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Nicola Tesla was born July 10 1856 He grew up in a small village in Smiljan He was the fourth of the five children His parents came from Serbian families although living in Austrian Croatia Most of his family was priests or military officers including his father So his family wanted him to become a priest also Living next to a church the family had servants and his mom was a housewife and hard worker His dad owned a large library and said that Niko as he called him loved books He disapproved of Tesla reading late at night but Tesla made his own candles anyway and wrote later on read often till dawn while all others slept He started school at five years old Later on he moved to Karlovac Croatia to attend school at Higher Real Gymnasium He was known to do calculus in his head which led the teachers to think he was cheating He later on started to go to college but quit to go and work for Continental Edison Company 1882 in New York City He had a vivid imagination and wanted to make his dreams come true of inventing useful machines and understanding the universe He was influenced by his mom to memorize parts of books the Bible so his mind would learn to remember facts of all kinds His imagination and curiosity inspired him to pursue these dreams and become a scientist His dad and grandfather invented for a hobby and his mother stirred his interest in creating things His first encounter with electricity came with the family cat Macak One night as he stroked his fur he saw a sheet of light and his hand produced a shiver of erupting sparks loud enough to be heard all over the place After his father explained to him what happened and about static electricity he further became fascinated In 1882 Tesla began working for the Continental Edison Company
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