In January 1943, Nikola Tesla passed away. In January 2016, one of Tesla’s biggest fans, Mr David Bowie, went on his journey to what he called “Dark Star”. May we always remember that there are great characters around even if they are not anymore. Their legacy lives on. R.I.P.
Imagine a world without electricity, radio and telecommunications, without all the amenities that one can enjoy by using the energy of the world’s electric grid. Electrical machines at home, in offices, laboratories and factories – everything is dependent on electricity. A world without radio or electromagnetic waves – there would be no quick message transfer or data transmission. The global electrical system, radio, gas discharge (neon) lamps, remote control, and radar – it is almost inconceivable that all this can be attributed to one man: Nikola Tesla. How could it be that someone who made energy available everywhere, and thus made the Second Industrial Revolution possible, is almost completely forgotten? This book oscillates between these contradictions, the undeniable benefits of Tesla’s inventions on the one hand, and his obscurity on the other. Nikola Tesla’s life shifted between extremes, and his life can only be understood if you look closely at his personality. Because for all that Tesla invented and discovered, his sometimes strange behavior during his lifetime, as well as his perception after his death, the key to all of this lies in his personality. How did Nikola Tesla live? What was his motivation? How did he come up with his groundbreaking inventions?
In this book, we will follow Nikola Tesla’s life through a radically changing Western world; from the mid-19th century in the Balkans to our globalized, media-driven world of today. This more than 100-year-long development is heavily dependent on Nikola Tesla’s inventions and visions. The author takes us to the rural seclusion of Tesla’s childhood and youth in the Krajina, the Serbian border region of Imperial Austria. We follow the industrial transformation of Europe with Tesla, and after his immigration to the United States in 1884, we are impressed by the richness of the technological boom in the U.S. (Mark Twain coined this time the ‘gilded age’). A key factor of this period is the victory of the Tesla polyphase system in the ‘war of currents’ against Thomas Edison’s direct-current system. Tesla’s financial and social success did not last. A fire caused the total loss of his laboratory in 1895. This personal disaster was followed in 1902 by his financial ruin, caused by the failure of his wireless power transmission system. Later, Tesla’s vision of a death-ray machine and his quirky, sometimes strange character led to the solitude of old age. Tesla lived a secluded life, hiding himself in the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan. Tesla died on January 7, 1943. After his death, Tesla was ridiculed and forgotten, not only in the United States but all over the world.
“Tesla was a kind of mystic. He even encouraged this thinking about himself as a kind of a genius, a magician. Okay, if you want me to say it in one sentence: he promoted the mystic part of him – the genius who lit the world that was outside of time or ahead of his time. Tesla was and is a unique man in the entire history of mankind.”
Vladimir Jelenkovic, Director Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade
“Dr Megavolt: From Geek to Superhero” is the story of America’s first Electronaut.
Dr. Austin Richards, aka Dr MegaVolt, a Ph.D. in physics who has been performing in a metal Faraday suit with Tesla coils since March 1997.
This documentary chronicles Dr MegaVolt’s high-voltage adventures.
Rebecca Cantrell, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has recently published the second novel of her “Joe Tesla” series, The Tesla Legacy. In the book, lead character Joe Tesla is confronted with a very special villain who wants to destroy Empire State Building with the so-called Tesla oscillator. This machine is capable of bringing down everything, from apartment buildings to bridges (Joe’s father actually did this), and well, the iconic skyscraper of New York City by oscillation. Nikola Tesla, godfather of all scientific fantasy fiction, invented this dangerous machine which Mark Twain called “that little terror of yours”, at the end of the 19th century. It actually worked so well that during the test-run of this not-bigger-than-a-hammer machine Tesla had to destroy the machine.
In The Tesla Legacy, the reader gets more and more information about the hero of the Joe Tesla series, a very rich, very modern, kind of nerdy and very special main character who lives in a brownstone house lingering deep under Grand Central Station, because of his agoraphobia. Joe and his dog Edison, a golden retriever have to fight hard, are almost killed but, in the end, save New York of course. The book is bringing the together the legacy of genius Nikola Tesla (hence the title), and the modern world. This sci-fi book brings you new insights about technology, psychology, and well-written fiction. This book is dangerous as the Tesla oscillator: start reading it – and you will not be able to put it away. Highly recommended, and tell others.
Rebecca Cantrell, the New York Times bestselling author of the Order of the Sanguines and Joe Tesla series (http://www.rebeccacantrell.com), interviewing Michael Krause (http://www.michael-krause.org/), about the most recently completed documentary of Nikola Tesla entitled Nikola Tesla – Visionary of Modern Times.
Nikola Tesla is experiencing a resurgence in popularity recently, more than seventy years after his death, with TV shows, films, cartoons, and books all featuring him as a character. Why do you think he fascinates us so?
Tesla is a myth, and as such he is the perfect screen for our projections of a better, more content way of living. Furthermore, he envisioned our age in detail. And he lived the strange life of a loner, of a lone fighter for the betterment of mankind. And he spoke about that very freely, and he lived in the best hotels of the world. Tesla is a truly fascinating character.He is indeed. What do you think inspires artists and scientists today about Nikola Tesla? What inspired you?
