Response Paper One - Gilcrest.docx

Response Paper One - Gilcrest.docx - 1 Christopher Steven...

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Christopher Steven Gilcrest Jr. April 10 th , 2016 HIST 386-02 Response Paper Nikola Tesla, Master of Lightning The documentary I will be reviewing is titled Nikola Tesla - Master of Lightning. This documentary is produced by PBS and was released to the public in the year 2000. The director and producer is known as Robert Uth. The main subject of the documentary involves a true genius and visionary, Nikola Tesla, and his many contributions to the modern world. However, with all of his extraordinary work, Tesla faced many powerful skeptics and challenges throughout his journey. The historical period that this documentary covers begins from the time Nikola Tesla was born, 1856, to the end of his life, 1943. While there are many locations described throughout the story, the main location occurs in New York City, where Tesla worked with Thomas Edison and also lived out his life. During the documentary, Nikola Tesla was involved with many major historical figures at the time, such as, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Guglielmo Marconi. Each one of these individuals had a great effect on Tesla and the progression of his inventions. Nikola Tesla began working for Thomas Edison in 1884. Tesla, a major proponent of alternating current electricity, and Edison, a major proponent of direct current electricity, did not mix well in the laboratory. Edison viewed Tesla’s alternating current as competition and was simply not interested in learning more about it. However, Nikola Tesla put their differences aside, and was offered $50,000 by Edison to make improvements to Edison’s inefficient direct current motors, which Edison thought would be an impossible task. After months of work, Nikola Tesla indeed completed the task offered by Edison and sought out his reward. Edison responded to Tesla by saying it was only joking around and replied, “Tesla, you don’t understand 1
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our American humor” (para 4). Instead, Edison offered Tesla a minuscule weekly pay raise which Tesla refused. Soon after, Tesla quit working with Thomas Edison to begin his next project. The next prominent figure in Nikola Tesla’s life was George Westinghouse. Westinghouse was an inventor and engineer who is the founder of the “Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.” George Westinghouse was intrigued by Nikola Tesla’s alternating current motor and
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