Nikola Tesla’s Wireless Electricity: What Happened At Wardenclyffe?

Wardenclyffe Tower wireless electricity from TeslaIn his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project, Tesla was building a “world system” for “the transmission of electrical energy without wires”.

The basic idea is this:

The earth itself can be used and tapped as an electric conductor.  If harnessed correctly, that electricity can be sent and received quickly, easily, and wirelessly.

In a practical wireless system using this principle, a high-power ultraviolet beam might be used to form a vertical ionized channel in the air.  This would happen directly above transmitter-receiver stations, which would receive the electricity and store or use it.

The same concept is used in virtual lightning rods, the electrolaser electroshock weapon, and has been proposed for disabling vehicles.

Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transmission as early as 1891.  Tesla was the first to really demonstrate wireless electricity generation.

As a result, “The Tesla effect” refers to applications where electrical conduction is wireless, applications where energy will move through space and objects, and not just across a conductor (like a wire).

Developing the transmitter technology, especially in the early 1900’s, was expensive.

Eventually, the funds stopped coming in for Wardenclyffe.

There is much speculation over why, including the point that investors didn’t want to put their money into something where they couldn’t see how to realize a return on their investment.

But Tesla found other funds to build another tower in New York.

So why was Tesla’s new tower in New York (the one he built after his funding for Wardenclyffe Tower dried up) deconstructed by the US Government?

The official story is that it was done over fears that Tesla would be able to communicate with the Germans during the first world war.

The conspiracy theorists say that rumor was spread by J.P. Morgan and some of Tesla’s other backers on Wardenclyffe.

Whether or not they were involved in funding the project, they didn’t want Tesla to produce power in a way that wouldn’t allow them to put a meter on it and bill people for it.

Developing the technology was quite expensive, but why did the backers actually stop funding Tesla for Wardenclyffe?

And could they have gotten the government involved in preventing Tesla’s dreams from being realized?

You be the judge.  But we’re definitely interested in reading your opinions in the comments below.

Tesla wrote an article called “The Transmission of Electrical Energy Without Wires as a Means for Furthering Peace,” which was published in Electrical World and Engineer on January 7, 1905.

Talking about electricity, Tesla said:

“It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive […] Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discoverer’s keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.”

The world has many people who are working on producing wireless electricity.

If you have an electric toothbrush, you actually use wireless electricity every day.

So here’s a question for the members of GreenJoyment: why aren’t we using wireless wireless electricity to power our homes, cars, and lives?

Tomorrow: Modern inventions based on Tesla discoveries
Friday: People working on wireless electricity today


DIY Project teaches you how to build
wireless electricity stations as Tesla wanted to:



  1. Tim Janes

    More details on the life and inventions of Nikola Tesla are available in the book The Fantastic Inventions of Nikola Tesla , by Nikola Tesla and David H Childress, Adventures Unlimited , Stelle Il.

    • Going Green

      Hey Tim! Thanks for recommending that. Any other good books for people who interested in knowing more about the life and accomplishments of Tesla?

  2. john

    The reason JP Morgan funded it in the first place was because he saw a profit potential of millions via wireless communication.

    If the tower Tesla started to build after Wardenclyffe was capable of communicating with Germans, why did Tesla offer his technology to the US to help them against the Germans, and if they thought Tesla could accomplish this, why did Morgan stop funding the program when that’s why he invested in Wardenclyffe in the first place.

    The wanted to take his technology and do it all underground covertly!

    • Going Green

      Do you think it was as sinister and intentional as all that, or was JP Morgan motivated otherwise, or was Tesla actually crazy? What do you think?

  3. sf

    From what I’ve read, Tesla was a little crazy…he was extremely paranoid about germs, had very little affection in his personal life, was into eugenics, obsessed with numbers and spent years doing nothing but very hard math, complicated and often dangerous experiments and handling complex business issues with formidable characters such as Edison, JP Morgan and Marconi. One interesting rumor was that, in a time of financial despair, he was trying to market a “death ray” to Croatia in order to secure funding to continue his projects. If this is true, other rumors such as the US Marines raiding his hotel room after his death seem quite plausible. Tesla planted the seeds for much of the wireless communications we enjoy today…if you look solely at his scientific accomplishments, the doors he opened and perhaps the ones those who enjoy monopolies in certain markets would prefer to keep shut, it’s hard to disagree this guy was anything other than crazy *smart*!

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