In 1900, he wrote an article for Century Magazine describing a “world system” of wireless communications that could send telephone messages, news, music, and pictures to any part of the world.
When Tesla returned from Colorado Springs to New York, he wrote a sensational article for Century Magazine. In this detailed, futuristic vision he described a means of tapping the sun’s energy with an antenna. He suggested that it would be possible to control the weather with electrical energy. He predicted machines that would make war an impossibility. And he proposed a global system of wireless communications. To most people the ideas were almost incomprehensible, but Tesla was a man who could not be underestimated.
Morgan offered Tesla $150,000 to build a transmission tower and power plant. A more realistic sum would have been $1,000,000, but Tesla took what was available and went to work immediately. In spite of what he told his investor, Tesla’s actual plan was to make a large-scale demonstration of electrical power transmission without wires. This turned out to be a fatal mistake.
Tesla pleaded with Morgan for more financial support, but the investor soundly refused. To make matters worse, the stock market crashed and prices for the tower’s materials doubled. High prices combined with Tesla’s inability to find enough willing investors eventually led to the demise of the project.
In 1905, after some amazing electrical displays, Tesla and his team had to abandon the project forever. The newspapers called it, “Tesla’s million dollar folly.”
Humiliated and defeated, Tesla experienced a complete nervous breakdown. “It is not a dream,” he protested. “It is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive… blind, faint-hearted, doubting world.”