There been a huge resurgence of interest in the legacy of inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla in recent years. Locally, renewed interest has been sparked by this year’s All Pikes Peak Reads on the theme of “Innovation” and the fact that Tesla conducted some of his most ambitious experiments in Colorado Springs.

Known as the father of electrical engineering, Tesla brought us everything from alternating current to wireless communication (radio, the remote control, etc.). Tesla also spent part of 1899 living in Colorado Springs at the Alta Vista Hotel (since demolished) and working in a laboratory he constructed near Memorial Park just north of the School for the Deaf and Blind, which was, at the time, outside the city limits. Though Tesla claimed to have been working on experiments in wireless communications at that time, he was secretly working on experiments in the wireless transmission of “geo-electrical” signals through the ground—something he believed would eventually allow anyone on earth to simply tap into the ground to receive free, unlimited amounts of electricity.

Two local authors—Inez Hunt and Wanetta Draper—wrote a biography of Tesla in 1966 (pictured above and available at the Library as part of All Pikes Peak Reads and at I Am Nikola Tesla, a play about the inventor’s time in Colorado Springs, which opens at Theatreworks tonight.

Finally, The Pikes Peak Library District has produced this excellent mini-documentary Tracing Tesla: The Search for His Lost Laboratory, which uses the search for the location of his Colorado Springs lab as a framework for exploring his life and time here in Colorado Springs.

 

3 Responses to Locals Unearthing Tesla's Local Legacy

  1. Lou Puls says:

    In about 1984 I notified the Nikola Tesla Society, who was then based in Colorado Springs and had a small museum on Tejon, that the original Tesla AC generator, near Telluride, still existed on the forest floor. The museum acquired it and put it on exhibit. Later the Society dissolved, and I have never learned what happened to the generator, a truly historic relic, as it was the very first successful commercial AC generator, which had to be secreted out of New York to Colorado by Westinghouse to avoid Edison’s spies. Is anyone in your organization familiar with the generator and its current whereabouts?

  2. http://www.warbirdcentral.com/other_works/Nikola_Tesla.htm
    Hello to all. As an historical sculptor, I am privelaged to have sculpted this man. Enjoy.

  3. Noel Black says:

    We’ll do some asking around, Lou. Thanks for the info.

News

Reuters/Landov
May 28, 2015 | NPR · Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar went back and forth so long the judges were running out of words. Told he needed one more correct spelling to forge a tie, Gokul needed nothing but the word.
 

May 28, 2015 | NPR · After activist Pamela Geller attempted to show ads depicting Muhammad in Washington trains and subway stations, the transit agency decided not to accept any issue-based ad for the rest of the year.
 

David Gilkey/NPR
May 28, 2015 | NPR · Cholera has been spreading in Haiti for over four years. But this year looks especially bleak. In the first four months, there were nearly four times the number of cases as in the same period in 2014.
 

Arts & Life

AP
May 28, 2015 | NPR · Chinese writers and publishers are being celebrated this week at BookExpo America — the industry’s largest trade event in North America. Free speech advocates are supporting silenced Chinese writers.
 

Music Box Films
May 28, 2015 | NPR · Based on a graphic novel, this updating of Madame Bovary almost manages to maintain its feather-light touch in spite of the heavy source material.
 

Magnolia Pictures
May 28, 2015 | NPR · The delightful romantic comedy Results, from mumblecore director Andrew Bujalski, has sympathy for the earnest aspirations of its gym-dwelling characters.
 

Music

May 28, 2015 | NPR · With their new album, Monterey, The Milk Carton Kids are hoping to be a part of your summer driving songs.
 

Getty Images
May 28, 2015 | NPR · Mapfumo’s powerful political messages led the superstar to seek asylum in the U.S. Critic Banning Eyre has written a new biography of the singer and bandleader.
 

Courtesy of the artists
May 28, 2015 | NPR · From a jazz-infused Spanish fandango to Afghan hip-hop and hot swing from London (by way of the Lower East Side), this month’s roundup is full of surprising juxtapositions.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab