My Inventions

ISBN: 1599869942
ISBN 13: 9781599869940
By: Nikola Tesla

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Reader's Thoughts

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.

Rene Velocirapt0r

While by no means was this book as thorough as it could have been, both in terms of details about his life and experiments, its not often you get to read such a beautifully written retelling from behind the scenes of genius, especially by the person himself. Diagrams and further explanations might have completed this book if a proper understanding of who he was or what incredible leaps of thought and invention he bounded through and how they affected the world is what you were expecting. But personally what I enjoyed the most was realising the tenderness that comes from being so intensely creative and intelligent, without dehumanizing him into just a list of inventions and influences. Definitely worth a read, just for the unexpected whimsy and his honest concern for humanity. Also: incendiary arc! Hell yes

Joseph Saborio

It seems to me as if Tesla was a pretty funny guy, and a bit nutty. Reading his autobiography, I get the feeling that, at the turn of the century (19th-20th), some decisions were made (by whom?) regarding energy sources that have us where we are now, and that, if Tesla and certain others(?) had had more of a say, we would be living in a much different world. Maybe we would have arrived here (or at a semblance of it) even earlier (1950, throwing out a random year). Maybe I'm succumbing to paranoia...


What a fascinating man! For an inventor he could craft some nice phrases. I also quite enjoyed thinking about the theory he described on page 89. "Our bodies are of similar construction and exposed to the same external forces. This results in likeness of response and concordance of the general activities on which all our social and other rules and laws are based. We are automata entirely controlled by the forces of the medium, being tossed about like corks on the surface of the water, but mistaking the resultant of the impulses from the outside for the free will. The movements and other actions we perform are always life perservative and though seemingly quite independent from one another, we are connected by invisible links."

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


A very interesting read written by the master himself. I really enjoyed learning more about his childhood and the mischief he caused. There has been an attempt by some authors to turn the man into myth, there are so many books dealing with conspiracy theories and projects that have never been proven out to be real. It was a relief to read a short work by Nikola himself. It's a shame he was never able to achieve his master goals, he was a true humanitarian. The world would have been a better place for his efforts.

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.

Jonathan Carlisle

If you want to discover all the ways that Nikola Tesla influenced our lives today, this is not that book. If you want a detailed historical account of his life, this is not that book. What it is, and it's everything I hoped it to be, is an intimate glimpse at how he ticked and his hypothesis on what made him tick that way. Other biographies would describe Tesla anywhere from a genius to an eccentric, from a man-out-of-time to a man disconnected from reality, from a man aware of his capabilities to a man of arrogance. Any one of those may be true, but there is no point of reference until you read it straight from the man himself. This should be the starting point of any research into the legacy of Nikola Tesla.

Rui Silveira

Great autobiography about one of the greatest genius of all time, a very noble man. He lived a very turbulent life which ended in misery, quite unfairly, and even with his death it seems that he his doomed to be forgotten as his name is quite lost in younger generations. In my opinion his role in technology discoveries was more prominent than it arch-rival Thomas Edison.Talking about the scientific writings, I really enjoyed reading his wireless communications explanation. He was really keen about it, and what is more over whelming is that some of his ideas are yet to be put into practise.Finally, the only down side in this book is the fact that the scientific writings are not accompanied by pictures/diagrams.

Matt Jarvis

A fascinating read. I found it best not to try and understand every detail, and he certainly makes some giant leaps of imagination but you can feel Tesla's passion in the colour of his anecdotes and explanations. His curiousity is infectious! I read this in a single sitting I was so engaged and I will visit it again.


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.


A good read, though somewhat short; this essay was penned for inclusion in an Engineering periodical.However it presents a fascinating insight into this gifted inventor's process, based on habits and abilities learned overcoming handicaps when young. I feel as though I know something of the discipline (mental and physical) required to reach the great heights of achievement attained by Tesla. I also know the man better now: intensly driven, intelligent and unconcerned with social customs or social interaction. He was not a modest man and reading between the lines one has a sense that he might not have been the nicest person to know. He saw his inventions as uniquely responsible for changing the future of all mankind, going as far as to describe one of them (the wireless) as 'greater and more vital to betterment of human life than any other invention or discovery in the history of man'. Yes, his invention of wireless led to technologies such technologies as radio, telecommunications, radar, the Internet. However it is a stretch to place these as being more direct to the betterment of mankind over discoveries such as penicillin, refrigeration and chocolate! He had a chip on his shoulder which seems borne from his childhood (his elder brother was the favourite of the parents but died while very young), which sermed to push this man towards intellectual attainment while inhibiting his ability to form deep emotional connections to others.Also delightful is the perspective on the period when this was published (early nineteen-hundreds), both through grammar and spelling as well as through descriptions of people, places and customs of the time.


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.


Amazing book. This book offers a glimpse into the mind of the great genius. It was delightful to read the many anecdotes that Tesla gave of his childhood and of his life. Tesla also revealed some truly spectacular things about himself in this book such as how he could memorize entire books with the utmost clarity and had extremely good visualization powers. The most fascinating thing I discovered in this book was the fact that Tesla predicted so many of the war techniques used in WWII along with many of the inventions that run the world today. His theory of automaton accurately describes artificial intelligence and computing software that Tesla claimed would allow nations to bomb each other from miles away. Tesla also explicitly predicts the use of drones in military combat very explicitly (he obviously does not use the term) through this theory as well which are now widely used today. This book is a treat for anyone who wants to delve into the mind of history's most recent geniuses. Tesla, in his own words, delves into his inventions, the childhood moments that shaped him, his opinion on the politics of his time (League of Nations), his thoughts on spirituality and the supernatural, and the plethora of inventions that he had been working on but could find no sponsor as they were too far ahead of his time.

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!

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