All this geeky stuff, and of being a strange outsider in a world at the brink of a new era – today, we are in the same position, and many want to be heroes as Tesla was. My inspiration was that I wanted to find out about the real Tesla beyond the myth – and present a working over-unity machine at the end of the film. It didn’t come out that way because there is no over-unity machine, and perhaps there never will be, according to the physics we know of.What surprises did you encounter while filming your documentary about his life and works?
Biggest surprise was that the American border control already knew that I was coming. They greeted me by name. Tesla-wise I was surprised by all the people who do not question Tesla. Who think he was God-like, and, of course that he is not a superstar. Well, I think he is on his way to be one.I loved the footage you shot of Nikola Tesla’s haunts. How did it feel to be walking in his footsteps all these years later–from his boyhood village in Smiljan to his hotels in New York to the museum in Belgrade that contains his ashes? Did you feel closer to him or further away?
It was a very good feeling to touch Tesla base, so to speak. To feel and touch the places, for instance to realize that his rooms at the New Yorker Hotel are tiny, tiny. That Smiljan, his place of birth, is still a kind of magic place. And that New York City is still the place that takes in everybody full of ambition, from all around the world, and then he/she is just swallowed up. I think, personally, that although my ambition was to find the real Tesla, I did not succeed. He was a strange loner, and he always remain like that. Tesla’s persona will remain a myth.Parts of the film dealt with a darker side to Nikola Tesla–taking money from investors for one project and spending it on another and, perhaps inadvertently, providing Nazi Germany with intelligence that led to the sinking of the Lusitania. Do you feel the Nikola Tesla lost his way later in life?
Tesla lost contact to the emerging modern world at the beginning of the 20th century when his Wardenclyffe project failed. Technology and science developed further, but Tesla remained the same. Those developments—for instance quantum mechanics, astronomy, cosmology—do paint a much more detailed, and a really much bigger picture of the universe and its ingredients. That is good. How all that machinery really works, we still don’t know. And at that point, I think, we could well adopt some of Tesla’s ideas for the next steps of mankind.I noticed an intriguing project on your website that was totally unrelated to Nikola Tesla—a film called Berlin Zombies. What is that about, and when is it due to be released?
Berlin Zombies is in the early phases of development. It’s a comedy drama with happy zombies, and they become superstars. It’s been called “The Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Shaun of the Dead.”What are you working on next?
I don’t know yet. For the next two or three weeks I will have to finish the German version of the CERN film. Lots to do.
On January 7th, 1943, the Orthodox Christmas Day, Nikola Tesla was dead. FBI mastermind J. Edgar Hoover sent his men over to the New Yorker Hotel. They opened Tesla’s safe, and they took what they wanted. Tesla and his few friends and co-workers had been monitored for some time, as Tesla had always said that he was able to produce a super weapon. A weapon to end all wars. In fact, the U.S. government was already working on such a weapon, the A-bomb. Tesla had no super weapon, but super ideas. Concepts. Visions. A mind for the future. Maybe his persona will find a place at Wardenclyffe soon, in the museum. And maybe Elon Musk (and other financially potent Tesla fans) will help build that place with a price-tag of 8 Mio $. Anyway, Tesla will always be remembered as someone who wanted his ideas and inventions benefit mankind. Thank you, Nikola, even if they don’t know your name, or age.
Tesla enthusiasts from Russia will want to revive one of Nikola Tesla’s dreams, the idea of Global Energy Transmission. The new concept is kind of the Wardenclyffe thing, and of course our friends from Russia are sure about it will work. You can go to their website: http://globalenergytransmission.com/index.php/en/vtem-home. You can also support the whole idea via Indiegogo here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-build-a-planetary-energy-transmitter. There is a video on Youtube, and and and. I would wait for their results. Tesla himself was doubtful about the Wardenclyffe concept though. If you let the energy out of the cable, beware of radiation! Airplanes! Humans!
Today Marc Seifer, author of „The Wizard“, a biography about Nikola Tesla, announced that Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, pledged $1 million toward a new science museum honoring Nikola Tesla in Long Island, on the Wardenclyffe site where he built a 187-foot transmission tower to experiment with wireless power transmission. May this continue …
To begin with the truth: this book is invaluable for everybody who really wants to understand how Nikola Tesla worked at a very deep level. “The Inventions, Researches And Writings of Nikola Tesla”, written by Thomas Commerford Martin and originally published in 1894, is an outstanding compendium of Tesla’s methods and inventions during the most productive phase of his life. This technical book was compiled by a real friend, and admirer, of the “electrical genius”, or “Wizard of Electricity” – this is how Tesla was called during that period before 1893, when a disastrous fire destroyed almost every piece of original work Tesla had done until then. The Polyphase system; the Tesla coil; motors, dynamos, transformers, Tesla’s lighting system; Tesla’s lectures; you will find everything Thomas Commerford Martin, an Englishman, and publisher of ‘The Electrical Engineer’, a technical magazine, had put together. This book is still a classic for electrical engineers, and a goldmine for any reader eager to learn about the state of technology around 1900. If one really wants to study Tesla’s experimental work and his way of thinking, this book is the very best start.
Fall River Press, New York, Hardcover (2012)