Did Tesla Prophesy the Internet in 1904?

Posted by on June 19th, 2009

Penn Bullock Reports:


Did Nikola Tesla prophesy the Internet in 1904? In the pages of Electrical World and Engineer, he envisions a global media system – based on the Telegraph:

“Much has already been done towards making my system commercially available, in the transmission of energy in small amounts for specific purposes, as well as on an industrial scale. The results attained by me have made my scheme of intelligence transmission, for which the name of “World Telegraphy” has been suggested, easily realizable. It constitutes, I believe, in its principle of operation, means employed and capacities of application, a radical and fruitful departure from what has been done heretofore. I have no doubt that it will prove very efficient in enlightening the masses, particularly in still uncivilized countries and less accessible regions, and that it will add materially to general safety, comfort and convenience, and maintenance of peaceful relations. It involves the employment of a number of plants, all of which are capable of transmitting individualized signals to the uttermost confines of the earth. Each of them will be preferably located near some important center of civilization and the news it receives through any channel will be flashed to all points of the globe. A cheap and simple device, which might be carried in one’s pocket, may then be set up somewhere on sea or land, and it will record the world’s news or such special messages as may be intended for it. Thus the entire earth will be converted into a huge brain, as it were, capable of response in every one of its parts. Since a single plant of but one hundred horse-power can operate hundreds of millions of instruments, the system will have a virtually infinite working capacity, and it must needs immensely facilitate and cheapen the transmission of intelligence.”

Tesla went on to build Wardenclyffe Tower, the world’s first prototype of a radio tower. It was designed not only to transmit sound, but also wireless electricity. The project was initially funded by J.P. Morgan. The House of Morgan, a book about the history of the financial firm, relates that Morgan visited and was impressed by the tower. Then he turned to Tesla and asked, “Where can I put the meter?” Tesla had no answer, funding was withdrawn, and the Wardenclyffe Tower later went bankrupt, dashing Tesla’s dreams of a world wide interconnected web that would come to fruition decades later.

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