an insurmountable impression upon the american people, including his cohort Thomas Edison. While both innovators made there way to fame and fortune, only to die poor and poverty-stricken with nary a penny in there pockets, the creative legacy they made will long outlast there physical bodies; because they've done something very few people have accomplished in life: change the world for all. I've always enjoyed observing the successes of great people, perhaps as some vain attempt to hope that, maybe one day my own efforts will take me that far. either way this is a good book.

Timur cakin

Fun to readthis is the first book I am reading about tesla and so far it gives a real insight about tesla both s personality and work. he is a true genious, ambitious, and show us what a human mind can do once it is focused. Fun to read book

Michelle Bishop

The man was brilliant.Reading his on words predicting drones, the Internet, and other items 100 years in advance amazed me. I would love to read some of the articles he wrote.

Nicholas Griffith

This is short and entertaining for anyone who knows anything of Tesla. It's not well written and it shows clearly the dichotomy present in a socially infantile but intellectually revolutionary mind; the same mind that helped create so much of what we use today from LED lights to wi-fi. As always, it is the things he doesn't say in this book that cause one to read it more deeply; almost everything he writes is akin to a patient vomiting their childhood experiences for psychoanalysis. One is reminded of Nietzsche in this regard; at once Saturnine from great professional experience though defunct in the skills necessary for even the most simplistic relationships. Great for a cosmic laugh.


MY INVENTIONS: The Autobiography of Nicola Tesla. (1919; this ed. 1982). Nicola Tesla. ***. Of the various accomplishments that Tesla could brag about, writing would certainly not be one of them. This “autobiography” is a collation of six articles that Tesla wrote for the magazine, “Electrical Experimenter” in 1919. He traces his life from his early days in Croatia, where he was born and raised, to his achievements in the world of electrical inventions. The things that he reveals in the early chapters give you the impression that he suffered from some form of mental illness or, perhaps, epilepsy. You’d have to read a true biography of his to find out. In this book, he simply documents the ‘spells’ that came over him while a child in Yugoslavia. He does highlight what he thought were his greatest achievements: 1) the invention of the Niagara power system that made Edison’s system obsolete; 2) his sale of forty patents to Westinghouse that broke a General Electric monopoly; 3) his discovery of the radio methods that Marconi later converted into a fortune; 4) the building of a radio-guided torpedo before Henry Ford ended the horse and buggy era; 5) his attempt to change the Earth’s electric charge; 6) became a name in the world of electricity and magnetism when his name Tesla, was used to name a new unit of magnetism. This edition comes with an introduction by Ben Johnson, a later biographer of Tesla.

Philip Jordan

All one can say is AMAZING! I always get SO inspired when I read about figures like Nicola Tesla... I mean anyone who says - "My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get a new idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination, and make improvements and operate the device in my mind. When I have gone so far as to embody everything in my invention, every possible improvement I can think of, and when I see no fault anywhere, I put into concrete form the final product of my brain.” - is worth researching & embracing! Cheers


What a bizarre little book. Tesla has always seemed to me someone who existed in a space between our world and another unfathomable place, brought here by a glitch in dimensions or something. This loose memoir confirms my suspicions :). And not only because of passages like this: "I had a brother who was gifted to an extraordinary degree; one of those rare phenomena of mentality which biological investigation has failed to explain. His premature death left my earth parents disconsolate." No, it's also how differently he thought about inventing and engineering than everyone else. It's not particularly well-written in the standard sense (and my copy, at least, was ATROCIOUSLY edited). But that's not really what it's about anyway. It's about getting the chance to spend time with a quirky genius.


Nikola Tesla was really a true genius with an unusual mind that could visualize things in great details, a condition he considered troubling at first but later used to his advantage in his inventions. He parents and brother were also highly intelligent people, which might influence him to be so intelligent and creative even as a child. He was an extremely hard worker. As a student he worked from 3am in the morning until 11pm everyday, with no weekends and holidays. His professors even wrote letters to his father that if he didn't take him away from the institution he would be killed from overwork. Later when he was working for Edison he worked continuously from 10am to 5am the next day without exception. He explained that he didn't need vacations unlike most people. When his energy was all used up, he only had to sleep for half an hour and wake up with a fresh mind. Tesla considered his best invention to be the Magnifying Transmitter. It all started with a lightning that followed by a deluge, which led him into thinking that if we could produce electric forces to that magnitude we could control and transform the forces and conditions of the nature on the whole planet. The magnifying transmitter that he built could generate up to 4 million volts (he also claimed that 100 million volts were also practicable). This invention would constitute his vision, the "World-System" of wireless transmission that can transmit information wirelessly to any part of the world. His visions of the world is almost the same as the world we live in now 100 years later from his time, where everyone is connected all over the earth, with closer distance and better understanding between individuals and communities. He believes that great inventions are not determined by the immediate commercial and industrial changes that they will bring about, but the humanitarian benefits that are valuable to the future generations.

Jerry Travis

This has been very, very interesting. A book written by an undisputed genius in his very own words.I must say this book was a surprise. I was expecting lots of technical detail, but instead the book was filled with lots of interesting stories and insightful social comment. Some of the stories were even hilarious, causing me to laugh out loud a number of times.The book also gives some insight into what it's like to be a genius, and some of the abilities such a person possesses. For instance, drawing on a blackboard bored Nikola because he could draw things in his mind that were as real to him as if they were written down in the physical world. Indeed, later in life he used this ability to design a number of his inventions, and once constructed in the real world they worked the very first time since he had already tested them out - in his mind!Tesla also suffered from frail health most of his life, having several near death experiences. After one of these, he chronologically recalled in full detail his entire life from the time he was a baby in his mother's arms up to his present over a period of years - as if he was reliving everything.There are a number of social observations towards the end of the book that are still relevant to our time. Written during the Prohibition (1920-1933), Tesla foresaw a time when entire cities would be destroyed in an instant, and our only hope for peace was a global communication and transport system.My only disappointment in the man is that he was quite a determinist, to such an extent that he would have made B.F. Skinner proud. Still, for someone who single-handed invented our entire AC power grid and succeeded in promoting it over the objections of Edison, he was a genius of the sort that the world seldom sees.


I could not decide whether to give this book 2 or 4 stars so I am giving it 3. Tesla is weird, I am pretty weird, but Tesla is really weird. He is not that great of a writer. His tales jump back and forth in time and we jump in and out of his mind. He presents most things as real, but there are a few imagined instances that can easily be seen as him believing they are real. The book does not go much into his inventions, despite the title. There are many anecdotes from his youth, and a couple from when he is old. The writing does get better as he goes on. There are a few blaring typos, and the publishers seem to have arbitrarily mad paragraphs at points by choosing a point in the middle of the sentence and indenting it.

Nick Castellucci

Fantastic read and a great insight into the mind of a genius. Its evident that he chooses each word carefully and with purpose.


The man doesn't age! There are photos of him from about 18 to 66 and he looks the exact same! He could also design, build and test machines inside his head -- if a single part was out of balance he would know before he ever put it together. Plus he masters the forces of the universe, created wireless electricity and speaks to you in that crazed early 20th century mad professor talk.

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