Rachel Moore is a staff writer for Public Utilities Fortnightly.
At the hour of eight, the morning of his thirty-seventh birthday, Nikola Tesla had already been awake for several hours. The room around him was meticulously neat with the bed made, clothing tucked away in crisply folded stacks, and jackets hung. A single large notebook and several sharpened pencils laid on the table parallel to each other, except for one pencil gripped tightly in his fingers. He was furiously at work, sketching a diagram of his high-voltage transformer, better known as the Tesla coil. With his brow furrowed, he drew adjustments to what many would have already considered a perfect diagram.
The bells on his alarm clock began to chime, breaking his concentration. He reached an arm over to stop the clock, his fingers casting a shadow against the only light in the room: a single-bulb incandescent lamp. Looking back at his schematic, he stood from his chair and sighed. Perhaps he would return to it later.
Unusually alert for how little sleep he had gotten, he moved to his modest kitchen in long strides. From the open window, bright sunlight streamed through to light a single wide cabinet looming over a small gas stove and adjacent icebox. Tesla straightened his shirt and suit pants, glancing at his jacket hung by the door. More eager to leave his lodgings than to eat, he set a frying pan on the stove to heat and retrieved two eggs from the icebox.