At a sign, the current is stopped, the room is again made dark as night, and presently the visitor sees the sharply-defined black silhouette of the young man, with a beautiful halo of electricity in the background, formed by myriads of tongues of electric flame which are darting out from every quarter of the tall, thin frame. The place is lighted once more, and as the young man comes up to you and shakes your hand, you twist it about in the same fashion as you have seen people do who hold the handles of a strong electric battery.
To tell of these and a thousand other wonders that Tesla does in a trice gives only a faint conception of their effect on the visitor. To really appreciate them one must see, hear, and feel them in the flesh. It is a scientific treat of a lifetime, but it is a treat that few can enjoy, for the laboratory of Tesla is securely locked against everyone not provided with an introduction from a personal friend of the audacious wizard.
The roof over this apparatus is of glass, and as the sun pours its rays through this, the rays strike the mirrors and are reflected again towards the glass cylinder, magnifying glasses intensifying the heat of the rays before they strike the cylinder. It will, in short, replace all wood and coal as a producer of motive power and heat and electric lighting. Though the idea is so great, its principle is so simple that a schoolboy can readily comprehend it. It consists of concentrating the heat of the sun on one spot the glass cylinder by the series of complicated mirrors and magnifying glasses until the resulting heat is something terrific.
This manufactured heat is directed upon the cylinder filled with water. This water is chemically prepared so that in a short time the water has evaporated into steam and has passed from the cylinder through a pipe and into another chamber. In the latter place this sun-made steam is made to operate a steam-engine of ordinary construction, the horse-power of which will be determined by the size of the apparatus by which the sun generates steam in that spot.
This steam-engine is used to generate electricity.
And this electricity can be either used at once or else stored up in storage batteries to be used on days when there is no sunlight. It will be seen that the object of this plan of Tesla is to do away with coal, wood, or other fuel, in the manufacture of steam. The remainder of his invention calls for the use of this sun-made steam-pressure, as steam-pressure made from coal is at present in use throughout the world.
The advantage of this Tesla invention is that the cost of manufacturing steam to generate electricity, which would propel say one hundred tram cars, would be infinitely smaller than the cost of the coal required to produce the power to do the same work. The cost of manufacturing the electricity to operate these one hundred tram cars by the Tesla plan, when once the sun station has been completed, would only be a sufficient amount to pay the salaries of a few engineers in charge of the sun-station.
Electricity will in this way supplant steam as a motive power on all railways and — in the shape of storage batteries — on all water vessels. And the humblest citizen will profit by the new system of producing electricity; for he can have it in his home to do all his cooking and lighting and heating, and it will be even cheaper for him than coal, wood, or petroleum.
It is, of course, not the intention of Mr. Tesla that one sun-station will provide all the electricity for the whole world. His scheme is that in every city and town the local authorities shall build one or more of these sun-stations by public taxation for the use of the whole population, just as these cities now have waterworks and gas plants. Each factory and home will then get its supply of electricity from the nearest sun-station by ordinary electric wires.
Any person can appreciate the big boon that Tesla will confer on humanity by the early completion of this master task. Of course, it is now possible to transmit electrical power from one place to another by the use of electrical cables, but the cost of these transmitting cables is nearly as great as would be the cost of generating the electricity itself in the locality to which it is desired to transmit it.
Above each of the stations Tesla wants to build a high tower, over which will be suspended a large balloon.
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As the electricity is generated in the station below it is conveyed by cables to the tower, and thence to the balloon, where the electricity is set free into the atmosphere. As the atmosphere at this height is much rarefied, and as Tesla has demonstrated rarefied atmosphere to be a good conductor of electricity, the electricity which is thus set free will be carried on by the atmosphere to any indefinite distance.
The second part of the Tesla plan for transmitting electrical power without wires calls for the erection of receiving stations wherever desired. These will act as sort of receivers and storage houses for the electricity set free into the atmosphere at the generating station miles away. Over each of the receiving stations will be put up a tower and a balloon, which will be equipped with the apparatus necessary to absorb the free electricity in the atmosphere and send it to the receiving station below, from which it can be sent out on wires to light the surrounding country and drive all the machinery of that particular district.
It will be observed that in this scheme Tesla depends on getting his electricity through the agency of the waterfalls, while in the previous scheme he depends upon the agency of the sun for the same purpose. But the inventor is far from believing that the two schemes will conflict. He believes that when both inventions come into popular use they will work together for the common good of man. But my scheme of transmitting electrical energy without wires can be applied with equally good results to both systems.
Of all the great inventions which Tesla has well on the way towards that point where they can be given to the world for every-day use, his wireless telegraphy invention is the furthest advanced.
All that is necessary now is the formation of a company to put up the public station. The principle of this invention is almost too well known now to bear extended explanation.
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Briefly described, it consists of constructing an apparatus to stir up the electric currents in the earth in such a way that their disturbance will be felt on a second apparatus fitted up in a different part of the world. Different disturbances of the electric currents produce correspondingly different impressions on the second apparatus — the receiver — and in this way an intelligible code is readily arranged. For the benefit of non-scientific people the great inventor has described for me his wireless telegraphy invention in the following words:.
I take a rubber tube with a piston-rod in it and insert the tube into the rubber bag.
When I press on the piston-rod I compress the water in the bag so that it expands the bag. Now if a certain action of one piston-rod indicates a certain word or a certain sentence, if you watch the other piston-rod carefully you may easily read it. One sort of disturbance by one oscillator means a certain sentence, and when this particular disturbance is recorded on the second oscillator the operator there knows exactly how to interpret it. They are really the only apparatus required for wireless telegraphy. To operate them Tesla simply turns the transmitting oscillator face downwards, and turns on a current which causes immense tongues of visible electric flashes to leap from the ball into the ground.
In this invention the experimental apparatus has proved thoroughly successful. The principle of this invention is that just as much as sound-waves make an impression on the immediate atmosphere, so do light waves make their impression. All we need is the invention of a new transmitter. As the impressions of light waves are so many times more delicate than the impressions of sound waves, it follows that to transmit the impression of the human face, for instance, we require a transmitter many times more delicate. Now, selenium being an extremely sensitive substance, I have utilised this material in the construction of the transmitter which I have just described, and I have found it to be perfectly satisfactory.
Other actors endured struggles, although for some very different reasons. Before returning to the set, Hamilton naturally had refused to do any more work that included the use of fire. I will return to work one condition—no more fireworks!
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In an interview, later on, the actress also stated that she took the role as she had been in a need of money at that point, but also because The Wizard of Oz had been her favorite book ever since she was four years old. Hamilton spared herself from more burns. Danko needed to spend nearly two weeks in a hospital recovering from the incident, and her legs were lastingly scarred. A new stunt double, Aline Goodwin, was employed to finish the broomstick-riding scene instead of Danko.
They were cut in the final edit because of worries over children seeing the movie and getting too frightened. Hamilton with Oscar the Grouch on episode of Sesame Street,
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