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"Tesla has become a kind of folk hero now, but his science was still incredibly important. This motor alone is probably worth $250,000."
- Fact 1: Nikola Tesla, born July 10, 1856, was a Serbian-American engineer, futurist, and prolific inventor whose eccentric personality helped form the public image of the "mad scientist."
- Fact 2: Tesla emigrated to the United States in 1884, working under Thomas Edison. He resigned a year later following a pay dispute over his contributions to Edison's work, sparking a lifetime rivalry.
- Fact 3: Tesla formed his own electric company to compete with Thomas Edison's, and championed the use of alternating current in electrical distribution.
- Fact 4: Tesla patented the brushless magnetic induction motor in 1888, licensing the technology to Westinghouse Electric for $60,000 plus $2.50 per horsepower produced by each motor.
- Fact 5: Tesla's dapper looks, ecenntric personality and seemingly impossible inventions have earned him a unique place in American pop culture, particularly in alternate history and steampunk fiction.