The Famous Celibate Physicist Inventor Who Fell Madly in Love With a Pigeon
Nikola Tesla was a man of impossible intelligence and few meaningful human relationships
Throughout history there have been few minds as bright as Nikola Tesla. A physicist and inventor, his work in numerous fields, including electricity and radio communication paved the way to many innovations that are widely utilized to this day. Offsetting his blinding genius was a lifetime of idiosyncrasies that dominated his life. He was a man of stunted social ability and never married. However, he revealed that the love of his life was a pigeon that stoked the fires of his passion.
Born in Serbia in 1856 to a priest and a homemaker mother, Tesla was blessed with a photographic memory. This served him well given his special affinity for science and math, in addition to speaking eight languages. So talented was he at processing equations in his head because of his perfect recollection, his teachers sometimes couldn’t believe he wasn’t cheating.
As a young man, Tesla got a job in Paris working for the Continental Edison Company. His love of science had veered into the study of electricity, so the position was a perfect match. In 1884, he moved to the United States after he was transferred to New York City’s Edison branch, which wanted to utilize his genius. For the rest of his life, he worked tirelessly making great advances in the world of engineering and tech. This included holding around 300 patents and inventing things like the hydroelectric system, X-rays, wireless transmission alternating currents and the induction motor. Despite his gleaming professional resume, he was also a lonely man with a number of quirks:
Tesla was obsessed with the number three, which dictated compulsive behavior. He often washed his hands three times in a row or circled a building three times before allowing himself to enter.
He was also leery of pearls and earrings. For some reason they made him squeamish and if he saw a woman wearing jewelry, he often headed in the opposite direction so he wouldn’t have to engage them in conversation or look at the baubles any longer than necessary. There is even a story that his secretary once proudly wore pearls to the office and he…