A monument to Nikola Tesla was officially unveiled on Monday in New York in a ceremony led by Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic. He spoke about the legendary scientist and what his legacy means to Serbia. The new monument is located outside Tesla’s former Wardenclyffe laboratory in Long Island.
Serbian president Nikolic recognized Nikola Tesla’s lasting influence across the world during his speech. Even 70 years after the scientist’s death, Tesla continues to awe and inspire. The new monument is part of a campaign to raise Nikola Tesla’s profile and earn him well-deserved recognition for his contribution to the scientific community.
The three-quarter sized statue of Nikola Tesla is just part of the plans for the scientist’s former Wardenclyffe lab in Shoreham, reports The Guardian. After an extremely successful online campaign dubbed “Let’s build a goddamn Nikola Tesla museum,” more than enough money was raised to buy the Long Island site within days.
Work began on transforming the site this last summer, but it will could take some time. The site was once owned by a photography company which dumped large amounts of toxic substances on the grounds and clean up will be no easy feat.
The Serbian president reminded the gathered crowd of Tesla’s heritage and how his reputation reflects on Serbia. Tesla was born in 1856 to Serbian-Orthodox parents in modern-day Croatia.
Later, he would go to Austria to learn about electrical engineering. After working as an electrician for a time, Tesla moved to Paris and later New York in 1884 where he began his experimental research. There, Tesla hired on to work for Thomas Edison. This cooperation did not last, however.
As Edison began developing his direct current (DC), Tesla started pushing his alternating current (AC) method. AC eventually became the most common method of delivering electricity across a power grid in the United States. However, Nikola Tesla made little money from the invention and was often overshadowed by Thomas Edison. As Newsday points out, Tesla died all but broke in Manhattan’s The New Yorker Hotel in 1943 at the age of 87.
Some say Tesla was arguably the more brilliant scientist of the two. Tesla may have even been the most brilliant of his generation. However, Edison was undeniably the better businessperson. He worked tirelessly to cement his place in history as an important figure. Some hope the new Nikola Tesla monument in Long Island will be a major step toward restoring the science figure’s rightful place among the empirical giants.