In this modern age of cell phones and palm pilots we often find ourselves relying on technology to make it though the day. How many people can say that they could do without a car or a phone? Indeed we all take a lot of technology for granted. Some of the technology is so pervasive that we tend to forget it is even there. AC powered engines drive numerous machines, vacuum tubes power televisions and monitors, and wireless communication is vital to radio and other mediums. These and a few other simple ideas are the foundation on which everything we use today was built and most of them were invented by one man, almost a hundred years ago. The technology is so common place that few even know the name of the man responsible for it. His name was Nikola Telsa and by 1900 he held over 100 patents on everything from the x-ray to the remote control. Despite his contributions in the field of science he died penniless and virtually unknown. To this day he is overlooked by even the Smithsonian, which displays none of his work. Nikola Tesla, a Serbian immigrant, may have been one the greatest masterminds of the technological century. .
Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in small Serbian hamlet near the Austro-Hungarian border. His father was a priest in the Serbian Orthodox Church, a choice he made as an alternative to joining the army. Perhaps it was genetic or perhaps it was his environment but Tesla acquired attributes from his family that would later define him as a genius. His father, being a priest was extremely prodigious, with an acute memory that he passed on to his son. Tesla's mother was illiterate but despite this she was blessed with an amazingly creative imagination. Tesla was also inspired to succeed after the death of his brother. .
In elementary school Nikola showed an amazing aptitude for mathematics. By the time he graduated he could solve complex math problems in his head. He required no drawings, models or experiments, only time to visualize it.