The Tesla Effect
Murdoch and the Undetectable Man
Staring Blindly into the Future
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Inventor Nikola Tesla was born in July of 1856, in what is now Croatia. He came to the United States in 1884 and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before parting ways. He sold several patent rights, including those to his alternating-current machinery, to George Westinghouse. His 1891 invention, the "Tesla coil", is still used in radio technology today.
Unfortunately for Thomas Edison, the Westinghouse Corporation was chosen to supply the lighting at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system there. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed what was among the first AC hydroelectric power plants in the United States, at Niagara Falls. The following year, it was used to power the city of Buffalo, New York, a feat that was highly publicized throughout the world. With its repeat successes and favorable press, the alternating-current system would quickly become the preeminent power system of the 20th century, and it has remained the worldwide standard ever since. Tesla discovered, designed and developed ideas for a number of other important inventions—most of which were officially patented by other inventors—including dynamos (electrical generators similar to batteries) and the induction motor. He was also a pioneer in the discovery of radar technology, X-ray technology, remote control and the rotating magnetic field—the basis of most AC machinery. [*]
Appearances and Mentions
- Nikola Tesla is working in Toronto while the city considers converting from direct current to alternating current.
- William Murdoch visits Tesla's innovative laboratory with a high frequency electrical field where Murdoch finds a light bulb powered without wires – and if he had touched it with his left hand the electricity would have exited via his left foot, passing through and quite possibly stopping his heart on its journey. Nikola Tesla is in the middle of sending a message to New York City through the air by simply modulating the electrical waves transmitted and received at the same resonant frequency.
- Murdoch imagines the possibilities of this invention: ships can send telegrams while at sea, sending voice over airwaves, "Why stop at voice? If you were to capture an image, you could modulate the signal depending on the amount of light reflected", thus transmitting images. "You can call it telekinetascope." Too many syllables – tele-vision. But Nikola Tesla has much more important things to accomplish first.
- Detective Murdoch engages Tesla to assist in his investigation of the murder at an anti-alternating current demonstration.
- Murdoch, who has been trying to invent a method of recording suspected criminal conversations, asks Tesla to assist him in building a radio transmitter to allow him to record a conversation in which Allen Fawkes will tell Edwin Dodd that he is aware that Dodd killed Daniel Pratt. The device is a success.
Marked Twain (mentioned)
- Tesla teams up with Murdoch to catch a seemingly invisible killer.
- Nikola Tesla is one of the scheduled speakers at the Pendrick Symposium for the future. While practicing his speech: "It will only be necessary to carry an inexpensive instrument not bigger than a watch, which will allow its bearer to listen or transmit speech or song to the uttermost parts of the world," Tesla is interrupted by Murdoch who was also practicing his own speech nearby.
- Nikola Tesla and the Detective discuss the "universal communication device" - one could carry in their pocket that Tesla believes is within reach.
- Shortly thereafter, Tesla goes missing.
- As of Season 10, Mouna Traoré's favorite historical character who have been represented on Murdoch Mysteries is Nikola Tesla.