Tesla As a Seer

Tuesday, September 1, 1896
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Snrrnnaan, X896 ] AMERICAN ELECTRICIAN. Tesla as a Seer.-The following curious ex- tract is from an interview by a New York Herald reporter with Mr. Nikola Tesla, the subject of the interview being “the transmis~ sion of sight by wires or otherwise." After stating that he had arrived at a few precise facts bearing on that problem, but yet enough to make an approximate estimate of all the elements involvedin a practical demonstration, Mr. Tesla says “Have you ever abandoned yourself to the raptures of the contemplation of a world you yourself create? You want a. palace, and there it stands, built by architects nner than Michael Angelo-aye, even finer than if by |61 my friends McKim, Mead & White. You fill it with marvelous paintings and statnary and all kinds of objects of art. You summon fairies if you are fond of them. Now, per- haps, you want to sit on a throne, and there is your throne, greater than that of Great Britain! And all your subjects are around you-countless subjects. No fellows to rim after you with a pistol, as fellows do after illustrious personages, like William and Nicholas or Li Hung Chang. And if they would, what do you care? You stop their bullets in midair. Now you walk out in the streets of a wonderful city. Perchance it is one of my cities. Then you may see that all the streets and halls are lighted by my beau- tiful phosphorescent tubes, that all the ele- vated railroads are propelled by my motors, that all the traction companies’ trolleys are under ground and supplied by my system, and that all the currents are supplied by my oscillators, or else that my friends of the Cataract Construction Company are trans- mitting all the power by my system from a far-off Niagara. And now, perhaps, you meet a tramp in the street, and you reach in your pocket and give him something. Five cents, you think. No, sir; you give him not less than $5,ooo,ooo. “ Strangely, though, instead of collapsing at your generosity, he looks at you in an in- solent way and turns the money in his hand and says, conteinptuously:-‘Take it back you mean skinflintf And then you throw down your royal insignia and you begin to grapple with him, You are endowed with giant strength, and he is no fellow to fool with, either. At any rate, the issue is un- certain. He may be stronger,and then, well- then you wake up, saved, but badly used up. If you defeat him, then you recompense him royally by giving him your insignia and your throne, and you continue your advent- urons voyage peacefully and contented. “Suddenly you throw yourself in the roar of a battle, you cut and slash, and a whole army of noble knights flees before you. And now something rattles in the bushes, and you, who know no fear, you run away. Then you may witness a terribly impressive scene of years gone by. You witness the death of your father or your mother, and you go through all the agonies again. You realize thei immense gulf that separates you from them. Then overwhelming desire takes hold of you to be with them again. You know it is impossible to get them back; but never mind, you will invent something, you will discover some force which will reunite those separated molecules and make them fomi those lovely shapes so dear to you. “And now suddenly there comes a revul- sion, and you are throwing a stick at a cat in a backyard. You miss it, too-aggravating circumstance. But years afterwards you can tell the exact spot on the wall, you can tell every mark of the stick, and you see exactly how the cat’s fur was brushed one or the other way. So your imagination leads you on, from sorrow to joy, from work to play, and all this world is ever present, ever ready for your pleasure and enlightenment, and at your wish and command. All this world, real or imaginary, it matters little, you want to be able to see through some such thing as a wire, for if you succeed in transmitting aight you will see it all."