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Nikola Tesla was born in the Austrian Empire, but the brilliant inventor has a connection to New York, having lived his final years in a midtown hotel that now bears a plaque in his honor. Starting today, the city's New York Hall of Science (at the World's Fair site in Queens) is offering up a new exhibition about his life, in honor of Nikola Tesla Day -- also, coincidentally, the man's birthday. Created in collaboration with Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Museum, the exhibit features working models of his inventions, photos and models of his labs. Tesla's Wonderful World of Electricity runs through October 20th and is free with admission to the museum.

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New York Hall of Science Presents Tesla's Wonderful World of Electricity

n collaboration with the Nikola Tesla Museum of Belgrade, Serbia, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) presents a new exhibition, Tesla's Wonderful World of Electricity. The exhibition opens on July 10, 2013-a date celebrated around the world as Nikola Tesla Day-and will run through October 20.

Tesla's Wonderful World of Electricity presents working models of the late scientist's inventions, models of his laboratories and plants, photographic reproductions and a narrative about Tesla's life and work.

Tesla's inventions-he held nearly 300 registered patents in 26 countries-are still integral to today's home appliances, industrial plants, and factories. His contributions range from his most significant invention-the alternating current (AC) motor-to x-rays, remote controls and fluorescent lighting.

Tesla contributed to machine engineering with his original solutions for bladeless turbines and pumps, applying his novel principle of providing propulsion through fluids. He patented solutions in the field of speed meters and ventilators, and worked on the construction of various types of fountains. His patent for an aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing combines the features of an airplane and a helicopter-an idea that was not realized for another several decades.

"It is impossible to measure the significance of Nikola Tesla's influence on our modern world," said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI. "He was ahead of his time in countless ways and yet he was a quintessential hero of his era: visionary, multi-talented and eccentric. His legacy persists in the numerous devices and technologies that were made possible by his innovations."

"Tesla was a man graced with inspiration, incredibly broad scientific knowledge, enormous energy, courage, patience and persistence," said Vladimir Jelenkovic, Director of the Nikola Tesla Museum. "His visionary creativity paved the way for our lifestyle of today, fundamentally underpinned by the distribution of electrical power over great distances as well as the wireless world of communication."

Tesla's Wonderful World of Electricity consists of photographs and documents of major events in Tesla's life, including his heritage and family, professional career, his contributions to various scientific fields, and some of the awards and recognitions he received throughout his life.

The exhibition also includes models of his facilities as well as several of his most significant inventions. Among the items represented are induction motors with egg-shaped and disc-shaped rotors, a Tesla coil, Tesla's pump with computer-animated working principles, a model of the Adams' power station on the Niagara River, a model of Tesla's laboratory in Colorado Springs, and a model of Tesla's airplane with vertical takeoff and landing capability.

The legend of Tesla has made him a mythical figure and hero to inventors and tinkerers everywhere, yet the major contributions of Tesla's research and innovations remain relatively unknown compared to the household names of Edison or Westinghouse.

More information about Tesla's life and work can be found at teslasciencefoundation.org

The exhibition is on view at NYSCI through October 20, 2013. It is free with general admission.

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PSA: New York Hall of Science's Nikola Tesla exhibit opens today