Nikola Tesla was born on 10 July 1856 in Smiljan, a small village in the Kingdom of Croatia. This one being, at that time, a part of the Empire of Austria.
The Tesla family is originally from Serbia and the name Tesla (i.e. тесла in Cyrillic) is the Serbian word for adze, woodworking tool.
Nikola's parents are Milutin, who is an Orthodox priest, and Djuka, born Mandić. He inherits - it seems - his father's mental rigour and his mother's ability to invent. Nikola's name is chosen because it is the name of his two grandfathers.
Aside from the parents, the Tesla family consists of Dane (born in 1848 and who died in 1861), of Angelina (born in 1850), of Milka (born in 1852), of Nikola (4th child) and of Marica (born in 1858). (...)
In the course of experiments on wireless electricity transmission, Nikola Tesla found that the speed of light could be exceeded. From then on, he was necessarily opposed to Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity for which this speed is the speed limit in the universe.
The Science of our time considers that indeed the speed of light can be exceeded but, of course, this fact does not alter Einstein's merits.
III. The Singular Misconception of the Wireless
(...) In the summer of 1897 Lord Kelvin happened to pass thru New York and honored me by a visit to my laboratory where I entertained him with demonstrations in support of my wireless theory. He was fairly carried away with what he saw but, nevertheless, condemned my project in emphatic terms, qualifying it as something impossible, "an illusion and a snare". I had expected his approval and was pained and surpised. But the next day he returned and gave me a better opportunity for explanation of the advances I had made and of the true principles underlying the system I had evolved. Suddenly he remarked with evident astonishment: "Then you are not making use of Hertz waves?" "Certainly not", I replied, "these are radiations. No energy could be economically transmitted to a distance by any such agency. In my system the process is one of true conduction which, theoretically, can be effected at the greatest distance without appreciable loss." I can never forget the magic change that came over the illustrious philosopher the moment he freed himself from that erroneous impression. The skeptic who would not believe was suddenly transformed into the warmest of supporters. He parted from me not only thoroly convinced of the scientific soundness of the idea but strongly exprest his confidence in its success. (...)
Source: Famous Scientific Illusions by Nikola Tesla (Electrical Experimenter - February 1919)
Nikola Tesla arrives in Paris (France) in April 1882.
In May 1884, he will leave France from the port of Le Havre to emigrate to the United States.
In the meantime, he will have spent a year in Strasbourg - German city at that time - where he will make the prototype of his alternating current electric motor.
This photograph was taken, in 1882 or 1883, by Henri Dupont of the Studio Blanc located at 11, rue de Buci in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.