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INTRODUCTION

Posted by Admin on February 5, 2010

INTRODUCTION

by Timothy Green Beckley

There is a teacher named John W. Wagner who thinks that the Smithsonian Institute is playing favorites. After studying the remarkable life of Nikola Tesla, Wagner, along with his third grade class, started a campaign to educate the world about the obscure electrical genius from Yugoslavia.

Wagner and his class wrote many letters to important people asking for their support. A former student persuaded her father, an accomplished sculptor, to create a bust of Tesla for their class.

A Third Grade requirement is to learn cursive handwriting, so their class work now had a purpose…writing letters to raise money for their Tesla bust. Unfortunately, most people had never heard of Nikola Tesla. And those who had, seemed not to want to listen.

In fact, when the bust of Tesla was finished, Wagner and his class of eager students offered it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC. Dr. Bernard S. Finn, (Curator of the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics) refused, claiming he had no use for the bust.

They could not understand why the Smithsonian would have no use for a $6,000 bust of such a great American and world-class scientist. After all, Tesla was no slouch. Much of our modern technology owes its beginnings to Tesla. In 1882 he made the discovery that changed the world ! harnessing the awesome power of Alternating Current (AC).

In 1888 Tesla obtained U.S. patents covering an entire system of polyphase AC that remains unchanged in principle today. Tesla then promptly sold all of his patents to George Westinghouse, an acquisition that made the Westinghouse Company the giant it is today.

Westinghouse and Tesla were consummate friends, but after Westinghouse died in 1913, the company forgot about its chief benefactor and Tesla fell victim to hard times. Tesla died January 7, 1943, alone, and all but forgotten, in a New York hotel room, paid for by a meager stipend provided by the Yugoslavian government.

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