35 episodes

Discover the man behind the myth. The definitive podcast biography of inventor Nikola Tesla--his fascinating real life, inventions, and legacy.

Tesla: The Life and Times Podcast Stephen Kotowych

    • History
    • 4.8 • 171 Ratings

Discover the man behind the myth. The definitive podcast biography of inventor Nikola Tesla--his fascinating real life, inventions, and legacy.

    Introductions

    Introductions

    This is a story of America in the late 19th Century—the Gilded Age. It’s a story of New York City before the automobile. It’s a story of robber barons, of industry, and of inventions that would change the world. And it’s the story of one man—one inventor—in particular: Nikola Tesla.
    In this 000 episode, I'll introduce myself, my plans for the podcast, and just what you can expect from this on-going look at the life, inventions, and legacy of Nikola Tesla. And we'll do our best over the course of this series to separate the man and his incredible real life from the myths that have sprung up about him.

    • 23 min
    Childhood 1856-1861

    Childhood 1856-1861

    Nikola Tesla was born at the stroke of midnight between July 9 and 10, 1856. In this episode, we'll learn about Tesla's childhood years on the rural frontier of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and how early tragedy and a contentious relationship with his father would shape the rest of his life and give him the abilities he needed to make later breakthrough innovations in electricity.

    • 31 min
    School Days (1861-1874)

    School Days (1861-1874)

    This week, we’ll cover Tesla’s schooling from the time he first enrolled in primary school, right up until he heads off for engineering school in the late 1870s. It’s a major turning point in Tesla’s life, and it makes sense to break there until next time.

    • 23 min
    Big Man on Campus (1874 - 1877)

    Big Man on Campus (1874 - 1877)

    Tesla goes on the lamb not once but twice, with a bit of schooling and a bit of gambling and at least one brush with death keeping him busy in between.

    • 30 min
    The Frustrated Montage Years (1878-1882)

    The Frustrated Montage Years (1878-1882)

    If Tesla's life were a movie, these would be the “montage years”--five years edited down into a few minutes (probably with melancholy music playing underneath) showing us that things didn’t work out for our hero for a long time until his big break came at the end of Act 1.

    • 24 min
    A Walk in the Park (1882)

    A Walk in the Park (1882)

    The solution to Tesla's alternating current motor problem came to him as a ‘eureka’ moment during a walk in the park in 1882: the rotating magnetic field, and the induction motor. The applications of this innovation would literally change the world.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
171 Ratings

171 Ratings

dalkeja ,

Yay!!! You’re back

It appears that after a few months, of I’m sure a well deserved hiatus, your back broadcasting again. Thank Goodness. Love Tesla and Love your podcast.

jcarve81 ,

Love it

Binge listened to the entire podcast over a few days while delivering mail (I work for the USPS). Very sad there isn’t any more and the story is not complete! I will patiently await the next installment.

TomWKing ,

What an enjoyable podcast

I just discovered this podcast today. I am now on episode 10. Can’t stop listening. I appreciate 1) the format with so much historical context, 2) the quirky sense of humor 3)portraying Tesla as a human with flaws and 4) the diversion into the Gilded Age. Keep going.

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