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Nikola Tesla: Research in High Frequency Phenomena, 1894

Advancing Humanity

Out of money again, Tesla returned to New York in the fall of 1899, satisfied that he had advanced his overriding and glorious goal of improving the condition of humanity by extending scientific knowledge. Through a friend, he published an article entitled "The Problem of Increasing Human Energy" which outlined his personal philosophy and his Colorado discoveries. Tesla believed that the type of energy available had been and would continue to be the controlling factor in the progress of the human condition, reducing such developments to a mechanical process. Thus by discovering and improving electrical energy he was playing his part in advancing humanity: a grandiose assertion.

J. Pierpont Morgan was Tesla's next benefactor. He had underwritten the Niagara Falls power system and was aware of Tesla's genius and now supported his ideas on transmitting electric power through the earth and on worldwide wireless broadcasting. Morgan could imagine the commercial potential which never occurred to Tesla and the importance of controlling the release of the ideas' conclusions. Tesla now had a willing supporter and spoke of Morgan's "noble generosity."

Again, in 1900, Tesla set out to build a new plant in Long Island, New York, intended as a source of a universal power supply and world-wide broadcasting. The enormous scope of his project never troubled Tesla; with Morgan's first donation, he confidently went forward. Stanford White agreed to design the centerpiece building of this new industrial city, a 154 ft high tower to be the origin of the electrical power. Inevitably, delays crept into the project and bills went unpaid. The project ceased in 1905 and Tesla returned to New York City.