[Tesla Oscillator] Complete Specification for Patent No. 2801. Improvements in reciprocating engines and means for regulating the period of the same

Publisher Information: 1894.

Tesla, Nikola (1856-1943). [Patent] No. 2801. A.D. 1894. Complete specification. Improvements in reciprocating engines and means for regulating the period of the same. 4pp. Plate. London: Darling & Son, Ltd. for HMSO, 1894. 257 x 183 mm. Disbound. Stitch-holes in the left margin, left margin a bit ragged. Light soiling, but very good. Library stamps (one embossed) on the first page.

First Edition of the British patent for Tesla’s electro-mechanical oscillator, for which he had received a U. S. patent on 19 August 1893; the British patent was granted on 14 April 1894.

Tesla’s oscillator was a steam-powered reciprocating electricity generator, developed as a possible replacement for the inefficient reciprocating steam engines then used to power generators. Tesla predicted that his oscillator would provide “a means at hand of producing twice as much electricity from coal as we can produce at the present time” (quoted in Carlson, Tesla: The Inventor of the Electrical Age, p. 183), but it was rendered superfluous by the development of highly efficient steam turbines. Tesla claimed that the vibrations produced by his oscillator were strong enough to destroy buildings and even cause earthquakes, earning the device the nickname of “Tesla’s earthquake machine.”

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