Tesla Has An Electric Personality: 1893 – 1899


The most popular song in 1893 was “Git Alone Little Dogies.”

Nikola Tesla delivers a lecture on “On Light and Other High-Frequency Phenomena” before the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the National Electric Light Association St Louis. Tesla did not think air-born radio waves existed but saw the wireless and electromagnetic phenomena as promising wireless lighting and power distribution system with communication as a side aspect.

Irish physicist George Francis FitzGerald publishes a formula for the radiating power of electromagnetic waves from a loop antenna that seems to show these (radio) waves would only ever have a useful range of 1/2 mile, a value Oliver Lodge agrees with.

April 27, 1893

The first Underwood typewriter was invented by Franz Xaver Wagner was filed for U.S. Patent 523,698.

May 1, 1893

Nikola Tesla helps power the world’s first fair, powered by AC electricity in Chicago.


Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov finds a use for radio waves, building a radio receiver that can detect lightning strikes.

In Italy, Guglielmo Marconi conducts experiments in pursuit of building a wireless telegraph system based on Hertzian waves (radio), demonstrated a radio transmitter and receiver to his mother. This set-up made a bell ring on the other side of the room by pushing a telegraphic button on a bench. Financed by his family, over the next year, he works on adapting experimental equipment into a radio wave wireless transmitter and receiver system that could work over long distances. This is considered to be the first development of a radio system specifically for communication.


Auguste and Louis Lumière invent the cinématographe1

Cinématographe – Victorgrigas / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

The most popular song of 1895 was “The King Cotton March.”

Guglielmo Marconi became the first person to receive a radio signal.

The Underwood Typewriter Company was founded.

November 8, 1895

Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays.


Marconi was awarded a patent for radio with British Patent 12039, Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses and Signals, and in Apparatus There-for. This is the initial patent for radio-based wireless telegraphy.

The Niagara Falls begins generating power from Nikola Tesla AC power generators starting the “electric” age in America.

Herman Hollerith starts the Tabulating Machine Company (IBM).

The most popular song of 1896 was ” When The Saints Go Marching In.”


German inventor Karl Ferdinand Braun invented a cathode-ray oscilloscope.

Marconi establishes a radio station on the Isle of Wight, England.

August 31, 1897

Thomas Edison patented the Kinetoscope, a motion picture viewer


Marconi opened the first radio factory, on Hall Street, Chelmsford, England, employing around 50 people.

Kodak introduces the Folding Pocket Kodak.

Alcatel was founded.

November 8, 1898

Nikola Tesla invented the remote control.


AT&T acquired assets of American Bell.

Sprint was founded.


Henry Bliss became the first North American pedestrian to be killed by an automobile.

The most popular song in 1899 was “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain.”

William D. Middlebrook patented the paper clip.

  1. A cinematograph is a motion picture camera, which — in combination with different parts — also serves as a film projector and printer. It was developed in the 1890s in Lyon by Auguste and Louis Lumière.