Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing

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The Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing was a company formed by Nikola Tesla in April of 1887. Based in Irving street, Rahway, New Jersey, the company started after Tesla left Thomas Edison's employment following a disagreement over payment. Tesla planned to sell and license his patent and innovations. Tesla invented an arc lamp of high efficiency; the carbon electrodes were controlled by electromagnets or solenoids and a clutch mechanism and it had an automatic fail switch. The company earned money, but most of the capital gained went to the investors. Ultimately, financial investors disagreed with Tesla on his plan for an alternating current motor and eventually relieved him of his duties at the company.


Tesla had already been issued the following patents:

  • U.S. Patent 334,823 - Commutator for Dynamo Electric Machines - 1886 January 26 - Elements to prevent sparking on dynamo-electric machines; Drum-style with brushes.
  • U.S. Patent 350,954 - Regulator for Dynamo Electric Machines - 1886 October 19 - Automatic regulation of energy levels; Mechanical device to shift brushes.

In 1887, after Tesla had founded his company, the US Patent Office issued the following patents to him:

  • U.S. Patent 335,786 - Electric arc lamp - 1886 February 9 - Arc lamp with carbon electrodes controlled by electromagnets or solenoids and a clutch mechanism; Corrects earlier design flaws common to the industry.
  • U.S. Patent 335,787 - Electric arc lamp - 1886 February 9 - Arc lamp's automatic fail switch when arc possesses abnormal behavior; Automatic reactivation.
  • U.S. Patent 336,961 - Regulator for dynamo electric machines - 1886 March 2 - Two main brushes connected to helices coil ends; Intermediate point branch shunt connection for third brush.
  • U.S. Patent 336,962 - Regulator for Dynamo Electric Machines - 1886 March 2 - Auxiliary brush[es] shunting a portion or whole of the field helices coil; Regulates energy flow; Adjustable level of current.

External articles and references[edit]

  • National Electric Light Association Convention (1890) Page 18
Online references