Re: Tesla's US Patents (invention of wireless)
Kevin M. Conkey <DELCOKEVIN-at-aol-dot-com>, on 30 May 1996 you wrote to me:
> Do you know which patent in particular was the one that was in dispute
645,576 filed 2 Sep 1897. It could be proven that Tesla was doing original
wireless work back as far as 1893, or even 1892.
> I have always heard that Tesla was the original inventor of wireless
> transmission, and that it went to court years later and Tesla won out. Can
> you possibly fill me in on the specifics of all this? I hate to perpetuate
> rumors, and I also like to be able to backup my claims with paper.
The US Supreme court made its ruling on 22 June 1943, just months after
Tesla's Jan 7 death.
The following information extracted from my choronological database should
help your understanding. Page references in the two main Tesla biographies
and two works by Tesla are given. Read them for more detail :-)
"MC" is Margaret Cheney "Tesla: Man Out Of Time".
"JO" is J.J. O'Neill "Nikola Tesla: Prodigal Genius".
"NTc" is Nikola Tesla "My Inventions (Moji Pronalasci)".
"NTa" is Nikola Tesla "Nikola Tesla Colorado Springs Notes 1899-1900".
I hope the long lines don't screw things up too much....
1888 JO128,MC138 Prof Heinrich Hertz of Bonn, Germany, shows a ring of wire
with gap produces
a minute spark at close range to an induction coil, and confirms Maxwell's
24 Feb 1893 JO131,JO133,MC293,NTc52 Tesla lectures before the Franklin
Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, "On light and other high frequency
phenomema", making a public demonstration of wireless communication for the
first time, over a distance of 30 feet
1894 JO134,MC69,MC99 Sir Oliver Lodge, the English scientist, demonstrates a
transmitter and receiver over a distance of 150 yards
1895 JO135,MC69 Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian-Irish experimenter,
begins his studies of wireless
22 April 1896 Tesla files patents 568,176 thru 568,180 on the generation of
high frequency current
1896 JO135,MC69 Marconi demonstrates a wireless system using a ground
connection and antenna
2 Sep 1897 MC110,MC160,MC178,NTc107,JO322 Tesla files patent 645,576 "System
Of Transmission Of Electrical Energy"
1897 MC146 Marconi sends a wireless signal across the 8 mile Bristol Channel
1899 MC146 Marconi sends a wireless signal across the 22 mile wide English
1900 MC178 Marconi's files his original wireless patent, and is rejected on
a prior patent of Sir Oliver Lodge
12 Dec 1901 MC160,MC161,NTc108 Marconi succeeds in signalling the letter "S"
across the Atlantic Ocean, from Signal Hill in St. John, Newfoundland to
28 June 1904 NTa15 US Patent 763,772 patented to Marconi "Wireless devices"
1909 JO229,MC174 Guglielmo Marconi receives the Nobel prize for Physics,
jointly with Carl Ferdinand Braun of Germany, for their work on wireless
telegraphy, which disappoints Tesla
Aug 1915 MC181 Tesla finally sues Marconi for patent infringments
21 June 1943 NTa15,MC176 U.S. Supreme Court invalidates Marconi's 763,772 US
patent as containing nothing already in earlier patents of Lodge, Stone or
These documented histories certainly heavily favour Tesla. MC176-184
presents comments from others (J.S. Stone, Prof Pupin, E.H. Armstrong, L.I.
Anderson & others), generally praising Tesla and arguing for Tesla as the
person who should be credited with the invention of wireless. Make of it
what you wish.
Glenn Baddeley <gbaddele-at-vitgssw.telecom-dot-com.au>
National Vice President,
Australian Nikola Tesla Society (ANTS),
BH +61 3 9253 8072 (time-zone Z+10)
PS: No one has yet contacted me to volunteer the references in Ratzlaff