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

AP
March 25, 2017 | NPR · “Now we can back up and do the things that should have been done,” Republican Tom DeLay says. The former House Majority Leader discusses what the withdrawal of the AHCA means for his party’s future.
 

Getty Images
March 25, 2017 | NPR · The South Carolina senator said the President should reach out to Democrats to fix health care, and fought back against the idea that he wasn’t doing enough to investigate Russian meddling.
 

March 25, 2017 | NPR · NPR reports on the latest on the attack earlier this week in London that killed five people, including the attacker, and injured at least 50.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
March 25, 2017 | NPR · Charley Pride, one of the first African-American stars in country music, has sold more records for RCA than anyone not named Elvis Presley.
 

Becky Harlan
March 25, 2017 | NPR · Many students at D.C.’s Capital City Charter School are first-generation Americans. For a creative writing project, a literacy nonprofit picked a topic everyone could relate to: food from home.
 

FX
March 25, 2017 | NPR · Wright plays an FBI secretary who falls in love with an undercover Russian spy. She says Martha is “who we would all most likely be” if we found ourselves in the world of The Americans.
 

Music

Getty Images
March 25, 2017 | NPR · Charley Pride, one of the first African-American stars in country music, has sold more records for RCA than anyone not named Elvis Presley.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 25, 2017 | WXPN · Keep up with the latest and greatest new music with World Cafe‘s Spotify playlist, updated weekly.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 25, 2017 | NPR · The folk-blues singer describes her creative process as “receiving” a song. “It usually starts with one voice,” she says, “And as soon as I hear one, then 500 more come in and surround it.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab