To honor the death in 1943 of Nikola Tesla, we’ve hauled out a few links to enjoy.
Tesla, now known as The World’s Best Known Obscure Inventor, was born in Yugoslavia, but spent most of his career in New York, where he lived after the 1880s. His inventions were many and his battle with Thomas Edison was legendary. In the early part of the 20th century he was one of the most famous inventors in the world. But he died “penniless” in a New York hotel — for the last ten years of his life he lived on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker.
His funeral in New York was a big deal, with 2,000 people in attendance and dignitaries from around the world. He was cremated and his ashes were placed in a metal sphere and sent to the Tesla Museum in Belgrade for display.
And then, to hear it told these days, Nikola Tesla was forgotten. In fact, about every thing you read about him these days makes it a point to tell you how obscure and forgotten he is.
The best place to go for your Tesla needs is probably The Tesla Society. It has all kinds of background on Nikola Tesla’s inventions, lost and otherwise.
Tesla Down Under is a terrific hobby site all about Tesla coils (and various other projects), stuffed with photos and videos, all a little bit wacky.
You can take a look at a photo of his statue in Niagra Falls, New York.
If you’d like to explore some of the fringier information on Tesla, try a stop at The Lost Journals of Nikola Tesla.
Or try Tesla Flying Machine, with descriptions, plans and photos of (at least) one man’s attempt to build a machine Tesla had written about.
And if video is more your style, try watching all ten minutes of Nikola Tesla, The Forgotten Wizard, with its kind of cheesy profile of the “mysterious, dark, tall Serbian.” And that desciption of him isn’t even my favorite line in the movie. No, I the best part is toward the end, when even J. Edgar Hoover pops up, along with the suggestion that Tesla’s work was spirited away by the government, to be used in “the most esoteric projects imaginable today.”