Comet Holding AG

09/01/2021 | Press release | Archived content

125 Years of Vacuum Capacitor Technology

Becoming the father of electricity thanks to his cat.

Born in 1856 in a part of Austrian Empire that is now Croatia, Nikola Tesla transformed daily life at the turn of the 20th century with his inventions and contributions toward the electric age. He invented the modern AC electricity system while working for the famous inventor Thomas Edison in the US - all that without even receiving a degree.

The story tells that one day, as young Niko was petting his cat (and best childhood companion, called Macak), a spark of static electricity jumped from his cat's fur to his hand. At that moment he decided to make studying electricity, particularly magnetism, his life's work. Attempting to develop inventions he could patent and market, Tesla conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators and generators, electrical discharge tubes and early X-ray imaging (like his fellow inventor Wilhelm Röntgen).

When Tesla filed the patent, the variable vacuum capacitor was meant to enhance the quality of electrical components for handling 'high-frequency currents', however they have only been available commercially since 1942. One of the first commercial producers of the technology was the US-based company Machlett Laboratories.

Nikola Tesla - Image source: Pixabay